KALAMAZOO – Have you always wanted your beer up on the big board at Bell’s Eccentric Café alongside Oberon, Two Hearted, Porter and others?
Here’s your chance – we’ll even provide the wort.
On Sept.10, Bell’s Brewery Inc. will host its second annual Homebrew Expo and Competition at the Café in downtown Kalamazoo.
The homebrewer who takes first place honors will get the chance to brew his or her beer with our downtown brewer Andy Farrell. The winning beer will be served on draft alongside other Bell’s favorites at the Eccentric Café.
First and second runners-up will receive gift certificates to the Bell’s General Store.
The expo will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can sign up for the competition starting at 11 a.m.
What you choose to enter is entirely up to you. The only requirement is that each entry must be brewed with Bell’s wort, which can be picked up beginning at 1 p.m.
The wort will be made with 100-percent Michigan grown pale malt. It will be minimally boiled and completely unhopped. You will have complete freedom from there.
Last year’s winning entry was a collaborative IPA brewed by brothers Jarrett and Bailey Cupp and Paul Gentz called Oscars Folly. More than 60 homebrewers participated in the inaugural event.
Representatives from the Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB), the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and local suppliers will also be at the expo to talk about homebrewing, answer questions and raffle off some Michigan and Indiana products.
Scheduled to be there are:
• Brew Hauler (Plainwell)
• Stir Starters (stir plates, southwest Michigan)
• Coldbreak Brewing (wort chillers, Grand Rapids)
• Fetzer Farms (hop rhizomes)
• Blichmann Engineering
Prizes from Brewcraft, BC Products Enterprises Inc. (another Michigan company that makes the Barley Crusher MaltMill sold at the General Store) and White Labs will also be given away.
If you are interested in entering, below are the complete details.
As mentioned above, the wort will be made with 100-percent Michigan grown pale malt. The initial OE of the base wort will be roughly 12 Plato (about 1.048 gravity), which will yield a knock-out gravity of 13+ Plato (about 1.052 gravity) after the final boil. Left unchanged, the fermentability will result in a beer with approximately 6% ABV.
Again, the wort will be minimally boiled and entirely unhopped, giving you complete freedom with your recipe. However, homebrewers will have to complete the kettle boil on their own systems.
There are no restrictions or style guidelines for the final beer, as long as it uses the base wort provided by Bell’s Brewery Inc. Beers will be judged based on a purely hedonic scale, not formal Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) criteria.
Please submit four (4) bottles of your homebrew made with Bell’s wort. The bottles must be submitted to Bell’s by 9 p.m. Oct. 28 with your entry form and properly identified with the labels provided. Any late entries will not be considered. They can be dropped off at the Bell’s General Store, Attn: Bell’s Homebrew Competition.
Winners will be announced Sunday, Nov. 6 during All Stouts Day at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.
For more information, email email@example.com.