The press release starts with this daunting question: "Are your homebrew skills enough to get your beer served alongside Two Hearted, Bell’s Amber Ale, Oberon and others? Here’s your chance to prove it."

For what is now the 10th year, the Bell’s Homebrew Competition Kick-off and Expo is Sept. 14 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.

What's at stake? According to Bell's, "the homebrewer who takes first place will get to brew their recipe at Bell’s original brewery to then go on tap at the adjacent Café. The first place winner will also attend the 2020 Great American Beer Festival (Sept. 24-26) in Denver, Colorado as a guest of Bell’s Brewery."

“We’ve seen some incredible skill over the past decade of this competition and we will continue to proudly support the community that helped start all of this so many years ago. It was homebrewing that got us started and its homebrewers who continue to honor us today,” - Larry Bell,  Bell’s Brewery founder and President.

The brewery says it's free to enter the competition, but you have to use Bell's wort. That wort will be available for free at the September 14th kick-off (while supplies last.) Also, something new for this year: Bell's invites competitors to sign up for a specialty homebrew tour and then, they will be one of the first to receive wort. Registration for the tour will open on August 14th at 9 a.m. online at Limited spots are available.

The most recent past winner, Matt MacQuillan , from 2018, HIs "Heather’s Request", an Apricot IPA will be tapped on August 25th at the Café. Bell's say all are welcome to come by and check that beer out.

If you're one who's not a brewer and are just curious, according to wikipedia, wort "is the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer or whisky. Wort contains the sugars, the most important being maltose and maltotriose,[1] that will be fermented by the brewing yeast to produce alcohol. Wort also contains crucial amino acids to provide nitrogen to the yeast as well as more complex proteins contributing to beer head retention and flavour."

Competition entries (four 12 oz. bottles) are due October 27.


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