Apricot IPA Recipe Takes First Place at Bell’s Annual Homebrew Competition

The winners of Bell’s 9th Annual Homebrew Competition were announced during the 10th Annual All Stouts Day at the Eccentric Café this past Sunday, Nov. 3.

Four homebrewers placed out of the 113 entries submitted this year. First place went to Matt MacQuillan for his Apricot IPA.

The recipe was created by MacQuillan after he was asked by a friend to help teach her how to homebrew. MacQuillan will brew his Apricot IPA recipe at Bell’s original brewery in Kalamazoo to then go on tap at the adjacent Café.

“I never in a million years thought I would win. It’s hard for me to put into words how extremely excited I am,” MacQuillan said.

He will also head to the 2019 Great American Beer Festival in Denver as a guest of Bell’s and compete alongside a Bell’s brewer in the Pro-Am Competition.

“Overall, we saw a lot of very solid entries this year. There was definitely a lot of experimentation and interesting ingredient additions as we have seen in the past. Choosing an overall winner is getting harder and harder to do because of the talent we are seeing,” said David Curtis, Bell’s General Store Operations Manager and competition organizer.

Second place again went to Ryan Schippers for his North East IPA, this is the second year in a row Schippers has claimed this prize. Third place went to Andrew Brouwers for his Session Farmhouse Ale. Fourth place went to Jim Milotz for his Sour Ale brewed with coriander.

This year’s honorable mentions are (in no particular order):

  • Leah Helzerman – Mangosteen Gose
  • Jason Glatz – Baltic Porter
  • Andrew Hansen – Pumpkin spiced beer
  • Ray Bilyk – Chocolate Covered Strawberry Stout
  • Kevin Rayl – Kettle Soured Ale
  • Mark Hofmann – Cherry Saison
  • Steve Morren – Chocolate, peanut butter & hazelnut stout

All were recognized during Sunday’s announcement and received a prize.

From ingredients to equipment to advice, the Bell’s General Store continues supporting the homebrew community that helped Larry Bell get his start before the brewery sold its first commercial pint. Originally founded as the Kalamazoo Brewing Co., the Bell’s General Store opened in 1983.

For more information and for updates, keep an eye on Bell’s website,, or join them on social media – FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchatand Untappd.

Cheers and congratulations to everyone!