It's not an IPA flavor you see everyday, but an Apricot IPA must have something going for it, as it picked up first place in Bell's annual Homebrew Competition.

2018 homebrew compeition winner
2018 Bell's Homebrew Competition winner.
(Photo courtesy of Bell's Brewery)

The story behind this beer is that a friend of winner Matt MacQuillan was asked by a friend to teach her how to homebrew. The award is that MacQuillan gets to brew his Apricot IPA recipe at Bell’s original brewery in Kalamazoo. after which it goes on tap at The Eccentric Cafe next door.

"I never in a million years thought I would win. It’s hard for me to put into words how extremely excited I am,”  - Matt MacQuillan, Bell's Homebrew competition winner.

MacQuillan also get a place at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival in Denver as a guest of Bell’s and will compete at the Pro-Am Competition alongside a Bell’s brewer.

According to Bell's, "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


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