KALAMAZOO — Bell’s Brewery has announced the availability of September’s award-winning homebrew in its tap room, named A Bit of Heat.
The homebrew, created by Geoff Groff and entered into Bell’s second annual homebrew competition, will be tapped at 3 p.m. July 21 at the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.
Brewed with paradise seeds, rose hips and habaneros at our original brewery located next to the Cafe, this dry habanero-ed IPA or Strong Pale Ale comes in at 6.4% ABV.
Groff, who is originally from Troy and now lives in Climax, has been homebrewing off and on since about 1999. Although he points out that he has brewed a lot more since joining the Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB), a local homebrewing club based in Kalamazoo, a couple of years ago.
He decided the day before picking up his Bell’s wort to experiment with peppers, something he had wanted to do for a short while. He used habaneros that he grew.
But don’t let the pepper factor scare you away. There’s just the right amount of heat, hence the name.
“It is well balanced and is not as spicy as people may think. The spice is enough to recognize that’s it in there and that it is peppery,” Groff said.
It comes out a bit more in the finish, he said.
Groff, along with Brewery Manager Andy Farrell and Specialty Brewer Zeke Bogan brewed about 10 barrels of A Bit of Heat in June on Bell’s 15-barrel system. This is also where Bell’s brews its experimental and small batch beers like The Wild One and an ongoing series of beers that use experimental hops directly from growers’ trial plots among others.
“The fact that you can brew 10 barrels in not more than a few hours longer then it might take a homebrewer to make five to ten gallons is quite cool,” Groff said.
Groff is a substitute teacher in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties and hopes to start brewing professionally, perhaps even open his own brewery, someday.
Bell’s 3rd Annual Homebrew Expo and Competition Kick-off will be held on Sept. 8.