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2013 hop rhizomes expected at the Bell’s General Store on March 30

Our rhizome supplier has been experimenting with some different growing techniques and as a result, has produced some very large stock for this year (see photo for an example).

We are expecting delivery on March 30 at the General Store in downtown Kalamazoo.

 More information to come as we receive it.

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Homebrew gadget spotlight: The Brew Hauler

This handy carboy transportation system from Plainwell, Michigan, is easy to install and adjustable. It fits 5 gallon and 6.5 gallon glass as well as Better Bottle carboys. Available in several colors, Brew Hauler is washable and bleach resistant.

For more information, visit brewhauler.com. This item is available at the Bell’s General Store in Kalamazoo and online.

Caption: Brew Hauler at our 2nd Annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition Expo.

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Before dropping them off here in downtown Kalamazoo, be sure to register your entries at michiganbeercup.com.

Cheers and good luck!

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Homebrew gadget spotlight: StirStarter

Save time and make better beer.

StirStarter from southwest Michigan homebrewer Dan Jeska will help you “culture higher cell counts of healthy yeast for quicker fermentations, lower risk of infections and better tasting beer. “

The StirStarter includes a stir bar, keeper magnet and instructions. For more information, visit www.stirstarters.com/

This item is available at the Bell’s General Store in Kalamazoo and online.

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Compete in the 3rd Annual Michigan Beer Cup; drop off entries at the Bell’s General Store

Start brewing now to enter the 3rd Annual Michigan Beer Cup.

To save you time and money, the Bell’s General Store will again serve as a drop-off point for this year’s competition.

Exact details for the drop-off are still being finalized, but registration for the competition will be available online starting in June. For more on the competition itself, visit their website.

Check back for more details as we get closer to the drop-off deadline (mid-July).

Until then - get brewing!

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Help us choose the Bell’s General Store’s next hop variety (poll)

We have an open spot for a new hop variety at the Bell’s General Store and we want you to help us choose which one to offer.

Below are the descriptions for each, along with a poll to vote for your favorite.

Voting will close on Tuesday, May 29 at 10 a.m.

MILLENNIUM: A triploid, high alpha acid variety with Nugget as the mother with a mild herbal aroma. Used for ales, stouts and barley wines.

ZYTHOS™: A proprietary hop blend created to embody the powerful tradition and aroma you expect from your finest ales and IPA brews. With a targeted brewing value of 11.9% alpha and 5.0% beta, ZYTHOS™ is an IPA style blend created to optimize and exceed the aroma characteristics you require.  ZYTHOS™ is not a replacement for proprietary varieties, but rather a premium pellet blend that will compliment your current IPA and Pale Ale brews.

This hop was also used in our Experimental Hop Series at the Eccentric Cafe.

MOTEUKA: An excellent hop in many applications from first kettle additions through to late gift. This hop offers a unique aroma and flavor making it suitable for producing bigger, more traditional style Lagers, especially a Bohemian Pilsener. Excellent when employed in multiple additions from a single hop bill and sits well on the palate to balance specialty malt sweetness. An excellent variety for Belgian Ales and gives a real edge to Cask Bitter.

PACIFIC JADE: Suited for use as a bittering hop with some excellent results also seen in dual purpose applications, with a soft bitterness attributable to the low cohumulone. The citrus aroma and flavor notes work well to temper malt sweetness in “fullish” Ales especially when used moderately as a finishing hop. Pacific Jade is also well suited to balance dryer Lager styles when employed as an “up-front” kettle addition to showcase its bittering qualities.

STYRIAN AURORA: Moderate-alpha with powerful hoppy aroma, very versatile - try in US, Belgian or English ales.