Bell's News

Coffee IPA and employee homebrew winner, ‘Wide Eye PA,’ now on tap

If you’ve been to the Eccentric Café recently you may have have tried Wide Eye PA, but may not know it was the winner of our Employee Homebrew Competition.

Now in its second year, teams are made up of employees from across the brewery. Each group presents the beer they brewed together over the summer during our annual Bell’s Family Meeting in September. Wide Eye PA was selected by a panel of Bell’s judges as their top choice.

The team — Sid, David, Devin and Chris — came up with the idea over a “shifty” after they finished working third shift. They knew they wanted to brew an IPA, but since it was 9 a.m. and they had stayed up all night, all they could think about was coffee.

The seeds of Wide Eye PA were sown.

Wide Eye straddles the line between an American Pale Ale and an IPA with a firm bitterness and bright hop aromatics. Instead of dry-hopping it, the team decided to go another route and added whole coffee beans during fermentation.The coffee is sourced from ChocolaTEA Café in Portage, Michigan.

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They tried several different ways of mixing coffee and beer — including brewing hops in a coffee machine and tasting it, which result in wrecked pallets for a week. Ultimately, dry hopping with coffee beans provided by far, the most interesting taste.

Given their schedules, they ended up brewing on a Wednesday morning after working 8 and 12-hour shifts.

The team brewed Wide Eye PA at our original brewery in downtown Kalamazoo, where so many other new beers are now born.

Wide Eye PA is now available at the Eccentric Cafe, but before you visit, always be sure to check our Draft Cam (it updates throughout the day).

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