BOTL Info

BOTL is a club that was founded as a means for our members to educate themselves and others about brewing beer, ciders and meads. We are all in this hobby as like minded individuals that have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for an enjoyable time. Most of us are from Holland, MI and the surrounding communities.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at brewersonthelake@gmail.com
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at New Holland's Brewing Facility. Start time 7 PM.
(http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Holland&state=MI&address=799+Commerce+Ct&zipcode=49424)

Please bring 3 bottles of this month's style homebrew that you want to share or a different style of your homebrew.
When bringing your homebrew to share, please bring your recipe too.

Styles of each month:
January – Barleywine, Winter Warmer, Strong Ales
February - Stouts and Porters
March – Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
April - English Milds and Browns
May – Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers, Reds and Alts
August – Wheat, Wit and Weizens
September – Fruit Beers,
Scottish Ales and Smoked beers
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced beers
November – Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
December – Saturday, Dec. 13 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Try The Newest Sam Adams Beer...

Latest from Sam Adams, HeliYUM! more... New Sam Adams

BOTL Members; 10.8 gal Plastic Firkins Available

 Brewers On The Lake Members, now available for purchase are 10.8 gallon plastic firkins. They will cost 20-25 dollars each depending on condition. The source will continually supply free Shives and Keystones for whenever you want to fill them. Contact me thru the BOTL email if interested

FDA May Break Ties Between Brewers And Farmers

by NickMacrea BDN- BANGOR, Maine — America’s booming brewing industry and farmers alike are bothered by a proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule change that could alter a partnership that dates back to Neolithic times.
 In Maine and across the country brewers and farmers have formed handshake agreements: Brewers brew beer, producing barrels or truckloads full of heavy, wet spent grains. These grains have been heated up to extract sugars, proteins and other nutrients that go on to make beer. The process is called mashing. The spent grains are a byproduct — with no real usefulness purpose left for the brewer.
 To the farmer, spent grains are a valuable dietary supplement for their livestock. It’s common for breweries to reach out to local farms to offer up their spent grains as animal feed. Most often, farmers are happy to oblige, picking up the spent grains themselves a few times per week. Little or no money exchanges hands during these deals. Brewers are glad to get rid of the grain, and farmers are glad to take it off their hands.
 Andrew Geaghan of Geaghan Brothers Brewing Co. in Bangor, a company that brewed more than 15,000 gallons of beer in 2013, said each batch of beer uses about 350-500 pounds of grain per batch. At the end of the mashing process, it comes out even heavier because it’s saturated with water.
 Geaghan’s formed a partnership with Fair View Farm in Hampden.
 “It’s a really favorable relationship for both of us,” Geaghan said. “It’s a product that we extract what we can from it, and it leaves a nice feed for his cattle that is locally sourced and a high-protein, good fiber source, [and] a nice hydration source as well. It’s really a win-win for everybody.”
 Those sorts of partnerships have existed for as long as agriculture has existed, but the FDA’s rule proposal could change that.
 The proposed rule is aimed at “ensuring the safety of animal food for animals consuming the food and ensuring the safety of animal food for humans handling the food, particularly pet food,” according to the FDA.
 It requires facilities producing animal food to have written plans that identify hazards, specify steps to minimize those hazards, and monitor and record the safety of the feed.
 “FDA understands that many breweries and distilleries sell spent grains … as animal food. Because those spent grains are not alcoholic beverages themselves, and they are not in a prepackaged form that prevents any direct human contact with the food, the Agency tentatively concludes that subpart C of this proposed rule would apply to them,” according to the FDA rule.
 Most small and medium-sized brewers wouldn’t be able to follow these rules without significant investment. Breweries that want to send their spent grains to farmers would have to dry, package and analyze the grains, all without it touching human hands. These efforts would cost brewers money, time and resources, making it too much of a hassle for some to continue partnerships with farmers, according to critics.   more...proposed-fda-rule

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Old Wood Or New Wood?

 If it isn't fermented in Tennessee from mash of at least 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, it isn't Tennessee whiskey. So says a year-old law that resembles almost to the letter the process used to make Jack Daniel's, the world's best-known Tennessee whiskey.
 Now state lawmakers are considering dialing back some of those requirements that they say make it too difficult for craft distilleries to market their spirits as Tennessee whiskey, a distinctive and popular draw in the booming American liquor business.
 But the people behind Jack Daniel's see the hand of a bigger competitor at work — Diageo PLC, the British conglomerate that owns George Dickel, another Tennessee whiskey made about 15 miles up the road.
 "It's really more to weaken a title on a label that we've worked very hard for," said Jeff Arnett, the master distiller at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. "As a state, I don't think Tennessee should be bashful about being protective of Tennessee whiskey over say bourbon or scotch or any of the other products that we compete with."
 Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson emphasized that his bill wouldn't do away with last year's law enacted largely on the behest of Jack Daniel's corporate parent, Louisville, Ky.,-based Brown-Forman Corp. The principal change would be to allow Tennessee whiskey makers to reuse barrels, which he said would present considerable savings over new ones that can cost $600 each... more abcnews.jack-daniels

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Best States For Beer Lovers

The_Motley_Fool -  Americans love their beer. At least two-thirds of the United States' adult population enjoys and occasional drink, and more of them (39%) prefer to reach for a cold one than will pop open a bottle of wine (35%) or pour out a shot or two of liquor (22%). Among developed nations, only Australians, Canadians, the Irish, and the Germans quaff more brew per person each year than Americans, and given these nations' beer-loving reputations, that shouldn't be much of a surprise.

But some Americans like beer more than others, and some American states are quite a bit fonder of their brew than the rest. With the help of data collected by Bloomberg, the Tax Foundation, and Wisconsin's Capital Times, I've put together a complete list of all 50 states, ranked by the sort of factors that indicate the presence of beer-lovers -- per-capita beer consumption rates, breweries and bars per 100,000 people, and the taxes each state imposes on each gallon of beer. Using a proprietary algorithm that takes each category into account, I've ranked every state (and Washington, D.C.), and you'll see the fill list at the end of this article. First, let's look at which states topped each category, and why that did (or didn't) boost its final score enough to crack the top ranks. More... the-best-us-states-for-beer-lovers

New Holland Wins Gold For Craft Spirits

by grbj  A company that earned its name for beer is receiving national recognition for its craft spirits. New Holland Artisan Spirits took home three medals at the American Craft Distillers Awards in Denver last week.
 New Holland Brewing Co. started its distillery program in 2005. "It was great to be in Denver with so many craft distillers," said Joel Armato, New Holland Brewing, beer and spirits sales manager. "We're thrilled to see our spirits get such tremendous recognition from a peer-based judging and amongst such great company." More... brewery-wins-gold-for-craft-spirits

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Know Your Cup Size.

espn - BOISE, Idaho -- A handful of Idaho hockey fans sued a Boise arena on Tuesday, saying they were duped into thinking a $7 beer contains more brew than a $4 beer.

 The lawsuit says CenturyLink Arena, home of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team, defrauded customers by charging $3 more for a tall, narrow cup advertised as a "large" that actually holds the same amount of beer as the shorter, wider cup described as a "small." The Steelheads are affiliated with the Dallas Stars. Arena spokesman Mike Campbell said he hadn't yet seen the lawsuit and can't comment.
 Four fans filed the suit Tuesday in Boise's 4th District Court against Block 22 LLC, which does business as CenturyLink Arena. Brady Peck, Michele Bonds and William and Brittany Graham are seeking $10,000 in damages.
 In the lawsuit, Peck says he's attended at least 30 events over the past three years at the arena, including a hockey game on March 5, and that he's purchased beer each time. The other three plaintiffs say they have been attending sporting events at the venue for five years and that they bought at least one large $7 beer at each event.
 "While different shapes, both cup sizes hold substantially the same amount of liquid and are not large versus small in actual capacity," the group's attorney, Wyatt Johnson, wrote in the lawsuit. "Defendants knowingly sold each of their beers in a similar manner at each event held at the arena where beer was sold for at least the last five years."
 The lawsuit came just two days after another hockey fan posted a video on YouTube of what the fan said was a beer purchased at CenturyLink Arena on March 8. That video shows a patron holding a large cup of beer and pouring it into an empty small cup. In both cups, the beer reaches nearly to the brim.
 Gwen Gibbs, who posted the video, told the Idaho Statesman that she was annoyed when she saw her boyfriend, Heath Forsey, pour the large beer into the smaller cup and so decided to upload the video. CenturyLink officials announced a short time later that the company would purchase new cups for the large beers that would hold 24 ounces instead of the previous 20 ounces for a bigger difference in size.
 At the time, Eric Trapp, the president of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team and CenturyLink Arena, wrote on the team's Facebook page that the company had ordered 16-ounce and 20-ounce cups and never intended to mislead customers.
 "It's amazing what can be done with one little video and the power of social media," Gibbs told the newspaper, joking that she hoped CenturyLink would rename the 24-ounce cups the "Heath and Gwen size."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Michigan Micro Caps app

 Enjoy our latest app which combines an addictive casual game with a full index of craft breweries. The app is a mobile game and brewery directory for all of the open (and coming soon) breweries in the state. Check it out! micro_caps

Freshness of Craft Beer

 by_J.Vorel_ As the craft beer market continues to expand and the number of brands on the shelves continues to rise exponentially, one of the most overlooked issues generated by that growth tends to be freshness of the product. It's become the white elephant of beer retail: A lot of the product is way past freshness, and in some cases there's not even any way for the consumer to tell.
 This is one of the nicer things about having a new package store open in your town. At a newer store, you're going to be much less likely to see old product clogging up the shelves. But as more time goes by, you have to keep your eyes open. Case in point: I was browsing the large format bottles section for new releases. As I looked through a number of 22-ounce beer bottles, I was shocked by the freshness dates I was seeing. Six months or a year old is bad enough, but there were IPAs sitting on that shelf that were brewed in 2011, and others made in 2012. They were easily the oldest IPAs I've ever seen that were still being offered for sale. They weren't even discounted, or placed in the display for old or out-of-season beers.
 Bear in mind, these are mostly products designed to be consumed within a few months of their arrival. The reason for hop-forward beer in particular has to do with oxidation and the gradual breakdown of delicate aroma and flavor components derived from hops. In general, hoppy beer degrades faster than other varieties in its overall flavor profile, losing a lot of its freshness and signature characteristics within a few months. As the months stretch on after that, negative “off-flavors” tend to emerge, which often range from “cardboard” to “skunk” or Robitussin-like medicinal flavors. All of these processes are accelerated by several things they're regularly exposed to in stores, including room-temperature storage and fluorescent lighting.
 So why does beer end up on shelves past freshness? Unfortunately, it's a byproduct of craft beer's great success. As more and more breweries are opened and the shelves are crowded with new product, even longtime favorites can get edged out by the new guy in town. Minimum order sizes from distributors are also a factor, and possibly an unrealistic one. After all, the more breweries there are for a retailer to stock, the less beer from each individual one they can probably buy, right? Being handcuffed to a minimum order is something retailers no doubt regret once they're sitting on a few cases of past-fresh IPA.
 What this means for us, the consumers, is that it's now more important than ever to pay attention to beer freshness dating. Many breweries now include this information somewhere on the label, cap or the bottle itself, but the lack of industry standardization can be very frustrating. Some have steadfastly resisted printing “born on” or “drink by” dates, making it impossible to know how old the product is, or hide the date in coded numbers that only the distributor can deduce. Others have gone in the exact opposite direction, raising awareness of the issue with products which are specifically designed to be consumed by a set date. It also makes it quite obvious when a past-date “Enjoy By” bottle is sitting on the shelf, and I wish I could say that was only a hypothetical, but I've physically seen that happen as well.
 What this also means for consumers is that we all need to be a little more proactive in requesting fresh beer and pointing out stuff that is past its prime. If you see a hop-forward beer that is a year old sitting on shelves, tell someone at the store. If an IPA doesn't have any kind of freshness dating at all and you don't know how long it's been there, ask someone at the store if they know. They'll more than likely be able to give you that information or look it up. And if it seems clear that the retailer isn't committed to cycling out the past-fresh product, there is one last place you can take that information: To the breweries themselves. Craft brewers hate to hear stories about their past-fresh product still being in circulation because it's inherently bad for their business. A brewery stands to lose a customer immediately if someone buys their three-year-old IPA and turns up his nose at a stale or gross-tasting product. Contacting someone at the brewery can send a ripple effect through the distributor and all the way back to the retailer.
 As even more breweries expand distribution into your market, this issue will only become more prevalent. Please join in pushing for the freshest possible product. Good beer is worth searching through a few best-by dates.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cook for St Patrick's Day

Stout Corned Beef and Veggies (Slow Cooker )
Makes 16 servings
 1 1/2 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
 1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket
 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
 1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
 2 large sweet onions, chopped
 6 large carrots, chopped
 3 red potatoes, cut into chunks

 Directions
Pour 1 bottle Irish stout beer into a slow cooker.
Rinse corned beef brisket and pat dry. Rub with brown sugar, including the bottom, and gently place brisket into the slow cooker with the stout beer.
Arrange sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, carrots, and red potatoes on and around the brisket in the slow cooker.
Pour remaining 1/2 bottle Irish stout beer on and around brisket and vegetables to moisten the brown sugar. Cover the cooker and cook on Low until corned beef is tender, 6 to 8 hours. Allow brisket to stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yeast Strains Affect IBUs Differently

beerandwinejournal.  Dr. Chris White of White Labs and his staff made up a standard wort, with a known (calculated) level of bitterness, and fermented aliquots of it with each of the White Labs strains. Each beer was then analyzed for its actual level of bitterness (in IBUs). He then compared the measured IBUs to the predicted IBUs for each strain. If the two were equal, the beer was given a score of 1. If the measured IBUs were less than the predicted IBUs, the beer received a score between zero and one. For example, if the beer was expected to have 100 IBUs, but only had 80, the beer would be given a 0.8. (Note: the experiment wasn’t done with 100 IBU beers, I just used that number as an example because it’s easy to see how the proportions worked out.) And if the beer was more bitter than predicted, the beer received a number over 1.
 Interestingly, over two thirds of the yeast strains received below a 1. The strains that scored among the lowest — WLP029 (German Ale/K├Âlsch), WLP300 (Hefeweizen Ale) and WLP 380 (Hefeweizen IV Ale) — scored around 0.5. In other words, the level of bitterness was half what the recipe calculator predicted! Other strains that scored under 1 include WLP002 (English Ale) and WLP041 (Pacific Ale) yeast. Interestingly, these were already described as leaving a malty profile.
 It should come as no shock that among the strains that scored 1 or above were the strains frequently used in American-style IPAs. White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), White Labs most popular strain, scored around 1, as did WLP550 (Belgian Ale) yeast. Strains that were slightly above 1 include WLP005 (British Ale), WLP810 (San Francisco Lager), WLP830 (German Lager), WLP860 (Munich Helles), WLP039 (East Midlands Ale) and WLP862 (Cry Havoc).
 It’s been known for a long time that yeast takes some of the bitterness out of worts. That’s why, for instance, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River recommends slightly underpitching beers that are meant to be intensely hoppy. Exactly how this occurs is not known. It may have something to do with the electrical charges on iso-alpha acid and the charges of proteins embedded in the yeast cell wall. When the yeast flocculate, they may pull iso-alpha acids with them.
 Now that you know that some yeast strains may be bogarting your IBUs, what should you do? Well, if you’re following a recipe that someone else has actually brewed and liked, follow the recipe. Whatever effect the yeast has will have been counteracted by the brewer adjusting the hop amounts to get the right flavor and aroma. If you’re formulating your own recipes from scratch, be aware that you might have to adjust the amount of hops upward to get the level of bitterness you’re looking for.
 It’s probably no coincidence that some of the strains that scrub the most IBUs from the wort are usually used in beer styles that aren’t very bitter. And likewise, most super-hoppy recipes use clean ale yeasts, which many of the strains rated around 1 were.
 The differences among strains could be interesting when making hybrid style beers, like hoppy hefeweizens of Belgian IPAs.
 White plans to release the numbers when he and his lab has tested the yeast strains all again to see if the results are repeatable. Once these numbers become available, they can simply be incorporated into recipe calculation spreadsheets and help brewers better formulate their beers.



Beer Tapping Scientifically Explained

The old beer-tapping prank: One strong hit on the top of an open beer bottle, and poof! Your IPA explodes into a brewski volcano.

"In one second, most of your beer has really turned into foam," says Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez, assistant professor at the Fluid Mechanics Group of Carlos III University in Madrid. "You better have put the bottle into your mouth, because you need to drink whatever is coming out."
 Physicists know quite a bit about beer foam, Rodriguez says. They've pinpointed the components of barley and wheat that make a fluffy, thick head. And they've explained why the bubbles in Guinness sink instead of rise.  But the tapping phenomenon has been a long-standing puzzle in beer science ? until now. Rodriguez and his team have figured out that a stiff hit on the bottle's top sets off miniature explosions inside the beer. These tiny blasts create mushroom clouds similar to those generated in the air by an atomic bomb, the Salt reported. "Actually, the laws of physics that control the development of these beer mushroom clouds are the same as [those that drive] the development of the cloud in an atomic bomb," Rodriguez says. "Obviously, there's no nuclear stuff in the beer. So the source of the explosion is very different, but the mushroom cloud that you see is very similar."
 Rodriguez presented his findings at the end of November at a scientific meeting in Pittsburgh. But the idea for the project started where all good beer research does - at a pub. He and a bunch of scientists went to a bar one night after work, when one of their friends fell victim to beer tapping. "We asked ourselves, what was the cause for this?" Rodriguez says. "So we decided to go to the lab and do some experiments under well-controlled conditions." They started filming the process in the lab with high-speed cameras. And eventually, the team realized that bottle tapping set off a chain reaction in the beer ? a bit like a Rube Goldberg device. The end result was a mushroom cloud of beer. But the steps in between are a bit more complicated.
Step 1: Throbbing bubbles
 A swift strike on the bottle's mouth sends waves down through the liquid. The waves cause tiny bubbles in the beer to pulsate. They shrink and swell. The glass bottle may seem solid, but it can act like a spring, Rodriguez says. "So when you hit the spring, [the glass] compresses and creates waves. From a mathematical point of view, it's like a sound wave traveling through in the beer."
Step 2: The collapse
 At some point, the bubbles just can't take the compression anymore. The force becomes too much for the gaseous pockets, and they shatter - very quickly. "The bubbles collapse violently," Rodriguez explains. "They break up into clouds of tiny fragments - and in very little time." (Physicists call this process cavitation.)
Step 3: The rise
 Here's where the magic starts happening.
The tiny fragments of bubbles start to grow very rapidly. "The carbon dioxide has an easier time to get into the bubbles because of the increase in surface area," Rodriguez says. "So they grow very, very fast." As they grow, they become lighter and lighter. So they start to rise. "It's like a spot of hot air in the environment," he says. "The bubbles are buoyant and will rise."
Step 4: The eruption
 Now the reaction has reached the point of no return. "The faster the bubbles rise, the faster they grow, because the mixing with carbon dioxide is more efficient," Rodriguez says.  And that creates a self-feeding loop: The bubbles keep growing and rising, faster and faster. Ultimately, the loop becomes so intense that plumes or mushroom clouds of bubbles form in the beer.  The result is foam spewing out of the beer bottle in a few hundred milliseconds, Rodriguez says. "There's really not much you can do to stop it."
 All right, so the end result of all this research is that, sadly, you can't save your beer from the evils of tapping. But Rodriguez and his colleagues are now studying whether their findings may have applications beyond the bar.
 For example, there have been instances when large amounts of carbon dioxide have suddenly erupted from lakes and volcanoes. "Some geologists think that our findings could have technological applications to prevent these incidents - or even [for] carbon dioxide sequestration," he says.
 Who knows? Maybe the science of beer tapping could one day prove useful in the fight against climate change. www.belgianshop.com

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beerfest At The Ballpark - Lansing

Saturday April 5th, 2014 1pm - 6pm

 Spring is finally here and it is time to celebrate at Beerfest at the Ballpark!
 Come out and enjoy Lansing’s first Annual Beerfest at the Ballpark featuring the best in Michigan craft beer, cider and mead.
 Beerfest at the Ballpark is an outdoor beer, cider and mead festival with live acoustic music hosted in the heart of Downtown Lansing at the Cooley Law School Stadium home of the Lugnuts at 505 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912. Beerfest at the Ballpark will have over 30 Michigan Breweries, Cideries, Meaderies showcasing 100+ craft beers, ciders and meads. The entertainment will be live acoustic music. Beerfest

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Has Craft Beer Gone Too Far? Take The Quiz.

by John Metcalfe -  Is this the future of U.S. beer consumption – a country that stumbles over itself to buy beer made with wild-carrot seed, bee balm, chanterelle mushrooms, and aged in whiskey barrels? The consumer-trend forecasters are still working on that question, but in the meantime I've knocked together this quiz to gauge the collective awareness of craft brews. If you and your social circle know the answers to more than half of these 10 questions, I'm calling it: Stockpile your Bud and PBR now, because America's simpler beers might be heading the way of the dinosaurs.
 Pop a cold one and let's begin.  QUIZ

Hello, My Name is Vladimir

 by Emma Hall -  Controversial craft beer brand BrewDog is protesting Russia's anti-gay laws with a new product, called "Hello, My Name is Vladimir," promoted with the hashtag #NotForGays.

 Just days ahead of the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the new beer has gone on sale in bars as well as online. BrewDog, based in Scotland, delivers globally and will donate 50% of profits to support charitable organizations that, it says, "support like-minded individuals wishing to express themselves freely without prejudice."
 BrewDog claims it has sent a crate of the beer to the Kremlin, and explained in a blog, "This beer is… brewed with Limonnik berries. We heard they're great for improving sexual performance, so we've sent a case to the Kremlin as we suspect there is someone there who would appreciate a little helping hand."
 The company warned its Twitter followers, "If you wanna try Hello My Name is Vladimir before the KGB catches up with us, hit up a BrewDog bar to try it on tap from today." One of the publicity shots for Hello, My Name is Vladimir re-creates the infamous photograph of Russian president Vladimir Putin riding a horse, shirtless, on a 2009 vacation in Siberia.
 The bottles of Hello My Name is Vladimir feature Warhol-esque pictures of Mr. Putin's face, set against multi-colored backgrounds. In its blog, BrewDog describes the beer as "for uber hetero men who ride horses while topless and carrying knives. I am a beer to mark the 2014 Winter Olympics. But I am not for gays. Love wrestling burly men on the Judo mat or fishing in your Speedos? Then this is the beer for you!"
 more... beer-notforgays-protest

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carhartt Teams up with New Holland for 125th

hollandsentinel - A special beer crafted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Michigan-based clothing manufacturer Carhartt has resulted in a unique collaboration with New Holland Brewing Co.
 The local microbrewery has teamed up with the iconic clothing brand to pay tribute to hard-working people who wear Carhartt by making a signature craft beer for release this fall.
 “Carhartt is the epitome of craftsmanship,” New Holland President Brett VanderKamp said in a news release. “The same dedication to hard work and creativity that we admire in farmers, chefs, artists and other brewers is exactly what you’ll find at Carhartt. They reflect the same devotion to quality raw materials, artisan processes and delivering remarkable results as we do.”
  The name of the special brew and other details are expected to be released at a later date ...more

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rockford Brewery Sues Over Use Of Name

  mlive_rockford Rockford Brewing Co. of Rockford, Ill., filed suit in U.S. District Court in Illinois on Jan. 13 against Rockford Brewing Co. of Rockford, Mich. The Illinois brewery is asking to grant the company exclusive rights to the name in connection with restaurant and bar services.  A hearing on the case is scheduled for late February, although the parties are currently negotiating a possible settlement, according to Seth Rivard, co-owner of Rockford Brewing Co. in Michigan.  “They own zero rights to that name,” said Rivard. “We’d been using it two years before they even started.”
  The brewery anchors an ambitious historic redevelopment in the massive 156-year-old, five-story Prairie Street Brewhouse, which includes a banquet space, offices, lofts and a 60-slip marina.  The complex is owned by Lloyd and Diane Koch, who bought it in 2000. .
  In late November, Rivard and his partners in Michigan sent the Illinois brewery a cease-and-desist letter in protection of their trademark. In the letter, Rivard’s attorneys claim the Michigan brewery was using its mark in commerce as early as Jan. 2012 and “possibly much earlier.”  Michigan’s Rockford Brewing Co. formally opened in Dec. 2012, but began selling mug club memberships in 2011.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chronic Brewing

Colorado has consumers nationwide buzzing over the recreational marijuana law, which made the herb legal Jan. 1. Hemp Ale
 Boulder, Colo.-based West Flanders Brewing, looking to have some fun, recently changed the name of one of its products from Woodshed Smoked Porter to Recreational Smoke. It's an existing beer with a new name, but some brewers have gone a step further to mark the change in their state.
  Washington brewers Redhook Brewery and Hilliard's Beer paired up on a marijuana-themed beer to acclaim the legalization of the drug. The result, released in July, is the aptly titled Joint Effort, an ale brewed with nonpsychoactive hemp.  If the name and ingredients don't get the message across, the tap handle—a bright yellow bong—delivers it loud and clear.  Joint Effort has captured national attention but is distributed only in Washington, as its marijuana-themed labeling doesn't allow it to be sold across state lines.  So consumers shouldn't expect to see Joint Effort in Colorado anytime soon.  Redhook said it has considered a Colorado-themed beer but has no current plans to mark the change in that state.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Upcoming Beer Events

Jan. 11-18 -  Kalamazoo Beer Week  kalamazoobeerweek
Jan. 18 -  Royal Oak Beer Fest  royaloakbeerfest
Feb. 6-16 - Ashley's Belgian Beer Fest  ashleys
Feb. 8 -  Traverse City Microbrew Music Festival  microbrewandmusic
Feb. 14&15 - Brew Ha-Ha (Grand Rapids)  brew-ha-ha
Feb. 17-22 - Grand Rapids Beer Week  grbeerweek
Feb. 21 - Bow-wows and Brews - GR Bow-Wow
Feb. 22 - Winter Beer Fest (GR) - SOLD OUT
Mar. 8 - Southern Winter Beer Fest (Jackson)  jacksoncountyfair
Mar.22 - Grand Pizza and Beer Fest GrandPizzaFest
Mar.24 -Apr.13 entries will be accepted for Siciliano’s Annual Homebrew Competition
Apr.18&19 - Lansing Microbrew and Music Festival  microbrewandmusic
May 3 - The Second Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew at the Calder
May 17 - The Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party at Townsend Park.
May 16&17 - World Expo of Beer (Frankenmuth) worldexpoofbeer
June 12-14 - National Homebrewers Conference  ahaconference
July 25&26 - Summer Beer Festival (Ypsilanti) mibeer

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HOPPY NEW BEER!!

May this new year bring you good health, happiness, prosperity and great homebrew!