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.
We are not accepting new members at this time.
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 - Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
March – English Ales and Milds
April - Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids and Alts
May –
Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers and Reds
August – Wheat, Wit, Weizens and Fruit Beers
September –
Scottish Ales and Browns
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced Beers
November – Stouts and Porters
December – Saturday, Dec. Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Brewers Demand Drives Diversity Of New Hop Varieties

 emalt- In brewing, hops make the world go around and the fate of that world depends on what happens in the hops fields of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
 Happily, 2016 has been a good year for hops growers,
 The United States Department of Agriculture forecasts this year’s production to be about 91 million pounds, an increase of 16 percent from last year. Overall, total planted hop acreage has been steadily rising in recent years into record numbers.
 The total numbers are only part of the story, because there are really two sides of the market for hops.
 The big guys, such as AB InBev and other large corporate producers, prefer varieties that add bitterness but not any particular flavor or aroma.
 And since they buy a lot of hops for their mass production, their needs drove the hops market. Until recently, this kind of production was the most stable market for growers, so these varieties took priority over hops bred for their aroma.
 But craft beer makers want hops that add bitterness, aroma and complex flavors. Now, there are enough craft brewers who want aroma hops and other experimental varieties so hops growers feel confident that they have a steady market for them.
 This is a major relief for small and newly established breweries that don’t have bulk purchasing power or long-term contracts for their hops supplies.
 And it’s great news for beer drinkers.
 The increased production of new hops varieties has let brewers expand the diversity of flavors in their hoppy beers.
 There are many India Pale Ales coming out showcasing particular types of hops.
 One currently popular variety, Mosaic, released in 2012, is featured in Founders Mosaic Promise and Prairie Funky Gold Mosaic. It adds a complex assortment of flavors (a mosaic, if you will) reminiscent of grass and fruits like tangerines and berries.
 An interesting case of an almost extinct variety of hops making a comeback is Comet. It was bred in 1974 for bittering, but was abandoned in the early ’80s as other hops surpassed its bittering potential.
 Now, it’s being rediscovered for its interesting aroma, which is a mixture of citrus fruit and grass. In some ways, it is reminiscent of wild hops that grow in the western part of the United States.
 Soon, we probably will see some Comet IPAs showing up in stores and bars soon.
 Thanks to the desire of brewers to experiment, hops growers have of late been releasing small quantities of experimental hops varieties onto the market to gauge brewer interest.
 Some will disappear again never to be heard from — sometimes for good reason — but others will probably go on to be the next hot variety of hops.

Hop Farming Interest Grows Outside of N.W.

 emalt - Americans' growing thirst for bitter, flavor-packed styles of beer has brought an unprecedented demand for hops, so growers are looking to new places to harvest its flowers.
 Hops are used to provide bitterness, aroma and flavor to beer. It the U.S., the vast majority are grown in Washington state, with significant numbers grown in Oregon and Idaho. But hop growers in states like Michigan, New York and Maine, where Geoff Keating runs the Hop Yard farm in Gorham and Fort Fairfield, are starting to ramp up production.
 The demand for hops is high, in part, because of America's obsession with India pale ales, which use large amounts of hops to create flavors and aromas that recall fruit and pine. Total U.S. hop acreage grew by almost 20 percent to more than 53,000 acres this year, according to the Hop Growers of America. And brewers still often gripe about shortages of some hop varieties.
 In the U.S., the amount of acreage outside of the Pacific Northwest states grew from less than 900 in 2014 to more than 1,200 last year to nearly 2,100 this year, the growers association noted. Michigan's acreage doubled to 650 this year, and Wisconsin's grew by nearly 75 percent to almost 300 acres.
 "We are certainly getting a lot of calls from people saying they would like to be hop growers," said Jaki Brophy, spokeswoman for the growers association. "There has been an interest in growing outside of the Pacific Northwest."
 Prices for hops have also been high in recent years, even as the total amount of hop acreage and pounds of hops produced hits record highs. The price of hops can vary widely based on the variety — there are hundreds, some of which are proprietary — but the average price of U.S. hops rose from $3.67 to $4.38 per pound last year.
 The availability of hops can be a concern for brewers, especially those who trade in hoppy beer, and local growing can help make a difference, said Tim Adams, brewmaster of Oxbow Beer, in Portland, Maine.
 "The collective palate of the world is way into very hoppy beers — IPAs and double IPA," Adams said. "It's a naturally limited resource and demand seems to be increasing at a rate that is much greater than supply."
 The production outside of the Pacific Northwest hasn't yet reached the level where it can make a dramatic impact on the national hop trade. And big brewers like Anheuser-Busch, which are the rival of craft beer and take up much more of the U.S. beer market, are potentially less impacted by fluctuations in the availability of hops.
 Anheuser-Busch also operates its own hop farms, in the U.S., Germany and Argentina. The growth of hops in places like Michigan and Maine is unlikely to affect the company or other beer giants.
 But Bart Watson, chief economist with the Brewers Association, which represents 3,200 beer makers from bucket brewing operations to regional players, said the spread of hops around the country reflects a growing interest in locally sourced beer. He expects the trend to continue.
 Pat Tiernan, chief operating office of Escondido, Calif.-based Stone Brewing Company, said it's possible that hops grown outside of traditional areas might impart a slightly different flavor or aroma. He said players in craft beer are watching.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Educating Students For Brewing Industry Jobs

 Grand Rapids Community College student Sheldon Korcal says he's been hooked on craft beer since downing one of Founder's Brewing Company's flagship beers - the Dirty Bastard scotch-style ale.
 Korcal, 23, of Comstock Park, is enrolled in the college's new Craft Brewing, Packaging, and Service Operations Certificate that launched this summer in response to Michigan's booming beer industry.
 "I like the science behind it," said Korcal, as his 15-member class worked on different aspects of brewing a batch of IPA (India Pale Ale). "The process is pretty interesting. I want to do work I enjoy."
 Bill Pink, vice president of workforce development for GRCC, said with the more than 200 breweries statewide, there is a growing demand for skilled personnel. He said the college worked closely with West Michigan breweries in developing the certificate program.
 "The need is there and will continue to grow over the next several years," he said.
 Brett Langschied, who teaches the course along with John Stewart, said there is a wide range of students enrolled in the class all seeking different career paths in the industry.  more_mlive

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mitten Brewing Heads North

Northport Brewing, (near Grand Traverse Bay) a main attraction in the quaint town, closed abruptly in early July. Grand Rapids-based brewery, Mitten Brewing Company, opened in its place at 112 W. Nagonaba.
 "It wasn’t something that was really in our short term plans," said Max Trierweiler, who co-owns The Mitten in Grand Rapids with Chris Andrus.
 But the two wanted to help when they heard from their longtime friend Kevin Murphy in May that the small brewery and taproom likely couldn't stay open much longer.
 "He told us about the situation at Northport," Trierweiler said. "There were no brewers there anymore and the partners had left the business. They were waiting until the last keg of beer was gone to close, and there was no plan after that."
 Trierweiler and Andrus were soon in talks with a former Northport Brewing owner, Karl Wizinsky, to buy the brewery and transform it into a Mitten taproom.
 "It’s a hugely important part of town," Trierweiler said. "We know how truly important it is for the area to have its own neighborhood brewery and what the impact would be if it was gone."
 The Mitten had already been contract brewing for Northport Brewing during its last few months of operation, in which the brewery began to limit its business hours. Northport Brewing, which hadn't brewed since the fall, was relying on its remaining beer supply to stay in business, Trierweiler said.
 He and Andrus took over the brewery and its four-person staff with lofty goals of opening The Mitten's tasting room by summertime.
 "The summer is the lion's share of business there — the town quintuples in size — but also we wanted to keep the workers there employed." Trierweiler said. "The people were our main priority."
 Trierweiler and Andrus worked with state senators and local government officials to help accelerate the process of transferring Northport Brewing's license to The Mitten by their July deadline. It was the most challenging part of the process for both owners.
 The Mitten in Northport now serves nine of the Grand Rapids brewery's beers on tap, including its two bestsellers, Triple Crown Brown — a silver medalist in the World Beer Cup — and Country Strong IPA.
 The two plan to bring a brewer into the Northport location's facilities to make sour and barrel aged beers once the busy summer season subsides, Trierweiler said

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Holland Brewing Hiring For Bridge Street Facility

 New Holland Brewing is hiring 150 people for its new Grand Rapids-based 40,000 facility, titled the Knickerbocker.
 The facility, slated to open in September, is hoping to fill positions including sous chef, floor manager, beverage director and butcher, amongst others.
 New Holland will hold the first of five hiring events from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at the "ROC" room, located at 601 First street NW in Grand Rapids. Interested applicants are encouraged to bring updated resumes with relevant work experience.
 The next two job fairs will take place on July 11 from 9 a.m. to noon, and July 22 from 3 to 6 p.m. Both will be at the ROC room.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Whirlpool's Vessi Does It All For The Homebrewer.

  engadget.comFerment, carbonate and serve your homebrew beers with the same appliance.

There's no denying the popularity of homebrewing beer among DIYers, and we've seen a number of devices that aim to make that process easier. The latest small appliance comes from a familiar name: Whirlpool. With the Vessi fermentor and tap system, the company says it is reducing the time it takes to make beer from a month down to seven days. Of course, that fermentation time depends on what style you're brewing, but for a 3.3% "light blonde ale," Whirlpool says that 7-day turnaround is possible. The Vessi looks to be about the size of a kegerator tap system, only this setup also includes those fermentation and carbonation components. A single-tank design is sealed and pressurized with temperature controls to ensure the process goes smoothly (in theory). Whirlpool says that this design reduces the risks of issues like contamination and oxidation that are common to homebrewing. It also skips the process of bottle conditioning by "retaining" the beer's carbonation throughout fermentation. ...more

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Non-alcoholic Budweiser Prohibition Brew

  Want all of that great Bud flavor with out the alcohol?? Well a non-alcoholic version of Budweiser dubbed 'Prohibition Brew' is launching in Canada this week to appeal to drinkers who want their hops without a buzz, STLToday.com reported on May 24.
 Labatt Brewing, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, has brewed and distributed Budweiser in Canada since 1980, and Bud has grown to become Canada's top selling beer.
 The non-alcoholic Budweiser may expand to other markets, including the U.S.
 "Budweiser Prohibition Brew is only available in Canada for now, but we're excited by the prospect that it could eventually be offered in the U.S., the birthplace of Budweiser, sometime in the future," Ricardo Marques, vice president of Budweiser U.S, said.
 So will it be named AmerWEAKa for the summer?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Siciliano's Homebrew Competition BOTL

 Congratulations to all B.O.T.L. members and their fine scores!
Zach Dreyer-----------Scottish Light  38 Silver
Paul Erdmans -------- Belgian Strong Dark Silver
Brian Machiele ------ Dark Mild 38 Silver
Tyler Morse-----------Spiced Imp. Stout 36 Bronze
Kevin Schumacher - Schwarzbier 39 Silver
Travis Vugteveen ---Dark Mild 40 Gold



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Patriotism Won't Help Budweiser Win

forbes.com- I want you to stop thinking about politics, just for a second. I want to talk about beer.
 Specifically, I want to talk about Budweiser and the fact that, ahead of November’s election, cans of this iconic American brew will be rebranded as “America” to capitalize, one would suspect, on the presidential campaign. But as I said, I want you to stop thinking about politics.
 That’s because, as a branding professional, not a political expert, I’m going to give you my opinion of why this rebranding move won’t help Anheuser-Busch capture market share beyond those who already drink this iconic American brand.
The fact is big, iconic beer brands have steadily been losing market share for the past several years as younger drinkers – read, millennials – opt for artisanal, craft beers. That’s because, another fact, millennials – the fastest growing market in the country – look for authenticity, flavor, and the story behind the beers they drink. Craft beers are generally brewed by small, independent, and local companies in small batches. This small-batch brewing makes for better flavor and quality.
 And, the stories behind these craft beer brewers nicely aligns with the millennial’s craving for things that are new and different, things they feel they’ve discovered and can then share with friends on social media. Millennials gravitate toward the unique experiences, yes, but also toward the authentic experiences. They want to know who’s behind the brands they buy, a company’s values. This transparency helps them form relationships.
This latest move by Anheuser-Busch, while transparent, is in my opinion, misguided. Instead of using the can to better tell its authenticity story, Budweiser is ...more

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Craft Beer Wins A Match With The Big Boys

St.LouisPostDispatch-  Missouri craft brewers scored a victory Tuesday in their fight over a proposal that would allow beermakers to lease coolers to stores.
 Negotiators in the Missouri House and Senate removed language from legislation that the Missouri Small Brewers Guild said would give big brewers, including Anheuser-Busch, an unfair advantage in dictating what beers could be stocked in coolers if they’re leasing them to retailers.
 The smaller brewing companies said that would limit access to their beer.
 Negotiators working on Senate Bill 994 said they removed the cooler language because it could endanger other provisions of the measure.
 “I think leaving that in kills the bill,” said Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, who is sponsoring language contained in the same legislation on behalf of winemakers in his district.
 The move angered Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, who has been pushing for the beer cooler proposal.
 “It’s getting extremely frustrating, This has been four years in the making. This is a priority for me,” Cornejo said.
 Cornejo said he would aggressively pursue the cooler proposal next year. The main Senate sponsor is Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, who is running for state treasurer.
 Missouri’s three-tiered alcohol distribution system put in place following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 requires brewers to contract with distributors, who then sell to retailers.
 Allowing beermakers to provide refrigeration to retailers weakens that three-tiered system, said the guild’s president, Jeff Schrag, owner of Mother’s Brewing Co., a craft brewery in Springfield, Mo.
 “Beer manufacturers haven’t been able to provide refrigeration to retailers since Prohibition,” Schrag told the Post-Dispatch, adding many smaller brewers wouldn’t have the resources to provide coolers to retailers. “If they can control refrigeration, they can dictate what goes into it. Craft beer would not have the same access.”  ... MORE

Friday, May 6, 2016

You Don't Have To Sell Out

 LAtimes True Craft is a $100-million attempt to rescue craft breweries from cost-cutting investors and Big Beer, say Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, who announced the venture last week.
 The new organization will buy small stakes — no more than 25% — of interested craft breweries. That will allow breweries to expand or fund other improvements without compromising their independence by borrowing from banks, dealing with venture capitalists or selling to multinational conglomerates.
 "This gives craft brewers another option to selling out to Big Beer," Koch said Friday in Monterey, Calif., at the E.G. Conference, an annual gathering that focuses on innovation and creativity. "This gives them the financing and flexibility they need to flourish while keeping their soul and control."
 Stone, based in Escondido, and its unnamed partners are funding True Craft with an initial $100 million, Koch said, and "a lot more in discussion."
 The details, though, are sketchy. How much is Stone contributing? Who are its partners? Where will True Craft be headquartered? Who will lead it? What financial data will breweries have to share to be considered?  ...MORE

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Extortion For Premium Shelf Location? You Decide...

RoanokeTimes; Even the most determined shopper, with grocery list in hand, will occasionally spot something interesting on a shelf and make an impulse purchase. Few would argue that the placement of retail items in stores is not important.
 Which is why some eyebrows have been raised at a recent proposal by Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocer and the dominant chain in the Roanoke and New River valleys, for a private distributor called Southern Wine & Spirits to oversee how much shelf space alcohol brands get in the aisles of its stores.
 Under the current system, representatives of the leading beer and wine manufacturers are in charge of assigning shelf space and displays. They use their own analyses of sales and brand popularity to determine which products get prime real estate on store shelves.
 Kroger’s proposal would shift that influential job to an outside third party, Southern Wine, which would then ask the alcohol companies to pay a voluntary fee for the service, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.
 more of kroger-proposal

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Oskar Blues Buys Tampa's Cigar City Brewing

Tampa Tribune — Rachael Starcher is a big fan of Cigar City beer.
 How big? Starcher, her husband and a friend drove down from Morgantown, West Virginia, this weekend to attend Cigar City’s annual Hunahpu’s Day release party for the revered seasonal stout.
 On Monday, the trio were seated at a table outside the Cigar City tasting room on Spruce Street, sipping “everything they have,” when they learned the Tampa craft brewer had been acquired by Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont, Colorado.
 “I would be surprised if anything would change,” said Starcher, a medical student. “They obviously have some of the greatest beer in America. ... When you get to a certain level, you need the resources that only bigger companies have. If you want to step it up, you have to have those connections. I have no problem with it.”
 That’s an attitude Cigar City founder Joey Redner hopes will take hold as word spreads that the local institution, which produces Jai Alai India Pale Ale and other award-winning beers and is credited with making Tampa a leading center of craft brewing, has been sold.
 Fireman Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, is the financial partner in the deal, bringing Cigar City into a bullpen of craft brewers that include Oskar Blue, Perrin Brewing of Comstock Park, Michigan, and the Utah Brewers Cooperative, which includes the Wasatch and Squatters brands.
 Redner had a message Monday for loyal customers who may have panicked when they got the news.
 “Relax. Have a beer,” Redner said in an email exchange with the Tampa Tribune. “Nothing is changing. I am staying put. The brewery is staying put. I still have a lot of skin in the game via the ownership entity that has been created via the Oskar Blues holding company. I don’t own the majority of the company anymore, but I am still very significantly invested in the future of Cigar City Brewing, only now I have partners with the technical and operational know-how to sustain our growth.”  ...more

Monday, March 7, 2016

Grand Rapids Makes USA Today's Readers Choice: Beer Winners

 The United States surpassed 4,100 breweries in 2015, according to the Brewers Association. That's a lot of beer! Demand for high-quality craft beer is at an all time high, and USA TODAY 10Best set out to find the crème de la crème of the craft beer world.
 Enlisting the help of a panel of beer experts, 10 Best nominated 20 finalists in the categories of Best Beer Scene, Best New Brewery, Best Beer Bar, Best Brewpub, Best Beer Festival and Best Beer Label. For the past four weeks, readers have been voting daily for their favorites in each category, and the results are in.
The winners for the USA TODAY 10Best beer awards are as follows: 10best-readers-choice-beer-winners

Saturday, March 5, 2016

US Maltsters Cut back On Malting Barley

US maltsters have cut back on the number of acres of malting barley they will contract for this year and what will be contracted for will be at a lower price than what was issued last year, Farm and Ranch Guide reported on March 2.
 That’s the word from CHS Sunprairie grain merchandiser Kayla Burkhart. They contract acres for Rahr Malting in the north central region of North Dakota and the amount of acres contracted was cut significantly.
 “Our six-row barley malting contracts were cut in half and our two-row contracts were cut by 70 percent,” Burkhart said. “The reason is that we had such great crops last year, which resulted in a big supply so they don’t have to contract a bunch for this year.”
 The average price paid for the malting barley contracts by Rahr was around $4.50 a bushel, which pencils out on the favorable side considering the current prices of other commodities.
 “When you are talking a current price of $4.20 a bushel for spring wheat, the price being offered for the barley contracts is phenomenal,” she said.
 A reflection of the current situation of adequate malting barley supplies is the lack of a higher cash bid price for malting barley. emalt.com

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pssst, Hey Do You Want To Make Your Own BrewDog?

 The Ellon-based company Brew Dog announced its DIY Dog initiative today.
More than 200 complete recipes are available and can be downloaded here Brew Dog recipes.
 BD website  Martin and I (James) started home-brewing back in 2005. We could not find any beers we wanted to drink in the UK, so decided the best thing to do was to brew our own. Armed with some very old Cascade hops and a desire to recreate Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, our brewing adventure started.
 In 2007, we got a bank loan, bought some second hand equipment and turned our home-brewing hobby into our job as BrewDog officially came howling into the world. Our original brewery in Fraserburgh was basically just a giant home-brewing set up with plastic water tanks and completely manual controls.
Many of the classic BrewDog beers were developed during our home-brewing days, and we still use a 50L system to develop new beers and new recipes here at BrewDog. Home-brewing is very much ingrained in our DNA at BrewDog as so many of the world’s great craft breweries can trace their origins back to home-brewing.
 With DIY Dog we wanted to do something that has never been done before as well as paying tribute to our home-brewing roots. We wanted to take all of our recipes, every single last one, and give them all away for free, to the amazing global home-brewing community.
 We have always loved the sharing of knowledge, expertise and passion in the craft beer community and we wanted to take that spirit of collaboration to the next level.
 So here it is. The keys to our kingdom. Every single BrewDog recipe, ever. So copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still left on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your results. Sharing is caring.
 Oh, and if you are from one of the global beer mega corporations and you are reading this, your computer will spontaneously combust, James Bond style, any second now. So leave the building immediately and seriously consider your life choices.
You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brewed The Hard Way??

by GaryGlass, AHA Director  On Sunday, some 120 million viewers across the United States tuned in to this year’s Super Bowl pitting the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers. During the game, the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser Busch Inbev (ABI), the Belgian-based makers of Budweiser, ran an ad called Not Backing Down, in which they asserted that making Budweiser is “NOT A HOBBY.” I’m sure the nation’s million-plus homebrewers were shocked!
 Well, no, not really. The hobby of making beer is usually done in small batches at home by passionate beer lovers. Budweiser is made in massive automated factories (not what I would consider “brewed the hard way,” as suggested by a Budweiser ad aired during last year’s Super Bowl)—it’s actually about as far from a hobby as you can get. As homebrewers, we brew beer because we love beer with full flavor and by brewing beer ourselves we can hone in on the flavors we like most. And beyond that we can experiment and create new beer flavors that no one has tried before. Budweiser is the antithesis of homebrew: beer that’s made to be as light in flavor as possible and to never change.
 So if you are someone who wants to experience the diverse array of flavors and aromas beer has to offer, try homebrewing! If you’re interested but not quite ready to make the leap to homebrewing, try something from one of more than 4,000 small and independent American craft brewers, many of which started as homebrewers. And, if you are already a homebrewer, keep doing what you’re doing, and cheers!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Upcoming Beer Events

North American Belgian Beer Festival - Feb 13 Westland MI  http://www.nabbf.org/
Gilmore Car Museum’s annual beer-tasting - Feb 13 https://www.facebook.com/events/926013224161278/
Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival - Feb 13 http://microbrewandmusic.com/
T.C. Suds & Snow at Timber Ridge Resort - March 5 http://sudsandsnowtc.com/
Brew-Ski Festival at Boyne Highlands - Mar 12 http://www.boyne.com/boynehighlands/events/brewski-festival
Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival - March 12th http://www.jacksoncountyfair.net/beerfest/

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why Is Craft Beer Canning Popular?

 byAngieMason  If you're not getting local craft brews direct from the tap, there's a big chance you're getting them in a can - or you will soon.
 Many local breweries are among those turning to cans as the best way to package beer to-go. They like the benefits cans offer, and locals said rumblings about a shortage of cans haven't caused them much concern.
 Crystal Ball Brewing Company, in West York, has been working with a mobile canning unit, which travels to various breweries to can their beer. But the packaging was working so well that the brewery purchased its own canning line, said Jesse James De Salvo, one of the owners.
 "It allows us to not schedule our brewing around an upcoming canning run," he said. The brewery can put out more beer in draft and can more styles without having to wait around for another mobile canning run.
 "It helps across the board," he said. "We're really excited about that."
While major beer companies tend to use 12 ounce cans, Crystal Ball, like many smaller breweries, opts for 16 ounce cans. "Our theory is that if you're drinking craft beer, then whatever container you're pouring from should hold 16 ounces because that will fill your pint glass," De Salvo said.
 Spring House Brewing Company, in Lancaster, will soon switch packaging from 22 ounce bottles to 12 ounce cans. Rob Tarves, brewer, said a can is just a "perfect vessel" for beer. It doesn't let in light or oxygen, and it helps get their beer to more people. "The consumer is starting to see craft beer in cans as standard," he said in an email.
Cans have less of an impact on their carbon footprint. Plus, the company handles its own shipping, and more cases of cans fit in its box truck than bottles.
 MORE why-craft-beers-getting-canned

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cooking With Beer

 Here are two recipes to try...

Fontina Spaetzle and Beer-Cheese Recipe

Active preparation time: 40 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2–3

Spaetzle
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ cup (2 fl oz/59 ml) milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs (1 fl oz/30 ml) olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, and pepper. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the milk and eggs together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Bring to boil a gallon (3.78 l) of lightly salted water. Working in batches, with a rubber spatula, push the dough through an inverted flat cheese grater or colander with large holes into the boiling water. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the spaetzle when it floats to the top. Drop it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the water from the spaetzle, then toss the spaetzle in the olive oil (just as you would for pasta) to hold while you make the sauce.

Cheese Sauce
½ lb (227 g) Fontina cheese
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) Belgian ale
1 Tbs butter
Cube the cheese and toss it with the cornstarch. In a small saucepan, bring the beer to a simmer and add the butter. Turn off the heat and add the cheese to the beer stirring constantly until it comes together. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until it is creamy smooth.

2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs parsley, chopped
½ tsp lemon juice (or to taste)
Toasted breadcrumbs
In a nonstick or well-seasoned pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the spaetzle and sauté until it is golden brown. Combine the spaetzle and cheese sauce. Stir in the chopped parsley and lemon juice, if desired. Garnish with toasted breadcrumbs.

Beer suggestions: Balance the intense flavor of the cheese with a Belgian (or Belgian-style)

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Irish Stout Onion Soup Recipe

Active preparation time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

2 large white onions
4 Tbs (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1½ cup (12 fl oz/355 ml) dry Irish stout
1 qt (32 fl oz/946 ml) unsalted beef broth
Kosher salt
Black pepper

4 thick slices of sourdough or French bread
8 slices of Gruyère cheese

Peel and slice the onions into 1/8-inch (3-mm) slices (a julienne cut). In a large heavy-bottom pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook slowly for 25–30 minutes, stirring often until they reach a dark caramel color. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and thyme to the pan. Add the beer to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the beef broth and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls on a sheet pan. Ladle the soup into the bowls. Lay a slice of bread on top of each bowl of soup. Top evenly with the cheese. Place the sheet pan carefully under the broiler. Broil until bubbling and browned.

Beer Suggestions: Sweet Stout