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 accepting new members at this time.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the New Holland Pub. Start time 7 PM.

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 to tell everyone about your brew.

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. 8 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Stone Brewing sells its Berlin brewing facility to Scotland’s BrewDog.

 Stone Brewing’s lofty $30 million Germany brewery experiment — aimed at converting Reinheitsgebot-abiding German drinkers into American craft beer lovers — has come to an end only a few years after it began.
 The San Diego-headquartered company, ranked by the Brewers Association as the ninth largest craft beer producer in the U.S., today announced the sale of its Berlin brewing facility to Scotland’s BrewDog.
 Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but BrewDog will begin occupying the space on May 1.
 “We invested a significant portion of a decade and significant millions building Stone Berlin. And it didn’t work out,” Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch wrote in a blog post. “These things hurt and these things happen. This one happened. And this one hurts a lot.”
 According to a post on the BrewDog blog, the company will temporarily close the facility — which is located inside a historic 43,000 sq. ft. gasworks complex built in 1901 — and “turn the building into a BrewDog space” that is similar to its U.S. brewing headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
 As part of the acquisition, BrewDog will also pick up a like-new 100-hectoliter brewhouse, and a 10-hectoliter pilot brewing system. The purchase also includes a canning line, bottling line, taproom, and outdoor beer garden.
 BrewDog plans to reopen the site later this year, but a specific timeline was not revealed.
 “We want to make our new Berlin brewery the hub for the craft beer movement and use it to help elevate the status of beer and craft brewing in Germany,” the company wrote.
 That’s precisely what Koch was hoping to accomplish when he announced his intention to build in Berlin back in mid-2014.
 “Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing,” he said at the time.
 But costly construction delays ultimately proved to be a source of consternation for the brewery executive who had once been characterized as “The Beer Jesus From America” by a German tabloid.
 In his blog entry, Koch placed some of the blame for his company’s failed Berlin brewery on contractors who “simply couldn’t or wouldn’t” find solutions to problems that arose during the build out. “It cost us dearly,” he said. “The real challenge was the tendency of our contractors to stop everything when a problem arose,” he added.
 That fact was highlighted in a documentary entitled The Beer Jesus From America, which chronicled Stone’s expansion into Germany.
“Time and money just tick away,” he said of the delays. “That’s the cost of being a romantic … or a fool.”
 Koch also admitted that his decision to green-light such an ambitious undertaking, rather than building a more modest brewery and taproom, was another factor that hindered the company’s chances of success.
 “Ultimately the project turned out to be too big, too bold and too early in our growth curve in Europe,” he confessed.
 “Maybe we should’ve started smaller, aimed for the tree line instead of the stars,” he added.
 Stone, which sells beer in 26 countries, said it would continue to distribute throughout Europe.
 “We have made many converts there, and we will get them good beer,” Koch wrote.
 Following the announcement, various beer drinkers and bloggers took to Twitter to comment on the news.
 One individual, Patrick McKee, who describes himself as a “huge sports fan, bigger beer enthusiast,” summed up Stone’s time in Berlin in the form of a popular meme that was retweeted by well-known beer writer Jeff Alworth.
  On his blog, Alworth took Koch to task for the brash manner in which he initially announced the Berlin project – by assembling local media to watch him drop a giant stone on a grouping of German beers.
 “Koch dropped the boulder on the pile, as Stone metaphorically smashing a millennia and a half of brewing tradition,” Alworth wrote.
 Shortly after the publicity stunt, Koch claimed that “Berlin is not really a beer city yet.”
 And yet, arguably one of the most successful American beer entrepreneurs couldn’t make it work abroad.
 Why not? Alworth argued that Koch’s attitude toward German beer culture upon entering Berlin was a misstep, and he criticized the beer executive for shifting the blame to Germans on his way out.
 “It’s no surprise that the project failed given the contempt in which Stone held its new country,” Alworth wrote. “The oppositional approach that worked so well in California didn’t sell in Berlin. But instead of asking hard questions about why the brewery didn’t achieve the volume it needed, Koch blames the Germans.”
 Stone Brewing declined to make Koch or other executives available for this story.- Brewbound

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Miguel and Founders Brewing to acquire 40% in Avery Brewing

 Mahou San Miguel is upping its stake in Colorado’s Avery Brewing, and the Spanish beer company has teamed up with its other U.S. craft brewery partner, Michigan’s Founders Brewing, on the new investment, Brewbound reported on April 2.
 Mahou, along with Founders, will purchase a 40 percent stake in Avery Brewing for an undisclosed sum.
 The newly acquired stake will be combined with Mahou’s original 30 percent minority interest in Avery that was purchased in early 2018.
 The deal, which was negotiated over “the last few months,” gives Mahou and Founders a 70 percent controlling interest in the Colorado craft brewery.
 Brewery founder Adam Avery and his father, Larry, will own the remaining 30 percent of the business, but executives from Mahou will now play a bigger role in the “day-to-day” decision making, Adam Avery told Brewbound.
 “We can use all the expertise we can get,” he said. “There is some crazy shit going on in our industry, and it is awesome to have investors who look at this as a long-term play and not as a short-term, turn-and-burn type of thing. emalt,com

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Breweries Grapple With Industry Slowing

  Strolling through Oskar Blues' Longmont headquarters and brewery — a bustling maze of eclectically decorated office space, cavernous storage warehouses, brewing facilities where employees zip around on bicycles, assembly lines packed with a seemingly endless parade of cans and a taproom where staff and the public cheerfully mingle while sipping ales made a few yards away — one could be forgiven for assuming the craft beer industry is cruising along full speed ahead.
 But the industry, of which Oskar Blues is an undisputed leader with production facilities in three states and distribution in all 50, is showing signs of a prolonged slowdown.
 Following years of explosive growth, both nationally and in Boulder County, the United States craft beer industry has seen that growth rate decline every year since 2014, when annual production volume growth peaked at 18 percent. Last year, that growth rate was only 5 percent, according to data from the Boulder-based Brewers Association.
 "Oskar Blues' business — for the first time ever — was less than flat on a national level last year," brewery marketing director Chad Melis said. "This was the first time in our history that our business was down."
 That drop-off is less a function of some deep flaw in the company's strategy and more a function of the changing landscape of the craft beer world, he said.
 "Obviously, the industry has matured and there are a ton of breweries and options," Melis said.
 Oskar Blues is certainly not shouldering the burden of this apparent industry maturation cycle alone.
 In Boulder, Avery Brewing Co. saw slower sales growth last year.
 "We are definitely feeling the same challenges as a lot of people in the industry," Avery's marketing manager, Joe Osborne, said. "We had an awesome boom for a long time, but this a maturing industry and all of us need to batten down the hatches." more

Home Brewing and Keeping It Real

by Summit—Noting that he’s frequently beset by self-doubt and not terribly experienced in brewing beer, Bryan Walters, 29, insists he’s just not going to open a brewery like everyone else is doing right now.
“Listen,” he says stroking his beard, “I know I check all the boxes: I’m a guy, I’m a millennial, I like craft beer, and my girlfriend — well, my ex-girlfriend — she gave me a home-brewing kit like two years ago. But that doesn’t mean I have to open my own brewery, right?”
 With warm afternoon light pouring through a local brewery’s windows, Bryan With a Y works his way through a few small-batch IPAs and continues. “I mean, have you seen the new places opening up? Fancy light fixtures, exposed brick, hand-painted murals and reclaimed wood… This stuff is expensive, and I know next to nothing about raising money or running a business.” more

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Is This The Year Of The Lager?

by Jon Hill  - The craft beer revolution of recent decades was built on ales. From stouts and porters to IPAs, to whites, blondes and reds, and even Belgian dubbels, tripels and quads, most craft beer styles hail from this larger and more ancient branch of the beer family tree.
  Lagers, by contrast, have long been the territory of the big corporate breweries in St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Golden, Colorado. With a reputation for being pale, fizzy and bland, the overwhelmingly popular American adjunct lager represents for many craft beer devotees the antithesis of craft brewing, not worthy of emulation.
  But this is the year of the lager, at least according to some beer bloggers. Just like last year. And the year before that. It seems that craft lagers are perpetually on the verge of going mainstream, drawing the macro-drinking masses into the fold.
  There are some obvious obstacles that may explain this delay. Lagers are temperature-sensitive and technically difficult to produce, achieving widespread commercialization only after the introduction of refrigeration in the late 19th century. The modern industrial brewery is a model of precision and efficiency, if not inspiration, achieving economies of scale unattainable in a microbrewery. But lagers also face the ingrained consumer preferences of the beer snob, Joe Six-pack, and everybody in between. Most American lager fans expect a level of “drinkability” that may never be met by microbrewers. Meanwhile, the appetite for a pale adjunct lager in a craft beer scene obsessed with triple hopped IPAs and funky sours is not guaranteed. The American craft lager remains a style in search of an audience.
  Some brewers have made classic lagers over the years: Oskar Blues, Victory, Lagunitas, and Sixpoint to name only a few. Others, like Jack’s Abby in Framingham, Massachusetts, have dedicated their entire production to high-quality craft lagers. But these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Most craft lagers remain decidedly “crafty” in preparation and presentation, featuring high hop bitterness, niche packaging, and narrow distribution not intended for mass markets. Rarely, if ever, have craft lagers taken on the macros on their own turf.

Is The Craft Beer Buzz Wearing Off?

by Rachel Seigel   Has craft beer peaked? In one sign that the industry has grown less frothy, more craft breweries closed in 2017 than any time in the past decade.
  And while the craft beer makers saw more growth in production than the overall market last year, their pace is slowing.
  A new report by the Brewers Association — a trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers — showed that craft brewers saw a 5 percent rise in production volume in 2017. Yet with that growth comes an increasingly crowded playing field, leading to more closures of small craft breweries. In 2017, there were nearly 1,000 new brewery openings nationwide and 165 closures — a closing rate of 2.6 percent. That’s a 42 percent jump from 2016, when 116 craft breweries closed.
  Experts say saturation is still some time away, and that pullback is inevitable for any booming industry that, with time, begins to mature.
 “We have seen a little bit of deceleration,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association. “When you’re talking about an industry that sells tens of billions of dollars a year, it’s hard to grow at double-digit rates.”
  Growth in the craft brewing industry began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Watson said, and has seen a resurgence in the past decade. With consumers who tend to skew male, younger, whiter and with higher incomes, the industry gained its foothold among adults willing to pay more for beer that tasted better than the mass-produced products that had long dominated the market.
  Small craft breweries compete among themselves for taps at restaurants and shelf space at retailers. Yet they are also up against massive industrial brewers that wield heavy influence over the national distribution of beer, and often buy up smaller companies. In 2011, for example, Anheuser-Busch InBev bought the craft brewer Goose Island for almost $39 million, the first in a slew of similar acquisitions.
  more here...  craft-beer-buzz-is-wearing-off

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pabst and New Holland Kick Off Distribution Agreement

Brewbound- Pabst Brewing Company officially kicked off its nationwide distribution agreement with Michigan’s New Holland Brewing last week, marking the occasion with a celebratory collaboration brew.
 “This collaboration brew represents the great fit between our two companies and the strong shared culture embodied by the partnership,” New Holland co-founder VanderKamp said via a press release. “We’ve used Wisconsin malts and Michigan hops to pay homage to the birthplaces of these two brands and to symbolize the beauty and remarkable experiences that are created when we work together.”
 First announced last December, the arrangement between the two companies gives New Holland access to Pabst’s nationwide distribution network and allows it to tap into Pabst’s robust sales organization in exchange for a percentage of sales profits.
 “We are thrilled to be pioneering a new approach to partnerships – we aren’t taking any ownership and New Holland is remaining fully independent,” Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe said in the release. “It’s as pure a partnership as you’ll see.”
 In the press release, the two companies also described the partnership as an opportunity for Pabst to “increase its product portfolio” and “strengthen” its position in the craft segment.
 Sales of New Holland beers are up 27 percent in the first quarter, according to the company. The brewery’s flagship offering, Dragon’s Milk imperial stout, is also up 30 percent.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Whirlpool Hop Additions and Added Bitterness

 There is no doubt that the explosion in popularity of IPA has changed the landscape for craft beer producers and consumers, as well as homebrewers.  Between the evolution of the style to fit the wants of the drinking public, the many stylistic offshoots of IPA that have become commonly available, and the increasing quality of flavor and aromatics that many brewers seem to be achieving, it is no wonder that exploration of ingredients and techniques for brewing IPA is at an all-time high.
 Many of the best IPAs are made with generous additions of hops both late in the boil and post-boil, or in the whirlpool.  There is even a technique that has spawned off of this thinking called hop bursting, where massive additions of flavor and aroma hops are used to obtain bitterness, in addition to huge amounts of hop character in both flavor and aromatics.
 Mitch Steele, formerly of Stone Brewing Company, has been one of the foremost experts on this technique, and has discussed it in numerous forums, including his book, IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, presentations at the National Homebrewers Conference and in an article in the November/December 2013 edition of Zymurgy magazine.  In that article, in reference to whirlpool hop additions, Steele stated, “Many brewers neglect to consider the bitterness obtained from this addition, but it can be substantial, depending on the volume of hops added.”
 more.. hop-additions-bitterness

Friday, March 24, 2017

Is The Craft Beer Market In Grand Rapids Saturated?

By Amy Biolchini | GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Pour a cold one and consider: the number of craft breweries in Grand Rapids has tripled since 2011, the year before beer lovers voted it "Beer City, USA."
 Much of that growth occurred last year as established Michigan breweries Atwater and New Holland Brewing tapped into the Grand Rapids craft beer scene -- and six new breweries opened their doors in the area.
 Can the beer bubble sustain itself -- or will it burst?
 Economists say closures are likely coming as the local industry ages, and the next decade will test brewers' skills -- both with their books and with their beer.
 "We're certainly going to see closures rise," said Bart Watson, an economist with the Brewers Association. "We'll see a mature market when it looks more like the restaurant market -- where they close and another brewery opens in its place."  
  more... grand_rapids_beer_city

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Eau de toilette Beer!

  Stone Brewing Co.’s latest sudsy creation earned a quick nickname: “Toilet to tap.”
 The southern California brewery’s new craft beer is made with treated wastewater.
 The brave souls who taste-tested the Full Circle Pale Ale on Thursday were flush with excitement, calling the beer “delicious,” “hoppy” and “outstanding,” according to local media reports.
 “It is fantastic,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told The Times of San Diego after sampling it. “There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.”
 The Escondido-based craft brewing company, one of the largest in the country, brewed five barrels of the beer with purified water from San Diego’s demonstration Pure Water Facility, according to the Times.
 The goal of the city’s Pure Water program is to clean enough wastewater to provide one-third of its water supply in the future.
 City officials hailed the beer as a milestone for its efforts, and some can’t wait for the recycled water to be made available to other breweries in the area.  More here...eau de toilette

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Grand Rapids, MI Among Best Cities for Craft Beer and Cycling

mlive - Quick question, how many best beer cities lists have you seen in the past year?
 How about best cycling cities?
 The answer, probably a lot. Well here's one more, except this list combines both.
 Trivago, a German company specializing in internet-related services and products in the hotel, lodging and metasearch fields, has included Grand Rapids, MI on its list of Best Value Cities for Craft Beer and Cycling.
 Sometimes called Beer City USA, Trivago ranked Grand Rapids as the No. 5 city when it comes to craft beer and bikes. Only Lincoln, Neb., Boise, Idaho, Albuquerque, N.M. and Madison, Wisc. were ranked higher. Trivago used a complex algorithm to create the list.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Congrats Rex!

beerconnoisseur- The Michigan Brewers Guild presented the 2017 Tom Burns Award to Rex Halfpenny, publisher of the Michigan Beer Guide, at its annual conference on Thursday, January 12 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. This is the 20th Anniversary of the Michigan Beer Guide and the Michigan Brewers Guild.
  The Tom Burns Award is given to a person who embodies the pioneering spirit of the Michigan brewing industry. This is an individual whose hard work, passion, and perseverance has been a guiding force in creating the Great Beer State while being supportive of the entire craft beer industry in Michigan. Nominees can be brewery owners or employees, can be affiliated with a beer wholesaler or beer retailer or otherwise involved in the industry. Nominees can be part of the industry now or in the past and do not need to be currently living.
  It is named after Detroit & Mackinac Brewing Company founder and brewer, Tom Burns, who passed away of cancer May 1, 1994. Burns, a “recovering attorney” whose passion was brewing, is credited with many of the advancements in brewing legislation, rules, and regulations in the 1990s which paved the way for a thriving industry. more- rex-halfpenny-2017-tom-burns-award

Thursday, January 19, 2017

U.S. Breweries at a Record High of 7,190 in 2016

emalt- For the third straight year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued more than 1,000 new brewery permits, bringing the total number of permitted U.S. breweries to a record high of 7,190 in 2016, reported on January 17.
 According to recent TTB data published by National Beer Wholesalers Association chief economist Lester Jones, the number of permitted U.S. breweries has tripled from 2,343 over the last six years.
 The government agency issued 1,110 new permits in 2016, down slightly from the 1,142 new permits issued in 2015.
 Permitted breweries include brick and mortar facilities and alternating proprietorships while excluding contract brewers. It also includes brewers who may have recently shut down their brewing operations but have not yet been “delisted” by the TTB.
 As of December 31, 2016, California had the most permitted breweries in the U.S., at 927, and Washington, D.C., had the fewest with 13.
 According to Jones, California’s 927 permitted breweries is “almost as many as the entire U.S. total of 974 permits in 1995.”
 Similarly, the TTB counted 264 total permitted breweries in Florida last year, which is 14 more than the 1990 national count of 250, according to Jones.
 On a national basis, there are now 2.2 breweries per 100,000 residents, up from 0.7 per 100,000 residents in 2010. And, at the state level, Vermont has the highest number of breweries per capita, at 11.7, followed by Maine (7.7), Montana (7.6) and Colorado (7.0), Jones reported.
 “Around the country, per capita brewery measures in many states have more than tripled since 2010,” he wrote.
 But as overall beer consumption continues decline, Jones said he believes the increasing number of permitted breweries will only create stiffer competition in an already crowded beer category.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Hop Crop Value Soars

emalt- Hop crop value soars 44% this year
US hop farmers have celebrated record revenues from their crops in 2016 as they planted more acres despite signs that the craft beer boom, which has boosted demand for the key brewing ingredient, may be peaking, the Financial Times reported on December 19.
 The value for the year’s hop crop soared 44 per cent this year from 2015, totalling just short of $500 mln, according to the US Department of Agriculture. “Higher hop acreage and production” and the continued trend to shift hop production to more expensive varieties favoured by craft beer makers were behind the jump, said the USDA in its latest report on hop output.
 Craft brewers use four-to-ten times more hops than the amount used in the average lager produced by multinational brewers, and the surge in popularity for microbrews, which are high in flavour and aroma, has pushed up demand and prices for certain speciality hops. Nevertheless, as farmers push to plant more hops, US consumption of craft beer may be slowing.

InBev To Export Craft

emalt - Anheuser-Busch InBev is making a number of sizable investments to grow its acquired craft beer brands both domestically and abroad, according to recent reports.
 The world’s largest beer company is planning a large-scale international expansion for its biggest craft offering, Goose Island, and making significant investments to scale production capabilities for its Blue Point and Karbach Brewing brands in their respective home markets of New York and Texas.
 According to the Chicago Tribune, Goose Island’s global strategy will begin to materialize in 2017, as it begins operating outposts in six countries, including:
•Sao Paulo, Brazil,
•Seoul South Korea,
•Shanghai, China
•Monterrey, Mexico
•Toronto, Canada
•London, England
“It’s plain and simple — if we don’t do it, somebody else is going to,” Goose Island President Ken Stout told the Tribune.
 In addition to increased product availability and the potential to brew large-scale batches of Goose Island beer at AB InBev breweries abroad, physical expansion takes three forms: Goose Island Brewhouses, Vintage Ale Houses and branded Goose Island pubs.

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.