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
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at New Holland's Brewing Facility. 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 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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hop Farm Booming Along Side of Michigan's Booming Beer Industry

mlive;  When Sean Trowbridge breaks the seal on the latched door to a walk-in freezer storing bags of varying sizes, a hoppy blast slaps you in the nostrils.
 The aroma is wheaty, flowery and distinct to Top Hops Farm in Atlas Township, a commercial hops farm that's looking to grow in 2015 and build relationships with local brewers and capitalizing on the industry's growth in the state.
 "My parents and I we were kind of interested in trying to find something that would work here on the farm, as far as farming produce," he said of the 55 acres purchased a few years back by his father Mark Trowbridge, a retired engineer.
 "With the way the craft beer industry had been going, we'd already been growing crops for a couple of years and we just visited some other hop farms in Michigan to get an idea of what it's really like," said Sean.
 "We started out with a few plants next to the corn crib out here," Mark Trowbridge said. "Sean went out and bought some rhizomes off of Craigslist and put them in. They actually took off and grew quite well. I think that helped to motivate us to take the next step."
 Sean Trowbridge said he grew 10 to 15 plants on the side, eventually moving to a trial yard of around 200 "When we were really serious about looking at commercial production" and planted five and a half acres in spring 2013.
 Witnessing the craft beer industry flourish, he said, "We decided we'd commit to putting in a commercial amount of hops that would be substantial enough that the brewers could use it and that there could be a supply year-round and not just a couple brews."  ..more mlive

And Now For Something Completely Different...

There's no shortage of beer in China. In sheer volume, China produces more beer than any other country. It's even expected to overtake the US as the most valuable beer market in just a few years. The problem, according to a lot of beer aficionados, is that most of it isn't very good.
 Chinese people joke that the local lagers — stuff like Tsingtao or Snow — could easily pass for water. Some people even drink it to rehydrate after getting drunk on other alcohol. But tastes here are starting to change. That's on display at a pint-sized bar Shanghai bar owned by Jackie Zhao. He's filled the cozy, wood-paneled space with over 100 varieties of hard-to-find craft beers from around the world. It's actually more a bottle shop than a bar, and it's unlike any other I’ve seen in China. There’s no loud music and no smoking. Jackie calls it a “beer nest,” a place to taste and experience new flavors. And he takes his job as teacher very seriously... beer in China

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is Big Brother Taking Down Craft Beer?

 The takeover of a tiny Oregon brewery last week by Anheuser-Busch InBev, in some years from now may seem as a turning point.  Or maybe we won't remember it at all.  But right now, it feels like the Day the Music Died - the day when craft brewing took the inevitable step from the adolescent innocence of selfless idealism to the maturity of just another bottom-line business.
 The moment came, fittingly enough, with the posting of an Internet video showing the owners of 10 Barrel Brewing, in Bend, Ore., gleefully announcing that they had sold their 8-year-old brewery to ABI.  This was not the first small brewery to be gobbled up by the international conglomerate. ABI purchased Goose Island Brewery in 2011, and Blue Point Brewing Co. last February.
 While there was some passing protest about those sales among the breweries' fans, it hardly matched the outrage sparked by the 10 Barrel purchase. On Facebook and Twitter, the owners were called turncoats who'd "sold out" to the "Great Beer Satan." ...  more ... even more

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spreadable Beer Is Here!!

  Ever wish you could spread beer on a cracker? Or have a beer sandwich with your beer? Now you can. ‘Birra Spalmabile,’ or spreadable beer, is finally available worldwide thanks to online retailer Firebox. According to the product description—translated by The Daily Meal—the beer butter is a “product with an intense, full-bodied and high creaminess…goes well with appetizers and cheeses, great on crostini, original idea to decorate or fill sweet pastry, fluffy cake and ice cream.”
This magnificent spread contains 40% beer, possesses a sticky yet smooth texture and an irresistible hoppy scent. Just crack it open and take your first baby steps towards a glorious utopian diet that consists solely of beer.
Product description for Birra Spalmabile
The spreadable beer, which comes in light and dark brews, “spreads like ganache,” is “predominantly sweet to taste,” and contains no alcohol—so you don’t need to worry if the kids mistake it for a sweeter sandwich spread. “The pale one couples best with seasoned cheeses,” recommends brewer Emanuela Laurenzi. “The other one, which is darker, we couple it with very fresh cheese. We’ve also made cakes with it, and used it instead of marmalade to make a tart.” Maybe “beer and cheese” parties are the next big thing.
We created a cream made of beer by balancing every ingredient we used and also by knowing the reactions by mixing these ingredients.
Francesca Napoleone  spreadable

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Founders Plans Expansion

 Michigan-based Founders Brewing is planning to invest around $35 million in a new expansion project, according to local news reports. The project, which is set to break ground in October, is expected to double the size of the brewer’s current facility, with the addition around 60,000 square feet, and will bring Founders’ total annual capacity to 900,000 barrels. This year, Founders is projecting a total production of roughly 270,000 barrels, led by its core All Day IPA, Centennial IPA, Dirty Bastard, Pale Ale and Porter labels. The upcoming expansion comes on the heels of last year’s $26 million project, which included an expansion of Founders’ brewhouse, cellar and company taproom.

Arbor Brewing Makes National Top-10 List

 The craft beer news service Beer Info has placed three brands brewed by Ypsilanti-based Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery at the top of their category in its annual list of the “Top 10 Ales and Lagers in the USA."
 The top 10 lists are compiled based on the results of the U.S. Open Beer Championship, Great American Beer Festival, and
 The three beers named best in the US are Arbor Brewing Company’s Jackhammer in the Old Ale category, Bliss in the German Hefeweizen category, and Sodibo in the Barrel Aged Beer category.
 ABC founder and brewmaster Matt Greff called the announcement “an amazing honor."
 “With the sheer number of craft beers in the market it would be incredible to be recognized for making the best beer in the US in one style category, but taking top honors in three of the 62 styles is kind of mind-blowing," Matt Greff said.
 The complete list of Top 10 Ales and Lagers can be found at
 “The timing of the announcement couldn’t be better” according to ABC co-owner and marketing director Rene Greff “because the Jackhammer Old Ale just got a packaging makeover and is scheduled for release in mid-October.” The Bliss beer is nearing the end of its season but is still available in some stores. Sodibo will be back in stores in the spring. ...more

More Craft Beer In Mid-Michigan

 Jim Crank, owner of Cranker’s Brewery in Mt. Pleasant, was feeling optimistic on a recent Friday afternoon after returning from Lansing with a Micro Brew license to make and sell craft beer at the restaurant.
“We’ve sold one beer,” Crank said on that first day. “I think we’re going to sell a lot more beer.”
 Crank, who also owns Cranker’s Breweries with functional microbreweries in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids, had been trying to acquire the needed microbrewery manufacturing license for the restaurant, located on 1207 E. Pickard Road, since January.
 Crank attributes the delay to a conflict with regulation by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission preventing alcohol made at Crank’s brewing facilities in Big Rapids to be distributed to the restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. He said he hopes to have the law interpreted differently in the next couple weeks.
 “We’re talking to the liquor control commission and we have people working with the legislature to make sure the statute is interpreted correctly.” Crank said. “The exact purpose of this is to promote our brand of beer at Cranker’s restaurants.” ...more

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Every State Ranked By It's Beer

 The Great Lakes State may not be a prolific hops producer, or contain one brewery for every man, woman, and child (they do have about two for every 100,000 adults, according to the Brewers Association). But mittens were meant for holding cold brews, and Michigan happens to host some of the best damned breweries in the country.

 There’s a reason that the annual release of Bell’s Oberon is like a state holiday, and why its Two-Hearted is consistently ranked among the best IPAs in the world, even as many drinkers don’t realize it’s an IPA. Or why Larry Bell’s neighbors to the North, Grand Rapids’ Founders, has become one of the nation’s most respected brewers, so much so that Grand Rapids is now on the map as a destination beer city. Why, folks set up shop in the tiny lake town of Bellaire just to sip Short’s, or head South to Dexter for a look at how Jolly Pumpkin is made.
 Beer in Michigan is a way of life, an economic booster that’s helping Detroit pull out of the apocalypse and a soul cleanser up in the UP, where long winters are made better with a growler from Ore Dock. And if that’s not convincing enough, consider this: in Ann Arbor and East Lansing, when the chaos of a tailgate clears, you’ll see as many empty bottles of craft beer scattered about as you will tallboys with holes punched in the side. In Michigan, beer love starts early.  click here to see all...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Michigan's Craft Beer Boom

Craft beer is big business in Michigan — big enough that a number of new businesses have recently sprung up to support it, not unlike supplier firms that produce parts for the auto manufacturers.
The biggest area of expansion is in hop farming. Since 2007, the state has gone from zero acres of commercial hop farms to about 400, according to Michigan State University Extension educator and hops expert Rob Sirrine.
But the past three years have also seen the arrival of Michigan’s second malt house and its first liquid yeast lab. for News article

Try The New 99 Pack!

 Because everything is bigger in Texas, an Austin brewery has made a 99 pack of beers for 99 bucks. Ninety-nine beers, in one case.
God bless America. for link to video

Friday, August 22, 2014

Deschutes To Expand Into Michigan This Fall

 Deschutes Brewery announced Thursday its craft beers will be available in Michigan beginning October 6th. The Oregon-based brewery will partner with West Side Beer Distributing for distribution of its beers in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing areas.

 Stacy Denbow, expansion manager for the brewery, said, “We’ve seen a great amount of excitement leading up to our Michigan launch, our last major expansion for the 2014 year. Our fans in Michigan are passionate about their craft beer and we’re looking forward to them being able to get Deschutes in their home state.”
 Beer is slated to be available October 6th in the three western Michigan cities, with launch events scheduled for October 8-11th. Initially, Deschutes Brewery will offer Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, the nation’s number one selling craft porter, Inversion IPA, and its winter seasonal, Jubelale. The beers will be available in 6-packs (12-oz bottles) and draft. ...more

Getting A Taste For Real Beer...

  Jeff Gordon Has Thirst for Fun at Delaware Brewery.

He may as well have been any average sports fan, sliding up to the bar and ordering a beer.
But for a guy who has mastered winemaking as well as he has winning races, Gordon needed a remedial course on the finer points of handling a cold one.
"Do you smell the beer like you do with wine," Gordon asked.
He raised the glass to his nose, inhaled the fruity complexity and pungent hoppiness of a Dogfish Head 61, and started to drink.
One sip turned into two sips. And with a few more swigs, Gordon was suddenly the Delaware version of TV barfly Norm Peterson.
"I could drink this all day," Gordon said, to the delight of the Dogfish Head staff.
Gordon has been soaked in champagne in Victory Lane three times this season. He's sipped wine from his private stock at Jeff Gordon Cellars.
After a personal tour of one of the top craft breweries in the business, Gordon was willing to make 24 stand for more than the number on his car — he could use a case of the good stuff to lug back to North Carolina.
"I think I have a new appreciation for a good beer," Gordon said, laughing. ....more

Clean brown bottles

 Ed Weller has "a shitton" of bottles and wants to move them, both 12oz and 22oz clean and de-labeled.
I have dozens of clean 22oz capable beer bottles.

You only have to wash half as many and use half the amount of caps with 22's
I also have some 16oz and 12oz bottles.
Most have the labels removed.
I keg now and don't need them.
$0.10 each  616-566-4172 Holland MI

Monday, July 7, 2014

Self-serve beer stations make debut...

Self-serve beer stations are up and running in Target Field, so Minnesota Twins fans and those who attend the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities next week can decide what they want and even how much they want of it.

 The machines, called DraftServ, are a partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch.  DraftServ machines at Target Field will allow customers to control how much beer they'd like to pour, ranging from .38-.40 cents per ounce.
 "It's a way to engage with the customer and allows the fan to have greater control of what they're drinking," said Jerry Jacobs Jr., principal of Delaware North, whose Sportservice controls the concessions at 11 baseball stadiums, seven arenas that host NBA and NHL fans and seven NFL stadiums.   more... Beer vendor

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great Beer in Michigan!

 If you are making the trip to Grand Rapids, MI for the National Homebrewers Conference be sure to check out some of the great beer selections Michigan has to offer. MI-beer-map

Monday, June 2, 2014

Upcoming Beer Events

June 7 - Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival  bridgestreetfest
June 12-14 - National Homebrewers Conference (GR)  ahaconference
June 14 - Michigan Beerfest (Clarkston) michigan-beerfest
June 20-21 - Detroit Summer Beer Fest detroitsummerbeerfest
June 21 - Founders Fest  founders-fest-2014
June 28 - Lansing Beer Fest lansingbeerfest

July 12 - Grand Rapids Summer Beer Fest  GRbeerfest
July 19 - Michigan Bier Celebration michigan-bier
July 25&26 - Summer Beer Festival (Ypsilanti) mibeer

Aug 1-9 - Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week Ypsi- Arbor

Homebrew Sales Up 10% In 2013:

 According to the American Homebrewers Association’s most recent Homebrew Supply Shop Survey, sales of homebrewing supplies in the US increased by 10% in 2013. The survey examines 408 homebrewing shops in the continental United States. And almost all of them had increased their sales last year.
According to American Homebrewers Association Director Gary Glass, “Homebrewing is on the rise, both as a hobby and a business. With the U.S. now home to some 1.2 million homebrewers, supply shops are experiencing solid growth. The growth in homebrew supply businesses means it is easier than ever for Americans to get into the hobby of homebrewing.”  more... homebrew-sales

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hop Demand Increasing - Prices Are Too

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The craft beer craze is sweeping the nation, and West Michigan has become a hotbed for microbreweries.  But high demand is driving up prices for one of the main ingredients, and the consequence could be tough to swallow for craft beer lovers. Hops prices across the country are the highest they've been since a drought-damaged crop in 2008.  Right now, brewers say they're paying roughly $7 to $14 per pound for Michigan-grown hops.  But the growing value of hops is helping a fledgling industry grow stronger in Michigan. ...more