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

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Craft Beer Trends

 Craft brewers are obsessed with hops, these flowers are a key ingredient that can make beer bitter, floral, earthy or citrusy, depending on the variety.  Hoppy flavor is best experienced in a pale ale or an India Pale Ale. America's growing infatuation with craft beer has changed the farming business as well. The average price for all hops rose to $3.59 a pound in 2013, from $1.88 a pound in 2004.  For the specialty hops often preferred by craft brewers, the price increases to around $7 to $10 a pound. The average beer uses about 0.2 pound of hops in every 31 gallons, but craft brewers can use as much as 1.25 pounds.  Brewer demand seems to be centering around the aroma varieties of hops, which cost more because they don't yield as much. And farmers are adjusting their crops to meet that demand.  In Washington state, the epicenter of U.S. hop farming, some 60 percent of hop acreage is devoted to aroma hops and 40 percent to the alpha hops that bring more bitterness to beers. Years ago, aroma hops were only planted 30 percent of the time.
 Blame Sierra Nevada for some of the industry's hops fanaticism. The brewer's flagship pale ale was extremely hoppy when it came out in 1980, and beer drinkers loved how the bitterness blended with a grapefruit aroma and a spicy aftertaste. A decade later, breweries such as Stone and Lagunitas were "engaged in a hop arms race."
 Craft brews now make up nearly 8 percent of all beer sold in the U.S. And with their popularity has come the inevitable drain on the nation's hops inventory. It's been a struggle for the hop industry to keep up with the new demand. That stands to hurt the smallest brewers the most, since they don't have the money to pursue forward contracts with farmers. That shortage could become especially painful for craft brewers next year when the multinational beer companies bring their deep pockets to the negotiating table. The beer industry giants have been snapping up small craft brewers with amazing speed, and they'll likely want more hops than ever.
 You'd think farmers would be jumping into hops to meet the demand, but it's a bit more complicated than that. The initial investment for a hops farm can hit $250,000.  And then there's the wait -- the plants need up to five years to hit full production. "It's a hell of a lot of work for just a little bit of money," said one hops trader. But the money side, at least, seems to be improving for hops farmers, and the craft beer boom shows no signs of fading.

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