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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Holland To Use Only Michigan Ingredients

 With glasses raised, craft beer aficionados from around the state chanted in unison at a New Holland Brewing event Friday, March 3, that announced the brewery will soon be brewing its bevy of specialty beers at its Eighth Street location with nothing but Michigan ingredients.
The hops, barley, yeast... all of it, Michigan made.
“It’s always been a huge commitment for us. Made in Michigan is so important to us,” said Joel Petersen, vice president of marketing at New Holland. “We’ve always liked to use Michigan ingredients when we could but never have been able to say we would only use Michigan ingredients.”
The brewing company hopes to accomplish its goal of Michigan-only ingredients by 2016, as it continues to develop partnerships with farmers, producers and craft beer experts from around Michigan, a state New Holland officials said they are lucky to be a part of because of its unique combination of land prime for agriculture and a booming market for craft beer.
“I’d say you would have a really rough time finding that in other states. Hops, especially, can only be grown in certain regions,” Petersen said. “We feel partly like we hit the lottery being in Michigan. We feel blessed to live in this region with this access.” ..morehollandsentinel

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oskar Blues To Purchase Perrin Brewing

  Oskar Blues has agreed to purchase Michigan’s Perrin Brewing Company, a smaller craft operation founded in 2011. The pickup may be the first in a series of investments for Oskar Blues, a top-25 craft brewery.
 The acquisition is backed by investments from Fireman Capital Partners and former West Side Distributing owner, Keith Klopcic, according to Oskar Blues’ founder, Dale Katechis. He said the transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days.
 Katechis said a deal between the two companies closed in early March; while he would not elaborate, sources familiar with the transaction have described the investment as a “special purpose fund,” and a vehicle for acquiring more craft brands.
 Oskar Blues made 149,000 barrels in 2014 and had revenues of $43 million. The brand is currently sold in 42 states and Washington D.C.
  Oskar Blues brewed a batch of beer with the company last fall and discussions about a possible acquisition began moving forward.
“The idea of hyper local is becoming more and more relevant to the consumer and obviously affecting the entire industry’s business models,” said Katechis. “We want to continue to be aggressive and strong and in our minds, this is our way of having one more card that we could play and it is real and genuine.” ...more Brewbond

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pigeon Hill Expanding

 Muskegon-based Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. opened less than a year ago and has agreed to purchase a 9,270-square-foot-facility in Muskegon, at 441 W. Western Ave., which is across the street from its taproom, Grand Rapids Business Journal posted on March 3.
 The project will end up costing Pigeon Hill about $1 million, with financing help from a bank.
 Pigeon Hill Brewing co-founder and CEO Joel Kamp said the brewery wasn’t actively seeking a production facility, but was contacted by the owner of the building, represented by Signature Associates. The facility will house a 20-barrel brewhouse with two fermenters to start — either 60- or 90-barrels each — and a brite tank. A barrel is 31 gallons. Brewing will stagger between several of the brewery’s mainstay beers, such as Shifting Sands IPA, Walter Blonde Ale and Renegade White Double IPA.
 The brewery will also purchase a canning line to help extend the brewery’s reach.  The brewery in the company’s taproom can sufficiently meet guest demand there. “This expansion is mostly for distribution,” Kamp said. “This will also us to get into canning and further into the market at tap and off-premise retail accounts.”
 Prior to being approached about the new location, Kamp said Pigeon Hill Brewing did expect to expand production in another year or two. Now, the company expects to have the brewery site operating by the end of the year. Kamp said the brewery's initial opening was delayed by a variety of approvals and build-out issues, but many of the issues at the new building have are already been completed.
 Pigeon Hill’s goal is to brew 5,000 barrels annually within the next four years.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Craft Brewing Program To Begin At GRCC

by  Grand Rapids Community College is  looking forward to creating a certificate program in craft brewing. Fiona Hert, dean of GRCC's School of Workforce Development, said the college worked with regional brewers, such as Founders and Perrin, to design the program, which is expected to take students three semesters to complete.
"We have a lot of excitement and support from our area employers in the brewing industry, not only here but also on the Lakeshore," she said. "So we're working with them to develop that curriculum as we speak."
The program would be housed within GRCC's Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, and is expected to launch by winter of 2016. The grant dollars will fund the costs of the program, such as equipment and space, Hert said
more mlive

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Craft Brewer's Response to Budweiser

You have to give them props. The Super Bowl was Sunday, and they already turned around a professionally done response video for HopStories.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bud's Hypocritical, Anti-Craft Beer Ad

by jimvorel -  I have set foot in the Budweiser Research Pilot Brewery. I have met the talented, kind, passionate people who work there. I’ve written about the place as objectively as I could. But as a craft beer supporter, I can’t stand by when the company airs a commercial like they did during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast.
 Never has the oh-so-popular internet adage of “SHOTS FIRED” been so applicable as it was when Anheuser unveiled a new, third-quarter Budweieser ad titled “Brewed the Hard Way.” Over the course of a minute, we learn that the brand is embracing its “macro” title and doesn’t feel at all threatened by craft brewers and their flavorful, unique products as those craft beers continue a decade-long surge in popularity and relevance. In fact, Anheuser is so non-threatened by craft beer that it saw fit to spend $9 million on a 60-second Super Bowl ad just to make sure you were aware of that fact. Because that’s what a company does when it’s definitely not being threatened. View the ad below before we continue: ad

 Okay, let’s go through it and disseminate everything we’ve learned, shall we?
Budweiser is “proudly a macro beer”
This is like that “reclaiming” of a negative word thing we’ve heard about before, yes? “Macro” being the opposite of “micro,” the term that was once applied to what are now typically referred to as craft brewers. But yeah, they’re proud to be big, because big obviously correlates to “best.” After all, McDonald’s makes the highest quality hamburgers in the world, right?

It’s not “brewed to be fussed over”
You know that the mustachioed hipster in this shot isn’t ...more


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Largest Hop Crop In 5 Years!

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A thirst for craft beer helped hop growers produce their largest crop of hops in five years.
 A new report from the Hop Growers of America also shows a 10 percent increase in acres harvested between 2013 and 2014.
 The Herald-Republic says the Yakima Valley produces about 77 percent of the nation's hops. In 2014, nearly 29,000 acres of hops were harvested in Washington state, representing about three-fourths of the country's total. In Oregon, about 5,400 acres were harvested last year, up about 12 percent from 2013. Idaho also saw a 12 percent increase in acres of hops harvested.
 The country's crop was worth about $272 million. Growers fetched an average price of $3.83 per pound, the highest since 2008.

Monday, January 26, 2015

If You Can't Beat 'em, Buy 'em!

KIRO7 - Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser and other mass-produced beers, which holds a 47.2 percent share of the U.S. beer market bought Elysian Brewing in Seattle.
“For two decades, we’ve welcomed guests into our brewpubs and served them creative and impeccably crafted beers,” Joe Bisacca, Elysian ‎CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. His statement said he will continue with Elysian along with partners Dick Cantwell and David Buhler.
“After a lot of hard work, we’ve grown from one Seattle brewpub to four pub locations and a production brewery. With the support of Anheuser-Busch, we will build on past successes and share our beers with more beer lovers moving forward.”
Elysian Brewing was founded in 1995 by Cantwell Bisacca and Buhler. Elysian’s first Seattle location opened in 1996 on Capitol Hill and the company now distributes its beer in 11 states, including Washington.
“As the fastest growing brewer in Washington, their recipe is working,” Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. “Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brewpubs Stumbling In UK

 theguardian-observer  On a Tuesday lunchtime, Whitelock’s is doing healthy business. At Leeds’s oldest pub, a mixed clientele samples the 10 real ales and tucks in to hearty pub food. While Whitelock’s was revived, pubs are still closing their doors at an alarming rate. According to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), 1,661 closed in the first six months of last year – 31 each week. Many have become supermarket convenience stores, some have been turned into homes or restaurants and others stand empty.
 Total beer sales fell from 35.5m barrels in the first quarter of 2000 to 27m barrels in the same period last year. On-trade sales slumped by more than 10m barrels in that time, while off-trade sales rose by more than 2m barrels as supermarkets sold beer at rock-bottom prices. The smoking ban, falling real incomes and the rise of the internet also kept people away from their local. Yet many pubs are thriving under new management, and new ones – more than 800 in the first half of 2014 – continue to open.
 Britain now has more than 1,200 breweries. The total has increased 10% in each of the last two years – a number not seen since the 1940s – and more per head than any other country. Independent brewers are helping keep pubs alive by providing interesting products, and, increasingly, by buying the premises.
 The “beer tie”is an arrangement that lets the pubcos charge their tenants rent and require them to buy their beer at more than the market rate. It's difficult to make money or to try anything different. It came down to what the pubcos charged me for beer. You’re forced to buy from them and there’s no way you can compete with other pubs.  Camra’s Neil Walker says: “There is a massive imbalance between the licensee and the large pub companies. If the company is squeezing the tenant by charging higher rent or too much for their beer there isn’t much they can do. The large pub companies are really property-owning companies. They are happy to sell off their pubs if they can get better prices by selling them to Tesco or for flats.”
 At the heart of Camra’s campaign to protect pubs is a belief that they are a special kind of business. They are, the argument goes, a peculiarly British focal point for community activity and classless interaction. A Camra survey found that three-quarters of adults thought pubs were a valuable part of British life. Some say there are many more pubs crying out for transformation. They’ve seen great pubs close that shouldn’t have closed – but a lot of pubs have closed because people weren’t using them; because the offer wasn’t particularly special and people’s drinking habits are changing.
 Gone are the days when a village can support four pubs. But there will be one pub: and if it’s well run it will be the most popular pub that everybody visits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sounds Tasty...

 USA Today  A year after outraging conservationists with a whale-meat beer, an Icelandic microbrewery is back with another outrageous marine mammal brew — this one flavored with smoked whale testicles.  For the annual month-long winter celebration of Thorri, honoring the Norse god Thor, Stedji Brewery is whipping up Hvalur 2, the sequel to last year's popular holiday libation made with the endangered fin whale.
 The International Whaling Commission issued a moratorium on commercial hunting of the fin whale — the second-largest-known animal on the planet after the blue whale — but after a two-year halt, Iceland resumed hunting the species in 2013.
 Last year, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said it was "immoral and outrageous" that fin whale meat was used in the first Havalur (Whale) brew. The group called this year's offering "a load of b*lls" and "highly provocative and a cheap marketing ploy."
 "Right-minded people would no sooner drink beer brewed with whale testicles than they would order similar drinks made with tiger, elephant or rhino testicles, and our hope, of course, is that visitors to Iceland will treat this latest offering with the disdain it deserves," the organization said in a statement.
 The brewers see things differently. "Actually, we don't consider the fin whale to be an endangered species here in the North Atlantic," brewery co-owner Dabjartur Arilíusson told the trade journal Beverage Daily. "We have a fisheries system in Iceland with all the fish kinds that is really self-sustainable and responsible."
 Hence, whale meat again for this year's festival, which runs from mid-January to mid-February. Stedji, which opened in 2012, will brew 20,000 bottles, and one whale testicle is used in each batch.
 Now, about that new taste ...  "We work the testicle by the old traditional way," he told Beverage Daily. "We smoke it with dried sheep sh**. This method gives it a unique smoked flavor, and we also get a bit of the meaty taste in the beer."
 (Note: His brews highlight "the freshness of the Icelandic water," contain "NO extra sugar" and are "filtered and pasteurized.")
 Mark your calendar: The release date is Jan. 23. International shipping available.
 Not your cup of tea? There are other traditional Icelandic delicacies to enjoy during the month of celebrations: putrefied shark, ram's testicles, sheep's heads and blood pudding.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Careful What Beer You Drink

 Contaminated traditional beer has killed 56 people in Mozambique, health authorities in the southern African country said on Sunday. An additional 49 people were admitted to hospitals in the Chitima and Songo districts in the northeastern Tete province, and 146 more people have reported to hospitals to be examined for the poisoning, district health official Alex Albertini told Radio Mozambique.
 Those who drank the contaminated brew were attending a funeral in the region on Saturday, Albertini said.
 Pombe, a traditional Mozambican beer, is made from millet or corn flour. Authorities believe that the drink was poisoned with crocodile bile during the course of the funeral.
 Blood and traditional beer samples were being sent to the capital Maputo to be tested, said provincial health director Carle Mosse.  “We don’t have the capacity to test the samples,” she told Radio Mozambique.  Mosse told Radio Mozambique on Sunday that she expected the situation to worsen because the region did not have the necessary resources to deal with the disaster.
 Mourners who drank the beer in the morning reported no illness, while those who drank the beer in the afternoon, fell ill, authorities said. They believe the beer must have been poisoned while funeral goers were at the cemetery.
 The woman who brewed the beer is also among the dead.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kalamazoo Beer Week Starts Jan 10.

 This year marks the fifth anniversary for Kalamazoo Beer Week, an event aiming to support the local craft beer movement.  The seven-day event includes parties, tastings, games and more at a variety of venues in Kalamazoo, Mich. Attendees will get chances to meet brewers, both from local breweries like Bell’s and from national ones like New Belgium and Dogfish Head, and – of course – taste lots of beer.  more K-Zoo Beer Week 2015

Beer Is Tops In Michigan 2014!

 There is no doubt that West Michigan loves to discuss, debate and, of course, drink craft beer. After all, you don’t earn the title Beer City USA by default. In 2014, online traffic at reflected that notion while also highlighting how big of an impact the craft beer industry plays on our local economy.
 In 2014, we worked hard to uncover news and collect industry intelligence on the local craft beer industry — and readers responded. Of our 20 most-read articles on, seven of them had to do with beer or spirits in one way or another.
Here is a link to the most popular reads in 2014. MiBiz Most Read 2014

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