BOTL is a club that was founded as a means for our members to educate themselves and others about brewing beer, ciders and meads. We are all in this hobby as like minded individuals that have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for an enjoyable time. Most of us are from Holland, MI and the surrounding communities.
We are not accepting new members at this time.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at
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 too.

Styles of each month:
January – Barleywine, Winter Warmer, Strong Ales
February - Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
March – English Ales and Milds
April - Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids and Alts
May –
Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers and Reds
August – Wheat, Wit, Weizens and Fruit Beers
September –
Scottish Ales and Browns
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced Beers
November – Stouts and Porters
December – Saturday, Dec. 2 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

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.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Whirlpool's Vessi Does It All For The Homebrewer.

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

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Non-alcoholic Budweiser Prohibition Brew

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Siciliano's Homebrew Competition BOTL

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Craft Beer Wins A Match With The Big Boys

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

Friday, May 6, 2016

You Don't Have To Sell Out

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