BOTL is a club that was founded as a means for our members to educate themselves and others about brewing beer, ciders and meads. We are all in this hobby as like minded individuals that have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for an enjoyable time. Most of us are from Holland, MI and the surrounding communities.
We are accepting new members at this time.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the New Holland Pub. Start time 7 PM.

Please bring 3 bottles of this month's style homebrew that you want to share, OR a different style of your homebrew.
When bringing your homebrew to share, please bring your recipe to tell everyone about your brew.

Styles of each month:
January – Barleywine, Winter Warmer, Strong Ales
February - Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
March – English Ales and Milds
April - Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids and Alts
May –
Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers and Reds
August – Wheat, Wit, Weizens and Fruit Beers
September –
Scottish Ales and Browns
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced Beers
November – Stouts and Porters
December – Saturday, Dec. 8 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 Beer Events

May 20-21 - World Expo of Beer - Frankenmuth MI - world-expo-of-beer
June 4Beer Barons' World of Beer Festival- Milwaukee WI - world of beer festival
June 18 - Founders Fest - Grand Rapids MIfounders-fest-2011
July 22 & 23 - Michigan Summer Beer Fest michiganbeerfest

Friday, January 28, 2011

RateBeer Best 2011 announced results from its RateBeer Best 2011 today.
And once again, Michigan's craft brewers and beer businesses were ranked among the best.
In this year's competition, 130,000 beers from over 10,000 brewers were tallied worldwide.
Take a look at which breweries, beers, retailers, restaurants, brewpubs and brewers made this year's list and where they ranked.  Rate Beer Best By Style_2011
9. Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
12. Hopslam, Bell's Brewery Inc., Kalamazoo
14. Canadian Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
21. Expedition Stout, Bell's Brewery Inc., Kalamazoo
47. Founder's Breakfast Stout, Founder's Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
67. Bourbon Barrel Double Cream Stout/Expedition Stout, Bell's Brewery Inc., Kalamazoo
72. Two-Hearted Ale, Bell's Brewery Inc., Kalamazoo
87. Founder's Black Biscuit, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
95. Founder's Imperial Stout, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids

2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
7. Bell's Brewery Inc., Kalamazoo
12. Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren
26. Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall
45. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter
76. Short's Brewing Co., Bellaire

28. Hopcat, Grand Rapids

9. Short's Brewing Co., Bellaire
27. Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren
38. The Livery, Benton Harbor
45. Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall

41. Siciliano's Market, Grand Rapids

7. Slow's Bar-B-Q, Detroit
27. Ashley's, Ann Arbor

9. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
20. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
26. Dragonmead Brewery, Warren
35. Bell's Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo

Specialty: Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock (No. 4 out of 5)
India Pale Ale: Hopslam (No. 3 out of 5)
Strong Ale: Founders Black Biscuit (No. 5 out of 5)
Porter: Founders Porter (No. 3 out of 5)
Dark lager: Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer (No. 3 out of 5)
Cider and perry: J.K.'s Solstice Hard Cider (No. 5 out of 5)
Mead: Kuhnhenn Banana French Toast Mead (No. 1 out of 5)
B. Nektar Bourbon Barrel Mead (No. 3 out of 5)

Cheers to all!

Siciliano's to expand!

  Friday, January 28, 2011Pardon our dust!
 Steve "The Boss" Siciliano shares a few words regarding the impending expansion.
 Dear craft beer and do-it-yourself enthusiasts:
If you come into our store during the coming weeks you may have to pardon our dust. No, not the stuff that is constantly being pumped out from the grain grinders. I'm talking real dust here—the dust that comes from tearing down ceilings and walls as well as other activities associated with deconstruction and construction. In other words, we're getting bigger!
We are very excited to be expanding into the space currently occupied by Marinades Pizza. Aaron has decided to focus his attention on his Rockford location and, as many of you know, we desperately need more room. We will be blasting a hole through the wall and we'll be using the additional space to make the store cleaner (by moving the grinding operations), neater and more organized.
 With the added space will come more merchandise. We have been looking into some new, fun equipment for brewing and wine making. We also have plans to expand our book selection and we are thinking very seriously about selling green, unroasted coffee beans, home coffee roasters, and bread-baking ingredients and supplies.
We are also in the process of redoing our website and will soon be offering e-commerce (more on this to come).
 So, we have a lot of work ahead of us but Barb and I and the staff are looking forward to these exciting changes that will definitely make our store--or should I say your store--even better.
 The expansion should be complete by the middle of March, give or take a week. In the meantime, we invite your feedback in the comment section below. Please tell us what kinds of new merchandise you would like to see us carry.
Thanks for your continued support,
Steve  sicilianos market
 “When people start brewing, they continue to buy craft beer. They continue to go out to support the pubs. It just enhances the whole experience.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 Beer Style Guidelines

The Brewers Association (BA) recently released its 2011 Beer Style Guidelines. Updated annually, the guidelines currently describe 140 styles of beer and are used in prestigious beer competitions, like the Great American Beer Festival® and the World Beer Cup®.
For 2011, several beer style descriptions have been significantly updated:

*Belgo-American-Style Ales

*Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin/Oud Red

*German Bock

*Rye Beer

*American-Style Sour Ale

Additionally, one beer style has been added, and another has been renamed. American-Style Brett Ale is now a recognized ale style. American-Style Black Ale is the new name for American-Style India Black Ale, and it too has updated style guidelines.
Since 1979 the BA has provided beer style descriptions as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. The beer style guidelines developed by the BA use sources from the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses, and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts as resources for information. Much of the early work was based on the assistance and contributions of beer journalist Michael Jackson. For 2011, revisions were aided by over 150 comments and suggestions from Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup judges, as well as other beer industry members.
"These guidelines help to illustrate the growth of craft brewers in the United States and also offer insight and a foundation for helping appreciate the hundreds of beer types brewed for the beer lover," said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association.
The 2011 Beer Style Guidelines are available for download in the Publications section of

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Ten Beers You Should Drink in 2011

by Christian DeBenedetti  It was a great year for craft beer, with scores of innovative new breweries popping up, wild styles going mainstream, a cavalcade of top restaurants like Eleven Madison Park embracing the art, Sam Calagione’s star turn on Brew Masters (Discovery Channel), and too many other toast-worthy developments to list. More than anything, it was a great year for new American craft beers released from coast to coast. Here, in no particular order, is the Eater Top Ten American craft beers of 2010. (And note, of course, there were hundreds of other on-draught-only experiments, one-offs, and single-cask variations that were as quaffable as they were hard-to-find, so all presented are bottled releases, else the picks be obnoxiously esoteric.)

1. Pretty Things Jack D’Or (saison/farmhouse ale; 6.4% alcohol by volume)
Massachusetts’ Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is dubbed a gypsy brewery, because the proprietors guest brew in friends’ facilities, lacking their own (a matter of time, one suspects). Inspired by classic Belgian bucket list beers like Saison Dupont and XX Bitter, it’s a bold, rustico table ale with enough edge and spicy zing (though no spices are added) to hold the palate, plus a fresh, grassy stable of hops. Superb. (

2. Deschutes Hop in the Dark (India black ale; 6.5%abv)
2010 shall hitherto be known as Year of the “Black IPA” or the Year of Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) or the Year of India Black Ale (in the wording of the Brewers’ Association), and Lord-knows-what-other-moniker will seize beer geekdom next. What it means to the layperson is a medium-bodied ale of very dark complexion with a sturdy lashing of hop aroma and bitterness, best enjoyed fireside. It’s a matter of practically Talmudic debate who truly brewed the first example, but few would debate that Oregon’s Deschutes’ piney, onyx-black version isn’t worth seeking out. (

3. Firestone Velvet Merlin (oatmeal stout; 5.5%abv)
Once known as Merkin, this Paso Robles-brewed stout is an exceptional example of a style that once seemed doomed to the craft beer dustbin of history: the 1980s, when mostly unassuming British styles predominated. Despite its umbrous color it’s incredibly light and even juicy; perhaps no other beer gives lie to the notion that dark beers are inherently “heavier” than light brews (at 5.5%, it’s only marginally more alcoholic, i.e. caloric, than a Bud heavy). Insanely drinkable. (

4. Victory Yakima Glory (India Black Ale; 8.7%abv)
The Downingtown, PA makers of Prima Pils (a game changer for American pilsners) stepped into the dark and bitter fray with this elixir also known as Twilight, which, pushing 9%abv, is quite a lot bigger than similarly categorized brews. But like almost all of Victory’s offerings, Yakima Glory does it with uncommon finesse. It’s a beautiful tango of floral Yakima Valley (WA) hops and brawny, roasted malts. (

5. Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace (saison/farmouse ale; 7.6%abv)
Japanese megabrewer Sapporo first developed the Sorachi Ace hop, a hybrid of German and Czech varieties, back in 1998, and it’s the only hop in Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace beer. Unlike many farmhouse and saison beers, which traditionally downplay super hoppy aromas in favor of a wheaty, yeasty bite, brewmaster Garrett Oliver’s version catapults the senses to an unexpected destination: Thailand, because of the hops' uncanny olfactory resemblance to lemongrass. Terrific stuff. (

6. The Alchemist Ourobouros (American Double a.k.a. Imperial IPA; 8.8%abv)
The ‘orouboros’ symbol in mythology—a snake or dragon eating its own tail—signifies renewal; let’s hope this Waterbury, Vermont operation continues to remake this incredibly floral, grapefruity IPA until every beer lover in America can try it. It’s citrusy and abundant, a marvel of restraint and refreshment (

7. Avery Quinquepartite (barrel-aged sour ale a.k.a. American wild ale; 9.91% ABV)
Sour beers, made acidic through the use of barrel aging with wild airborne yeasts and (harmless) bacteria, grew in popularity throughout the year, even meriting a new bar dedicated entirely to the style, in Portland, Oregon (where else?). The fifth in a series of one-off, barrel-aged brews, Quinquepartite (Latin for "five parts") is blended from ales aged in Port, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and a pair of Cabernet barrels. Like many of the latest barrel-aged beers, this was a tiny allotment that sold out quickly, disappearing practically overnight into the gullets and beer cellars of hard-core collectors. (

8. Bitches Brew (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%abv)
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ landmark fusion jazz recording, the Milton, Delaware-based Dogfish Head crew, headed by newly-minted Discovery Channel host Sam Calagione, threw together a shibboleth of a stout with African gesho root and jars of honey so raw there were still dead bees mired in the honeycomb. It made for entertaining television and even better beer, and it featured the year’s best beer label, too. (

9. New Belgium Ranger IPA (American-style IPA, 6.5%)
Another widely emerging beer variety in 2010—along with India Black Ales and sour and barrel aged beers—was the American-style IPA, a big, malty, juicy hop bomb of a style that originated commercially with Russian River brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo while he worked for Blind Pig brewing in Temecula, CA. Along with another excellent commercial version, Sierras Torpedo IPA, the homegrown style finally found its place across the entire country after years of insider-only appreciation. There may be no better accompaniment to pepperoni pizza, ever. (

10. Boulevard Collaboration Number 1 (American Double/Imperial Pilsner; 8%abv)
Merely naming the Belgian Trappist ale Orval is enough, in some corners of the world, to forever vouchsafe a craft beer lover’s bona fides. While its quality has shifted minutely over time (a matter of continuous debate) the orangey-hued pale ale is so iconic, so beloved, and so widely imitated that one Philadelphia beer bar, Local 44, refuses to carry any other beer in the bottle. So when Orval’s brew master Jean-Marie Rock agreed to collaborate with Kansas City’s Boulevard on a new American craft beer, the beer world waited with baited breath. The result? A grainy, straw-blonde lager with ample citrusy hops and a peppery finish, it was a bold, delicious experiment. (