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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another crafter falls to the 'dark side'

By Josh Noel and Emily York
 Goose Island Beer Co., the Chicago-based brewing powerhouse, announced this morning that it will be taken over by Anheuser-Busch (A-B) for $38.8 million.
Goose Island, whose legal name is Fulton Street Brewery LLC, is selling a 58 percent stake in the company to A-B for $22.5 million. The Craft Brewers Alliance, in which A-B holds a 32 percent stake, has agreed to sell its own Goose Island stake to A-B for $16.3 million. The Craft Brewers Alliance owns the remaining 42 percent of Goose Island.
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewing company based in Leuven, Belgium. AB InBev was formed when InBev NV bought Anheuser-Busch Cos. in 2008.
As part of the deal, A-B will also invest $1.3 million in the Fulton Street brewery to increase production capacity. Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of beer in 2010.
Brewmaster Greg Hall will be stepping down. Founder and president John Hall will stay on as CEO.
“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers,” Hall said in a statement. “This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”
He added that the “new structure will preserve the qualities that make Goose Island’s beers unique, strictly maintain our recipes and brewing processes.”
If approved by regulators, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.
“These critically acclaimed beers are the hometown pride of Chicagoans,” said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. “We are very committed to expanding in the high end beer segment, and this deal expands our portfolio of brands with high-quality, regional beers. As we share ideas and bring our different strengths and experiences together, we can accelerate the growth of these brands.”
A-B’s move comes at a time when craft beer sales have surged, while major brewers’ sales by volume have been flat or decreased. Big brewers have been hoping to tap into craft beers’ growth without alienating drinkers who prefer craft brews to more mainstream ones.
Craft beer is expected to make up 11 percent of total beer consumption this year.
Although the Craft Brewers Alliance’s 2006 investment in Goose Island has technically exempted the brewer from craft-beer status, the company’s popular brands have shared the problem of other craft beers: increasing capacity to meet surging demand.
Goose Island is best-known for its 312 Urban Wheat Ale, and respected in craft circles for other products like Matilda and Bourbon County Stout. Goose Island has been outsourcing some production and seeking additional investment to expand capacity.
In an interview with the Tribune last month, brewmaster Greg Hall said the company’s sales had “outpaced our forecast in 2010, so that we weren’t quite ready for all of the growth we got.” Goose Island also hired an investment banker to assist the family in securing funds for expansion.
“Our long-term goal is to have a new brewery in Chicago,” Hall said. He said the company is buying new tanks for the current facility, “but you can’t just go to Wal-Mart” and buy them.
Several craft brewers have recently cut distribution in the face of straining capacity. The brewer Dogfish Head, which is based in Milton, Del., announced earlier this month that it would pull out of Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.
“The glass-half-full view is that we (and a handful of other U.S. craft breweries making similar moves) have to do this because the number of U.S. drinkers buying and enjoying craft beer are growing so quickly!” Dogfish founder and president Sam Calagione wrote on the company’s blog. “This decision will allow us to still get many different, exotic, Dogfish specialty and seasonal beers into our slightly smaller footprint. It will also ensure that more cases and kegs of our core, year-round beers will be available closer to home.”

Michigan Say's 'NO' to the B-word... Again!

 First Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Beer couldn’t sell his “Bitches Brew” in Michigan and now Maryland based Flying Dog Brewery  is suing the Michigan State Liquor Control alleging the agency is censoring its free speech by rejecting labels for the bottler’s “Raging Bitch” 20th Anniversary India Pale Ale
In a complaint filed Friday, the brewery asks a federal judge to issue an injunction overriding the board's decision and allow it to advertise and sell the beer here.
The commission, which regulates alcohol sales and advertising, deemed language on the bottle to be “detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public,” according to the lawsuit, which also names five commissioners as defendants.
Flying Dog says in court records it has refrained from retailing in the state out of fear of criminal penalty – up to four years and a fine of up to $5,000 - for selling without a license.
The company markets approved labels, including “Doggie Style” Classic Pale Ale, “In Heat Wheat” Hefeweizen Ale and “Old Scratch” Amber Lager, at many chain and specialty stores in West Michigan.
“Flying Dog's inability to legally sell (the anniversary ale) in Michigan has damaged Flying Dog by costing it significant sales,” of the beer and branded products, the lawsuit claims. “(It also is) generally damaging Flying Dog's goodwill in Michigan and thus hurting the sales of Flying Dog's other beers and products that may be legally sold.”
A spokeswoman for the Liquor Control Commission could not be reached and it's not clear if the state Attorney General, which would handle the case, had been served with the lawsuit.
The brewing company, which has its roots in Colorado and has ties to Gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson, asserts that the state violated its First Amendment rights by refusing to endorse the artwork and inscription from renowned illustrator and writer Ralph Steadman. Steadman partnered with Thompson for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and has written for The New York Times and Rolling Stone.
Flying Dog says it applied to sell its new beer, now its most popular and voted as one of the top 10 new beers of 2010 by a trade publication, in Sept. 2009. Commissioners turned down the request a month later, leading to an administrative appeal.
The commission affirmed its decision with commissioner Patrick Gagliardi offering that the board is not adverse to edgy writing but that “we do have a responsibility here to place product in a public place with the names that are on it, and that's what we take very seriously,” according to the suit.
Gagliardi was referring to Steadman's partial label inscription of “Remember, enjoying a Raging Bitch, unleashed, untamed, unbridled – and in heat- is pure GONZO.”
The profanity used by Flying Dog has never been approved by the state commission, but the state has allowed sales of alcoholic beverages with a vulgar term on the label. Among those are a Grand Rapids brew “Dirty Bastard,” crafted by Founders.
Laws governing the liquor board allow them to reject the registration of anything that is “deemed to promote violence, racism, sexism, intemperance or intoxication or to be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public.”
Flying Dog's proposed label, outside of the profanity, has a drawing of a female dog and reads, in part: “Two inflammatory wild drink. Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. Let it out...It has taken 20 years to get from there to here. Enjoy.”
The beer debuted 20 years after George Stranahan and Richard McIntyre opened the Flying Dog brewpub in Aspen, Colo. At another bar, they befriended Thompson, who introduced them to Steadman. That led to the collaboration of Steadman's irreverent illustrations and words being on the bottler's beer.
Brewery operations later moved to Maryland and the company now sells about 900,000 cases per year.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ska Brewing Parody pokes at "Brew Masters"

Ska Brewing Parody Mocks More Successful, Better Looking Craft Brewers
DURANGO, COLO., (Mar. 6, 2011) --It's different colors, it has alcohol, it's beer... but for Dave Thibodeau and his co-minions at Ska Brewing Co., (the very first craft brewery to copy Oskar Blues by canning), beer is a passion, a business, and a personal quest to make delicious craft beer and stay employed at the same time. "Brew Minions" is a parody of the Discovery Channel's recent series "Brew Masters", featuring Sam Calagione and Dogfish Head Brewery.
Brew Minions follows Dave and his team as they flawlessly execute a project to make a 30th Anniversary beer for the long-running NYC Ska band The Toasters. Along the way they cross high mountain passes and travel almost across town, pioneer techniques to produce beers (and short films) of questionable originality, and ignore advice from Sam himself, who makes a cameo, but was otherwise not harmed in the making of this video.
 Check it out.  SKA brew parody

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hangin' Frank gets a new name

By Josh Smith BELLAIRE — Short's Brewing Co. will rename and craft a new label for its seasonal beer Hangin' Frank.

 The India Pale Ale was one of Short's first beers and was named and brewed for the City Park Grill in Petoskey, according to their website.
 The rebranding will involve coming up with a new name and new artwork for this much loved beer. For anyone wondering why we have a beer called “Hangin’ Frank” in the first place, it involves the legend and folklore of the City Park Grill in Petoskey, which is the restaurant that inspired this particular beer. We regret any pain that this beer name and artwork has caused, and appreciate your understanding!"
 Refer to the brewery's website for the full story behind the label/name.Shorts wanted to be very clear that there was no intent to offend or rely on gimmicks or shock value.

   hmmm... look out Dead Guy Ale you may be next