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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Michigan Brewing Co. Evicted

WEBBERVILLE — Michigan Brewing Co. was evicted Tuesday from its headquarters in Webberville, according to court records and officials familiar with the case.
The company’s restaurant in downtown Lansing remained open Wednesday, though MBC officials did not return calls seeking comment.The 76,000-square-foot property, located at 1093 Highview Drive, fell into foreclosure after MBC failed to make loan payments to Zions First National Bank, documents indicate.An entity called Highview Enterprises then bought the property but failed to reach a rental agreement with MBC and its lending company, Highview Holdings, said attorney Pat Gallagher, who represents Highview Enterprises.Gallagher would not say who owns Highview Enterprises.Highview Enterprises asked for permission to evict MBC in January during a 55th District Court appearance, Gallagher said. That eviction came Tuesday.Bobby Mason, president of MBC and head of Highview Holdings, and other management at the business’s Webberville location did not return repeated calls on the matter.It was not known how many employees lost their jobs.John Gormley, MBC and Highview Holdings’ attorney, declined to comment Wednesday.It also is unclear how the eviction will affect MBC’s other sites, including its downtown Lansing restaurant and brew pub, or its beverage-making business, which includes rocker Kid Rock’s American Badass Beer.MBC also has plans to expand to Fenton. City officials there could not be reached for comment.Ingham County records show Highview Holdings purchased the deed to the property from Michigan Brewing Co. for $2.6 million in 2007.The MBC site at 1093 Highway Drive, near Interstate 96 and M-52, had been listed for sale for $1.65 million.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The beer name game

Grab a homebrew and play  fiftybeers_fiftystates

  • Enter a state in the box 
  • Correctly named states will show up below
  • Click any empty Beer or State to answer for that location

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lagunitas to build new brewery in Chicago

Chicago's craft beer fans have been no doubt delighted by the growth of the area's beer scene: half a dozen new brewers opening in 2011, and at least as many on tap for 2012. The scene has been upended with the announcement at Lagunitas Brewing Company will building an expansion facility in Chicago.
 Lagunitas Brewing Owner, Tony Magee, just announced one of the biggest news stories of the year in the beer world…140 characters at a time on Twitter. No press conference. No press release. No press kit. Just a handful of text messages likely sent over a mobile phone.
The brewhouse is a 250-barrel system to be built by Rolec, the same manufacturer that recently completed a 250-barrel system for Lagunitas’ home base in Petaluma. The first mash at the Chicago brewery is expected to take place in Q4 of 2013.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lagunitas Brewing: “We’ll be the last brewery in the US to use aluminum cans”

(Petaluma, CA) – Lagunitas Brewing Owner, Tony Magee, took to Twitter last night to sound off on the hottest packaging trend of the last couple years: cans.
And he doesn’t like them one bit.
 Though cans are championed for their portability, availability in recreational outdoor venues and post-packaging environmental benefits, there is a darker side that brewers do not acknowledge: mining of bauxite. Many have already written about the environmental impact of bauxite mining though Lagunitas may be the first brewer to take it to this level. Here is a just a snippet of a report from Triple Pundit:
 In order to remove the aluminum from the bauxite heavy chemicals are needed to dissolve the ore materials from the soil. Sodium Hydroxide, a nasty chemical, is paired with extreme heat to accomplish this task. Five tons of bauxite is needed to produce one ton of unrefined aluminum (alumina). When you consider just how many tons of aluminum are used in the United States alone each year with only a 50% recycle rate, that adds up to a lot of moved earth. And don’t think that the remains from the process are harmless, just ask Hungary which had to evacuate entire towns due to the remaining toxic sludge breaking through its dam. These places are unable to sustain plant life and won’t in the near future.
 Aluminums cans, as with anything, have their pros and cons.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Secret to Big Hop Aroma and Flavor

 Spring is here and time to start hopping-up the beers.  The following is a good article from mr. describing how to get the most out of your hops.
 Have you recently come across a craft brew with a massive hop flavor and a smooth bitterness that you really loved? If you're like me, you wondered how the brewery created such an incredibly huge, but smooth hop character. The secret, it turns out, is very large additions of late hops.
Late hopping is the addition of hops during the latter part of the boil. It is an excellent method for creating hop aroma and flavor in your beer. In general, any additions with less than 30 minutes left in the boil and prior to cooling the wort are considered late hop additions. Although some hop oils are lost during this shorter boil, reactions between the hop compounds and the wort create other desirable flavor-active compounds not found in hops.
Many brewers turn to dry hopping in an effort to get more hop flavor and aroma, but dry hopping results in a completely different hop character, which maybe out of place in certain styles.
While dry hopping is a great technique, it is often characterized as more resiny and grassy, while boiled hops are often characterized as more floral and spicy. Ray Daniels, in Designing Great Beers, says, "Late-hopped additions have been characterized as more floral, fragrant, and less grassy than dry-hopped additions."
 Calculating the Numbers To use this technique in your own beers, replace all or part of your traditional bittering hop additions with additions at 20 minutes or less left in the boil, increasing the amount of hops to get the same IBUs. Replace all of your bittering hops for an intense hop flavor. Replace a lesser amount to just enhance the hop flavor.
  Hop Selection
Select your late hop varieties based on how pleasing the aroma. Select hops for late hopping based on their aromatic quality. Utilize a number of low alpha aroma varieties as well as mid-alpha dual purpose hops for late hopping. Some examples are Styrian Golding, East Kent Golding, Cascade, Centennial, Crystal, Mount Hood, and US Fuggle.
 Look for aromatic hop varieties with good flavor characteristics and low cohumulone values. In our experience, these are the hops that isomerize without imparting harsh or astringent-like hop profiles. This goes beyond late-hopping for flavor and aroma, and applies equally to smooth bittering early in the boil as well. The hops that have worked best for our late-hopping include Cascade, Amarillo, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Chinook, and a newer variety, Palisades. Tomahawk and Simcoe have relatively high alpha acid values and somewhat low cohumulone values and are best used in lesser percentages than the other hops mentioned. For English-style Ales, use East Kent Golding and Styrian Golding.
 Some studies suggest that late hopping with high cohumulone hops tends to result in a more harsh bitterness. However, don't buy into the cohumulone equals 'harsh bitterness' theory. I also believe that the cohumulone argument is independent of how you are utilizing the hops-kettle hopping or late hopping. Some of the best smelling hops in the world are high in cohumulone and I plan to continue using them.
 Given that a number of brewers report a less harsh bitter from late hopping, it might be a lesser issue than first thought. It might be more important to select late hops based on their flavors and aromas first, and their cohumulone fraction second.
With this technique comes the question of using whole leaf or pellet hops. Some use a false bottom in the boil kettle and are able to use whole hops for experiments.  The concern was that a large amount of pellet hops might clog his counter-flow chiller. However, using whole hops results in a very large mass that can make it difficult to extract the wort at the end of the boil.
The majority of brewers I spoke with use pellet hops for this technique. Pellets break up quickly and expose the alpha acids for isomerization. Most select pellets for late/whirlpool hopping.
While isomerization is limited during a short boil, hop utilization isn't linear across the boil time. You don't need 6 times as much hops for a 10 minute boil as compared to a 60 minute boil. Assuming you're getting about 30% utilization at 60 minutes, you'll get around 17% at 20 minutes, 14% at 15 minutes, and around 10% at 10 minutes. So you'll need to approximately double or triple your hops to get an equivalent bitterness. If you're already calculating your bitterness with software or some other tool, use the same method to make this adjustment.
It is said that most formulas for calculating bitterness are not as reliable for very late hop additions, but don't let that stop you. It is quite difficult to detect a 5 IBU difference in most moderately bittered beers and impossible in a highly bittered beer.
In beers with significant bitterness (50+ IBU), you might still want to add a charge of high alpha hops early in the boil. If you don't, the amount of hop flavor can completely overwhelm some beers.  late_hopping