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, December 11, 2012

New Holland Brewpub in GR?

By Garret Ellison — The state’s third largest microbrewery could soon be opening a new brewpub in Grand Rapids.  Although nothing has been signed yet, New Holland Brewing Co. president Brett VanderKamp confirmed that the company is scouting locations in the "greater downtown" Grand Rapids area for a new brewery location similar to the company's Eighth Street Pub in Holland.
 VanderKamp, who founded New Holland with former partner Jason Spaulding in 1996, has had his eye on a location in Grand Rapids for "a number of years," he said. "We feel connected to Grand Rapids and feel that it's important for us to have a storefront there."
"We've had deals come close in the past," he said, but the company ultimately decided to pursue other investments. "On our end, it just wasn't right due to our team and where we were at." This time around, "everything's really coming together for us." VanderKamp said he is currently narrowing the location between “two or three" spots.
 The restaurant would be similar to the brewery’s popular pub in downtown Holland, a full-service restaurant that serves artisan liquors and the company's beer, which is brewed at the pub's onsite system, and the larger Holland Township production facility.
 Grand Rapids "would be more than just beer," he said, although details on the scope of the location are still being finalized. "A little more focus on food." The location does not have a formal name yet, but would be a New Holland-branded location. “It'll be a real, physical brewery.”
 The location is planned for open in 2013, and VanderKamp said he's hoping to have more details formalized by the end of the year, but that could be delayed by the holiday season. "There's still a lot of stuff in play."
 New Holland undertook a $3 million expansion of the production facility this year, adding five new large, outdoor fermentation tanks due to "exponentially" increasing demand for their high-gravity stout, Dragon's Milk.  The new tanks will allow the company to reach 50,000 barrels of beer per year, said VanderKamp.
 The new location is "something that's been on our radar for many years," he said. "We think we have something to offer that would be unique to the Grand Rapids market."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

BOTL Christmas Party

 We had a great time Saturday with a lot of good food and great homebrews, as always! Thanks to everyone who worked at making it all come together and to New Holland for hosting.
                                          Happy Holidays to everyone!
                                          Looking good Kim and Brian!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Michigan Brewers Guild Fights Against Fest Ticket Scalpers

 The battle between the Michigan Brewers Guild and ticket scalpers has gotten ugly.
Ever since the Guild's Winter Beer Festival sold out in 13 hours on Dec. 1, the organization has actively pursued those who are re-selling tickets at two to three times their $40 face value.
Demand for tickets is so high, scalpers are purchasing tickets from other scalpers for $80 on Craigslist, and turning them around for $120, according to Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan, which handles publicity for the Michigan Brewers Guild.  It gets worse: Stampfler's pursuit of one scalper resulted in her personal Facebook account being flagged for pornography. "The only porn I've posted on my page is food porn," Stampfler said with a laugh. "I got into a heated discussion with one of these morons, and was blocked from his (Facebook) page. An hour later, I'm flagged for porn. It probably could be a coincidence - but probably not."  Stampfler said the alleged scalper - whom she wouldn't name - taunted her, claiming he wouldn't be caught, and bragging that he sells $200,000 in aftermarket tickets every year. She added that she's pursuing legal repercussions for a handful of scalpers whose contact information she has acquired on the Internet.
"Will it make a difference? Probably not. Will there be any jail time or penalties? Probably not," she said. "But it's the principle of the matter at this point."
 Stampfler cited a 1931 state law addressing the legality of aftermarket sales of tickets for entertainment events. She also said she's looking into whether re-sale of the tickets is illegal without a liquor license, since the admission price includes 15 three-ounce samples of beer. "The law is the law," she said.
 Organizers were surprised when all 6,000 tickets for the eighth-annual event, to take place Feb. 23 at Fifth Third Ballpark, sold out in record time. The festival has sold out in the past, but in a matter of weeks, not hours.
 The resulting outcry and demand for tickets prompted the Guild to implement changes for the 2014 festival, which it outlined in a Facebook post. They include further limiting the number of tickets a single person can purchase, and offering pre-sale tickets to Guild members, dubbed "enthusiasts." There are currently 1,391 members.  Sales were limited to 50 tickets per person this year, but Stampfler said that wasn't necessarily tied to the scalping problem. She said there were fewer than 20 purchase orders of more than 10 tickets; the largest, a 35-ticket sale, was for a bus group, and one 20-ticket sale was for a restaurant group.
Stampfler said she believes scalpers used multiple names, email addresses and credit cards to purchase numerous tickets to resell.
The Guild's Facebook post also mentions voiding the tickets gobbled up by scalpers, then offering the open spots to members who didn't get a ticket. However, Stampfler said a potential problem could arise when those who previously purchased exorbitantly priced scalped tickets show up at the gate, and are denied admission. Stampfler also warned against desperate beer lovers buying tickets from scalpers, saying it doesn't help the larger problem. "We ask that you not buy tickets from scalpers at more than face value," she said.
 Despite heated online discussion - on Facebook and the Craft Beer in Michigan Yahoo group - the Guild does not intend to change the event. The group asserts that increasing the number of available tickets would make lines at the festival longer, and expanding it to two days is a logistical problem, because the cold weather could have adverse effects on the quality of the beer.
"We care deeply about the experience and will not compromise it," the Guild's Facebook post reads.
Stampfler said further updates on the situation would be posted on the Guild's Facebook page or at the Yahoo group.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Grand Rapids To Host National Homebrewers Convention!

 by grbj - The Grand Rapids beer scene can’t resist getting more love — not even the homebrewers.
The American Homebrewers Association confirmed the 2014 National Homebrewers Conference will be held in Grand Rapids from June 10-14, 2014.
The conference will bring an estimated 3,500 visitors to Grand Rapids and its bustling beer scene for seminars and workshops at DeVos Place, said Eric Fouch, president of the Primetime Brewers Association, a Grand Rapids homebrew club.
AHA Director Gary Glass said the association first researched Grand Rapids for the 2010 conference but passed, now settling on the 2014 date. Michigan hosted the conference in 2000 when it came to Livonia.
Grand Rapids beat out several cities for the event, including Austin, Texas, which was knocked out by strict liquor-control laws that prevented further consideration.
“Michigan has a really great brewing community,” Glass said. “Both home and microbrewers are very much involved in the community, and that’s certainly a drawing point.
“And people across the country consider Michigan as a great beer state.”
Glass said one of the major draws was DeVos Place and how willing the hotels are to offer great deals.
Fouch said there has been talk of a seven-city rotation for the conference, and he hopes Grand Rapids would be included.
“One of the main goals for the 2014 convention is to make Grand Rapids stand out above the rest of the cities,” Fouch said.
To do that, he said Primetime Brewers will plan events for the weekend that showcase the special features of Grand Rapids many visitors don’t get to see such as Founders Brewing Company’s aging facility at the gypsum mines.
Although Grand Rapids is rapidly growing in notoriety for its beer, the conference will help showcase the new and lesser-known brewpubs of the city, many more of which will be open by 2014.
“It’s gonna be huge,” Fouch said. “It’ll really help put them on the map.”