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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dry Hop Flavor Experiment...with Bud Light?

Dry Hopped Bud Light
 No, your eyes aren't deceiving you; I'm dry hopping Bud Light today. I borrowed this idea from one of the brewers at Anchor Brewing. He mentioned on a Brewing Network interview that this is his favorite way to see the differences between different hop varieties. They just buy a 12er of Bud Light, pop the caps, drop in a few pellets, and then taste the differences. It sounded like a great idea to me, so here we go!

There isn't too much to talk about in terms of a 'how-to'. Label and sanitize your caps, pop the caps, drop in some pellets, and re-cap. It's a pretty straight forward process. I keep all my hops in mason jars, so it's a pretty simple process for me to open a jar, steal a few pellets, and seal it back up with the foodsaver. The only real question was how many pellets to add to each bottle...
  click here for the entire story

Friday, March 8, 2013

Siciliano's HB Competition Update

 by Greg Johnson  sicilianosmkt.blogspot
Several weeks ago, when we announced the 10th Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Competition, we linked  to two pdf documents—a contest entry form and a form with bottle labels. Please note that we have since decided to move the registration process online.
 This year, thanks to our friend Dan Frechette from the Kuhnhenn Guild of Brewer's (KGB), we will be using the Beers To Fear online software for entry registration. We will begin accepting entries on Monday, March 25th and will stop on Sunday, April 14th, or once we've reached a total of 250 entries (more on this below). More information about the online entry format will be detailed as we near March 25th, including the website URL, directions on how to enter your beer, and label printing, which this website will fully facilitate.

The contest this year will be capped at 250 entries, with one entry per person, so that the judging load remains manageable. If we were to allow more than 250 entries, the amount of time we would need to judge the beers would increase significantly. Increased judging time means asking our volunteer judges and stewards to take more time out of their weekends than they already so graciously give us. So to help provide the best experience for our judges and ultimately provide the best possible feedback for our participants, we have chosen to keep the competition on the smaller side. There are other, larger competitions in the state that we help sponsor throughout the year for anyone looking to receive more feedback on their beer, namely the Michigan Beer Cup and Homebrew at the World Expo of Beers.

Important points for the 10th Annual Homebrew Competition:

1 entry per person
250 entry cap (NEW!)
Entries accepted March 25th – April 14th (or until 250 entries is reached)
$5 per entry, cash or check only
BJCP Style Guidelines for categories 1-23 will be used
Beer submission & bottle label printing will be web based (NEW!)
Good luck to all who enter!

Siciliano's AHA Big Brew Update

 By Steve Siciliano sicilianosmkt.blogspot
On Saturday, May 4th, the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids will be the site of what is shaping up to be one of the largest American Homebrewers Association Big Brew events in the sixteen year history of the nationwide celebration. As the sponsor for this particular event, Siciliano’s Market will be donating and providing the following:

The ingredients for forty-eight all-grain batches of “Beer City IPA”
Bottled water for brewing
A chilling station capable of simultaneously chilling six kettles of wort
Platform hand carts for moving brewing equipment to and from vehicles and for transporting kettles of hot wort to the chilling station.
We are now asking those who wish to participate in this event to complete a sign-up sheet at Siciliano's Market. If you cannot get to the store, we ask that you contact us ( with the following information:

Whether you would like to brew one of the forty-eight batches with your own equipment (mash/lauter tuns, propane burners, kettles, etc.) and thus be designated as the captain of a “brewing team”
Whether you would like to brew but are unwilling or unable to transport your equipment to the event. In this case you will be assigned to a brewing team
Whether you would like to participate as a member of a specific brewing team and if so indicate the name of the captain you would like to brew with
Whether you would like to participate as a volunteer helper
While we will do our best to accommodate everyone who would like to brew, it should be noted that the number of batches and the number of spots per team are limited. Please indicate if you are willing to participate as a volunteer helper if all the brewing spots have been filled.

We will be able to consume homebrew within the designated area of the venue. However, please note there will be no kegging systems allowed; bottles and growlers only. This event will be open to the public and we will be allowed to offer tastings to anyone wearing a wristband. (ID’s will be checked at the gate.) Siciliano’s will be providing the tasting cups as well as educational literature on homebrewing.

The Big Brew at the Calder will be a great way of showing the area, the state and the country what a vibrant homebrewing community there is in west Michigan. We feel that this highly visible event will generate a good deal of buzz as we will be inviting the mayor and the city commissioners and will be sending out press releases to the local media. The Great American Beer Trail will also be filming at the event.

We ask that you join us in making The Big Brew at the Calder a huge success.