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, November 26, 2013

Winter Beer Festival Tickets - SOLD OUT

 Check Craigslist for scalpers selling.
 The festival will take place 1-6 p.m. Feb. 22, 2014 at Fifth Third Ballpark.  Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 1, 2013 at the Brewers Guild website only MI Brewers Guild. Price is $45 plus service fees, and designated driver tickets will be available for $5. Each ticket includes 15 drink tokens good for a three-ounce beer sample. You must be 21 and older with valid ID to attend. Michigan Brewers Guild members, or "enthusiasts," can buy a ticket early, via a presale taking place from midnight to 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30. Enthusiasts must have an active membership as of Nov. 1, 2013, and will be able to buy one ticket each during the presale. Price for enthusiasts is also $45, and will be on sale via the Guild site.
There are 6,000 tickets available for Winter Beer Fest. Last year, tickets sold out in 13 hours.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Beer & Sausage Stuffing - Yield: 10 to 14 servings
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ pound spicy Italian sausage, crumbled
2 cups yellow onions, diced
2 cups celery, diced
1 cup leeks, white part only, thoroughly washed and diced
2 cups chicken stock
12 ounces Pale Ale
2 Tbsp fresh sage
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
12 cups bread, diced and toasted to crouton consistency (preferably, a combination of French and rye bread)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add the sausage and sauté until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the onions, celery and leeks and cook until the vegetables are translucent but still have crunch, about 6 minutes.
Add the stock, beer, sage and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Turn off the heat. Strain and reserve the liquid. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread and sautéed ingredients.
Stir in ½ cup of the liquid at a time, combining until the bread is moist but not soggy.
Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
Transfer to the oven and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
Remove cover and bake until the top of the stuffing is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How Many Homebrewers Are Making How Much Homebrew?

According to a recent survey, there are an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States, two-thirds of whom began brewing in 2005 or later.

 Survey results include:
•Demographics: The average homebrewer is 40 years old, with most (60 percent) falling between 30 and 49 years old. The majority of homebrewers are married or in a domestic partnership (78 percent), have a college degree or some form of higher education (69 percent), and are highly affluent-nearly 60 percent of all homebrewers have household incomes of $75,000 or more.
•Location: Homebrewers are fairly evenly spread across the country, with the slight plurality congregated in the West (31 percent), followed by the South (26 percent), Midwest (23 percent) and the fewest in the Northeast (17 percent).
•Production: In terms of brew production, homebrewers mainly stick to beer—60 percent of respondents only brew beer at home, compared to wine, mead or cider. AHA members and people affiliated with the AHA on average brewed nearly 10 batches of beer per year, at 7 gallons a batch, which is 15 percent more batches and nearly 30 percent more volume than homebrewers who were not affiliated with the AHA. Collectively, homebrewers produce more than 2 million barrels of brew a year, which represents a small but sizeable portion (1 percent) of total U.S. production.
•Retail: Nearly all homebrewers (95 percent) shop in two local homebrew stores eight or nine times a year, while a majority (80 percent) also shops in three online stores five times a year. On average, homebrewers spend $800 a year—about $460 on general supplies and ingredients, and $330 on major equipment.
The survey was completed by more than 18,000 homebrewers via an online survey from July 30 to September 3, 2013. Of the respondents, 65 percent were members of the AHA, and 35 percent were unaffiliated homebrewers. AHA

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Founders Brewing Co. Pays Homage To Gerald Ford

By Associated Press, Published: November 4: NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Michigan craft brewery has created a special beer label to commemorate the christening of the USS Gerald R. Ford.

 Founders Brewing Co. said the special label for its pale ale pays homage to the nation’s 38th president, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich.
 Newport News Shipbuilding approached the brewery about creating the label marking the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier’s christening on Saturday. During the week, the special labeled pale ale will be on draft at locations in the Newport News area, along with commemorative postcards. It also will be served at a private christening dinner.
 Brewery co-founder Dave Engbers, who called Ford a hugely important figure in the Grand Rapids community, said the request for the special label was “one of those things that gives you goosebumps.”
 “We make beer. We aren’t in the business of running a nation — nothing near it,” Engbers said. “But we’ve done what we can to build our company on values exemplified by Ford, particularly integrity and authenticity.”
 The Ford is the lead ship in a new class of carriers, which features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement and an enhanced flight deck. special-label

So When Was The First IPA Made?

 by Mitch Steele- The Hop Tripper: One of the many surprising things that my research into historical IPA brewing uncovered was the abundance of American brewers that were brewing IPAs before prohibition. Most of the late 1800s IPA brewing was centered in the Northeast United States, as the Midwest was already becoming the stronghold of many of the German-inspired lager breweries that later dominated the American beer industry for many years.

 These IPA brewers in the Northeast took much of their inspiration from the Burton brewing process, which meant that the beer was brewed with only pale malt, and was aged for an extended period in wood. Wood could be in the form of barrels, or large vats-which was the case with Fiegenspan and Ballantine. Hops were typically American Cluster, and Fuggles and whatever the brewers could get from Europe. Beer clarity was very important, I remember seeing old adverstisements for CH Evans IPA that claimed no sediment, no dregs.
 Peter Egleston, John Thompson, and Dave Yarrington from Smuttynose Brewing Co. helped point me in several directions for my research into the Frank Jones Brewery of Portsmouth New Hampshire, one of the biggest IPA brewers back in the day, and recently Peter sent me this piece from the Greenway Brewing Co., which I found interesting:
 I wasn’t familar with the Greenway Brewing Co. from Syracuse New York, but a quick internet search shows that the brewery was one of the biggest in New York State. Not sure if it was bigger than CH Evans of Albany in their prime. Some really interesting things about this sheet on their IPA:
1. The abv is just a hair over 7% by volume (alcohol by weight x 5/4 = alcohol by volume). 7% was kind of the industry standard for IPA in the 1800s.
2. The final gravity, 1.015 is not that dry, a little sweeter than normal for the times. 1.015 Specific gravity equates to 3.75°P, which is about the upper limit of what I’d recommend in an IPA. Some of the English and Scottish versions from the same time period finished as dry as 1.0-1.5 °P.
3. The health claims are not unusual for the times either. In England, IPA was recommended frequently by physicians for those with stomach or sleep ailments. And one can see similar recommendations in the US.
When I was learning about pre-prohibition IPAs brewed in the United States, I focused most of my research on CH Evans from Albany NY, Frank Jones in Portsmouth, Fiegenspan and Ballantine in Newark. But it’s interesting that I was able to find IPA brewing references from many other breweries in that area, though I didn’t have time to research these other breweries as much as I would have liked to.
 Regarding the Frank Jones Brewery, the buildings of the old Frank Jones Brewery still stand in Portsmouth NH.