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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Old Wood Or New Wood?

 If it isn't fermented in Tennessee from mash of at least 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, it isn't Tennessee whiskey. So says a year-old law that resembles almost to the letter the process used to make Jack Daniel's, the world's best-known Tennessee whiskey.
 Now state lawmakers are considering dialing back some of those requirements that they say make it too difficult for craft distilleries to market their spirits as Tennessee whiskey, a distinctive and popular draw in the booming American liquor business.
 But the people behind Jack Daniel's see the hand of a bigger competitor at work — Diageo PLC, the British conglomerate that owns George Dickel, another Tennessee whiskey made about 15 miles up the road.
 "It's really more to weaken a title on a label that we've worked very hard for," said Jeff Arnett, the master distiller at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. "As a state, I don't think Tennessee should be bashful about being protective of Tennessee whiskey over say bourbon or scotch or any of the other products that we compete with."
 Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson emphasized that his bill wouldn't do away with last year's law enacted largely on the behest of Jack Daniel's corporate parent, Louisville, Ky.,-based Brown-Forman Corp. The principal change would be to allow Tennessee whiskey makers to reuse barrels, which he said would present considerable savings over new ones that can cost $600 each... more abcnews.jack-daniels

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Best States For Beer Lovers

The_Motley_Fool -  Americans love their beer. At least two-thirds of the United States' adult population enjoys and occasional drink, and more of them (39%) prefer to reach for a cold one than will pop open a bottle of wine (35%) or pour out a shot or two of liquor (22%). Among developed nations, only Australians, Canadians, the Irish, and the Germans quaff more brew per person each year than Americans, and given these nations' beer-loving reputations, that shouldn't be much of a surprise.

But some Americans like beer more than others, and some American states are quite a bit fonder of their brew than the rest. With the help of data collected by Bloomberg, the Tax Foundation, and Wisconsin's Capital Times, I've put together a complete list of all 50 states, ranked by the sort of factors that indicate the presence of beer-lovers -- per-capita beer consumption rates, breweries and bars per 100,000 people, and the taxes each state imposes on each gallon of beer. Using a proprietary algorithm that takes each category into account, I've ranked every state (and Washington, D.C.), and you'll see the fill list at the end of this article. First, let's look at which states topped each category, and why that did (or didn't) boost its final score enough to crack the top ranks. More... the-best-us-states-for-beer-lovers

New Holland Wins Gold For Craft Spirits

by grbj  A company that earned its name for beer is receiving national recognition for its craft spirits. New Holland Artisan Spirits took home three medals at the American Craft Distillers Awards in Denver last week.
 New Holland Brewing Co. started its distillery program in 2005. "It was great to be in Denver with so many craft distillers," said Joel Armato, New Holland Brewing, beer and spirits sales manager. "We're thrilled to see our spirits get such tremendous recognition from a peer-based judging and amongst such great company." More... brewery-wins-gold-for-craft-spirits

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Know Your Cup Size.

espn - BOISE, Idaho -- A handful of Idaho hockey fans sued a Boise arena on Tuesday, saying they were duped into thinking a $7 beer contains more brew than a $4 beer.

 The lawsuit says CenturyLink Arena, home of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team, defrauded customers by charging $3 more for a tall, narrow cup advertised as a "large" that actually holds the same amount of beer as the shorter, wider cup described as a "small." The Steelheads are affiliated with the Dallas Stars. Arena spokesman Mike Campbell said he hadn't yet seen the lawsuit and can't comment.
 Four fans filed the suit Tuesday in Boise's 4th District Court against Block 22 LLC, which does business as CenturyLink Arena. Brady Peck, Michele Bonds and William and Brittany Graham are seeking $10,000 in damages.
 In the lawsuit, Peck says he's attended at least 30 events over the past three years at the arena, including a hockey game on March 5, and that he's purchased beer each time. The other three plaintiffs say they have been attending sporting events at the venue for five years and that they bought at least one large $7 beer at each event.
 "While different shapes, both cup sizes hold substantially the same amount of liquid and are not large versus small in actual capacity," the group's attorney, Wyatt Johnson, wrote in the lawsuit. "Defendants knowingly sold each of their beers in a similar manner at each event held at the arena where beer was sold for at least the last five years."
 The lawsuit came just two days after another hockey fan posted a video on YouTube of what the fan said was a beer purchased at CenturyLink Arena on March 8. That video shows a patron holding a large cup of beer and pouring it into an empty small cup. In both cups, the beer reaches nearly to the brim.
 Gwen Gibbs, who posted the video, told the Idaho Statesman that she was annoyed when she saw her boyfriend, Heath Forsey, pour the large beer into the smaller cup and so decided to upload the video. CenturyLink officials announced a short time later that the company would purchase new cups for the large beers that would hold 24 ounces instead of the previous 20 ounces for a bigger difference in size.
 At the time, Eric Trapp, the president of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team and CenturyLink Arena, wrote on the team's Facebook page that the company had ordered 16-ounce and 20-ounce cups and never intended to mislead customers.
 "It's amazing what can be done with one little video and the power of social media," Gibbs told the newspaper, joking that she hoped CenturyLink would rename the 24-ounce cups the "Heath and Gwen size."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Michigan Micro Caps app

 Enjoy our latest app which combines an addictive casual game with a full index of craft breweries. The app is a mobile game and brewery directory for all of the open (and coming soon) breweries in the state. Check it out! micro_caps

Freshness of Craft Beer

 by_J.Vorel_ As the craft beer market continues to expand and the number of brands on the shelves continues to rise exponentially, one of the most overlooked issues generated by that growth tends to be freshness of the product. It's become the white elephant of beer retail: A lot of the product is way past freshness, and in some cases there's not even any way for the consumer to tell.
 This is one of the nicer things about having a new package store open in your town. At a newer store, you're going to be much less likely to see old product clogging up the shelves. But as more time goes by, you have to keep your eyes open. Case in point: I was browsing the large format bottles section for new releases. As I looked through a number of 22-ounce beer bottles, I was shocked by the freshness dates I was seeing. Six months or a year old is bad enough, but there were IPAs sitting on that shelf that were brewed in 2011, and others made in 2012. They were easily the oldest IPAs I've ever seen that were still being offered for sale. They weren't even discounted, or placed in the display for old or out-of-season beers.
 Bear in mind, these are mostly products designed to be consumed within a few months of their arrival. The reason for hop-forward beer in particular has to do with oxidation and the gradual breakdown of delicate aroma and flavor components derived from hops. In general, hoppy beer degrades faster than other varieties in its overall flavor profile, losing a lot of its freshness and signature characteristics within a few months. As the months stretch on after that, negative “off-flavors” tend to emerge, which often range from “cardboard” to “skunk” or Robitussin-like medicinal flavors. All of these processes are accelerated by several things they're regularly exposed to in stores, including room-temperature storage and fluorescent lighting.
 So why does beer end up on shelves past freshness? Unfortunately, it's a byproduct of craft beer's great success. As more and more breweries are opened and the shelves are crowded with new product, even longtime favorites can get edged out by the new guy in town. Minimum order sizes from distributors are also a factor, and possibly an unrealistic one. After all, the more breweries there are for a retailer to stock, the less beer from each individual one they can probably buy, right? Being handcuffed to a minimum order is something retailers no doubt regret once they're sitting on a few cases of past-fresh IPA.
 What this means for us, the consumers, is that it's now more important than ever to pay attention to beer freshness dating. Many breweries now include this information somewhere on the label, cap or the bottle itself, but the lack of industry standardization can be very frustrating. Some have steadfastly resisted printing “born on” or “drink by” dates, making it impossible to know how old the product is, or hide the date in coded numbers that only the distributor can deduce. Others have gone in the exact opposite direction, raising awareness of the issue with products which are specifically designed to be consumed by a set date. It also makes it quite obvious when a past-date “Enjoy By” bottle is sitting on the shelf, and I wish I could say that was only a hypothetical, but I've physically seen that happen as well.
 What this also means for consumers is that we all need to be a little more proactive in requesting fresh beer and pointing out stuff that is past its prime. If you see a hop-forward beer that is a year old sitting on shelves, tell someone at the store. If an IPA doesn't have any kind of freshness dating at all and you don't know how long it's been there, ask someone at the store if they know. They'll more than likely be able to give you that information or look it up. And if it seems clear that the retailer isn't committed to cycling out the past-fresh product, there is one last place you can take that information: To the breweries themselves. Craft brewers hate to hear stories about their past-fresh product still being in circulation because it's inherently bad for their business. A brewery stands to lose a customer immediately if someone buys their three-year-old IPA and turns up his nose at a stale or gross-tasting product. Contacting someone at the brewery can send a ripple effect through the distributor and all the way back to the retailer.
 As even more breweries expand distribution into your market, this issue will only become more prevalent. Please join in pushing for the freshest possible product. Good beer is worth searching through a few best-by dates.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cook for St Patrick's Day

Stout Corned Beef and Veggies (Slow Cooker )
Makes 16 servings
 1 1/2 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
 1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket
 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
 1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
 2 large sweet onions, chopped
 6 large carrots, chopped
 3 red potatoes, cut into chunks

Pour 1 bottle Irish stout beer into a slow cooker.
Rinse corned beef brisket and pat dry. Rub with brown sugar, including the bottom, and gently place brisket into the slow cooker with the stout beer.
Arrange sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, carrots, and red potatoes on and around the brisket in the slow cooker.
Pour remaining 1/2 bottle Irish stout beer on and around brisket and vegetables to moisten the brown sugar. Cover the cooker and cook on Low until corned beef is tender, 6 to 8 hours. Allow brisket to stand 5 minutes before slicing.