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, September 15, 2016

Brewers Demand Drives Diversity Of New Hop Varieties

 emalt- In brewing, hops make the world go around and the fate of that world depends on what happens in the hops fields of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
 Happily, 2016 has been a good year for hops growers,
 The United States Department of Agriculture forecasts this year’s production to be about 91 million pounds, an increase of 16 percent from last year. Overall, total planted hop acreage has been steadily rising in recent years into record numbers.
 The total numbers are only part of the story, because there are really two sides of the market for hops.
 The big guys, such as AB InBev and other large corporate producers, prefer varieties that add bitterness but not any particular flavor or aroma.
 And since they buy a lot of hops for their mass production, their needs drove the hops market. Until recently, this kind of production was the most stable market for growers, so these varieties took priority over hops bred for their aroma.
 But craft beer makers want hops that add bitterness, aroma and complex flavors. Now, there are enough craft brewers who want aroma hops and other experimental varieties so hops growers feel confident that they have a steady market for them.
 This is a major relief for small and newly established breweries that don’t have bulk purchasing power or long-term contracts for their hops supplies.
 And it’s great news for beer drinkers.
 The increased production of new hops varieties has let brewers expand the diversity of flavors in their hoppy beers.
 There are many India Pale Ales coming out showcasing particular types of hops.
 One currently popular variety, Mosaic, released in 2012, is featured in Founders Mosaic Promise and Prairie Funky Gold Mosaic. It adds a complex assortment of flavors (a mosaic, if you will) reminiscent of grass and fruits like tangerines and berries.
 An interesting case of an almost extinct variety of hops making a comeback is Comet. It was bred in 1974 for bittering, but was abandoned in the early ’80s as other hops surpassed its bittering potential.
 Now, it’s being rediscovered for its interesting aroma, which is a mixture of citrus fruit and grass. In some ways, it is reminiscent of wild hops that grow in the western part of the United States.
 Soon, we probably will see some Comet IPAs showing up in stores and bars soon.
 Thanks to the desire of brewers to experiment, hops growers have of late been releasing small quantities of experimental hops varieties onto the market to gauge brewer interest.
 Some will disappear again never to be heard from — sometimes for good reason — but others will probably go on to be the next hot variety of hops.

Hop Farming Interest Grows Outside of N.W.

 emalt - Americans' growing thirst for bitter, flavor-packed styles of beer has brought an unprecedented demand for hops, so growers are looking to new places to harvest its flowers.
 Hops are used to provide bitterness, aroma and flavor to beer. It the U.S., the vast majority are grown in Washington state, with significant numbers grown in Oregon and Idaho. But hop growers in states like Michigan, New York and Maine, where Geoff Keating runs the Hop Yard farm in Gorham and Fort Fairfield, are starting to ramp up production.
 The demand for hops is high, in part, because of America's obsession with India pale ales, which use large amounts of hops to create flavors and aromas that recall fruit and pine. Total U.S. hop acreage grew by almost 20 percent to more than 53,000 acres this year, according to the Hop Growers of America. And brewers still often gripe about shortages of some hop varieties.
 In the U.S., the amount of acreage outside of the Pacific Northwest states grew from less than 900 in 2014 to more than 1,200 last year to nearly 2,100 this year, the growers association noted. Michigan's acreage doubled to 650 this year, and Wisconsin's grew by nearly 75 percent to almost 300 acres.
 "We are certainly getting a lot of calls from people saying they would like to be hop growers," said Jaki Brophy, spokeswoman for the growers association. "There has been an interest in growing outside of the Pacific Northwest."
 Prices for hops have also been high in recent years, even as the total amount of hop acreage and pounds of hops produced hits record highs. The price of hops can vary widely based on the variety — there are hundreds, some of which are proprietary — but the average price of U.S. hops rose from $3.67 to $4.38 per pound last year.
 The availability of hops can be a concern for brewers, especially those who trade in hoppy beer, and local growing can help make a difference, said Tim Adams, brewmaster of Oxbow Beer, in Portland, Maine.
 "The collective palate of the world is way into very hoppy beers — IPAs and double IPA," Adams said. "It's a naturally limited resource and demand seems to be increasing at a rate that is much greater than supply."
 The production outside of the Pacific Northwest hasn't yet reached the level where it can make a dramatic impact on the national hop trade. And big brewers like Anheuser-Busch, which are the rival of craft beer and take up much more of the U.S. beer market, are potentially less impacted by fluctuations in the availability of hops.
 Anheuser-Busch also operates its own hop farms, in the U.S., Germany and Argentina. The growth of hops in places like Michigan and Maine is unlikely to affect the company or other beer giants.
 But Bart Watson, chief economist with the Brewers Association, which represents 3,200 beer makers from bucket brewing operations to regional players, said the spread of hops around the country reflects a growing interest in locally sourced beer. He expects the trend to continue.
 Pat Tiernan, chief operating office of Escondido, Calif.-based Stone Brewing Company, said it's possible that hops grown outside of traditional areas might impart a slightly different flavor or aroma. He said players in craft beer are watching.