HOLLAND, Mich. (March 23, 2014) – Homebrewers say with 60 different types of grain and yeast to choose from, and 100 kinds of hops, beer has never tasted better in West Michigan.
“There’s no greater time to be a beer drinker in the history of the world than right now, and right here, in West Michigan,” said Brett VanderKamp, founder of New Holland Brewing Company.
On Sunday, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) hosted a rally for members at the New Holland Brewing Company, where amateur and professional brewers networked and shared their latest craft to help grow the community.
“The situations you find yourself in when you’re drinking a craft beer or a home brew, whether it be a birthday, a wedding, or at the pub, there’s that happy, joyful experience and people love doing that,” said Steve Parr, AHA business coordinator.
Sharing brewers say, is the backbone of the homebrew community, and even the link between generations. Chris Frey says he’s crafted 400 batches of beer, but it wasn’t until he was well into his hobby that he discovered his great-grandfather started a brewery in Grand Rapids after emigrating from Germany in the 1800’s.
“C Frey and Brothers was one of five German lager brewers from the 1860’s to the 1890’s. They thrived until the new kid on the block, from St. Louis, started bringing in the refrigerated train cars full of his beer,” said Frey.
The AHA says the history of craft beer is only getting richer in West Michigan, and because of that, the 36th national AHA Homebrew Conference will be held in Grand Rapids this June.
“The economic impact will be big and the energy that it’s going to bring to our region for craft beer in general is going to be huge,” said VanderKamp.
Local homebrewers are a community expanding their palate in West Michigan.