Sunday, October 16, 2016

Northern Brewer sells out to Anheuser-Busch InBev

Roseville-based Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply, the largest homebrewing supplier in the country, and its sister company Midwest Supplies have been acquired by a venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The company released a statement from their Global VP of Homebrewing, Cassiano Hissnauer:

“ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s disruptive growth organization, is pleased to share we have partnered with Northern Brewer. The team there shares our passion for brewing and commitment to the best ingredients. Northern Brewer has been a leader in homebrewing for more than 20 years, and has built an extraordinary network and community of homebrewers. ZX Ventures is excited to enter the homebrew space to help Northern Brewer to grow.”

Northern Brewer’s Todd Jackson released this statement to The Growler:

"We have seen tremendous growth in homebrewing in the nearly 25 years since Chris Farley founded Northern Brewing. Our community continues to expand as does the diversity of quality ingredients and equipment available. While Northern’s family has widened exponentially since 1993, we have never lost our identity. Our employees and managers come to work every day with a commitment to be the best in the industry. Period. Someday we want homebrewing to be as common a household craft in America as gardening or cooking. But we know we won’t get there through complacency.

So we have been acquired by ZX Ventures, the disruptive growth unit of AB InBev, to help take our company and our passion for brewing great beer to the next level. I want to be clear about what this means for Northern Brewer. Nothing will fundamentally change in as the result of this deal—in fact, things will only get better. Northern’s leadership team will remain in charge and the company will continue to be independent. Our staff of dedicated employees will continue to serve and help our industry innovate. Our culture will remain as it is today: vibrant, energetic, fair and dedicated to our mission and our customers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Northern Brewer Founder Chris Farley has since issued a formal statement about the sale.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The MOB BATCH Challenge


In honor of KBS week and all things barrel-aged, we are introducing the MOB’s inaugural Barrel Aged Team CHallenge.

Contests are a fun way to collaborate and push ourselves to be better brewers.
The MOB’s BATCH should also be great way to promote our club around the area.
•    Teams to consist of at least 3 members, with a mix of experienced and new brewers.
•    Wood-aged with chips, staves, spirals or in barrels.
•    Open to ANY style, but detailed descriptors required.
•    Batches to be at least 5 gallons with 2 unmarked bottles available for judging.
•    Teams can brew multiple batches but only one entered in the contest.

Blind judging is tentatively set for August 2 at our MOB meeting, by a panel of local professional brewers.

The winning team receives a traveling trophy with the team members names etched in AND a chance to brew it at a local brewery. The MOB will promote the release with a tapping party when ready.

Get your teams together.
Appoint a captain.
Pick out a name (Every team needs a name, right?).
Develop a recipe, and
Brew a BATCH of beer.

Monday, March 2, 2015

12th Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Contest

This is a second call for judges and stewards for the 12th Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Contest, west Michigan’s premier homebrew competition and a BJCP sanctioned event.

The pertinent information regarding the competition is listed below and can also be found on the competition web site ( under “Volunteer Info”. If you plan on participating in the competition as a judge or steward but have not yet registered please take a minute and do so as this facilitates planning and enables the competition staff to be better organized on the day of the event.

The following is the pertinent information regarding the judging for the 2015 Siciliano's competition:

Date: Saturday, April 25th
Location: The Guest House, 638 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Check in for judges & stewards: 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Judging: 11:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Best-of-Show judging: 3:30 p.m.
Competition organizer: Steve Siciliano,, 616-453-9674

Coffee and pastries will be provided in the morning and there will be a lunch and liquid refreshments at the conclusion of the judging.

Please ensure that you arrive at the judging venue by 10:30 a.m. so that the competition staff can organize flights and complete table assignments by the 11:15 judging start time. If you are en route to the venue and get delayed, please call 616-490-0524 and you will be assigned to a table.

Best regards,

Steve Siciliano

Monday, February 23, 2015

12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Contest

It's that time of year again, fire up your systems and get your brew on! The 12th Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Contest has been announced. There is a limit of 250 entries this year so there's no excuse for missing this one. It's time for another Mobster to get their name on this cup!

General registration for the competition will open this year on Monday, March 9, at 8 a.m. and will close Sunday, April 12, at 10 p.m. Complete competition details as well as bottle label printing can be found on the competition site. Please note that the registration for judging and stewarding is open now. Anyone who is interested in volunteering as a judge or a steward for the competition can find pertinent information under Volunteer Info.

The 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party is returning to the popular Johnson Park on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Tickets will be $40.00 per person and will go on sale Monday, March 23. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Big Brew Day at the Calder Plaza

On Saturday, May 2, 2015 Siciliano’s Market will once again be sponsoring an American Homebrewers Association Big Brew Day at the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids.

As the sponsor for the Big Brew at the Calder, Siciliano’s Market will be donating and providing the following:

  • The ingredients for forty-eight all grain batches of Calder Red Ale.
  • Bottled water for brewing. 
  • A chilling station capable of simultaneously cooling six kettles of wort.
  • Platform hand carts for moving brewing equipment to and from vehicles and transporting kettles of wort to and from the chilling station. 
If you are interested in being the captain of a team or participating on a team, click here for more information.

Friday, February 20, 2015

10th Annual Winter Beer Festival

Fifth Third Ball Park, Comstock Park (just north of Grand Rapids)

Friday, February 27 (3pm to 7pm) TICKETS ON SALE NOW
& Saturday, February 28, 2015 (1pm to 6pm) SOLD OUT!

Tickets: $45 in advance, $50 at gate if available (Saturday is SOLD OUT)

About the Event:

The 2015 Winter Beer Festival featured more than 100 Michigan breweries and over 1000 different craft beers. Guests will enjoy fine music from local bands and other fun entertainment to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this popular event. A selection of tasty food will be available for purchase at the festival.

2015 Winter Beer Festival - Beer List

The Michigan Brewers Guild is happy to be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Winter Beer Festival  in Grand Rapids. And as fate would have it, just as the festival turns 10 we're also hitting a couple other milestones - this will be our first event to feature more than 100 Michigan breweries, and our first event to offer over 1,000 craft beers (103 and 1,035 respectively, for those of you who are curious). All the more reason to celebrate!

Michigan Craft Beer Crawl

The 1st Annual Michigan Craft Beer Crawl is happening in downtown Grand Haven on Saturday, February 21st, from 2 - 9pm. Nine craft breweries from around Michigan will be offering thier beers at nine different restaurants in Grand Haven.

Here's the pairings:

  • Founders Brewing at the Kirby House
  • Right Brain at Porto Bello
  • Latitude 42 at Joe's Wooden Nickel
  • Bell's Brewery at the DeeLite
  • Brewery Vivant at The Theater Bar
  • Blackrocks Brewery at The Pavillion
  • Arbor Brewing at Tip-A-Few
  • Pigeon Hill at 22 Below
  • Dark Horse Brewing Co. at Snug Harbor
I know it's cold outside but it's time to suck it up and get out there. This should be an excellent event and I hope to see you there.