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Rubber Chicken May/June 2024

Lager: The Misunderstood Beer!

My Experience

The Not So Craft Beer that is a Craft Beer.  This style was not available to me when I first started and at first that was fine with me.  As I’ve been exposed to more beer styles, I’ve realized that Lagering is a great tool to make many styles I’ve grown to love. 

Those new to Lagering have some advantageous I didn’t have just a few years ago.  New yeast is available that can lager at higher temperatures.  Some like NovaLager give you flavors that are characteristics of traditional lagers.  Kviek yeast can give you a clean flavor that is lager like but is almost too clean.

This past summer I lagered a few beers using my garage as a fridge.  I used a Tilt to monitor temperatures and had the enjoyment of moving it from the garage to the house to try and keep it around 52 degrees Fahrenheit.  The first attempts did not go well.  The directions I followed didn’t have me do a diacetyl rest (warming the beer up a bit before cold conditioning).  My lager ended up being closer to a Cream Ale.  The other beers finished well but not exactly to the style the recipe was predicting.  I also redid my International Lager and so far, it is tasting more like a lager and make sure I did the diacetyl rest.  I’m carbonating it right now and hope to tap it and bottle for this month’s competition.

I was able to get minifridge and have a Inkbird and plan on using this set up for future.  I’m excited to be able to control the temperature of fermentation and use my Keezer for cold conditioning. I just need to plan it out on my calendar.

Bill Smith

2. International Lager

May Beer Style

BJCP Guidelines:

International lagers are the premium, industrial, mass-market lagers produced in most countries in the world. Whether developed from American or European styles, they all tend to have a fairly uniform character and are heavily marketed. Loosely derived from original Pilsner-type lagers, with colored variations having additional malt flavors while retaining a broad appeal. In many countries, the styles will be referred to by their local country names. The use of the term “international” doesn’t mean that any beers are actually labeled as such, but is more of a categorization of similar beers produced worldwide.

2A. Pale Lager

2B. Amber Lager

2C. Dark Lager

President’s Letter, June 2024

There’s a lot coming up, so I thought it’s about time I put pen to paper - or hit the keys anyway. I’ll start with UPCOMING EVENTS, in chronological order, so pull out your calendar.


Eric Fouch is now the ‘sole’ owner of Thornapple Brewing on 28th St and he’s kindly agreed to host our annual Food & Beer Pairing meeting on Wednesday, June 19. For those not familiar, this is a potluck type evening where competitors bring a food item to share - hot or cold - and a home-brewed beer to go with it, any style. You MUST make both yourself and they must have some common element or historical connection. Judging will be in a ‘beauty contest’ type, where everyone gets to vote for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd favorite pairing. Bring your best at 6:00 pm, and an extension cord if it’s a hot dish.


On Thursday, June 19 at 5:30 pm everyone is welcome at Trailpoint Brewing on Lake Michigan Avenue to share brews from ‘Big Brew Day’, which took place on ‘May the Fourth’ - hence the ‘Jabba The Wit’ recipe by Drew Thiel, a hoppy Wit with lime zest and coriander, or amended as brewers wished. All are welcome whether you brewed at Big Brew Day or not, but if you did, please bring a growler to share!


Saturday, June 22 sees a PrimeTime Club Brew Day at Ric Brown’s house, 3468 Drew Ct, Hudsonville,, MI 49426. Show up at 10:00 am with your brewing equipment and ingredients or just come to hang out. Ric is making pulled pork, so something to go along with that would be welcome.


With July 4th falling on a Thursday our next Thirsty Thursday meeting has been pushed forward a week to July 11. Meet at Linus DePaoli’s 3 Gatos Brewery on 44th and Burlingame at 6:00 pm for your first beer on the club - or later if you’d prefer buy your own! Linus has built a reputation for really solid beer and great food, and he’s a wonderful host.

Shortly thereafter comes our regular monthly meeting on Wednesday July 17, tentatively at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery in Ada. Watch the website for confirmation of this and have your Kentucky Common ready!


August 3rd sees Rivertown Brewers hosting a ‘Celebration of Westside Homebrewing’ at Dwight Lydell Park, 4040 Leland Ave NE, Comstock Park, M 49321. Other clubs are invited to bring jockey boxes, kegs, bottles etc. Rivertown are hoping to make this an annual affair - good for them. Please have a brew ready to bring in a keg; let’s show what PrimeTime can do. Speaking for myself, I’m really BUMMED to miss this, as I’ll be out of the country, so will someone please volunteer to collect PrimeTime's pop-up tent, bar set-up and jockey box from my house (3288 Brookhollow Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341), by July 26 latest, take it to Dwight Lydell Park for the party and look after it afterwards? There are plenty of club members who know the ropes for setting it up, so don’t worry about that if you’re not familiar with it. Please text me at 616-970-1404 or e-mail if you can do this.


We’ve discussed the Michigan Homebrew Festival, August 16-18 at Camp Agawam in Lake Orion and it’s time to cut bait and get this rolling. For those not aware it’s a camping weekend at a one-time scout camp, a brilliant spot to share stories, food, music and homebrews with 15 or so other Michigan clubs. It’s also the venue for the Michigan Beer Cup awards and prizegiving. For PrimeTime, Mies Martin and Bill Smith have agreed to co-chair an organizing committee, Dave Kilgore is joining that, and a couple of Rivertowners, Matt Bair and Mark Hoffman, are going to hang with us. Yours truly is again really BUMMED to miss this as I have a family vacation commitment. Very bad timing on my part, so again, will someone please volunteer to collect the club tent, bar and jockey box, take them there - and bring them back. Or maybe a really generous person would do that for both this and the party in Comstock Park?? :)

Incidentally the Michigan Beer Cup has reached its entry limit of 500 entries, with 236 participants, judges and stewards. That’s impressive. A reminder that entries are due at Siciliano’s by June 22 latest. Don’t be late! Judging is July 20 in Kalamazoo and I think five or six PTB members will be involved in that.


Your President will host a Club ‘Harvest’ Brew Day on Saturday September 14, 9:00 am at 3288 Brookhollow Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341. I always brew a Harvest APA with fresh hops picked right off the bine and chucked into the kettle, and I expect to have plenty of Chinook and Cascade to share, also some Mt Hood and Teamaker, so come and brew with me!


Staying in planning mode, our annual Christmas Party last year was a rocking success at Siciliano’s ‘Halfway House’ at 17 Seward Avenue, and I’m hoping we can hold it there again, BUT while Dan Sipka was really helpful it’s not entirely his call and I think we should look around for other options just in case. Does anyone have any ideas for a venue where we can bring in food and beer, with room for 20-40 people, enough tables and chairs that we can rearrange, including for donated swag for the auction, and ideally free, though that doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker. Send any ideas to me please.




Sadly, Brewery Nyx has closed since we had our meeting there on April 17. Chris Klapwik very kindly hosted us despite the imminent disruption to his livelihood. If you come across him, please thank him and buy him a beer; he’s a champion.


Many thanks to Joel Bierling for hosting us at Bier Distillery for Thirsty Thursday on May 2, to Boyd Culver at Coldbreak likewise for our regular meeting on May 15, where we had an excellent selection of International Lagers to judge (the judging was a bit slow!), and to Matt Szukalowski, Dave Sawyer and Mike Tremper at Adesanya Mead & Microbrewery for our Thirsty Thursday and their Trivia Night (we were sooo close!), on June 6. Matt is taking an ownership stake and there look to be exciting things ahead as they plan to expand operations. Sawyer also has some interesting ideas for a competition in due course.


The 2024 Beer City Brewers Guild ProAm Competition is in full swing. Pairings were established by random draft at Archival Brewing on May 19, beers are supposed to be finished and released the week of September 15, judging is September 21 (I think), and the Beers At The Calder Festival when they’ll all be on tap and the winner announced is set for Saturday September 28 at Calder Plaza in downtown GR. PrimeTime participants are:

Bill Smith - Founders Brewing

Greg Sanial - Brewery Vivant

Chad Banks - Thornapple Brewing

Matt Mead - Gravel Bottom Craft brewery

Ian Purvis - Rockford Brewing

Frank Zamarripa - with Ramsey Louder, ex GRBC

Mies has asked that each of us keep some notes and write a summary - or article! - on our ProAm experience, so watch this apace and the website for more on that. To conclude, here’s yours truly in a planning session with Jeff Sheehan at Rockford Brewing!

Cheers everyone,

Ian Purvis


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