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So Long 2020! Hello, Brown Eyed Girl!

It has been too long!

As we bring 2020 to a close and start a new Brew schedule, here is a little hint from the brewer himself on the first beer of the 2021 season.

Browned Eyed Girl Clone.

My Brown Eyed Girl.

Back in 2003, I was eight years into my home brewing hobby. I had joined the PTB in 1996 and entered my Southern English Brown into the club competition. I think it took third place. I also entered it into a Homebrew competition at Grand Rapids Brewing Company. Back then, they were still on 28th St. where the Men’s Warehouse now stands. Jon Svoboda was the head Brewer at the time. He and his assistant brewer selected my brew as the winner of their competition! That meant I got to brew it with Jon on their 7bbl Brewhouse. This was my first time brewing on a big system.

I had just started a new job and did not have any vacation days. I talked Jon into brewing on a Saturday. We had to vary from my Homebrew recipe because Belgian Aromatic malt wasn’t in his inventory. My goal for the taste profile was to be malt forward, low chocolate/nutty notes and very low hop profile. I felt that many commercial browns tend to be out of balance toward coffee or roast instead of milder toffee and biscuit. Another part of winning the competition was naming the beer and having a release party at the brewpub. Of course, I wanted to get “Brown Eye” into the name, but not make it too obvious! I pretended the beer was named after the song by Van Morrison, and even put some song lyrics on the table tents.

Fast forward 13 years and Thornapple Brewing Company is conceived! (The only brewery on 28th St) And what is the first beer I brew on my new 7bbl Brewhouse? I used Jon’s scaling factors for adjusting my 5 gallon recipe to 210 gallons and reverted back to my original malt bill using Belgian Aromatic instead of caramel and carafoam malts. Of course, noble hops are always used. My recipe typically calls for Spalt, Hallertau, and/or EKG.

Brown Eyed Girl is now one of our mainstays. It won the Silver Medal at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Denver! Starting December 4, we are releasing a whiskey based on the Brown Eyed Girl grain bill, just in time for stocking stuffers!

-Eric Fouch

A word about the brewmaster. Eric Fouch is not just President Emritus of Primetime Brewers, but also a good friend of the club, and good friend of many of the membership. He served 8 years as President before passing the reigns to President Thunder. He left office to pursue his dream of going pro. In 2017, he and fellow club member Jeff Coffey opened Thornapple Brewing Company. They make all manner of awesome libations from their Brewery/Distillery/Meadery/Winery/Cidery/Restaurant in Cascade Michigan. Go check them out at

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