Who is PrimeTime Brewers?
The mists of time shroud many of the details, but according to the team of club historians, PTB goes back to the late 70's. Originally, this loosely associated group of homebrewers would sporadically meet to share beers and generally try to get others to drink their garbage. Eventually, they organized into a club called BOZO, Brewers Of Zymological Oddities. This group was little more than a drinking group that would meet in people's houses.
As they honed their craft, the membership decided is was time to become more organized. Larry Simonson dreamed up the name Primetime and became the first president of the newly reformed club. This club had bylaws, officers, and, in 1994, registered with the AHA as an official club. This was the first officially registered club in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Many of these founding fathers are still active in PTB to this day. During these times the club met in the real Estate Office of a member. Larry Bell would come and share recipe ideas and discuss technique.
After Larry came president John Applegarth. He, Jeff Carlson, and Dan Humphries were an unstoppable force in the homebrew competition circuit. Jeff has gone on to be 5 time National Cidermaker, and all three gentlemen have more medals on their walls than can be counted. Jeff eventually took over the presidential duties and ushered the club into a tremendous growth phase. As the Grand Rapids beer community grew, PTB went right along with it. Many of the members will tell you about when they would bottle beer at Founders with Engbers and Stevens for a couple cases of beer, or take extra wort home. Primetime maintains more connections and alumni in the Michigan professional beer scene that any other club. Beer City wouldn't be the same without PTB, and PTB wouldn't be the same without Beer City.
Eric Fouch took the reigns from Jeff in 2009. Under Eric's leadership, the club continued to grow in size and reputation. Under the guidance of Eric and Jeff, the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition was born from a club competition. The GLINTCAP has since spun off as a separate entity and is the world's largest Cider and Perry Competition. The club is still very involved in this competition which is held every Spring right here in Grand Rapids, MI. In 2017, Eric, like so many of our members, went Pro. You can find the current Club President Emeritus slinging beers, ciders, meads, and spirits at his very own Thornapple Brewing Co. In 2017, because of his progression, he left the reigns to the current President, Jeremy Gavin. Mr. Gavin, or Dick Thunder as he is known by many in the industry, is a preeminent alcohol attorney in Michigan and passionate about the craft and the community. Let's see if he can live up to the reputation of his predecessors.
These generations of brewers have created a club that is known for experience, skills, and community. PTB has members of all skill level. We have members that are on their 1st batch, members that have been brewing for decades, and members that are professionals.
We have many events and social outings on the club calendar. We meet at 7pm every 3rd Wednesday at a rotating location throughout the year. Each regular meeting is preceded by a monthly predetermined club style competition. The winners gain points thoughout the year to be named "Brewer of the Year" at our annual Christmas party and charity auction. We also meet every 1st Thursday at a rotating sponsor brewery for a Thursdy Thirstday happy hour style meeting. Members enjoy discounts, perks, and special treatment at each TT.
You do not need to be a member to attend any of our meetings or outings. We want everyone to come and meet the crew and make some friends. Homebrew is always welcome at our meetings. Commersh is allowed if we are not meeting at a MLCC licensed location. Check out our Facebook page for up to date happenings and discussions. Also, feel free to synch with our calendar so you don't miss a thing.