Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brewery Review: New Holland Brewery (and Artisan Distillery)


I visited the New Holland Brewery pub on Thursday, July 30 2009. I am sad that I visited too late at night to take a tour of the brewery. The cost for tours is $5 per person.

The pub at the New Holland Brewery is very artistic. In line with the typical downtown Holland architecture, the pub has a tin ceiling. They use their tap handles as art on the walls. And it is clear they have become a big part of the culture of downtown Holland with esoteric trophies and homages to life in Holland. The lighting in the pub is adequate, no one is left in the dark, but the lighting is very strategic to make the bar feel like a ‘hole in the wall’. My only complaint as far as d├ęcor and architecture in the bar is that the bar is very tall, and the stools are very short. For anyone who is not very tall and Dutch, this can be a bit uncomfortable. But since I understand that their average patron is Dutch, and larger than the average American, this is excused.

New Holland Brewery pub has a very large selection of beer on tap; 12 beers, plus a selection of hopwines, wheatwines and ciders. Sizes of beer offered are 10 oz, 16oz, 20 oz, pitcher and boot. You can also buy 6-packs, gift packs, growlers and kegs of their beer and take it home. Their beers are offered in a variety of stores. I can always find Mad Hatter and Sundog at my local Meijer. Sometimes I can also find The Poet stout and their seasonal beer. Their summer seasonal is called Zoomer. It was not available on tap the night I visited the pub. My drinking partner Andrew is quoted as saying “They have good brand cultivation.” And he mentioned that the beer is “exceptional.”

This brewery has also ventured into artisan distilling. They offer at the pub 8+ artisan liquors including: vodka, gin, white rum, dark rum and whiskey. These are offered for sale to take-home. Due to Michigan state law, these liquors are not available yet for off-site purchase. On top of these, they make liqueur infusions at the bar from farmer’s market finds. I was fortunate enough to try a cucumber-infused gin. I had it as part of a cocktail made with lemonade. I highly recommend it! It was as refreshing as a cold salad on a hot summer day.

The prices are fairly typical of a bar. Drafts range from $4-$6.50, 6-packs are around $9. Flights of 6 beers are available and prices vary depending on selection. Distilled liquor starts at $4.50 for a shot, and prices go up depending of the drink. Their signature cocktails are $6 each (which includes the farmer’s market infusions). Their whiskey is a bit more expensive. Bottles of liquor may be bought for $30-$60 depending on their flavor.

If all this isn’t enough, they have a mug club. For a small fee they will give you your own engraved 10 oz mug. Every time you visit, you will be able to drink your beer from your very own custom mug.

On the food side, a full menu is offered, and they bake their own bread. I would go just for the fresh-baked bread. Delicious!

I am definitely going to revisit the New Holland Brewery pub.

-Sandy

Photos courtesy of E. Ogle

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