Out of all the breweries I've yet to visit in Michigan, New Holland was at the top of the list. This past weekend a couple friends and I knocked off two of their three locations. Myself, Tim, & Lucy went on an overnight brew tour. We stopped by The Pub on 8th in Holland and The Knickerbocker in Grand Rapids.
I've been drinking New Holland's beer for years. Most people know their staples... Dragons Milk bourbon barrel aged stout, and now all the different variants they have of it. Mad Hatter, a very underrated IPA. Ichabod Ale pumpkin/yam beer. When you see this on the shelves you know Fall is near. And what "was" my favorite of theirs Pilgrim's Dole. An amazing wheat wine! There are so many others. Too many to list!
After Saturday I now have a new favorite. New Holland brewed a 20th Anniversary Beer. They describe this as a "20% Smooth, Warming, Vanilla Strong Ale aged in rum barrels just shy of a year". I describe this as "a beer that starts out with a taste of booze. Followed by booze. With a very boozy finish". In other words heaven! They only serve this in 8oz pours. Well poor me cause I wanted more! Served cold, but found it to be even better and more flavorful once warmed. Was able to find a bottle of the 20th Anniversary in the Grand Rapids location. It'll never see the inside of my refrigerator.
I'm a huge fan of sour beers so my second choice at the pub was the Sour #2. It's a 4.6%, Pineapple Kettle Sour. I did enjoy it just not as tart as I'd prefer.
This was our first stop of many on the road trip. So after three hours in the car we were all hungry. The menu looked great from top to bottom. Tim and I both chose the Dragon Fire Fried Chicken Sandwich. A fried chicken breast, house dragon fire rub, sweet pickles, & mayonnaise. Of course I added fries which were delish! The sandwich itself was very good. I don't like to sweat from the food I eat. This had just enough fire. Not over whelming at all. Lucy had the Basil BLT, and raved about it.
Normally there would've been a third and forth beer consumed, but we had a long list of stops to cross off the list. We were on a mission!
After a full day of brewery hopping between Holland and Grand Rapids we wanted to make a stop at The Kickerbocker. Opened in 2016, it's New Holland's newest location. They offer onsite brewing, distilling, and a full menu. An amazing two floor restaurant, bar. We only stayed for one beer, (I think I was wearing the Doyles down). I had the Alpha Wine, an 11.4% Barleywine. It's my favorite style of beer and this didn't disappoint.
New Holland also is one of the first distillers in Michigan. The first not connected to a winery, and the oldest small distiller still operating. Check the shelves at your local store for their whiskey, gin, vodka, & rum.
I was impressed with both stops. Each place has a general store so you can buy all your New Holland swag and your beers to go. If you happen to find yourself in Holland or Grand Rapids I highly recommend you stop for a beer and a bite. You won't be disappointed.
RATING, 4.25 PINTS