When you live in West Michigan, you can’t get too far without coming across something touched or inspired by the Dutch culture. With the Mitten State already making its mark in the beer industry, it is no surprise that the Dutch and beer cultures collide in Spring Lake. Located directly across from Vander Mill Cider Mill and Winery, Dutch Girl Brewery (DGB) opens its doors with culture, vibrancy and smiles.
Saturday marked the first day Luke and Kelly Finchem, owners of DGB, got to share their brews with the public and embark on their journey in the brewery industry. The beers they shared with guests were as creative in name as they were delighting to the mouth.
Just One More, a Vienna Lager has a name that speaks for itself. An easy-to-drink, straight-up lager with the second pint going down just as easily as the first.
The 7 Mile Smile inspired by Spring Lake’s tagline, where ‘Nature Smiles for Seven Miles’” is an IPA that leaves its consumer smiling all the way to the very end. Not a heavy, hop-forward beer, the hops shine through at the end, just what an IPA connoisseur wants to taste.
Trees is its DIPA – think pine tree in a glass. Very smooth and piney with a little sweetness to balance out the hint of hops.
Additional beers on tap included Street Scrubber (a saison) and Dirty Boots (an Imperial Milk Stout, also the nickname for the owner’s dog, Bo).
You won’t find a kitchen, at least not yet, at DGB, but don’t think you are going to starve to death. Its food options include packaged goods from all-local companies: meats, cheeses, crackers, spreads, soft pretzels and take out. The options will expand when DGB’s parking lot is added as a stop on a few food trucks’ routes. Customers will get to enjoy the variety from food trucks while drinking a DGB beer. For those that don’t consume alcohol, there are many varieties of Faygo pop for consumption as well.
Nick DeBone, Spring Lake resident, said, “I like how [DGB] supports and works with other local businesses.”
Supporting local businesses in the whole brewing process by using local hops, grains, equipment and fermenters by Pyscho Brew was very important to both Finchems in their business infrastructure.
Ambiance and atmosphere were key components in the owners’ research when visiting other breweries far and wide. Luke Finchem wants DGB to be a fun place to go, creating less of an industrial feel with no cold concrete counters or bad lighting. Instead, the walls are lined with Dutch culture, showcasing old pictures of Kelly Finchem’s family, wooden shoe tap handles and a sneak-peek view of the brewers working away through the garage door behind the bar.
“At the very least, a lot of Dutch people are excited,” said Kelly.
Andy Potts, is a home brewer in Grand Haven, shared, “It’s great to have another option in the Spring Lake/Grand Haven area.”
For all of the photos from Dutch Girl’s soft opening, please visit the MittenBrew Facebook page.