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Dutch Girl Brewery has added a lot to their plate recently. It is not a surprise how quickly breweries are learning the importance of having good food readily available for their guests. Thus, DGB has literally added plates to their tables, with the opening of a kitchen inside of their brewery. It was always in DGB’s plan, they just didn’t expect it to happen this soon. A tough situation a lot of breweries without food face is the simple fact that their customers can only drink so much before they need to put food in their stomachs.  

Finding the right person was always going to be the determining factor as to when the kitchen would open its doors. Having an owner with a background in the culinary arts, the expectations were high before they even set out to find their Head Chef. Much to their surprise, the problem was easily solved with Aaron Shapiro. An excited California native, he’s ready to bring the flair and flavor he has cultivated with over 20 years of culinary experience working in breweries, preparing banquets, and cooking in large and small scale restaurants – to the Lakeshore. You can have all the experience in the world, but one thing Shapiro always keeps in mind is his clientele.

“Whenever I’m looking at what I want to serve, there are three elements I always look at. Most importantly, who is my audience? What type of clientele being served is of the utmost importance when deciding on flavors and dishes. Second, I look at what has worked in the past. Third, I consider the cuisine I am serving, at the time. When I have used these items as factors, my successes have increased exponentially. I take a lot away from international cuisine, and in particular street foods,” said Shapiro.

DGB’s kitchen offers a menu with a lot of gourmet deli style sandwiches. Even with a ‘small’ kitchen, it isn’t stopping some amazing flavors coming out of there. Their approach to their menu is simple.

“The least amount of ingredients tastes best – five or six ingredients in each dish. We are around the world when it comes to food with our weekend features. It is a unique item that is a one off and offered at $10. Most of our weekend features sell out before the weekend is over. The features starts on Friday around 4pm and go until gone,” said Kelly Finchem, co-owner of DGB.

Keeping with the simple theme, DGB likes to leave beer out of the food menu. Everyone’s palates can be so different that it is hard to list a catch all for the guests with each food item. However, Shapiro does have a soft spot for one beer in particular.

“Our Just One More lager has a great flavor profile, and will lend itself to many different flavors. More times than not, I will lean into that one for a suggestion to our guests, when discussing beer that goes with our food, it’s just a good marry. But for me… it’s the Big and Tall Pale Ale,” said Shapiro.     

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In addition to a new kitchen, DGB is kicking up dirt and making their debut with their very first bottled beer, Dirty Boots. Dirty Boots is an imperial milk stout brewed with seven types of grain and milk sugar. It is one of their most popular beers and has a name near and dear to the owner’s, Kelly and Luke Finchem, hearts—it is named after their German Shorthaired Pointer, Bo, and his notorious muddy paws.

The actual recipe for Dirty Boots came from Luke practicing a milk stout at home for a couple years, then collaborating with Josh Lentz, DGB’s head brewer, to perfect the recipe. It is their most popular and highest rated beer.

“We are doing our first run, 90 cases, so 1,080 bottles of beer on the wall. We are hand bottling and hand labeling this run. The label is from Blue Label Digital, who was able to do a nice metallic design on it. It was important to get this metallic look to go with the watercolor design done by Jacob Zars. Zars worked collaboratively with Mark Curtis of C3Designs to place our logo into the artwork. It went through eight or nine renditions to make it happen. We are very happy with how it turned out,” said Kelly Finchem.

Dirty Boots was released to the public on Black Friday at 10 a.m. along with a continental breakfast. The 22oz bottle sold for $8.99 with no limits. If you missed out on Black Friday bottle release, don’t worry, there are still bombers available at the pub. Keep an eye out for Dirty Boots distributed around town, future beer pairing dinners at the brewery, and in case you weren’t aware, DGB also serves hard cider, wine, and moscato wine for those looking for something different to try.

Catch Kelly and Luke for a taste of Dirty Boots on Sat, Jan 7 from 4-6pm at Siciliano’s Market.


dutch girl brewerySpring Lake, Mich — On July 9th, 2016 from Noon-11pm, Dutch Girl Brewery will ring in their 1-year anniversary by throwing a barbecue party and releasing new barrel aged beers and a Raspberry Farmhouse Radler at their taproom. The event will feature a Southern style pig roast, served up with traditional barbecue side dishes. Additionally, multiple whiskey barrel aged flavor variants of the Dirty Boots Imperial Milk Stout will be making their debut.

“We’ve been warmly welcomed into this community. Our location is perfect, not only for Spring Lake residents, but for those in the Grand Rapids area, as well,” says Kelly Rozema Finchem, co-founder and “Dutch Girl” of Dutch Girl Brewery.

Dutch Girl Brewery opened up a kitchen in the month prior to their first anniversary, with head chef Aaron Shapiro cooking up gourmet sandwich, salad and appetizer options ranging from a “Brewer’s Platter” of smoked meats and cheeses, to a hickory pork chop sandwich, and a lobster panini. In addition to the new food offerings, Dutch Girl maintains 11 rotating beers on tap, a maple syrup hard cider and red and white wine, all made in-house. Barrel aged beers are available periodically throughout the year and for special occasions.

“We really wanted to make sure we established a solid foundation with our beer styles, before adding food to complement our beverage options. We brought on our head chef, Aaron, to bring his wide-array of culinary experience to develop a unique menu for our brewery and the larger Spring Lake area,” says Finchem.

About Dutch Girl Brewery
Dutch Girl Brewery is the brainchild of Luke and Kelly Finchem, located in Spring Lake, MI. After 3 years of planning, Dutch Girl made its debut in July of 2015, premiering ales and lagers brewed with traditional ingredients, as well as some curious experimentations. Head brewer, Josh Lentz, concocts recipes derived from various countries, ranging from the traditional German Kolsch and Altbier, to an English ESB (extra special bitter) and IPA, to an American Pale Ale and Double IPA and an unorthodox Belgian Tripel IPA. Head Chef Aaron Shapiro serves up a mix of traditional and eclectic
New-American cuisine in their recently opened kitchen. Dutch Girl Beers can be found on draft throughout the state.