new holland

New Holland Brewing Company, firmly established near the southeastern shore of Lake Macatawa in Holland, is rapidly progressing on their latest addition near the west bank of the Grand River in Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Aiming to open in September 2016, this location will offer an unparalleled opportunity to revel in life’s finer points of good drink, food, and conversation by showcasing the company’s Stop and Taste philosophy.

new holland
“This has been a process; it’s been a long arc, if you will,” President and Co-Founder Brett VanderKamp said. Over the decade that his company had been contemplating adding a physical presence in the Grand Rapids area, three serious potential locations arose before the perfect one clicked and allowed them to go forward with their intentions.

The winning proposal came from Mike VanGessel, owner and CEO of Rockford Construction whose headquarters are a few blocks away from the new development.

“We’ve all got deep ties to Grand Rapids; it’s somewhere where we’ve always been. We’ve got a solid following there with huge fans, and we’ve been wanting to be closer to them obviously for quite some time now,” said Joel Petersen, vice president of marketing.

“We wanted what is an area that we think over the next 10 to 20 years will develop in an absolutely beautiful enhanced investment part of Grand Rapids,” he added. “We couldn’t be more excited about Harmony Hall being down the street, with Atwater coming in, and The Black Heron across the street. All of the different businesses that either currently have plans or are looking at plans along that corridor. I mean, one block away you’ve got Mitten, and you’ve got Two Scotts BBQ. It’s palpable in that area right now. There’s a lot of new businesses going down there and we loved that!” 

new hollandNew Holland Brewing Company believes in spending time, money, and effort wisely. Fred Bueltmann, partner and Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle, asserts: “We didn’t want to expand just to expand. We didn’t want to go to Grand Rapids just to add seats. We wanted to go when an opportunity presented something that we couldn’t do in our existing places.”

With the intensity of craft fans in the Grand Rapids market he knew their contribution had to be outstanding. “Our mission is to enhance people’s lives with remarkable choices, remarkable experiences, and I think that’s about providing them choices. So we put it through that litmus test, too, that if we’re not contributing something to the neighborhood, if we’re not contributing something to the city, if we’re not providing quality choices for people that make the overall whole better, then we don’t need to go,” said Bueltmann.

According to VanderKamp, the new place is nearly double the size of the Holland pub and will need the participation of the neighborhood to be successful. “We’re really counting on the West Side. It’s not something where we’re running in thinking we’re saving the West Side, the West Side has really got to come out to support us,” he said.

Moving forward with the Grand Rapids location won’t lead to New Holland Brewing Company abandoning their birthplace. Holland is in their name and in their blood; that’s where it all started. The city will continue to be the heartbeat of the company for many years to come. Their downtown pub on 8th Street will remain a strong presence for the brand, and long-term expansion plans ensure the headquarters of operations will stay at the production campus across town.

Since opening in 1997 New Holland Brewing Company has earned their share of the market through hard work and steadfast commitment to their vision. They’ve gathered a loyal following across their distribution footprint, as well as at their downtown Holland pub where Steve “Bert” Berthel will continue brewing his exclusive pub-only offerings. Having the Grand Rapids location, according to VanderKamp, “is going to allow us, really, these pilot batches that we can then bring immediately to a broader audience.”

There will be an indoor-outdoor beer hall open year-round. VanderKamp is proud to say they fought hard in spite of expense to keep the elements of the beer hall. The team feels it will be impactful as part of the entrance to the west side of town from the city center.

The new building’s impact extends beyond the visual aspect. The planned business model will take patrons on a journey through the full range of the craft movement. Every aspect is addressed thoughtfully and thoroughly.

The restaurant’s menu will focus on rustic traditions presented in a current way, according to Bueltmann. A whole animal butchery within the complex will allow every part of an animal to be used to make stocks, soups, rillettes, charcuterie and sausage in addition to typical meat dishes.

Rocktoberfest (10)

The on-site brewing and distilling will be of the same caliber New Holland fans have come to expect. The new space will allow for more room to be creative and take on projects that have been waiting in the wings.

“We’re going to focus on gin production and other botanical spirits,” Bueltmann said. He plans to undertake extensive exploration of gins, cordials, and liqueurs to complement the company’s existing cocktail program.

The beers in planning will be a “Euro-American wide range of beautiful and comfortable beers that celebrate some of the Old World traditions that may not get a whole lot of daylight,” Bueltmann said.

New Holland Brewing Company’s standard lineup will also be available at this location. Mainstays will draw long time customers in, and experimental brews will keep them coming back. “We are continual students of balance, so I think we’ll always want to see a good balance between the comfort level of things you know and encouraging you to stretch and invite you to adventure and try something new,” Bueltmann said.

“New Holland’s Stop and Taste Philosophy is about remembering and encouraging people to take a minute to enjoy what this is all about––which is connecting, communing over food and drink,” Bueltmann said. “This project is very much in line with that philosophy in that we’re trying to build the space that is a community gathering place where people can come in and set aside the distractions of the day and connect over a meal, connect over a drink, connect over a story, and enjoy themselves and enjoy what this is all about.”

You can find a full-length multimedia version of this article here, as Episode One of New Holland Brewing Company’s Storyteller Series.

Photography: Steph Harding


HOLdragon's milkLAND, MI–New Holland Brewing Co. has taken its year-­round, bourbon barrel stout and infused it with flavors of Vanilla Chai for its first 2016 reserve batch.

This reserve blend is aged in bourbon barrels for three months, with the nuanced flavor of Vanilla Chai for a portion of that time.

“This reserve batch of Dragon’s Milk scored great marks when we quietly pub­ tested it this Fall,” says Brett VanderKamp, president of New Holland.

“The rich vanilla and chocolate notes of Dragon’s Milk with the layered flavor of Vanilla Chai – it’s so unique and so complementary.”
This reserve release kicks off a new release schedule for Dragon’s Milk Reserves. New Holland will release four variations quarterly in 2016, as opposed to all at once as was done in 2015.

As 2015 releases sold out in record time, the move to quarterly releases allows for more of each reserve to be brewed and offered.

The second quarter release will be Dragon’s Milk Reserve with Coffee and Chocolate. A crowd favorite from the 2015 release, this reserve will be back in larger quantities for those who didn’t get their fill.

More information on future reserve releases will be provided as 2016 unfolds. All reserves will be released through all locations in which New Holland distributes.

“These small runs of Dragon’s Milk are both to satisfy the creativity of our brewers, but also the palates of our fans” said VanderKamp.

Keep an eye out for special Dragon’s Milk surprises upcoming at the Michigan Brewer’s Guild Winter Beer Fest and other festivals throughout the year.


Masen James Bakery is taking craft beer to another level by baking it right into their brownies, cupcakes, and fudge… oh my!

Inspired by a longtime passion for baking, owner Clarice Dennison was encouraged by her daughter Sydney Dennison to open up Masen James Bakery storefront after a chance encounter with Goose Island Brewery during their Bourbon County release in 2014. Conversations sparked and friendships were molded. This year, Masen James was given 2 cases of 2014 and 2015 Bourbon County to bake 1,000 craft beer brownies for Goose Island’s Black Friday release. Yes — wipe the drool off of your mouth and keep reading, it gets better.

2015 has been a whirlwind of creative goodness for Clarice and Sydney. They teamed up to bake sweet and savory treats for events at the Downtown Outdoor Market on Ionia over the spring and summer, while working on opening a storefront on Monroe Center during ArtPrize. The main focus? Infusing craft beer into many of Clarice’s concoctions while enhancing the unique flavors in the beer.



Mason James Bakery doesn’t like things to get stale. Their seasonal menu changes on a daily basis to maintain freshness and keep up with demand. Their craft beer brownies are baked in a special pan so they are all corner pieces, making each brownie crisp and chewy on the outside and oh so moist and gooey on the inside — they nearly melt on your tongue.

I was treated to a brownie baked with New Holland Dragon’s Milk Reserve with Toasted Chilies, topped with a chili powder sugar. Holy wow!!! These brownies practically punched me in the face with flavor. First, you taste the rich chocolate brownies are known for, then your eyes light up as you savor the slight hint of heat from the chilies. YUM!

Next I enjoyed a Saugatuck Brewing Co Neapolitan Milk Stout brownie topped with a chocolate ganache and sprinkled with a crushed dried strawberry topping. The familiar trifecta of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavor of the Neapolitan Milk Stout poured out into the brownie, the crushed strawberry topping made for a beautiful finish. Delicious!

Clarice has had a passion for the culinary arts since she was a little girl, but didn’t go to culinary school and instead ended up working for Spectrum Health. After she started making craft beer brownies, Sydney told her “Mom, you have a gift; you need to share that gift. I am not the only one who is saying that, friends and strangers are telling you this. Teach me how to bake and we will do this together. I will help you put your product out there.” Sydney continues. “After being turned down a few times, I brought some of her products to the Downtown Outdoor Market, we got our foot in the door in the spring of 2014, and we built up clientele. This is my mom’s dream, but I am so happy I can help her fulfill it.”

Masen James Bakery also offers a wide variety of artisanal sweet and savory scones, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, fudge, bread, and more.

Taste Masen James Bakery’s goodies for yourself at 40 Monroe Center NW in downtown Grand Rapids. If you’re out and about this weekend, swing by the Pyramid Scheme Bake Sale and Craft Show on Sunday, December 20 from 12:00pm – 4:00pm where they will donate all proceeds to Well House.

HOLLAND – The corner of Eighth Street and College Avenue became a gastronomic empire on Tuesday evening.

New Holland Brewing Company hosted “Rocktoberfest,” a star-studded event featuring a five-course meal with beer and music pairings curated by celebrity chefs and beer experts. The festivities were a benefit for Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Seventy five guests were treated to the sold-out feast for the senses.

In addition to the usual theme of pairing a food with a drink, live music by The Schrock Brothers band accompanied each course. While each dish was being served, they played a song chosen by the chef who created it.

New Holland Chef Dale Beaubien helped shape the monumental event.

“We started out wanting to showcase what the chefs in Holland can do, and we ended up with something far from it,” said Beaubien. “A lot of those guys had moved on or had scheduling issues. We planned it far enough in the future that we were like ‘Let’s get some of our other friends around’ and then it just happened.”

The chemistry of those involved was noticeable, and conversations observed between participants were nearly reverent.

The evening began with a cocktail reception with curation done by Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann, Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle and Partner of New Holland Brewing Company. Bueltmann is also the author of “Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy”. He chose The Band’s “Ophelia” to be played while serving a Manhattan made with Zeppelin Bend whiskey, a vermouth made from Fenn Valley Pinot Noir, Michigan honey, lavender, and more.

The meal unfolded seamlessly, moving at a pace that allowed for immersion in the moments of bliss upon taking the first bite and sip of each sublime pairing as its song played in the background.

The first course of sautéed blood pudding was served with Poet Oatmeal Stout and Rick James’s “Cold Blooded,” as chosen by Chef Brandon Johns of Grange in Ann Arbor. At Grange, Johns is known for creating unique whole-animal dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Home turf Chef Beaubien’s turkey tamale was served with The Carhartt Woodsman, a barrel-aged Pale Ale, and “Tres Hombres” by ZZ Top in the second course. Winter squash and Mayocoba beans complemented the mildly spiced tamale.

Chef Matthew Millar, a 20-year veteran in the West Michigan restaurant scene, chose “Eat a Peach” by The Allman Brothers to accompany the third course of smoked magret duck with spiced peach butter and Into The Rabbit Hole Maibock. Millar’s latest project, The Southerner, is located in Saugatuck.

The Rolling Stones’s “Goat’s Head Soup” title partially described course four—a goat combination of knackwurst, slow-cooked leg, smoked loin, and jus by Chef Paul Virant, a legend of the Chicago-area restaurant scene. Virant’s beer choice was uniquely tied into the evening as well. Schrocktoberfest, a Michigan-grown Oktoberfest Lager, was  brewed in the New Holland pub with the band earlier this year.

Course five was a very indulgent dessert manifested from dark chocolate, cocoa butter, fermented chili, orange, and coriander by Chef Matt Pietsch of Salt of the Earth in Fennville. This was paired with a Flight of the Dragons presentation: three snifters of Dragon’s Milk including the original, a coffee-infused version, and a rum barrel-aged version. Hoots and Hellmouth’s “Watch Your Mouth” played along, as patrons raved about the spectacular finale.

Rounding out the curating and pairing panel were New Holland’s own Pub Brewer Steve “Bert” Berthel and UK beer expert Melissa Cole.

Berthel brings a wealth of beer and food knowledge to the table as a brewer in Michigan for nearly 20 years and a proponent of local agriculture. He is committed to locally sourcing 100 percent of all ingredients used in the pub brew house in 2016.

Cole is the author of “Let Me Tell You About Beer,” which has been hailed as the perfect beginner’s guide to beer. She was brought into the project by Fred Bueltmann.

“Fred and I have known each other for a number of years now. The more we’ve talked about beer and food and the way we want to change the way that people think about it and talk about it and compare them—that’s when we we really click.”

While she was in town she also participated in a collaboration brew— details of it will be revealed later.

Andrew Steiner, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank’s Communication Specialist, said, “We were thrilled to be able to have a presence at this event, it’s so special. We also think when people are eating, that’s a great time to talk to them about local hunger and about getting food to those who don’t have enough to eat.”

Proceeds from a silent auction also benefited the food bank. Prizes ranged from signed books to dinner packages.

Sponsored by New Holland Brewing

Photography: Steph Harding & Scott Meivogel

HOLLAND — When Justin Mendez attended New Holland Brewing’s Hatter Days Street Party in 2014, he could hardly move because it was so packed with craft beer fans.

However, this year after the party moved from a downtown Holland street to a spacious parking lot behind the brewery’s pub, Mendez had room to focus on his goal: trying all seven Hatter-style beers on tap for the event.

“It was hard to traverse [last year]. I think it is growing and that is a good thing,” he said as he listened to a band playing on the main stage. “There is no way they could keep it in the street.”

As the cloudy Saturday afternoon turned into a sunny evening, crowds flooded into the grounds, heading right for beer, straight for music and left for food. Throughout the parking lot, the Daredevil Circus entertained guests with juggling on stilts, air acrobats and balancing acts.

Hatter Days offered a relaxed, carnival-like atmosphere, catering to all ages with photo booths, lawn games and coloring activities. As the opening band, Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys, played honky tonk country, rockability and surf music, guests started dancing in front of the massive stage.

“If you want to get hot and sweaty, this is the place to be,” said Delilah DeWylde, the band’s lead singer.

To cool down, the crowd gathered around tall tables and enjoyed tasting New Holland’s ales.

The annual event, which celebrates New Holland’s birthday and its growing lineup of Hatter-style beers, is a can’t-miss summer activity for Mendez and his friend, Chris Darling.

Early on Mendez tried the newest Hatter, the Tasmanian Hatter (7% ABV), a galaxy IPA featuring hops from the New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Northwest regions.

“It’s definitely different,” he said. “It seems subdued compared to the other ones.”

One of his top choices two hours in? The White Hatter (5.5% ABV), a Belgian-style White Pale Ale that has citrusy notes perfect for the season.

“I think it’s an awesome summer beer,” he said.

Darling returned to their tall table, perfectly situated in the center of the event, with another round of beers, this time the Oak Aged Hatter (7.22% ABV). He was impressed by the oak-aged IPA after only one sip.

“A good oak flavor,” he said, pausing to reflect on the taste he just experienced. “Almost a sweetness on the backside of it.”

Chris Warner planned on spending Saturday afternoon simply purchasing a paddleboard. But when he came across the Hatter Days Street Party, he couldn’t resist stopping in.

Warner, an Indianapolis resident familiar with the burgeoning craft beer scene there, said he was enjoying the event and more importantly, the beer.

“The Oak Aged Hatter was really good,” he said. “You can taste the bourbon, the kick in it.”

He also appreciated the Michigan Awesome Hatter (5.8% ABV), a Michigan grown IPA that features hops from Northern Michigan.

“It’s a little lighter,” he said. “Good for a hot day.”