Pioneering West Michigan brewery, New Holland Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years this year. Through those two decades, they’ve turned growing pains into innovation and built a community around their “Stop and Taste” way of life.
As the first brewery/distiller in Michigan, New Holland had a steep learning curve. When they began making Dragons Milk, their bourbon barrel-aged stout, they faced temperamental wood and unpredictable favor outcomes. What resulted was a completely different problem: keeping up with demand.
“As it grew to become more and more of our volume, we would have to re-imagine, re-invest and re-engineer many solutions to continue to grow Dragon’s Milk to be the unlimited release that it is today, available every day in all markets,” says Fred Bueltmann, Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle.
Today, they do even more with the repurposed barrels. In addition to making beer, they flip the process on its head and use the Dragon’s Milk barrels to make Beer Barrel Bourbon. Once they’ve finished their beverage tenure, spent barrels are turned into chairs, signs, tap handles, chips for your smoker, and more.
This, along with their scratch menu, make New Holland a waste-not, want-not kind of place. Not to say that they don’t live without extravagance. Their twentieth year has been packed with celebration, including the Hatter Day Street Party in June, which featured a throwback pack of six classic (and otherwise out of commission) beers and live bands, including The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The next 20 years are sure to bring many reasons to stop and taste with old friends and new.
From the statewide roll out of Good for Michigan to celebrating Local First’s 15th Anniversary to kicking off our annual Fork Fest in the fall, 2018 was an exciting year for Local First, our members, and community partners.