New Holland Brewing Co. shows its commitment to supporting Michigan agriculture

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader69@gmail.com

Photo supplied/Eric Strader

Michigan, the Great Beer State, is home not only to many breweries, but also many hop farms, malting houses and other brewing suppliers. And with the world’s greatest supply of fresh water from the Great Lakes, Michigan has all the ingredients to make great beer.

New Holland Brewing Co. is renewing its long-standing commitment to supporting Michigan agriculture with an exciting announcement from its Pub on 8th restaurant and brewpub in downtown Holland. By 2016, the brewery has committed to exclusively making all specialty beers brewed at Pub on 8th with Michigan-grown ingredients, including malted barley, wheat, hops, fruit and yeast.

On Friday, April 3, New Holland kicked off its largest commitment to Michigan agriculture with collaborative brew “The Hollander — Michigan Saison.”

The Hollander is a collaboration between New Holland, Tulip Time and several Michigan suppliers, including Empire Hop Farms, Top Hops Farm, Hopyards Of Kent, Hophead Farms, Michigan Malting, Pilot Malt House and Craft Cultures.

Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra, Pure Michigan, Michigan Brewers Guild, Michigan Beer Trail and Michigan Beer Guide will be on hand to toss in some hops, smell the mash and send the brew on its path for a Tulip Time release.

The Hollander is pure Michigan from top to bottom, featuring a yeast strain from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P., 100 percent Michigan-grown hops from four suppliers, 50 percent Michigan-grown and malted barley, and 100 percent pure Lake Michigan water.

“New Holland was our first customer and will remain one of our biggest customers for years to come,” said Erik May, president of Pilot Malt House in Grand Rapids. “It’s one thing to say you ‘support local’ and you ‘buy local’ but New Holland lives and breathes it. We hope to fill a much-needed gap in their supply chain and further their connection to Michigan agriculture. It’s always our honor to deal with New Holland, particularly on something as important as The Hollander.”

“This growing opportunity is about going beyond just substituting one source of ingredient for another,” said Fred Bueltmann, vice president of brand and lifestyle. “We are inspired by these ingredients to celebrate terroir by developing beers and spirits that explore and showcase the true flavor of Michigan and our world around us.”

New Holland Pub on 8th brewer Steve “Bert” Berthel is no stranger to celebrating Michigan ingredients in his pub specialties, including Water Sign, an annual brew for the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. Next week I will be traveling to Holland to pick up some kiln shelves for my pottery studio. After checking New Holland’s website, I see that a cask version of Water Sign (India Pale Lager) is on tap, so I will be looking forward to enjoying some!

“As someone who has embraced the idea of supporting local farmers and sustainability in my personal life for years, it is truly an honor for me as a brewer to be aligned with a company that will allow me to bring my values to my job,” Berthel said. “I am excited to be able to have a day where we can make a beer that showcases the high-quality ingredients that these Michigan suppliers are providing us and be able to showcase the finished product at this year’s Tulip Time celebration.”

Alex Wiesen, owner and operator of Empire Hop Farms, said, “New Holland has been incredibly supportive of the hop industry from the very start. Their feedback and guidance from all levels has been a valuable mentoring experience for us. We can’t thank them enough for helping Empire Hops become one of the leaders in the Michigan hop industry.”

“Handcrafted in Michigan means something to us,” said New Holland president and co-founder Brett VanderKamp. “We have always had a strong connection to agriculture and with each sip of these beers, we’ll be celebrating and supporting the hardworking farmers and pioneers that are making these beautiful ingredients available.”

New Holland has been a longtime supporter of Michigan agriculture, with several beers and spirits featuring Michigan-grown ingredients. In 2010 they introduced a single-batch release of Hopivore harvest ale, followed by other Michigan-focused single-batch releases such as Michigan Awesome Hatter and Carhartt Woodsman.

With growing availability and support from farmers, these specialty releases paved the way for a commitment to year-round products, with Michigan Cascade hops inspiring the return of Paleooza – MI Pale Ale and Michigan wheat in Bill’s Michigan Wheat Whiskey (soon to be rebranded as Pitchfork MI Wheat Whiskey).

New Holland Brewing Co. products are available throughout Michiana on draft and in bottle shops.

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