New Holland Brewing Co.
Holland, MI

Style: Golden Ale
ABV: 6.0%
The evolution of New Holland Brewing Company has been simply amazing.
As one of the Michigan pioneers, it’s been a joy to witness their growth from early production in their old days in a small manufacturing building and tasting room at the end of the soccer field for Hope College in Holland, Michigan, from 1998 to their new pub in downtown Holland in 2003, their distillery—New Holland Artisan Spirits—in 2005, the move into a new production facility in 2006, the christening of a new 50-barrel brewhouse in 2008 … and now as one of their founders, Brett VanderKamp, runs for public office in the Michigan State Senate’s 30th District.
New Holland is now the second largest brewer in the state of Michigan, after Bell’s Brewery, of course, and their downtown pub is pretty hoppin’ for buttoned-down Holland, with nary a pair of wooden shoes in sight. Their beers are generally full and flavorful, led by their flagship Mad Hatter IPA.
I stopped in this past Friday and tried their Fool’s Gold, which I’d never had. As part of their Specialty Series, this is a Golden Blonde Ale. Deep copper in color, it has a simple, clean nose and is very malty in mouthfeel. With a light hoppy bite, this is defined by the grapes as it’s very grainy, malty and has a hint of pine in the middle of the tongue. Fuller than most blondes, it wavers into amber territory as the sweet fullness matched up nicely with the brewer’s platter appetizer.
Although I hesitate to describe this as a blonde ale, you’d be a fool not to give this one a try as three golden mugs recommends you do.
On a side note, best of luck to the VanderKamp campaign. Politics aside, it would be great for small brewers in Michigan to have a friend in state office.