Our last stop on the Beercation was New Holland Brewing in, of all places, New Holland Michigan. We traveled from Grand Rapids to New Holland for the brewery’s 12th annual Autumnfest. I think this was my favorite beer stop on beercation (perhaps because Deb took over the driving duties? Who knows!).
Autumnfest takes place in the brewery’s parking lot and we were greeted by a pig roast with some of the best corn I have ever had (sage butter!!!!). But while the food was good, we were there for the beer. We started out at the bar with sampler trays. Jeff tackled the high gravity (gravity apparently means alcohol and/or dark at New Holland Brewing) tasting while Deb and I split a sampling of every other beer except one that I don’t remember. Deb and I actually liked the Dragon’s Milk brew in Jeff’s sampler (the rest were way to dark and strong for us) and we had two favorites in our own sampler – the Ichabod pumpkin ale (yum yum yum) and a ginger beer that I can’t remember the name of and that doesn’t appear on the Web site.
By far, though, the highlight of the fest was the “Beer & Cheese Smackdown“. Who doesn’t love an event with the word smackdown?!?! This smackdown involved New Holland President Brent and New Holland Eventinator Phil each pairing beers with cheeses from local dairies. After each tasting, all of us voted for which pairing we liked better. Fortunately, Brent likes Phil and Phil is great at his job since Phil totally smacked down Brent in the pairings! That said, they both did a great job with the pairings and we all learned a lot about beer and how certain foods bring out certain flavors in the beer.
If you’re in New Holland, stop by the brewery and if you’re not, look for Ichabod and Dragon’s Milk at your local liquor store (you know in Chicago, we’re partial to Sam’s) and give them a try – I think you’ll enjoy your own Autumnfest with these beers!
Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!