Surprise! I was pretty much on vacation all of last week! First, I headed to Chicago to spend some time with my two best friends, and then the hubs and I headed to Lake Michigan to enjoy a few days of #puremichigan beach time. While our first day at the beach was unceremoniously shortened by a rain storm that moved in rapidly (good thing I was already wearing a swimsuit, because everything was soaked in seconds), we still worked up an appetite for dinner and headed to New Holland Brewing Company in downtown Holland, Michigan.
Jeff and I have actually been enjoying New Holland beer and Beer Barrel Bourbon at home for quite some time, so it was fun to see the place of its origin. The restaurant itself is very large, with a huge bar area with dozens of high-top tables, a long bar, and even a small stage area with live music! There’s also a quieter, more family-friendly restaurant side of the space. We got there promptly at 5:05pm (Yes, we were hungry. Also, we’re old now), and we chose to sit in the louder, more bustling bar area and enjoy the music.
We were welcomed with a huge beer list (Mad Hatter, Monkey King and Dragon’s Milk being some of the more popular selections) as well as a menu of spirits (rum, vodka, bourbon, and gin), all made by New Holland at an offsite production facility across town. For drinks, Jeff settled on a Four Witches (black saison beer), and I had a Moscow Mule made with New Holland’s Dutchess Vodka and ginger beer, garnished with lime. Jeff loved his beer (his first time trying this offering from New Holland). My Moscow Mule was pretty good, but not as good as the version at my beloved Green Dot Stables.
With our thirsts quenched, our thoughts turned to food. We didn’t even need to say it out loud – we already had an unspoken agreement that we would be doing our typical appetizers-for-dinner arrangement. We ordered up the Cellerman’s Platter, an ever-changing charcuterie board. What arrived was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. There was salami, prosciutto, crackers, fresh bread with garlic cloves baked into it, crunchy apple slices, bacon marmalade, marinated olives and tomatoes, and a huge dollop of onion dip. All I can say is WOW. Everything on this plate was absolutely outstanding. It represented everything I love about appetizers…and charcuterie….and food. It’s the way I love to eat. Little bits of things, all combined together in any way you see fit. An apple dipped in onion dip? Sure! Salami wrapped around a tomato? Don’t mind if I do. Two thumbs way, way up for this brilliant plate of snacks. While I was actually pretty full after eating this, Jeff’s stomach was still rumbling from a long-ish day on the beach, so he wanted to get one more appetizer to round out our meal.
Next, we sampled the Pork Belly & Scallops – pork belly seared with The Poet beer, and seared scallops, sitting on top of jalapeno blue cheese polenta. While I will note that both the pork belly and the scallops were perfectly cooked, this dish didn’t really do it for me, especially after the amazingness that was the Cellerman’s Platter. The taste of the polenta reminded me of rain water (strange, but true!), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…just odd. Also, I personally felt that the pork and scallops needed some sort of sauce or glaze or something to tie everything together. All of that being said, a day where you go to the beach and then get to eat scallops is automatically better than any other day, and these scallops were seared just perfectly.
All in all, New Holland Brewing Company gets two thumbs up from the Yates clan. Craft beer? Check. Artisan spirits? Oh yes. Great service? You bet. Fun atmosphere? Very fun. Tasty brewery food? Yes sir.
If you ever find yourself, hungry and thirsty, in Holland, Michigan, treat yourself to a meal at New Holland Brewing Company!