This weeks beer of the week is an old favorite that’s been entirely recreated! A long time staple of the New Holland Brewing Company’s line up, this year Mad Hatter has been reinvented as a Michigan IPA. What the heck does this mean? It means that these guys took a huge, bold step in changing a recipe that was daring when it first was introduced in 1998. This version of MH boosts the grain bill to raise the ABV a bit to 7%. And all that new grain balances out the new hops nicely as well.
New Holland recently announced that they would be moving to using as many Michigan products and ingredients as they could in the future. And while this won’t mean 100% Michigan products (because as of now, we still don’t grow enough!), it does mean a commitment to sourcing as many as they can. Working with such producers as Pilot Malt House, Hophead Farms, Empire Hop Farm (as well as many others) has allowed NH to have access to a lot more Michigan ingredients. While originally a beer based on Centennial hops, it now boasts the addition of Cascade and Citra hops as well. My original impression of this new formula was of more complexity, citrus aroma, grassiness and well rounded, beefed up flavor. It was a great beer, it IS an even greater beer, and I’m excited to see what other changes New Holland has brewing up. The commitment to Michigan ingredients is awesome, but the commitment to always brewing the best beer possible, even if they need to change a recipes, is even better.
If you are interested in visiting New Holland Brewing in Holland, the perfect time would be for their Hatter Days Street Party, which is happening this Saturday, June 13. You can head to their website for more info, but needless to say, beer, bands, food and fun will all be had. It’s a legendary time in the city of tulips!
— Amy Sherman