Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beer City USA – Holland & Hudsonville Edition

This past holiday weekend, Max and I made great strides on our quest to visit as many breweries as possible this summer, all the while exploring everything from Holland to Hudsonville and more. We knocked off New Holland Brewing Company, Our Brewery, Pike 51 and White Flame. Honestly was disappointed with some, and pleasantly surprised by others. Here is my review: 

I've been to this brewery once before, back when I was an intern at my company. We had a summer planning session and decided to contact the local brew-master in Holland (when you work in the food industry you know have friends in high places J) and eat dinner there, partake in some spirits, and take a tour of their facilities. It was very cool. This was about 5 years ago, back when the number of breweries wasn't  even half of what it is today. I liked New Holland back then. I loved it. This time around, I must say, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. While all the food looked amazing (hello, GFS account!) and the nachos WERE amazing (even though Max regretted the jalapenos later) the beer didn't do anything for me. Although, they must be doing something right since the place is enormous and was packed to the brim!

As we walked the streets of Holland, exploring the local candy shop and farmer’s market, we were just about to head out of town when I receive a message from a college acquaintance commenting on an Instagram I had posted, telling me I simply had to visit Our Brewery. Max and I had never even heard of it but were always game for a new adventure. We LOVED it. It is a fairly new brewery (est. 2012) and doesn't have a large clientele built up but we didn't care. Sitting at the bar, munching on popcorn (the only food they offer, similar to another one of our local watering holes, Schmohz) and sipping on beers and ciders, we were in heaven. The Peach Ginger cider is to die!

Hmmm… where do I begin with Pike 51? For starters, no where on the sign (in the middle of nowhere!) does it say “Pike 51”, or “Brewery”. It does, however, say “Hudsonville Winery”. We did not know until we walked inside and asked that they were in fact one in the same. The place was interesting to say the least. The beverages were tasty, but the ambiance left something to be desired….

Last but not least, White Flame. This one was juuuuuuust right J It exceeded our expectations. Yeah, it’s a little hole in the wall, but this place knew what they were doing. Everything from darts in the entrance, their “red shoes IPA”, the hilarious older couple we chatted up at the bar and the to-cool-for-school bartender, this place was a blast. There is even some hilarious artwork we’re looking in to buying prints for the man cave.

It was a good day. 

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