Brewery re-imagines flagship beer


Holland-based New Holland Brewing Co. is a “proud” maker of craft beer and craft spirits.

A brewery will release a re-imagined version of one of its flagship beers later this month.

New Holland Brewing Co. said this week that it has changed Mad Hatter IPA, one of the brewery’s oldest brands — first brewed in 1998 — and will release it throughout its distribution footprint in May.

A release party on April 24 will be held at New Holland’s 8th Street pub in Holland.

“It is scary to change a beer that is so core to your brand,” said Brett VanderKamp, president, New Holland Brewing Co. “We’ve had moments when we thought, ‘Are we really going to do this? But the truth is — change is what brought us all here and made the craft marketplace what it is today. We’re all channeling our inner Hatter, and we’re confident our fans will enjoy the result.

“People thought we were nuts when we first made Mad Hatter, and they likely think we’re nuts for changing the recipe on our second oldest and one of our top-selling brands. But we’ve always said this brewery was the ultimate art project, and art doesn’t rest on its laurels.”


Mad Hatter was first released on June 10, 1998 as VanderKamp’s college poetry professor celebrated Mad Hatter Day.

The first batch was three barrels — 93 gallons — with three pounds of Centennial hops stuffed into the fermenter.

Brew changes

New Holland’s re-imagined Mad Hatter will be called Mad Hatter Midwest IPA.

The new recipe will use Michigan-grown Cascade and Citra hops, in addition to the beer’s signature Centennial hops.

Mad Hatter will also receive a bump in alcohol by volume from an adjusted grain bill. It will rise from 5.8 percent ABV to 7 percent ABV.

The beer will also receive a packaging update.

“The craft landscape and the craft drinker have both changed quite a bit since our early days,” said Fred Bueltmann, VP of brand and lifestyle, New Holland Brewing Co. “Our team is inspired by the change we’ve been witness to, and we’re excited to offer a fresh, dynamic interpretation that integrates Michigan-grown hops as a true Midwest IPA.”

Annual Hatter party

New Holland will host an annual party at its 8th Street location in Holland called Hatter Days.

This year’s street party will be on June 13.

Hatter spinoffs

New Holland packages six spinoff beers in the Hatter family, including Rye Hatter, Oak Aged Hatter, White Hatter, MI Awesome Hatter, Imperial Hatter and Black Hatter.

The brewery’s New Holland Artisan Spirits brand makes Hatter Royale Hopped Whiskey. The whiskey distills beer, then soaks hops in the finished spirit. Hatter Royale began life as Hopquila. 

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