New Holland Brewing Company rang in its 15-year anniversary yesterday by closing down part of College Avenue to host the Hatter Days 2012 Street Party – the first time the city has ever allowed a street closure for a beer-based party. The event kicked off at noon and featured live music, street performers from Dare Devil Circus, food from four local restaurants, and a wide selection of beers.
The beer menu featured seven different versions of the Mad Hatter IPA – the beer credited with getting the company started – including the new addition of the White Hatter, a hybridization of a Belgian Witbier and a pale ale. This was my first encounter with the beer, and I found it to be a nice light-bodied beer with a dry finish and hints of lemon, coriander, and some slight peppery notes, making it a perfect beer for a hot summer day.
Paul Vander Heide from Vander Mill in Spring Lake was on hand alongside Chef Lucas Grille cooking up Banh Mi sandwiches – house smoked pork belly, pickled carrot, diced jalapeno, sliced cucumber, and sriracha aioli piled on a french baguette with donut chips (yes, you read that correctly!), and a delicious hard cider veggie slaw on the side. Vander Heide told us Vander Mill started serving food last fall, and this was a great way to introduce the public to their menu.
Chef Drew Turnipseed was manning the grill for Brewery Vivant, and his culinary creativity never ceases to amaze. He offered up a duck and Michigan cherry sausage on a spent grain bun from Wealthy Street Bakery which was slathered with homemade cognac mustard, and topped with locally grown savoy cabbage slaw.
New Holland Brewing Company surely knows how to throw a great party, and this year's incorporation of music, art, and food was certainly no exception. We're already looking forward to Hatter Days 2013!
For many more photos from the event, check out our Facebook page.