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New Holland Brewing – Pub on 8th

March 3, 2021

  • 66 East 8th Street
  • Holland, MI 49423
  • (616) 355-6422
  • Website
  • Menu

So, here we are. Trying to find ice time again for L to practice. A few weeks ago we went to South Haven to take advantage of their outdoor rink. While there, we enjoyed a delicious lunch from South Haven Brewpub.

Most indoor rinks still aren’t doing open skates. L really wants to practice in between her lessons and B has really been wanting to get back on the ice too. He’s in a beginner level that Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association isn’t doing lessons for right now so he just has to watch as Big Sister gets to skate for two hours every week.

I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been posting about our adventures trying to find an ice rink on Facebook, but I got a targeted ad last week for Griff’s Ice House West in Holland. We have never been there and I didn’t even know where it was, but there was a sign up link for open skate. I jumped at it. Holland is a little bit of a drive and I knew it would take up our whole Sunday but this was a way to get an hour and a half free skate for L and I could rent skates for B and get him back on the ice for a while.

Of course, if we’re going to travel, we’re going to eat.

We started looking for places we could get outdoor reservations in Holland. We’re still not at a place we’re comfortable dining indoors but we’re slowly getting back out there on patios and in igloos.

About the only place I could find that would take a reservation is one of my favorite places in Holland anyway….New Holland Brewing’s Pub on 8th Street.

The Pub on 8th Street is New Holland’s flagship tap room. As the name implies, the restaurant is on 8th Street right at the intersection with College Avenue in the heart of downtown Holland. J and I have eaten here a few times over the years but we seem to think the last time we did was when L was a tiny baby….so it had to be 8 or 9 years ago.

New Holland Brewing looks to be adhering pretty strictly to the current occupancy restrictions. There were a few groups who walked in the door in front of us grumbling about not being able to get a table because they didn’t have a reservation. We did have a reservation so when we walked in the hostess took us right to our table.

The Pub on 8th Street is actually quite large but they’re adhering pretty strictly to the social distancing and capacity restrictions right now so tables are pretty spread out inside.

Right past the hostess stand there is a t-intersection in the building. One direction will take you to a dining room with bench seating on either side. These are typically smaller tables and a more intimate dining experience.

Through this dining room is the company store. There was quite a bit of beer you could only get at the tap house locations as well all of their mass produced stuff and the typical swag.

The other direction is the bar area. This is a really cool with stamped tin ceilings and hardwood floors. We’ve only eaten at the Pub on 8th a few times and all the previous times, we’ve been in this room. I can remember one time being in the lofted area near the back and the other time below the lofted area. It’s actually been so long this room is all I really remember from our previous visits because it’s such a memorable space.

We’re still not ready to eat inside at restaurants so our reservations were for the patio. The outside space is more of a beer garden type space and they’re not using igloos. The large outdoor dining area is mostly covered and they have heaters. It was a fairly warm day out but a little windy and we were sitting next to an area that kind of formed a wind tunnel. It wasn’t uncomfortable or anything though. The heaters hanging from the ceiling did a pretty good job of keeping the space warm.

The menu was a QR code on the table so we both pulled it up on our phones and went right for the beer list. I picked a 10 oz. pour of a beer called Fear. This beer is a cognac aged Baltic porter that clocks in arond 11% ABV. The beer is a Baltic porter with figs and aged for a year in cognac barrels then finished with vanilla. It was a really smooth porter with a stronger vanilla taste than barrel. It’s a pretty solid and sippable beer.

Usually it’s me getting the flights at breweries but this time it was J. Actually a flight plus one.

J’s really gotten in to sours and gose’s….which are the two styles that I’m not really a fan of. She couldn’t decided which one she wanted so she got five to try.

I may not like them but she did let me take a sip of all of them. The first one I grabbed was Courage. Like Fear, this is part of the The Journey Series. This beer is a foeder aged sour with peaches and apricots. The beer was slightly sweet but I can’t get over the sour taste. J, however, really liked this one.

The next beer was Blue Sunday (2021). This is one I’ve bought in bottles before in past vintages. It’s fine. It’s another sour and part of The Journey Series. It’s also foeder aged. It’s a pretty simple sour that they continue to make with cultures from the original brewing more than a decade ago.

The third beer of J’s that I tried was Passion Blaster. This was a little bit more to my pallet than the sours. This is a beer that is canned and available year round. It’s a Rose Ale made with passion fruit and raspberry. It’s pretty sweet and a stronger raspberry flavor. It’s a solid fruit beer if that’s your thing.

The last beer of hers that I tried was the Watermelon Spritz. This is another fruit beer that’s made with watermelon and seltzer. It’s a lighter, crisper beer that’s kind of like a seltzer but also kind of like an ale.

J got Fear as part of her flight too but since I got that one myself, there was no reason to sample hers.

Now, for the food.

We started with an appetizer. The kids really like pretzels so we got Pretzels and Beer Cheese starter. The two large, salted soft pretzel knots come alongside beer cheese and mustard. The cheese was a thicker spreadable cheese and not a dippable one. The kids didn’t really need either condiment. They liked the pretzels as they were. We split up the two pretzels in eight equal pieces so we’d all get two.

The sandwich menu isn’t very big but there’s a lot of good options to choose from. I picked the Fried Chicken Sandwich and went with the Nashville Hot option. This large, very crispy fried chicken breast is covered in hot sauce and a dry Nashville seasoning and topped with “Grandma Knickerbockers Bread & Butter Pickles” and mayo. It’s served on a sesame seed bun with kettle chips but I opted to upgrade to fries. The chicken in this sandwich was fantastic. It was really, really crispy and really juicy. The Nashville Hot seasoning wasn’t overbearing but still had a little kick and a good peppery taste. I was about to order a second beer thinking I’d need it but the sandwich didn’t start my mouth on fire. The fries were skin on and pretty tasty on their own…but I had some of that mustard left over from the pretzel and yes, I’m a mustard on my fries guy.

J’s pick was the Michigan Apple Salad. The simple but delicious salad started with mixed greens and was topped with sliced apples, dried cherries, spiced walnuts, smoked cheddar cheese, and came with an apple cider vinaigrette. She absolutely raved about the use of the smoked cheddar on this salad. Typically this type of salad comes with Feta or Gorgonzola. She said the use of the cheddar absolutely made this salad.

We thought we’d just order a pizza for the kids but B wanted a cheeseburger and that was one of the options on the kids menu. The Kids Burger is a 4 oz beef patty with cheddar (or Swiss) cheese on a sesame seed bun. It’s a simple burger which is good for B. He ate all but a couple bites. The sandwich comes with Kettle chips that he shared with J. For some reason, he hasn’t been much of a fried potato fan.

L wanted a pizza but we weren’t going to order a big one just for her. We got her the Kid’s Pizza. This four slice pizza comes with choice of one topping. She picked pepperoni. Everything from the crust up about this pizza was tasty. There was a slightly sweet tinge to the sauce and the cheese had a great golden brown on it. She ate about a slice and a half then J and I helped her finish it.

Our bill for the meal was right around $70 before. It was kind of nice when I asked for the check, the waitress pulled out a tablet and I just swiped my credit right there.

I’ve always enjoyed New Holland Brewing Company but it seems like there’s an improvement every time we go. The first couple times beer was delicious and the food was ok. The beer is still delicious but they’ve stepped up the food game as well. There’s long been plans for another New Holland pub in Battle Creek and J and I have been waiting patiently for quite a while. This trip just makes that waiting a little bit harder.

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