Nothing really says “awesome” quite like “family friendly brewery.” Such places are the best of both worlds, contributing to the cycle of having babies because you drink, then drinking because you have babies. New Holland Brewing on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan is one such place. Renowned for its beer, it has a comfortable back patio for kids to hang out at and one very attractive menu.
So, we started with two appetizers to appease the little folks and people who eat like little folks (aka me). These were the Pretzels and Beer Cheese, and the Pepperoni Pinwheels. I feel like they definitely missed out on a golden Holland-related opportunity by calling them pinwheels instead of windmills, but you take what you can get. And what I got was two very delicious appetizers. The pretzels where soft and fluffy with just the right amount of salt on them. The beer cheese was oh so lovely.
The pinwheels were like little mini bites of pizza heaven. They were perfectly cooked dough packed with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Then, as if to say that they needed more, the pinwheels were topped with shredded parmesan and served with marinara. I know it is unreasonable to consider these anything more than deconstructed and repurposed pizza, but I couldn’t help but feel a deep appreciation for how they were done.
For my main course I went with a pizza that seemed almost tailored for me. It was called the Pork BBQ and was topped with smoked pork, peppadew peppers (yes, I said almost), jalapeno peppers, Dragon’s Milk (a beer of theirs) BBQ sauce, and Michigan cheese curds. I ordered without the peppadew peppers because blech, and my pizza came out looking like a beautiful work of art. The dough was a strong start, the sauce added just the right amount of sweet and smokey, while the jalapenos and pork added some kick and umami. But, with that being said you could probably have put those cheese curds on any pizza and they would have made it amazing. They added a thickness, a creaminess and a bold cheesy flavor that is almost upsetting in that it took me until age 34 to eat such a flavor.
New Holland continued the tradition of breweries having delicious and even creative food. It also brought the concept of pepperoni pinwheels and cheese curds as a potential pizza cheese into my purview and I couldn’t ask for much more than that. Oh, and the beer was pretty damn good too.