New Holland Brewing Co., Michigan’s third largest brewery and first craft whiskey distiller, has just signed a lease with Rockford Construction and plans to launch a new brewpub, micro-distillery and restaurant in early 2016 in Grand Rapids, Mich.’s Westside neighborhood. The new endeavor supports the company’s goals to reach the growing craft consumer in New Holland’s home market of West Michigan and beyond.
New Holland plans to house its growing sour beer program (internally known as The House of Funk) at the Bridge St. location, as well as produce small batch whiskey onsite. The bar will feature existing New Holland beer and spirit brands, as well as many pub-only offerings brewed and distilled onsite. Plans include brewing a monthly specialty beer in which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Westside Neighborhood Association. A focus on a mindfully sourced food menu will also be a top priority for the new location.
“We have been waiting a long time for the perfect opportunity to come along in Grand Rapids and I’m so excited that an opportunity presented itself on Grand Rapids’ West Side. I have fond memories of summer weekends and holidays at my Grandparent’s house on Widdicomb Avenue and day’s spent at Richmond Park,” said New Holland President and Co-founder Brett VanderKamp. “Since 1997, we’ve been ardent contributors to the craft scene, and for the past 10 years we’ve been leading the craft whiskey scene in Michigan. Food and drink are the bedrock of historic communities, and we’re honored to contribute to the rich heritage and revitalization of this very special place.”
“As we continue to build and grow communities in the greater Grand Rapids area, we can’t think of a better community to invest in than the Westside,” said Mike VanGessel, CEO of Rockford Construction. “And we couldn’t be more excited to see the energy and enthusiasm that New Holland will bring to this neighborhood.”
“We are always inspired by today’s consumer — who is looking for more from their food and drink,” said New Holland Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle Fred Bueltmann. “They are focused on quality over quantity. On flavor over franchise. We see the restaurant and pub as a place for and of community; and we will create and offer space that celebrates community, inviting all people to take a moment to stop and taste, together.”
Final plans are still in process, but the New Holland management team looks for the new venture to open in early 2016 and anticipates on hiring approximately 150 new employees prior to the launch.
“We continue to be surprised and impressed by the craft consumer — their interest and their devotion,” said VanderKamp. “It’s their commitment to eating and drinking better that allows us to follow our passion, contribute to the West Michigan economy through growth and innovation and help shape our state’s craft landscape.”