New Holland Brewing Co. announced the return of one of the brewery’s most storied brands, Mad Hatter Midwest IPA. Mad Hatter was one of the very first beers ever produced by New Holland and gained a significant following as the brewery’s first true flagship offering, preceding Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout. Mad Hatter was retired in 2019, and fans of the beer have been vocal in their desire for it to return.
“Without a doubt, the single most requested beer to make a return from our history is Mad Hatter,” said Dominic Bergquist, Brand Manager for Beer at New Holland. “We’ve received countless emails, phone calls, and messages on social media for this brew to return. Simply put – we have heard them loud and clear. Our entire team is excited to bring this beer back and celebrate with our fans.”
With all the demand, why was it retired in the first place?
“Mad Hatter was retired around the time that Hazy IPA was on fire and frankly, interest (and subsequently, volume) in traditional IPAs was suffering,” says Dominic Bergquist, brand manager at New Holland. “As Mad Hatter retired, we honed and focused on Tangerine Space Machine (TSM) and Hazy River Hazy IPA .”
Four years later, TSM continues to grow like crazy (+104% YTD in Michigan) and has become New Holland’s lead Hazy IPA brand. While TSM is growing, New Holland is also seeing a renewed interest in classic, clean, crisp IPAs — which is where Mad Hatter plays.
“So, Hazy River will sunset as we welcome back our classic Midwest IPA that has a ton of brand awareness and makes most sense for where craft is moving today,” Bergquist tells us. “We want to make sure our portfolio stays nimble and focused to be effective in a constantly evolving craft environment, and bringing Mad Hatter back gives us just that.”
The recipe is the same as it was 4 years ago: The whimsical spirit of the Mad Hatter is brought to life with floral aromatics from assertive dry-hopping and a bright, hoppy body punctuated with Centennial, Citra, and Mosaic hops. Notes of citrus and pine artfully play off a malty backbone. With an adventurous 7% alcohol-by-volume, Mad Hatter is a refreshing IPA with equal parts tradition and innovation at its core.
The packaging, though, is all new. “Since Mad Hatter went away, the entire New Holland portfolio went through a significant rebrand, so it’s packaging has been updated accordingly. While it is a ‘new’ look, the packaging calls back to traditional colors and iconography that should feel very familiar to fans of the beer,” Bergquist says.
Marketing idea of the week: Mad Hatter Sweepstakes
To help with the celebration, New Holland will be launching a Hatter-themed sweepstakes on November 1st, where entrants can enter to win a New Holland experience including a tour, tasting, dinner, and overnight stay in Holland, MI. Full sweepstakes details will be available at newhollandbrew.com/hatter.