Beer review: New Holland Full Circle

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From the July 12, 2012 edition

About the brewery

New Holland Brewing Co. opened its brewery in 1997 as a two-man operation and has since become a thriving microbrewery. Located in Holland, Michigan, just east of Lake Michigan, New Holland now has two brewing locations and a brewpub. Man, does that state up north have some great breweries or what?

New Holland also began distilling spirits in 2005, and now offers whiskey, gin, vodka, rum and “hopquila,” but the brewery is probably best known for its big, bold-flavored beers like Dragon’s Milk Oak Barrel Ale (a dangerously tasty 10 percent American stout) and the Mad Hatter IPA series.

About the beer

New Holland Brewing Co.’s Full Circle kolsch is German-style beer with a light body and a golden (slightly cloudy) color. An initial bite gives way to an easily sessionable beer with very light hops and a clean malt finish. During these uncomfortably hot days — Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is no more 100-degree weather — the Full Circle is perfect. It’s refreshing and best served cold, but it’s not the watery rubbish you get from American light beers. (Although those beers were enjoyable in a thirst-quenching way during our recent hot-as-hell spell.) The Full Circle carries more flavor — mostly hints of a slightly sweeter graininess — and calories than light beers, but can be just as effervescent and refreshing. If you’re looking for a beer to cool you down, this is a solid option.

Photo by Tim Johnson