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New website, packaging better define New Holland’s products

More work is going into educating customers, too.

January 24, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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New Holland Brewing Co. aims to please in 2014.

It all starts with a packaging facelift that kicks off this year.

“It’s a lot more than a vanity exercise,” said Emily Haines, New Holland’s manager of community relations.

The update is a shift in color and verbiage, Haines said, which should help distinguish New Holland’s brews from the growing selection of six packs collecting on grocery store shelves.

Haines said the packaging uses “profile words” such as “citrus,” “aromatic” and “balanced” that characterize the beers and help consumers know what they’re getting. The packaging also offers a snapshot of the color of the beer in the bottle.

“We’re trying to talk to consumers in flavors, making a connection,” Haines said. “We want to key people in to what to expect. We respect people’s tastes, and if our beer isn’t what they’re into, we want to be honest with them.”

The new branding didn’t eliminate the familiar dragons, ravens and hatters characters, but the background has changed.

The firm’s website also got an overhaul and now uses colors and themes that can be found around the brewery, such as wood and copper.

Haines said the brewery will collaborate with two Michigan organizations in late 2014. More information will be available in the future, but the brewery does plan to brew special beers in conjunction with Dearborn-based Carhartt and Holland-based Michigan Awesome. New Holland has paired with those companies because they represent Midwestern ethics, such as hard work, Haines said.

On the distillery side, New Holland has a variety of research and development projects from its brewpub nearing release, according to distiller Brad Kamphuis. 

Beer Barrel Bourbon continues to be the company’s best-selling spirit, with spirit sales growing by 100 percent the past two years. Right now, about 60 percent of what is running through the still is bourbon, which is supplemented by sourced whiskey.

“The goal is to make it with 100 percent New Holland bourbon, but that will take years,” Kamphuis said. “And at the growth that brand is seeing right now, it might not ever be 100 percent New Holland. But we’re OK with that.”

Kamphuis also said the company is working on adding another still in the production facility because the current capacity is almost maxed out. 

New Holland recently started the Tinman Whiskey Workshop series to help consumers learn the process of making whiskey.

“The Tinman workshops are a really amazing opportunity to learn the science, creativity and craftsmanship that go into each bottle of whiskey,” said Sean Stark, distiller and program manager. 

“We’ve developed a full-day workshop for whiskey fans to spend the day with us and learn about each step of the process. From sourcing raw materials to utilizing equipment to bottling — we’ll go through each stage. And, of course, there will be plenty of tasting — one of the most critical steps in the process.”

The company will continue its extensive reuse of barrels. Kamphuis said the barrels go from aging whiskey in Kentucky to aging New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk stout, to second-use Dragon’s Milk, to aging bourbon and then aging Dragon’s Milk again, before finally being sent to the company’s BarrelWorks Project to make furniture.

“We’re in a unique position to get the most miles of the barrels,” Haines said.

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