Founded in 1996 New Holland Brewing Co. was started by long time friends Jason Spaulding and Brett VanderKamp. A love of beer built through homebrewing lead the duo to start brewing professionally. A dream shared by countless homebrewers and citizens across this great land.
The first iteration of Mad Hatter IPA was brewed in 1998 and the recipe was revamped in April of 2015. Citra, cascade, and centennial make up the hop bill with the cascades and the malts being grown in their home state of Michigan. Use and support of local agriculture by breweries is something we should all get behind. If not for a sense of pride of place than at least for freshness and quality of ingredients.
The bottle date for this review is D185. Bottle dating of beers is something I hold in high regard and I firmly believe that all breweries should date their products in a concise manner. For the case of New Holland the dating goes as follows. The first letter indicates the month starting with A for January. The next two numbers are for the day and the last number for the year. Therefore D185 would translate to April 18, 2015. Exactly two months old at the time of this review.
New Holland Mad Hatter is labeled as a midwest India pale ale. Fusing the best attributes of the east coast and west coast india pale ales into one almighty brew. Or at least I believe that was their intention in creating a “midwest” version of an india pale ale. Dissolved carbon dioxide starts its rising liberation the instant you pop the cap filling the neck of the bottle with foam and the immediate area with a scent of grassy hoppiness.
Into a Spiegelau IPA glass it pours a dirty dark orange like the skin of a jack’o’lantern. Haziness in india pale ales seems to be becoming a standard of sorts for a lot of american breweries. Possibly to their detriment.
Two fingers of dense soap-like white head caps the beer emitting notes of mangoes, citrus, and chlorophyll. Swirling releases the malt and alcohol aromas but they are quickly overtaken again by the immense hoppiness. The body of the beer is quite heavy especially considering the high level of carbonation that is visibly present. Sweet bready malt precedes a complimentary hop profile that again expresses a scintilla of chlorophyll lingering around after the liquid descends on the palate. From personal homebrewing experiences I have noticed those grassy chlorophyll flavors from trying to pull every last bit of volatile oil out of the dry hops. Regardless of how it happened it detracts from what could be a nicely balanced, albeit heavy, india pale ale.