Nestled on scenic Lake Macatawa in western Michigan, the sleepy town of Holland was best known for its tulip festival up until 1997.
It was then that two men set out to build their own brewery from the ground up. After considerable effort and steady growth, New Holland Brewing Co. has become a rousing success. Its winter seasonal, Cabin Fever Brown Ale, is exactly what you would imagine: the perfect fireside companion on a frosty winter evening.
Cabin Fever pours a dark chestnut hue in the glass with a moderate ivory head. The aromas of freshly roasted coffee, baker’s chocolate and toffee are tantalizing and inviting. It has medium heavy body with a rich mouthfeel that is coating without being sticky. Flavors of burnt caramel, figs and toasted almonds complement the mocha backbone.
Dark fruit and raisin notes lead into a dry, satisfying finish that lingers on the palate for a good while.
With the wrath of winter upon us, Cabin Fever keeps the chill of the season at bay. Clocking in at 6 percent alcohol by volume, it’s hearty enough to warm the soul but not too harsh. It’s a good match with beef stew, roasted duck or French onion soup. A six pack is about $11 and distributed locally by Premium Beverage Supply.
Rob Neal is a home-brewing consultant at Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers. Check out his blog at brewski-bros.blogspot.com.