Mileage: 38 miles
Driving Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Holland is affectionally known as “Dutch Town,” thanks to the heritage of its settlers. Home of the Tulip Time festival each spring – and yes, they do wear wooden shoes and traditional garb – Holland is a homey mid-sized town that sits conveniently on the shores of Lake Michigan and inland Lake Macatawa.
The region is known for its beauty, beach, and agriculture – and local cideries have blossomed like tulips. This cider crawl takes you throughout the town of Holland but also into the surrounding area nearby. On the way, you’ll experience this special corner of the Great Lakes State first-hand.
Farmhous Cider Co., Hudsonville
What started as a converted 100-year-old family barn has blossomed into one of the top cideries in the world – and it’s only 20 minutes from downtown Holland. If you’re coming south from Grand Rapids, you’ll pass Farmhous Cider Co. on your way to “City of Churches.” It has a great backstory, lots of outdoor seating, and plenty of libation options. Always available are Daily Dry, Midwest Nice (semi-sweet), and the cinnamon and maple Brunch. Then there are the seasonal hard ciders. In the summer, you can expect to see The Cucumber One and Afterglow, but you need to visit the home taproom to try creative, draft-only specialty ciders that aren’t necessarily available anywhere else.
Brewery 4 Two 4, Holland
Community. That is the main goal of Brewery 4 Two 4, which aims to be the north side’s neighborhood brewpub and they brew so that they can share. You can tell just by walking in that this is a fun place to hang out, complete with TVs, darts, and board games. The vast menu covers a lot of bases, including on the cider spectrum. How do you like them apples? is one of the choices. Pucker Up is perfect for those who like a sour profile, while Lil Lemonade Crush features lime juice and lemonade for a refreshing, easy drinking summer shandy. You can order any of their taps online as well for local pickup!
Our Brewing Company
Cross the river, park your vehicle, and promenade the streets of downtown Holland. One must-have stop: a nanobrewery in the heart of town. Our Brewing Company has been around since 2012. Small batches of craft beer, wine, cider, and cocktails make up a comprehensive and quirky menu. As with all parts of their drink menu, the ciders available on tap vary week to week. Some ciders that have rotated through include Green Apple (tart), Mrs. Krapappel, Dry Guy (dry), Apple Bloom (sweet), and Ida Red (semi-sweet). After your time at Our Brewing Company, take some time to stroll around the rest of the downtown area and stop in some shops. There is a lot of Dutch inspiration around, too, and if you visit in early May, you’ll be able to attend the annual Tulip Time festival. Regardless of the time of your visit, make sure to stop by the 250-year-old windmill on Windmill Island.
Virtue Cider, Fennville: https://virtuecider.com/
Twenty-five minutes south of Holland is the town of Fennville, which boasts a unique operation called Virtue Cider. This sustainable orchard, farm, and cidery uses all natural ingredients from local farmers, zero sugar, and time to make its award-winning cider. You can walk around the 48-acre farm and visit the animals in addition to stopping in the French-inspired cider houses for a brew or two. Some popular hard cider options are The Mitten and Overhiser. But honestly, you should ask for direction from the experts because there are so many choices, which range from barrel-aged to botanical to dry to fruited to semi-sweet. To be sure, however, you’ll find one you’ll like and want to bring back to the campsite.
Nearby: Vander Mill, Grand Rapids: https://vandermill.com
Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the northeast of Holland, is known as Beer City USA, but it’s also home to Vander Mill. This top craft cider house has options that run the gamut, including Totally Roasted, BLUish Gold and Ginger Zero, Barrel Aged Totally Roasted, and Hard Apple. There are no preservatives and all the apples come from local farmers.