HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — You can now say New Holland Brewing Co. founder Brett VanderKamp wrote the book on craft brewing.
It was 16 years ago that the Hope College graduate began making small batches of craft beer, according to The Holland Sentinel. New Holland Brewing is now the third-largest microbrewery in Michigan and the state's largest independent distiller of spirits. The microbrewery's 60,000-square-foot production facility is in Holland Township.
Now, with co-author Greg Smith, VanderKamp has shared his microbrewery insights in a newly released book called "Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto." New Holland Brewing also is celebrating the re-opening of its restaurant and pub's renovated and expanded beer garden.
"I've told these stories here in one form or fashion," VanderKamp, 41, president of the company, told The Sentinel last week.
"I want to give the reader something deeper to look at other than let's make beer or let's make money," he said. "Building a business is the ultimate art project."
VanderKamp urged others who want to take on the challenge of micro brewing to respect the craft.
"I've been working on this for about eight months," he said of the book. "I wanted to remind people why we got into this business in the first place. A lot of people out there seem to be chasing the dollar, but that's not why we got into this business.
VanderKamp and his best friend founded New Holland with a $10,000 investment when he was 25. Last year, the brewery shipped a record 21,000 barrels of microbrews and several thousand cases of distilled spirits — gin, whiskey, rum and vodka.
"I didn't write this book to be a cautionary tale," he said. "There is a lot of good that has come from craft brewing. I think we have a great thing going. It's a great industry, but let's not ruin it."