New Holland Brewing: Beer Sampling

I am sure many of us have heard the age old advice of the importance of location, location, location! And that also rings true for vacation. Location is the key! What I like about the Lake House location is that there are so many amazing towns and cities within a 60 mile radius to visit. Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely enjoy our beach days however the novelty of a new place and exploring all it has to offer is invigorating! Though, that invigoration can be short lived if your expedition is filled with the wrong type of company.


The Lake House is filled with selfless souls, each serving one another, each giving, contributing, lightening the load for the other, each doing selfless acts of kindness. There are no maids, we clean, cook, do laundry, and take out our own trash and yet with many hands serving one another the work becomes joy. There is something magical about cooking with a different loved one each meal, someone whom you otherwise probably wouldn’t even see most mornings/days. And with so many hands chipping in there are a lot of cooks available for the kitchen so everyone gets breaks. Yes, it is the people; the company you keep that truly defines if you are on vacation. If everyone were to sit around and relax while one person did all the work resentment would build, the atmosphere would turn to bitterness, and resentment & bitterness are two words that you should not pack when going on vacation!


Thanks to the Lake Houses amazing location and the selfless company kept there we are able to take little excursions here & there throughout the week, adding little bonus adventures to an already Ah-mazing vacation! Our first expedition for Lake House 2015 was to New Holland Brewing for Beer Sampling!! (And yes, as many of you know I am off grains and going gluten free but this is vacation….vacation!! I totally let loose on vacation; what’s a little bloating, inflammation, and discomfort?).

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The kiddos stayed back at the house with my parents and helped prepare dinner for that evening, the theme was Italian and they pulled out ALL the stops. Then they were heading into town for lunch. See, we have different themes and different people are in charge of each, we have Italian night, Mexican, Polynesian, etc. which totally adds to all the fun! Thus, Beer Sampling only included the second generation Lake House dwellers, my sister, brother, their two friends, my hubby, and me. And it was a blast!

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The art of craft…..Each bottle of New Holland Brewing craft beer and artisan spirits captures a flavor, a harvest, a season, a moment in time.

They honor those who put imagination, creativity and inspiration into their work. Their beer and spirits pair perfectly with a blank canvas, fertile soil, a blinking cursor, an empty plate or the hint of a spark in someone’s eye. The opportunity for art is everywhere.

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We ended up ordering two samplers for the table but each consisted of the same six samples so that we could all taste and discuss the same beers. And since there were six of us it only made sense to allow each person to pick a sampler. So, are picks were Monkey King (my fav!), Full Circle, The Poet (which they use in a lot of their foods, including their ever popular chili), Macatwa Stout, White Hatter, and Sundog.

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It was fun tasting, discussing the beer, and enjoying great conversation over delicious food! (BTW-I did order the gluten free pizza, and it was delicious, not like some of the chewing cardboard gluten frees I have tasted in the past). It was an all-around fabulous afternoon!! Next year I think it might be fun to actually tour the brewery.

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TOUR the New Holland Production Campus!

Take the highly interactive tour of New Holland’s Production Campus. Be introduced to the 50 barrel brewing system from the 1940’s that brings you such delicious brews as Dragon’s Milk, Sundog, Mad Hatter, and Full Circle. Walk along the rows of aging Dragon’s Milk Barrels. Explore Michigan’s Largest and Oldest Craft Distillery which brings us such beloved flavors as Zeppelin Bend Single Malt Whiskey and Beer Barrel Bourbon.

The Tour takes roughly one hour and fifteen minutes, and includes their full brewing, packaging, and distilling systems. Beer and spirits samples are included on the tour.

Children are allowed, though not encouraged.

Tickets cost $10 per person and Tours are only offered on Saturdays.

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Looking to enjoy a beer sampling/tour a bit more local? Checkout Maumee Bay Brewing Company , Black Cloister Brewing Co. , also, click here for an awesome list of Ohio Breweries, Tours, & Beer Events!! And remember to be a bit selective with the company you keep, invite positive, upbeat, selfless, kind awesome peeps and your guaranteed fun! Cheers!!


Post Vacation Stress Disorder

While on vacation last week in Douglas, Michigan with my parents, siblings, grandfather, uncle, aunt, cousin, husband and children I experienced a profound state of peace…. peace that I can only compare to prayer.

In the morning I would get up and be greeted by my uncle, the early riser, and then head outside to sit in the red Adirondack chair to read a few chapters (currently reading, My Sisters The Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell). And sometimes in the quite that was only filled by the occasional turning of pages deer would pass by…can you say breathtaking!?

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And each day was filled with an exciting excursion….one afternoon I went to Holland and tasted beer with my brother, perused the interior design stores with my mom, and stopped in at a candy store with my daughter.

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The next day we all went horseback riding….

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and finished off the day at the park where ALL of us acted like kids…..

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Then one night my hubby surprised me. He had my parents watch the kiddos while we went wine tasting, out to dinner, and perused the shops in South Haven, MI. Oh, and the sunsets, talk about romantic….here is a pic of us on the beach smooching during the sunset….

vacation 170The next adventure…canoeing!

vacation 150We row, row, rowed our boat till our little one fell asleep.  It was so peaceful on the water. And I enjoyed the opportunity to canoe with my hubby and then with my aunt.

vacation 050During our vacation I did not engage in any social media, in fact I left my computer at home. And my phone had horrible reception so talking on the phone was out of the question too. And I am glad it was…I think I needed a break from the inauthentic pull social media can prescribe at times. I thoroughly enjoyed time with my family and I am so grateful we had that time…none of us knows when our lifetime is up thus we must treasure the time we have together. Which is precisely what I did and that paired with the 3rd Coast (not west or east coast but the great lakes) or what they call around there, the Lake Effect I was in a state of peace that I can only compare to prayer.

Then it was over. That state of peace was quickly replaced with grief, I think I began grieving the vacation in addition to having to get the household back in order, back to school shopping, and celebrate our youngest turning 3. That first day back was extremely hard for me. Has anyone else ever experienced a sense of heartache at the end of their vacation?

Any tips for decompressing after vacation? Or suggestions on ways to transition the entire family back to reality?