New Holland Brewing Company

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Fruit and Field Beer
3.29 | pDev: 19.76%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 263 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk from Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

"Michigan pears fuel a second fermentation, providing subtle nuance between grain & fruit. A slumber on oak and local raspberries adds depth and tartness." Brewed in the style of a Fruit Ale, available in 22 oz. bottle and on limited draft. Part of their cellar series, retired since 2012.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy, smooth head of a caramel cream color over a deep burgundy body with ample carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Chocolate, toasted bread malts, dark syrupy fruits, moderate grain malts, strong raw aromas of toasted oak. Very little aromatic impact from tart raspberry or juicy pear at this point, admittedly a bit rough around the edges. Potency is moderate. 3.25

(Taste) Cocoa malts, dark syrupy fruits and toasted bread with a strong graininess and oak combining for a distinctively brash finish. Much of the raspberry and pear character seems to be fermented out of this beer, with a mostly specialty malt bill forming the remaining flavor of this beer. Considerably malt-heavy, fairly one-dimensional, not very impressive. 3

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, smooth, lightly chewy and medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a medium crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly sweet and grainy over tart and bitter. Alcohol presence is medium and there are no off characters. 3.25

(Overall) A curious beer judging from the label alone, this ale is quite unique with its execution of distinctive flavors and use of pear juice to reignite fermentation, especially paired with raspberries and a robust, bready and chocolate malt base. Altogether my least impressive Cellar Series beer from New Holland, and apparently a divisive beer for many, it was perhaps for the best to do away with an ale like this and focus instead on sour barrel aging projects. 3

New Holland Brewing Company's

Aug 30, 2015
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Zach136 from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, popped in July 2015.

Muddy brown, pretty oxidized at this point unfortunately. No acidity. I can pick out some chocolate and light fruitiness.

Jul 19, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks Darrell.

Amber(ish) body with ruby and crimson highlights. Small head that quickly fades. Aromas of wood, berries, funk, oak, stone fruit, leather, earth. Clash of flavors. This isn't working. Interesting and intriguing, but this is in need of a few tweaks.

Jun 01, 2015
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bnes09 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

2012 Vintage.

Nice amber color with hazy ruby-orange hues. Weak head. Poor retention. No lacing.

Dark fruit and mild wood aroma.

Sweet flavor of caramel, molasses, figs and plums. Tart raspberries clash with the sweet character. Subtle wood. Smooth but with a tart finish.

Full bodied. Syrupy, yeasty texture. Well carbonated.

I like the originality. Unfortunately, the combination of flavors did not sit well on my palate.

Sep 04, 2014
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palma from New York

4.21/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

Hazy unfiltered brown/purple body. Interesting.

Aroma of tootsie rolls, cherry licorish and figs.

Taste: Very malty. black raspberry notes. Not as sweet as I thought. Tastes like an american strong ale with very light real raspberry added. Pear, apple suggestions. Juicy but still dry - like a dry cabernet. Oak flavor lends complexity. Big time prune in the end. Very complex flavor. Excellent.

Extremely drinkable. Complexity really makes this beer.

Sep 06, 2013
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a conical pint glass
2012 vintage

A - It pours light brown to dark amber in color. The head is very short lived and tan in color.

S - The smell is sweet and syrupy. The raspberries are noticeable. It smells like a sweet mess.

T - The taste isn't much better. The pear is more noticeable in the taste where it was lacking in the smell. It leaves a burnt caramel aftertaste.

M - Moderate and smooth.

O - The aftertaste makes this beer rough. The burnt component is not pleasant. The initial taste is not a whole lot better. It was probably a good idea to retire this beer. It was a nice idea, but ideas don't always make a good beer.

Aug 31, 2013
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Zraly from Virginia

3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2012 Vintage

Pours dark ruby with an off-tan head. Used an Allagash glass. Reasonable clarity considering the darkness of the beer.Predominate note is raspberries. Maintained in a cool, dark closet.

Pears are subdued, which is likely a good thing. Raspberries present toward the back-end and the finish is fairly dry and a touch tart. Oak is also subtle but helps round out the fruit flavors. Light to medium bodied and a bit deceiving in terms of ABV. The raspberry note tastes surprisingly fresh given that this has been aged for about a year. However I did expect the mouthfeel to be a bit fuller and have some heft to it. On the other hand, this makes for easy drinking if you like the taste of raspberries!

I didn't pick up much on the pear -- I'm not sure if this was used purely for an alcohol boost or for an actual flavor. I think this ale is relatively solid and I don't quite get the general dislike of it. I agree that it is not true to one conventional style but is that cause for low ratings? I imagine if we had to pay $30 for a bottle of it the average rating would jump by a significant number of points. Just saying.

Interesting beer to try and would have made a decent brunch beer.

Jun 16, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of raspberries and dark malts are present in the nose-as the beer warms up, pears also become noticeable.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that flavors of dark malts are also noticeable. Neither sweetness nor tartness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather malty for a fruit beer and tastes like it has some off flavors, as the malts don't seem to mesh well with the fruit.

Mar 17, 2013
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

3.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz, 2012 vintage
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a dirty ruby red color. Thin collar of off white head. Leaves some sticky lacing bits.

S: Pulling all fruits on nose. Definitely pulling that flat pear character. It's just not an aggressive fruit. Not getting much tartness or raspberries. Or oak for that matter.

T: Basically a flat fruit beer. Wish there was more, but pear isn't an aggressive fruit variety. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied. Fruit adds to that.

Mar 11, 2013
Photo of tabooky

3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Dark amber approaching brown. Tan head followed by clinging lace. Nice looking beer.

Smell is dark malts and toffee similar to a brown ale but sweeter and more complex. There’s a medley of dark fermented fruit. Just enough fruity sharpness to liven it up.

Taste is sweet caramel malts with dark fruit at first, but balanced by a moderate tartness that’s hard to define. I don’t taste pear or raspberry, they’ve morphed into that lively tartness. Twinge of sweetly acidic quality hits the sides of the tongue . Dryness on the finish with sweetness still on the lips.

Pretty damn good, not outstanding. To me this is like a very mild brown ale with additional layers of fresh and fermented fruit complexity. I’d certainly drink it again, probably buy it again, but didn’t make my must-have list.

Dec 18, 2012
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Daniellobo from District of Columbia

3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good fruity ale, a bit generic after a while.

Presentation: 22 oz brown foiled and capped bottle. Simple label in faded purple, with a en embroidery frame and a few barrels highlighting this series. Back offers a small note pointing to intent and characteristics. Shows vintage 2012, and 7.5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Deep amber/crimson pour, small frothy head, tenuous retention, small surface memory and minimal touches of lacing.

S - Fruity, generic berry touch, hint of sourness...

T - which sort of follows in the palate, not a bad combo but this is a compact berry light sourness, hint of that pear, maybe, light sour touch, malty touches coated in light acidity.

M - Medium body and carbonation, fair lingering sense in the finish.

O - Not a bad flow, but while solid it feels a bit generic unsparing at one point...

Notes: Not the same brew but while Blue Sunday Sour was a nice hit with me this one while good was a bit blah… Lost in the generic fruity sense under the wood. Not a bad try but I'll probably not repeat having the options.

Sep 25, 2012
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

Chestnut red color with some murk. Not much head from the pour. 3.5

Smells like oxidized dark fruits and huge dark bread malts. Subtle fruits penetrate a stuffy aroma. 3.0

Black raspberry, roastiness, wet cardboard, malty bitterness, light oak wood, and some bitter chocolate. Not picking up much of the pear. Kind of jammy, like black forest cake and filling. Finishes sweet and roughly bitter with a boozy sting. Tangy oxidation may have deadened what it had going for it. 3.0

A little heavy-handed with the ethanol. A hard-medium body with some dryness. Ok. 3.5

Envious was once better, so I believe. At least it still had some complexity. 3.5

Sep 12, 2012
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birchstick from Colorado

3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the brewery. Pours a plum deep purple without much of a head on it. Nose is sweeter raspberry and grain malts. Taste opens up with sweet raspberries and a little bit of citrus. This moves to a little bit of caramel and grain malts. The raspberry comes back with a touch of the pear listed in the descriptions. Finishes a little dry, smoky, and fruity. Overall, this is an okay fruit beer. Nothing really popped or made it stand out. Worth a shot, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Aug 19, 2012
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MadScientist from New York

3.98/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 vintage that I picked up at the brew pub.

a: This pours a very clear dark amber with highlights of read and purple. The light tan head slowly dissipates to a thick ring with rafts of bubble floating around the glass.

s: This one smells moderately of pear, malt then some raspberries and slight touch of oak with an light alcohol aroma.

t: Medium raspberry tartness and flavor come through on the first sip with a bit of the pear fruitiness. There is a low bitterness but the tartness is stronger. There are moderately-low malt flavors of carmel and toast. There is also some sweetness but the balance is a bit more towards the tart and bitterness having an off-dry finish.

m: Soft and smooth on the palate with a medium body and moderate carbonation. There is a slight tingle on the tongue that seems CO2 and oak derived.

o: The fruit and the oak each getting to play their part in this beer while resolving harmonious, well balanced beer.

Jul 25, 2012
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BMMillsy from Florida

3.61/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with some reddish hue and a creamy off white head on top. Thick and hearty looking. Smells of cherries, blackberry, fig, plum, raisin and booze. Flavor is slightly boozy, but with a complex fruit assortmen as in the aroma, big highlights on the sweet plums and blackberries. Low-to-medium carbonation, somewhat creamy on the palate. Pretty interesting, but certainly don't need the 22oz. bottle.

Jul 02, 2012
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap in a 10 oz glass, at the brewpub in Holland, MI.

appears a beautiful deep garnet color, with off-white head. sweet fruity aroma, but the taste is not as sweet, more balanced. Flavors are well blended, although I'm not sure I could have put my finger on pear and raspberry if I didn't know they were in there. slightly tart aftertaste.
smooth body, mild carbonation.

overall - a very nice complex beer.

Jun 19, 2012
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twiggamortis420 from Texas

4.32/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber of the 2011 vintage courtesy of lackenhauser. Pours a surprisingly dark brown color with a nice cap of beige head. Decent retention and lacing.

Nose shows a bit of sweet, oxidized malt before diving head-first into a fruity delectable ménage-a-trois of pears, raspberries and figs. Very exciting and juicy.

Taste is nice and smoother than expected. I was a little concerned when it poured dark, I was wondering how pears would compete with dark malt and raspberries...but they manage to hold their own to my delight. I like the way the malt is dark, yet not overly bold...think how a dunkel compares to a stout. I half expected this beer to be some sort of sour when I saw that it had raspberries and pears, but that is not the case...and I actually think it makes the beer stand out from the crowd better. It is a fruit beer with a tasty balancing malt backdrop. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer...I really enjoyed the fact it is very unique, thanks Steve!

Jun 10, 2012
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TheSarge from Virginia

3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying out the 2012 Vintage. Poured into a champagne glass for the heck of it, and the beer forms a steady and rocky finger thick tan foam, and the body is dark copper in color and cleanly filtered.

The aroma is a mix of fig and maple. Some hints of vanilla are there too, with some cherry.

In the taste there is a woody quality, the cherry, and subtle hints of molasses and fig.

Feels full in body, mildly carbonated, a little oily in the middle but leaves the palate dry.

Jun 06, 2012
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

- Ale brewed with pear juice, raspberries aged in oak.

A: Cola pour with red brick highlights glisten from the light upon exit. Dense black coloring with a khaki head that was slight in statue and short in stay. A good rate of carbonation bubbles are seen creeping up the vessel edges. Sloppy thin lace.

S: Black raspberries are dominant, both tart and sweet notes mingle. Average strength at first the aroma doesn’t hold long, limited in complexity smelling of an average raspberry fruit beer. Expected a bit more from the aroma level, dark malts and complexity.

T: Sweet and tart blackberry notes upfront are quickly consumed by a dry berry bitterness. Wine like palate, the dark malts hide the pear juice which does happen to appear in small flashes with long sips and hold. Smooth flavor, again as with the nose holds little surprise and complexity but is well rounded and clean. A bit of tartness occurs on the swallow.

M: Tightly bubbly carbonation, strong body, wine like berry alcohol fuels the mouthful.

O: Not sure how envious people would be of missing out on this. An average fruit beer experience I expected more from. Really smooth, sweet and tart, clean, don’t know how the aging would affect this but in the end brought little excitement to the table and is one easily forgotten.

May 31, 2012
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trxxpaxxs from New York

3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage, picked this up at Mega Bev in Marshall, MI...

A: Pours a nice translucent brown with some dark yellow honey hues around the edges of the glass. There is only a thin off-white head that leaves a ring around the top of the beer. Minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: It smells like fermented fruit. I'm getting a ton of apple juice notes, some spiced raisins, and a bit of alcohol heat. It says on the label that this beer was made with pear, and I can totally see that, but I wouldn't have picked that scent out if I didn't already know.

T: This beer is a hard one to place. It tastes a lot like the nose. I get a ton of apple juice right off the bat. There is a spiced rum/raisin flavor in here too. The booze isn't huge, but that rum like essence is totally there. It's not bad, but it's not all that good either. It's just really interesting.

M: Light bodied beer. It starts out sweet and fruity, but gets a bit funky in the middle. There is a boozy flavor, but it's not exactly hot. It's a bit gritty, like biting into a pear, and I'm cool with that.

O: I think this beer is better than some of the previous reviews. It was obviously an experiment, and I'm kinda digging it. I wouldn't want more than one full glass, and I'll never seek out another bottle, but it's drinkable. I'm glad to have tried this beer.

May 21, 2012
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cagocubs from Illinois

3.67/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at NHBC.

A: Pours a lighter gold almost sparkling white grape or something. A carbonated head that dissipates and laces very little.

S: You can smell the fruit in the form of pear, some berry, and grain. Some earthy wood is sensed.

T: An odd combination of almost a sour and a fruit beer. You can taste the pear complex which was most interesting. Some other sweet and tart fruits invade the palate.

M: Very light and crisp with the carbonation giving it a soda feel. A very easy drinking and refreshing beer.

May 10, 2012
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liamt07 from Canada (ON)

3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Sammy at Steve's birthday, 650ml into a tulip. 2011 vintage.

Dark purple colour with a white head. Spots of lacing and only a film of retention. Raspberries are in the nose is a fairly sweet fashion, browned pears, some oak barrel and generally malty and fruity notes - certainly expected this to be a bit more sour in aroma. More sweet raspberry flavours, less pear juice than the nose offered and a fruity maltiness. Not too tart, slight oak again. Mild effervescence, but not real life in the body or bite. I'm not too intrigued by this, some decent fruitiness but not something I think I'd look for in the future.

Apr 28, 2012
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.65/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting fruit beer. After the hole mix settles, getting the raspberry aroma, and dark reddish colour. Active carbonation. Some white winish taste in secondary. Big mouthfeel, not for everybody. A sipper in terms of drinkability.Some oak there. Balanced bitter, sugar and malt. Needs to line up on sour and bitter side.

Apr 22, 2012
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Etan from Wisconsin

3.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. 2010 bottle.

A: Pours a very dark reddish-brown. No retention or lacing.

S: Interesting nose. Raspberries, black licorice, fruit juice, subtle chocolate, sugar.

T: Taste is a let-down compared to the nose. Mild tart rasberry, vague pear, a bit of chocolate and a heavy bitterish roasty flavor in the finish. Stale grain lingers. Some oxidation-caused dark fruits come out as the beer warms.

M: Very little carbonation, but decent body.

O: The only thing that was really good about this beer was the aroma. Every other element was pretty underwhelming.

Apr 21, 2012
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elNopalero from California

2.97/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This has an intense ruby-blood orange color to it. Looks intriguing and complex. Unfortunately, I don’t get much beyond the looks. There’s not much aroma. Pears? I don’t think of pears as having a strong pronounced aroma but this is fermented on pears and that’s the power of association as much as anything else.

This beer doesn’t have much going on flavor-wise, either. It’s not a sour, really, with just a light pear flavoring. I get a bitter note midpoint and mid-palate, with some unwelcomed harshness as it finishes and warms. The more time I spend with this the less I care for it. It has a finish that is off balance for my tastes.

My expectation was pears plus Michigan berries plus oak equals transcendence in a glass. Instead what I got is a mildly disappointing muddled brew, reminding me of a sour amber ale with medicinal notes that just doesn’t come together.

Apr 09, 2012
Envious from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 263 ratings