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Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Holland Brewery: Mad Hatter Beers

I've been enjoying beers from New Holland Brewing in Holland, Michigan for years.  One of my favorite series of beers that they make are the ones in the Mad Hatter series.  The beers cover a wide range of styles and the labeling scheme plays off of the perennial favorite character the Mad Hatter.  The character, from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, represents fun, goofiness, and a little insanity.  Perfect qualities for a beer.  Here are a few labels:

I love the sly and slightly crazy characters wearing the hats.  But what does the card in the hat with the writing "10/6" mean?  I did a little research.  Apparently, in the original illustration of the Mad Hatter in the Lewis Carroll book, the Mad Hatter was depicted with a top hat that had a card in the brim that read "In This Style 10/6."  No one is really sure what this meant, but some think it was an order slip that in his madness the Hatter forgot to remove. (In the old days, hatter's used mercury in making hats.  The mercury is easy absorbed into the body and causes cognitive deterioration.   Hence, hatters tended to be a little off leading to the observation "Mad as a hatter.").  Kudos to New Holland for including part of the card on their mad hatters.  People now celebrate Mad Hatter day on October, 6th (10/6), for obvious reasons. 


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