Block party stirs up old alcohol debate

7:22 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - An upcoming celebration for a Holland brewery is stirring a longtime debate over selling alcohol in the city. This week the New Holland Brewing Company got approval to sell alcohol for a block party on College Avenue in June.

A 15 year celebration is in the works at New Holland Brewing.

"What we're proposing to do isn't that revolutionary. Its just maybe a little different for Holland, " says Brett VanderKamp, co-founder of New Holland Brewing.

Some people are not ready for what the celebration entails. Mike Trethewey was the only of nine city council members to vote against a liquor license for the upcoming block party.

"We keep hearing that if we have a bar on every corner people will come. Well, I'm sorry but if we have to have alcohol to have fun, something's wrong," says Trethewey.

In 2008 the city started allowing alcohol sales on Sunday.

Trethewey says the block party opens the city up to possible legal trouble.

"If somebody gets hurt or if somebody gets in an accident after these events, the city could be held liable," says Trethewey.

"We encourage responsible consumption everyday. We'll take the proper steps and have the proper security in place," says VanderKamp.

Event organizers say the brewery has never been more popular in its 15 year history.

"They're turning over a new leaf and realizing alcohol in moderation is a healthy thing. We haven't had issues in the past and I don't anticipate we will," says VanderKamp.

The block party begins on June 16th. VanderKamp is expecting more than 2,000 people to attend.

By Alex Shabad

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