Berries & bubbles

One more way to use blueberries

Joe Groenhof and his sister Callie
Joe Groenhof and his sister Callie

Factor #1: the family blueberry farm north of Holland. Factor #2: a visit 10 years ago to an older brother who was brewing beer. Joe Groenhof wasn’t 21 yet then, so his brother advised him to try his hand at soda. Voila: an alcohol-free craft brewery was born, with blueberry soda in its product line. After five years of tinkering Groenhof began brewing in 2018 and moved sales online in 2021. 

In a description worthy of a wine magazine, he describes Kittywampus Blueberry Bliss as “a robust sweet, tart, blueberry flavor with a slightly earthy aroma and fruity finish.” Grape, cherry and cream soda are also produced at Groenhof’s facility on Holland’s north side. 

Locavores, listen up: he sells his soda online for pick-up or shipping, and it’s available at stores in Holland, Saugatuck, Douglas and Fennville. (See list at right.) Coffee shops and restaurants are serving it, too, and kegs are on tap at Arktos Meadery in Grand Rapids.

Let’s get down to brass tacks, though . . . Kittywampus? Whether you take it to refer to Merriam-Webster’s first meaning (an imaginary fierce animal) or definition 2 (off kilter), it’s one wacky name for a beverage product line. But it’s fun to say, Groenhof attests, and paired with goofy label art it injects a tone of fun and adventure into the project. 

Kittywampus sodas are served at Virtue Cider and Crane’s Pie Pantry in Fennville, the Farmhouse Deli in Saugatuck, Simpatico Coffee, Bowerman’s on 8th, and the 205 Coffee Bar in Holland. You can find them on the shelves at three Holland party stores — Repete’s on Riley, King’s Cove on 17th and South Side Party Store on Washington — and at Dunes View Kwik Shop in Saugatuck.