If you’ve visited our brewery, you’ve probably seen the sign. It’s written in Dutch, and it has a special meaning beyond the words engraved.
Many of you have asked what it says; some were even able to figure it out. Today we will go behind the words and give you some insight on the man and the story behind those words.
Good friends of ours, I’d venture to say, our Holland family, the Overway/Busscher clan, graciously welcomed us into their family circle 10 years ago when a chance reunion occurred. Erin and the “Other Erin” happened to meet at UW-Green Bay while in graduate school, and when we moved to Holland (the 424) we just so happened to move across the street from (the Other) Erin’s Aunt. We’ve been part of the “family” ever since and you’ll see them visiting their tulip glasses very often.
Now, back to the sign…Erin’s grandfather, Marv, was quite the character. He was 2nd generation Dutch-American and grew up in Noordeloos. He was a railroad engineer and a World War II Vet. He had many “Marv-isms” which he would exclaim in Dutch, much to his delight because no one would really know exactly what he was saying. He loved life and worked hard for everything he ever acquired, which meant his life was grand. He had all he would ever need in life. He always offered you a beer and he loved the Cubs. Marv also loved the water. He paid cash for a modest house on Lake Macatawa and he loved to be on the water fishing. One of his most endearing Marv-isms was one he’d always say while out fishing, and that saying is now hanging on our wall.
It says (in Dutch): “Today we brew beer, so don’t shit in the river!”
We’re not exactly sure where Marv aquired this saying, for all we know he made it up! But, we do know that clean water is important for all of us, and it extends to making good beer too. When the Busschers said they wanted to give us this sign we were honored to accept it, and to hang it in our brewery. Not only does it epitomize a great man, it also ressonates with us because our water resources in the Holland area are of upmost importance to our (collective) lifestyle and local economy. We can’t enjoy life to the fullest like Marv did if we dirty the very things that bring us joy and satisfaction. So next time you’re in the brewery, raise a glass to Marv and the great resource we have in our back yards, the Lake Michigan water used to brew the beer at Brewery 4 Two 4.