Wow, that happened fast. It seems like only yesterday that Sara and I were living it up in Denver, homebrewing our own beer, and kicking around the idea of starting our own craft brewery. As it turns out, however, this weekend marks Hop Haus Brewing Company’s third anniversary. We’re celebrating with a big-time party and we’d love to see you there. I’ll be there. Sara will be there. Lots of the friends we’ve made over the years will be there, too. You should go. It’ll be a blast. More details can be found on our events calendar [link here].
But before we switch to Party Mode, Sara and I thought now would be a good time to reflect on Hop Haus Brewing Company’s first three years.
Started From the Bottom, Now We’re Here
Mission Statement: Hop Haus Brewing Company handcrafts exceptional, inspired and unique beers by combining equal parts science and artistry. Sparked by a belief that every community deserves a place to gather and come together as neighbors to enjoy a pint of beer and worthwhile conversation.
When looking at our mission statement (above) one single word sticks out to me: community.
Back in Denver – before the idea of Hop Haus even crossed our minds – Sara and I loved hosting parties. We’d invite the neighborhood over, sip on the homebrew beer we crafted in the backyard, shoot the breeze, and relax. It was a great way to get to know our neighbors and create lasting friendships. When we started a family, we decided to move back to Verona so our kids could grow up surrounded by family. While leaving Denver meant saying goodbye to the friends we made during our time living there, we looked forward to creating new bonds back in our home state.
House of Grain. And Hops. And Barley, Malts, and Yeast.
It could be that Sara and I are particularly charming and charismatic. Perhaps word spread around town that interlopers from distant lands were moving into the neighborhood. (We briefly considered unpacking in the dead of night to really crank up the mystery factor, but enthusiasm for such hi-jinks faded rapidly after driving for 17-hours straight.) Or maybe it was just that legendary Midwest Nice kicking in. Regardless, the fine folks of Verona were incredibly warm and welcoming, and we couldn’t wait to start laying down roots, both for our family and for our business.
Building the Hop Haus Tap Room wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our family and community. Whether it was painting walls, staining cabinets, scrubbing toilets, constructing the walk-in coolers, or pushing a broom, Hop Haus would never have made it to opening day without the help of our family and friends.
Bringing People Together and Serving Them Tasty Beer
We believe in communities. Creating them. Being part of one. So whenever we hit a rough patch, or face a difficult decision, our mission statement serves as a reminder of why we started Hop Haus in the first place. It wasn’t to build a beer empire with nationwide distribution or even to have Hop Haus available at every Kwik-Trip in the state. Rather, our goal is to bring people together over a pint of beer and worthwhile conversation. Just like we used to do in our backyard in Denver.
But unlike the backyard parties Sara and I threw during our homebrewing days, owning and operating a brewing company is a whole different ball game. Same sport, perhaps, but it’s the difference between professional and amateur level sports. There’s a lot more work involved, much of it unrelated to actually brewing – the reason we went down this rabbit hole in the first place. There’s the administrative stuff. Employer stuff. Leases. Long-term planning and strategery stuff. And, of course, there’s the cleaning, more cleaning, meetings, and seemingly endless emails to answer. Of course, there’s also the actual brewing that needs to be done, too, but the time spent doing that seems to be dwarfed by those other tasks. At times, honestly, it’s exhausting. But I’m reminded why we do this when I look out on the tap room floor and see it filled with folks enjoying a beer with their friends and families. Bringing people together and building a strong community – Sara and I are way into it. Always have been. Always will be.
Each time I see our beer on store shelves or on tap at bars around the Madison area, I’m reminded of the incredible support we’ve received throughout the years. Thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you. As Hop Haus continues to grow, you can count on us to always stay true to our mission statement, and true to our community.
*I’m not crying, you’re crying*