Eric’s Homebrewing Story

We’re quickly coming up on the launch of Mighty Axe Hops for homebrewing and homebrewers – and we couldn’t be more excited! Getting the best of Minnesota hops to homebrewers to make the best dang Hazy IPAs, IPAs, Pilsners, Stouts, Lagers, Sours is an actual dream come true for us. After all, it was homebrewing which sparked the love for beer and ultimately hops!

Here’s a personal homebrewing story from our co-founder Eric:

I wouldn’t be farming hops now had I not been a homebrewer. It’s hard to understate the importance of my homebrewing hobby to seeding my love for all things beer and hops. Through highschool I, like many of us, tested out the whole alcohol thing: jungle juice, brown bags, and wine bottles with the cork pushed in because we didn’t know how to use a corkscrew. But never beer. We saw beer as too low a kick, after all the point was to be drunk. That changed my first year of college when, sitting in an old pals basement, I had my first taste of craft beer. I’ll never forget this moment. He offered up Surly Furious, the newest, sexiest beer in Minnesota at the time, and Bell’s Two Hearted. I choose the Bell’s, probably because the fish looks so damn cool, and never looked back. In college I’d get sampler 12 packs from older friends: New Belgium, Boulevard, Schell’s and Summit where the usuals. Through the seasons these 12 packs introduced me to a huge range of beer styles from French ales to Porters and Stouts, Saisons, Pale Ales, and the mystical IPAs.

IPA. What a divergent track my life could have gone had I never known thee! 

Ranger IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted, Surly Furious, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. These IPAs were the formative beers of my college life. The nuance and distinction showcased within these IPAs was vast; flavor and aroma, color, mouth feel, abv, ibu…

What incredible flavors could I brew if I made my own? (And how much money could this college student save?)

So I bopped in to Midwest Supplies (now Northern Brewer) and bought the new homebrewer starter pack: all the plastic buckets, tubes, siphons, thermometers, cleaners, malt extract, yeast, and hops. I started brewing with Pale Ale and IPA kits and never left. Pale Ale with this Cascade vs Citra, always putting more in the dry hop than the recipe called for, always pushing for that beautiful hop flavor that enchanted me about IPAs.

My homebrew career was short lived. I tried an all grain brew once, to terrible results. Bottle conditioning was inconsistent. My beers were consistently “homebrew flavor”. And while I never became a talented homebrewer, homebrewing did get me that ever important one step closer to hops. My homebrew wasn’t good. But it was an expression of my love of hops.

Now, many years later, here I am. My life wholly revolves around hops! And I couldn’t be happier. I guess the moral of the story is the lesson was the hops we tasted along the way.

So there you have it. That’s why we’re pumped up for getting our hops to homebrewers. Now a little plug for our Mighty Axe Homebrewer Group:

Everyone in the Mighty Axe Homebrewer Group will get exclusive 72 hour early access to the online homebrewer store and has a chance to win some hops and Mighty Axe merchandise. Moving forward the members of this Homebrewer Group will be the first to know about homebrewer events (MN hop homebrew competition anyone?), farm tours, and new product launches.

You can join the Mighty Axe Homebrewer Group here: