The story of Howling Henrys starts back in the early 2000s. Early in my marriage to my beautiful wife I spent a good bit of time playing video games. My wife became fed up with me wasting time, and suggested I need a hobby. Since we both enjoyed drinking wine together, she asked if I would like to try my hand at making some. So we started out with a wine-making kit. The wine kit’s instructions were a bit intimating for guy that knew nothing about wine-making. I mistook being sanitary with being sterilized. I know I was not sterile and feared I’d be in trouble if I got my wife sick.
I still had thought of trying a new hobby when I came across a home brewing magazine article, in particular, went through the process and kept the terminology simple enough for a guy like me to understand. I decided to check out Youtube to see if there any videos about home brewing. After watching multiple videos in my spare time, I felt that I had developed a good understanding of the process. I purchased an extract brewing kit., and made my first few batch. I knew I needed to get into kegging as bottling was time consuming and tedious. Making this step took me down the road to using an all-grain brewing setup.
After a short period of time I had an all-grain setup, and I was reading just about every home brew and pro book I could find. It amazed me that my concoctions worked out as the books promised. At this time my wife took notice to my insatiable hunger for more information on brewing, and my ability to brew my own recipes consistently.
My wife and I were at a local restaurant having lunch, when she suggested that I should start a brewery. Being a good husband, I listened to her, and said that I would try. To be honest, I had no idea on how to start a brewery. It took nearly five years to gather up used dairy equipment that I found could be used in place of expensive brewery equipment. This type of brewery is called a ‘Frankenbrewery’. Despite lack of bank funding, and my decision to not take on investors, I started this brewery as a one-man show.
My key goal was to bring malts back to beer, as most breweries were trying to out-hop each other. Don’t get me wrong, a good IPA is always appreciated, but only having hoppy beers all the time is pretty boring. At this point, I needed a name for my brewery and a theme. Since my wife and I were obsessed with our dog, we came up with Howling Henry’s Brewery.
I have been very lucky to have had my wife, family, friends, and life experiences to help me get to the point I am at. As a result of not having a big bankroll and starting from scratch, I learned a good bit about every aspect of my business. I wouldn’t change a thing.