Last week, Hopkins Farm Brewery Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Aaron Hopkins, told us about the beginning days of his brewing career where a book-signing event with Dogfish Head Brewing’s Sam Caligione led him to seriously contemplate a career in brewing. Then, not long afterwards, a lunch with DuClaw Brewing’s Dave Benfield led to a brewery tour and an unexpected opportunity to begin volunteer work at DuClaw. Aaron’s reliability and curiosity led to a part-time job and then a full-time position at the brewery. From 2012 to 2016 Aaron was exposed to all levels of brewing, from running a bottling line to cleaning tanks and kegs to taking on assigned shift-brewing responsibilities to working on new recipes on DuClaw’s pilot system.
At the same time, Aaron Hopkins and his father were talking about starting Chesapeake Malting Company on the family farm, a business that would grow barley and wheat and then sell the local malt directly to local breweries. In 2016, Aaron made two changes to take on two jobs: work at Chesapeake Malting and a job as a brewer with Phil Rhudy at Independent Brewing Company in Bel Air.
By 2018, Aaron’s father, David Hopkins, was beginning to see growth in Chesapeake Malting and asked Aaron if he’d consider taking on a bigger role in the family business and farm.
And of course, all along, Aaron had a vision of starting a brewery, something his family embraced.
Next week, in Part III on Hopkins Farm Brewery, Aaron Hopkins takes us through the process of building and opening their brewery. While you get ready for next week’s Craft Beer on the Bay feature, take a drive to Havre de Grace and enjoy some good beer made by the good people at Hopkins Farm Brewery.
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy