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  • Kimberly Buczynski

Who are we and what is a Hop Tank?

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

A few years ago, my husband and I made the decision to jump feet first into opening our own brewery. Well, actually we dipped a single toe in the water and decided it was too cold, so for now we are just looking at the water waiting for it to warm up (by the way, water is one of the 4 key ingredients for making beer and some might argue the most important one to get right, but I digress).

We ARE going to start a brewery, but the when and the where are still being, shall I say, brewed. At the time, it sounded like a great idea as we both love craft beer and we both do not feel fulfilled by our jobs in the corporate world. We knew it was going to take a lot of work, but what we didn’t know was how such a simple idea could be so complex and well, difficult. We are learning every day that it is going to take a lot more than just being able to brew a few good beers in a nice building to achieve our newfound dream…it is going to take sacrifice, patience, and love. So, welcome to our journey, we are glad you are here, and look forward to keeping you all updated on our progress. For now, let’s rewind the tape a bit and tell you who we are and explain our name/logo.

My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years, but before my husband met me, he wasn’t quite in tune to the craft beer industry. The year 2014 would prove to be a major turning point for him. Enter his future, craft beer-loving wife. When we met, I had been immersed in the craft beer world for nearly 8 years. I admit, I didn’t care much for beer in my younger years. What I say to people now when they tell me they don’t like beer is… “YOU just haven’t tried the right beer yet.” After all, that’s how I got into the world of craft beer. I knew what the big beer companies tasted like and it was a major assumption on my part that all beer tasted the same. In the beginning, I had no idea there was such variety, so many colors, tastes and smells. Craft beer is a whole different ball game than anything that has come before. Through the years I’ve been open to trying different styles to see what I liked or maybe didn’t like. I also took the time to learn about craft beer. I have visited many breweries, took the tours, learned about hops, barley, mashing and fermenting, and talked to fellow beer-lovers along the way.

From day one, my entire relationship with my husband has revolved around craft beer in some shape or form. Our first date was at a brew pub called Rock Bottom, our engagement was carefully crafted as a private brewery tour at Avery Brewing, Boulder, CO, our engagement party rocked the back of Weyerbacher Brewing, Easton, PA, and finally our wedding, you guessed it, was at the most incredible brewery of them all, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY. It seems as if starting a brewery of our own has been in the stars for us from the very beginning.

In 2014, my husband wanted to try his hand at brewing his own beer. Wanting to be the supportive wife, I invested in a home brewing starter kit for him and we even took our first “how to brew” beginners’ course together. Fast forward to today and several successful brews later (including an award-winning Quad and a very awesome barrel-aged beer created just for our wedding), we’re now dipping our toes into the beer industry to see what happens. We graduated from the stove top to a whole garage brewery with a 30 gallon fully electric Spike Brewing system.

Our focus for now has been on brewing as many different beer styles as possible, seeing what sticks and refining what needs to be refined. We are entering as many different homebrew contests as we can fit into our busy lives, in order to get BCJP judged feedback, which helps us continue to make better beers that will stand the test of time and bring joy to the many when we open. We do not want to be another two to three year flash in the pan brewery that opens and closes…we want to do everything we can to set ourselves up to be successful for the long-term and be part of the community for a long time.

Before I forget, what exactly is a Hop Tank? Is that one of those fancy stainless-steel tanks you see at breweries? We get this question a lot and while it may seem confusing at first read, once the story behind the name is told, it all clicks! No, it is not one of those stainless-steel tanks you see at breweries, it is our creation based on the military background of my husband and veteran, Josh. He was a MOS 19K Tanker in the Army and he loved tanks from the time he was just a little wee lad (we didn’t know this until just a couple months ago when Josh turned 40 and his mom brought some childhood pictures to the party, but he wore a Tank Commander helmet when he was just 2 years old…coincidence?). So, while we were working with the graphic designer on our name and logo, we focused heavily on the military. We also noticed a lot of logos used a hop cone within the design, either as complimentary or as the star of the show. The graphic designer threw a hop cone on top of a M1A1 tank and it was love it at first site…Hop Tank Brewing was born, along with our motto, which is 120mm Blast of Flavors! Maybe down the road we will get into the whole back story behind the actual first name of the brewery we originally picked, but for now you know a little more behind the Hop Tank meaning.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years and while we’ve accomplished a lot, we know we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. From picking a brewery name to building a business plan, reading books to taking online courses, and everything in between, we’ve made a commitment to continue moving forward.

We hope you follow along with us as we take nano-steps toward making Hop Tank Brewing a reality. We’re excited, we’re scared, and we have no clue what we are doing, but we know that with time, sacrifice, patience, a little bit of faith, lots of love from family and friends, and a whole lot of hard work, we CAN and WILL achieve our dream!

Welcome to the story of Hop Tank Brewing…cheers!

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