During the holiday break of my Senior year at the University of Oregon, I was sitting on a chairlift midway through enjoying some of Utah’s finest powder. It was at this time I had a startling realization. I had spent a serious amount of time and money enjoying beer throughout college. I thought, what if for a change I could actually create the beer, instead of solely consuming it. It was here that the idea for a brewery formed.
However, with my extensive knowledge of enjoying the finest (and the occasional Keystone Light, being in college and all…) craft beers Oregon had to offer, I knew that the market was filling up very quickly with very strong competitors. After a little more research I had the idea to differentiate by offering a line of beers that were brewed with a large amount of honey to give them a rounded and refreshing taste. This style is actually a sub-category of the umbrella term mead (which is any honey fermented beverage), called braggot. Thinking that I wanted to start a brewery based a style of mead, I decided what better representation than a Viking. I wanted to create a Beowulf epic for the modern generation. From here I was hooked…
R&D (drinking lots of beers!) and Recruiting Support
Once I got back to Eugene I couldn’t wait to get started on learning everything there was to know about brewing. I was very fortunate to have this passion in such a fertile area for home-brewing and was able to get everything I could ever possibly want for the process. With a little Christmas cash from the Grandparents I was able to acquire lots of literature and a small kit from the home brew supply shop. I picked out a recipe I thought I would enjoy and went about acquiring the necessary parts; 5-gal kettle, carboy, sanitizing bucket, funnels and strainers as well as all the ingredients for the recipe. For my virgin batch I was very lucky to enlist the help of a buddy at Oregon who had brewed a few times before so he was an expert in my eyes.
So we got to work prepping the yeast and the other ingredients. Sanitizing all the necessary parts and began the journey. I realized very quickly that my 300 sq. ft apartment was not the ideal location for a makeshift brewery, but I lived alone and that allowed me to create an enormous mess without any of the passive-aggressive repercussions of roommates. With intermittent games of Call of Duty we successfully brewed up the first 5 gallons of many, many more to come! It was a great feeling working hard to create a yellowish liquid that was now bubbling away in the glass fermenter in my living/dining/kitchen area.
Daniel McTavish, Founder and Co-CEO