HenHouse Brewing

What started out as three guys homebrewing evolved into a business born out of the great recession and has grown to include two locations, with two more on the way, and over 90 perpetually STOKED employees. Santa Rosa’s HenHouse Brewing, celebrating their 10th anniversary this month, has never lost their passion for fresh, quality beer for the communities they serve and support.

Their story begins over 20 years ago when co-founder Scott Goyne, a certified herbalist who taught essential oil distillation, began homebrewing. Soon after, co-founder Shane Goepel, a musician and tour manager for two bands, joined in the brewing of small batches on Scott’s essential oil distilling equipment. Last to join the trio, co-founder Collin McDonnell ended a short spell as a communication consultant, going on to work at 5 different Bay Area breweries before linking up with Scott and Shane in Petaluma, California.

HenHouse Brewing officially opened up shop and served their first beer on January 24th, 2012, eventually reaching a production total of 88 barrels at the end of 2013. Soon after, in 2014, they opted to contract brew at Petaluma Hills Brewery to meet demand, then built out their own 30 barrel production facility in 2016, just up the road in Santa Rosa.

HenHouse Brewing’s co-founders (L to R) Shane Goepel, Scott Goyne, and Collin McDonnell – via HenHouse Brewing

Early brews revolved around less common American craft beers, such as Belgian Saison, Oyster Stout, California Common, and Abbey-style Ales, even proclaiming that they’d never brew an IPA. Yet creating all those unique Ales and Lagers in the early days enabled them to build experience with various yeasts, effectively fine tuning their beers for drinkability and freshness. Today HenHouse Brewing’s wildly successful IPAs, including their flagship Incredible Pale Ale and rotating Conspiracy Series IPAs, now account for over 70% of their total production.

In 2018, they expanded once again by opening The Palace of Barrels, an 8,000 square-foot production facility in Petaluma Hills Brewing’s former space, and also increased their fermentation space in Santa Rosa. This additional growth increased their total brewing capacity from just under 10,000 bbls to 40,000 plus bbls annually and are presently brewing just under 20,000 bbls. Then in October, HenHouse announced the purchase of the Iron Springs Brewpub in the Marin County town of Fairfax, which will be opening soon, and another location slated for Novato in the near future.

And while HenHouse is all about keeping beer fun(!), they’re also super active in supporting their local communities and participating in national brewing initiatives. Locally they’ve made donations to local educational foundations such as If Given a Chance, supported local musical organizations like the Railroad Square Music Festival, and have a semi-regular collab with the Pink Boots Society. Sonoma County has year-after-year dealt with increasingly more devastating wildfires which compelled HenHouse to create a Vote For The Green New Deal campaign in the hopes of raising awareness with congressional representatives and senators, plus raise money for local charities pledged to address climate change. They also created their own take on Brave Noise, a world-wide brewery initiative aimed at creating a safer and discrimination-free beer industry.

From the start, HenHouse self-distributed their own beer and worked with independent distributors to ensure freshness and quality. With this emphasis in mind, they’re one of the only brewers to have a 28 day shelf life for their cans, guidance that’s printed on their labels along with the canning date, for all of their hop-forward creations. This focus on freshness is exemplified by their annual release of Big Chicken: a “Zero-Day” Imperial IPA that’s kegged, delivered, and tapped all on the same day in February. They also maintain a “cold chain” of distribution, with all their beers maintaining a refrigerated temperature at the brewery, during delivery, in storage, and on to cooler shelves.

Over the past 10 years HenHouse Brewing has created at least 230 distinct beers categorized into 43 different styles. Ten of those are their new anniversary releases, and a whole lot more have made their way to Function PDX, a NW Portland pop-up event space helping celebrate HenHouse’s 10th anniversary over the past three weeks. Today, Henhouse’s co-founder and CEO Collin McDonnell will join the Stoked on Ten! celebration at Function and might just have a few special surprises up his sleeve. Stay tuned to the Function PDX instagram for the latest updates on draft and package options available at their pop-up taproom until January 31st!

The HenHouse Brewing Stoked on Ten! pop-up at Function PDX

Here at Day One, we’ve been working with HenHouse Brewing for over 3 years now and are excited to join the festivities tonight as well! We’ve also received a limited amount of beer for distribution of Oregon, including the following special releases:

  • Teammates On Ten – Pre-Prohibition Lager – the last of the 10th Anniversary Series is a Corn Lager brewed in collaboration with Kim from Pacifica Brewery, Mark from Craftsman Brewing, and Sam & his team from Temescal Beer [all breweries Day One has had the pleasure of working with in Oregon]. This crisp and delicious lager features locally-grown barley from Admiral Maltings and Purple “Bloody Butcher” Corn from River Bend Malt near Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to these super special cereals, “Teammates” features the delicate aroma of Ahtanum and American Tettnang hops, for a mild evergreen, peppery and floral nose – 5.5%. Available in limited cans and on draft.
  • Bebe Rebozo – India Pale Ale – Simcoe and El Dorado hops are the delicious, danky duo driving your drinking in this 7.1% delight. Simcoe is a foundational hop of modern IPAs and “El Do” is a rising hop star. Like buddy cops in an ‘80s movie, they do good work on their own but are even better as a team. Together, they’ll deliver huge mango, guava, and ripe pineapple flavors with little bitterness to distract from your tropical taste-cation – 7.1%. Available in limited cans and on draft.
  • Reptilian Shadow Government – Hazy Double IPA – We took our Deep State IPA a few layers deeper and packed in even more Citra & Amarillo hops to give off flaves of peach rings, crushed pineapple & some melon deliciousness. We’re not exactly sure what offices are like at the center of the earth, but we really hope they are as divine as this here beer – 8.6%. Available in limited cans and on draft.
  • A Good Night’s Rest – Dark Saison – After an Honest Day’s Work, you need A Good Night’s Rest, the saison built for wintertime. dark, chocolaty malt mingles with our beloved French saison yeast to create notes of cola and dried cherry. Let this hibernation-friendly ale wash over your taste buds as you don your kerchief or cap and settle in for a long winter’s nap – 6.6% Available in limited cans and only on draft at Function PDX.
  • The Dubbularity – Abbey-style Dubbel – Following the popularity of our Belgian Golden Ale and Singularity, our Singel Abbey-style Ale, came The Dubbularity. One of our most popular “every-so-often” releases! – 7% Available in limited cans and only on draft next week at Growler King – Hwy 99 in Medford.
  • Fowl Play 7: Almost A Gallon of Pilsner – Anniversary Pilsner collaboration w/ John Gillooly of the soon-to-open Brix Factory in Oakland, formerly at Drakes Brewing. Available only on draft at Function PDX & 3 Liter Bottles at HenHouse taprooms.

Content for this article sourced from HenHouse Brewing, North Bay Business Journal, The Press Democrat, and The Full Pint Podcast.

Published by Warren Wills

Operations & Marketing Manager - Day One Distribution

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