Here’s our story... It’s not your typical story of growing up through the family brewery or laboring our way on a hop farm and it’s not some fantasy where we traveled the world abroad tasting the finest brews for inspiration and attended the Siebel Institute to earn our brew master degrees. Not that there’s anything wrong with these scenarios, but our story is a little more homegrown.
The idea for Liquid Hero was conceptualized in one single evening (with a little inspirational help from the Modern Marvels episode of brewing) and was put into motion by a few borrowed pieces of homebrew equipment. We bought ourselves an extract brewing kit right off the shelf of our local homebrew shop and fired up the turkey fryer on the back porch and thus Liquid Hero was born…way back in 2008. Before our first batch was even finished fermenting we were on to the next batch. We definitely didn’t master the art of brewing with the first or second…or even third batch of beer, but we kept on brewing. Before we knew it, we were brewing every week…sometimes two or three times a week. Batch after batch; tweak after tweak; we were dialing in our recipes.
After our first full year of brewing, we attended the 2009 York Microbrew Fest and handed out our beer. Much to our delight, people loved it and wanted to know where they could buy it. Unfortunately for us, we had to tell them that we were just homebrewers with a distant goal of maybe one day opening a small scale craft brewery. After the brewfest, we often fantasized about operating our own brewery one day, but we had a hard time visualizing how we could make it all come together with the limited resources we had. So we just kept on brewing…
In 2010, we set the wheels in motion. We brainstormed on ways we could get the brewery up and running. Initially, we talked about building a 1 bbl system and renting out cheap space to get the brewery off the ground. So, in early 2010, we formed an LLC, found some cheap space, and started looking at the licensing process. Well, not more than a month into our process, our ‘cheap space’ fell through and we were back to square one…a grand idea with no resources. In May of that year, we took a tour through several buildings in downtown York to find the future home of Liquid Hero, but nothing seemed to fit our budget or needs. During the summertime, we started to talk with a popular local restaurant about partnering and opening a brewpub together, but the PLCB dropped the hammer on that idea (something about operating a business with two separate PLCB licenses). Back to square one. Then in November, our loyal real estate broker informed us that one of the owners of one of the buildings we toured was willing to negotiate with us on leasing some space. We walked through the building once more, submitted an offer, and finally signed a lease in January 2011. The rest was all downhill (or uphill) from there. We submitted plans in March, began construction in May, finished in August and started brewing later that month.
The Name... Liquid Hero was technically created by all three of the brewers. On the same summer evening that we thought of the idea to start brewing, we also thought of the name. While gushing over the thought of making our own beer, Christian randomly turned to Hoke and cheerfully asserted, “You are my hero!” Hoke digested this assertion and with a gleeful retort, he muttered “Beer is my liquid hero.” Matt then chimed in and proclaimed that the name of the beer making endeavor shall be “Liquid Hero.” Not only was it thought of in an instant and through what seemed to be mindless banter, the name truly depicts the origin of what we set out to do with beer in the first place…rescue ourselves from ordinary beer.