Growing tired of being an accountant for over 30 years, Mike Hanley began looking to what he could do next. The idea of starting a hop farm began in 2016 when Mike started thinking about how he could enter into the craft brewing industry. He had been home brewing for a few years and felt that supplying locally grown hops would be an interesting way to be part of the great craft brewing industry.
In the fall of 2016, things began to fall into place when an opportunity arose to start having some agricultural crops grown on a small plot of land that was less than a five minute drive from Mike’s home. In January 2017 Mike’s wife suggested that he should attend a hop conference to make sure this was really something he wanted to get into. He attended Ohio State’s Ohio Hop Conference in February and Purdue’s Indiana Hop Conference in March and decided this was an adventure he wanted to pursue. After clearing a few trees in the spring of 2017 and installing the trellis system that summer the half acre hopyard began to take shape. In August of 2017 almost 600 Cascade and Chinook hop plants were planted.
In June of 2017, Mike purchased a 19 acre farm also less than five minutes from home. This farm would allow Mike to grow to over 15 acres of hops, plus build a harvesting, processing, and storage facility.
At the end of June 2019 Mike retired from his corporate accounting job to become a full-time hop farmer. In the fall of 2019 the new pole barn was built to house the harvesting, processing and storage facility. At the beginning of 2020 the 5 acre hopyard expansion began with over 2,000 new hop plants (Crystal, Triumph, and Zeus) going in the ground at the end of May, which take up a little over half of the expansion area.