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“If we won the lottery, I’m going to open up a brewery,” Blake Edmunds would often tell his wife, Kristin, after one of his longer days in the office. Blake thought about that phrase often and wondered does it take winning the lottery to open a brewery?
In January of 2020, Blake decided to find out how to turn his homebrew hobby into a career and began reading up on what it would take to pursue his dream. Next thing you know, Blake is in Montrose, Colorado during the summer of 2021 learning from a mentor and industry legend, Tom Hennessey, and his crew on how to successfully open his own 7-barrel brewpub serving craft pizzas and salads. Soon after that, Blake hung up his fifteen-year career in collegiate athletics and minor league baseball, packed up the family in Columbia, SC and moved back to his hometown of Chesapeake, VA to pursue opening Chesapeake’s next brewery.
Studly Brewing got its name from the self-given name that Blake’s childhood friends gave each other, The Studly Club – a rag tag group of guys that attended Hickory High School and played Little League together. All of which are still very close friends till this day and many of whom still live in Chesapeake. Studly Brewing pays homage to those friendships and the bond sports gave them growing up. Along with Blake’s experience working in sports, Studly Brewing will be a tasteful nod to America’s pastime, baseball, and will have many similarities of a minor league team: a family-friendly, light-hearted fun time.
Proudly Brewed In
Hops, one of the main ingredients in beer along with water, grain, and yeast, weren’t commonly used until roughly 1,000 years ago. Records of beer making are said to date back to around 7,000 BC. Other unique ingredients that were used instead of hops during that time included juniper berries, thistle and chamomile flowers, ginger, quinine bark, coriander or orange peel, rosemary, and wormwood. Hops started being used more prevalent because their preservative effects assisted with keeping beer biologically stable pre-refrigeration times.
Between the 5th and 7th century, the cultivation of hops started in Central Europe. In the 9th century, the first hop gardens were documented in the Hallertau region of Germany. By about 1,500 AD, hops had replaced all other flavorings. Hops are considered the spice of beer and are responsible for beer’s bitter taste, hoppy aromas and its increase in biological stability.
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