Without risk, there is no adventure. West Virginian Brian Cox and newly transplanted Massachusetts resident Joe Ploof met as graduates of the American Brewers Guild during graduation week in Sacramento, CA in the summer of 2012. Both had recently decided to leave cushy yet banal careers for the promise of low paying, back breaking careers in beer. Their brash personalities and drinking proclivities made for an immediate friendship.
After graduation week ended, Brian moved to Louisville to take a job as assistant brewer with Bluegrass Brewing and Joe went back to Massachusetts to become the assistant brewer for Back East Brewing. One year later, after heeding some timely advice from Joe’s wife, Joe and Brian decided to take their dream brewery seriously. After a few weeks of discussion over its final location, Brian boldly packed a U-Haul truck, moved to Connecticut and accepted a job as the head brewer of a then unopened facility.
Scott Stauffer, an insurance careerist, who once harbored dreams of resurrecting a long dead Pennsylvania brand, hit on a tip from a friend and met Joe and Brian over beers at the Hartford drinking institution The Spigot. Although Brian and Joe did not bring any of their own beer, Scott gleaned two things: that Joe and Brian were nuts for good beer and that they wanted to brew it in Hartford. Most importantly for a reasonable fellow like Scott, he realized their skeleton of a business plan had some good bones.
Two years after that meeting, they’ve thrown themselves into the Hanging Hills Brewing Company project with everything they’ve got. It’s great to brew beer.