Two childhood friends enjoy a glass of homebrewed beer halfway around the world.
The rest is history.

Lifelong Friends

The story of how Hardywood Park Craft Brewery came to be is quite literally as old as it’s co-founders, Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh. Their parents met first, setting the stage for a childhood friendship that would develop over decades into a shared passion for craft beer. While honing their craft as home brewers, Eric and Pat built the foundation for Hardywood Park by experiencing craft beer culture and learning every facet of the industry.

Eric McKay, while working as the marketing director for one of America’s leading craft beer wholesalers, built an innovative mobile beer marketing platform, served as a speaker on beer marketing strategy innovation at several beer industry conferences around the country, earned his MBA with honors from Fordham University and was selected to serve as a Great American Beer Festival judge. He also became Richmond’s first Certified Cicerone™.

Patrick Murtaugh follows three generations of brewmasters in his family: Louis Kuhn, Springfield Brewery, Springfield, MA; Henry Kuhn, The Wayne Brewing Company, Erie, PA; and Albert Kuhn, The Koehler Brewery, Erie, PA. In 2010, Patrick began his studies as a full time brewing student at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. After extensive technical coursework at Siebel, Patrick relocated to Munich, Germany for practical brewing training at the renowned Domens Academy, where he earned his Master Brewer Certification.

Apprenticeships with Brauerei Heller Trum in Bamberg, Germany, as well as Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. and Defiant Brewing Co. in New York, rounded out Patrick’s brewing training.

Ten years of hard work and planning brought Eric and Patrick’s dream into reality with the launch of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in October 2011.

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A Cold Glass at a Sheep Station

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In the fall of 2001 Eric, for study, and Patrick, for travel, met up in Australia at Hardywood Park, a sheep station outside of Bathurst, New South Wales. The owners, the Crawford family, had graciously hosted Eric during his orientation trip where he spent his days working on the farm and his evenings enjoying a home cooked meal and a glass of David Crawford’s delicious home brewed amber ale. The degree of flavor and complexity in David’s beer was enlightening, and from that moment on, Eric and Patrick have devoted themselves wholly to the pursuit of brewing world class ales and lagers, and introducing people to the joy of authentic, hand crafted beer.

The original Hardywood Park sheep station has changed owners and names, but the name lives on in Hardywood Park Craft Brewery as a tribute to David Crawford, whose beer inspired Eric and Patrick’s quest.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Hardywood’s mission is to brew with purpose. This charge comes alive in our thoughtfully innovative recipes, our commitment to using local ingredients and our obsession over quality. Our beers range in style from traditional to experimental, but there’s a story behind each one.

Hardywood is deeply dedicated to minimizing our environmental impact. All of our power is sourced from renewable energy, and we use recycled packaging and sustainable materials whenever possible.

Founded in Richmond, Virginia, by lifelong friends, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery has been soulfully brewing beer since 2011. Today, Hardywood operates a brewery and taproom in Richmond. A brewery and taproom is slated to open in Charlottesville in the fall of 2016. In 2017, Hardywood will open a new $28M brewing facility and beer campus in Goochland, Virginia. Hardywood beers have earned international acclaim with medals at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival, as well as a rare 100 rating by BeerAdvocate Magazine.

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