The Hen House in Petaluma
HENHOUSE BREWING COMPANY IS NO ACCIDENT
Our story starts 20 years ago, when Scott stopped homebrewing. Realizing that fermentation was no mere hobby, he put away the carboys and took a deep dive into the world of artisanal manufacturing. Through earning a small business administration degree, becoming a Certified Herbalist, teaching essential oil distillation in Morocco and Vietnam, forming an industrial processing installation and design business, and fermenting pretty much everything regularly, Scott always kept working toward a Sonoma County fermentation venture.
Shane came into brewing from the music world. For a decade, he toured nationally in two bands, not only drumming but also booking shows, selling shirts and records, and getting the band from gig to gig on a schedule. While he wasn’t on the road, he was managing production at a co-manufacturing facility in Petaluma, where he and Scott began making beer on Scott’s essential oil distillation equipment. Brewing immediately clicked as a natural extension of the same creative process that drove his music. The path was clear, and Shane immersed himself in brewing science and technology.
Collin is a born and raised Petaluman, and went to school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where he competed for their renowned speech team. After winning a national championship, both individually and as a team, he did a brief stint as a communication consultant before moving into brewing. While working his way up the brewhouse through five Bay Area breweries, he focused in on beer’s ability to bring people together, and breweries’ ability to strengthen communities. Putting together his brewing experience with his belief in the communal power of beer, he began to look for a role outside of the brewhouse.
When the three of us met, it was immediately clear we would start a brewery together. There was no period of hemming and hawing; we got straight to it. Scott leveraged all of his mechanical experience and business connections to build our first three barrel brewery and found us a home to operate in. Shane started brewing every weekend, perfecting recipes and deepening his brewing knowledge. Collin set out building the customer base and putting the beer in front of the right people. After a year and a half of proving we could make good beer, we brought in an investor group of friends and family, and we proved we could sell beer, going from 88 barrels of beer in 2013 to 12,000 in 2019!