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Good Beer Hunting

Nov 14, 2020

Today’s conversation is another one of those times when I feel profoundly grateful that I get to close the loop with someone that takes me back ten years or more—to when a seed got planted, or a relationship got established, and a decade later we’re able to look back and connect the dots on a story that would have been impossible to imagine playing out the way it did.

It’s a reminder for me that I get every so often of the importance of doing good, human, connective things with our work even, and maybe especially if, we don’t know how it’s going to effect someone.

But if we do get a chance to see the end result—or at least a milestone—it can be incredibly edifying and soul-confirming.

That’s not to say that what Rob Brennan of Supermoon Beer Company is doing is the end of anything—in fact, it’s just about to begin. But as you’ll hear in this conversation, so much of the way in which he tells the story of Supermoon involves telling the story of others, and how they were a kind of spiritual journey to where he ended up—even if many of the people in his life suspected it the whole time.

Rob’s journey to Supermoon takes place within a community of people that admired him. My own witness to his journey started at a home-brew party threw with some friends. It was a high concept affair that I’ve never really encountered the likes of since. And it showed how much Rob cares about the beer, but also the context and experience of that beer.

He came to Good Beer Hunting’s annual camping trip called Olly Olly, which we host with our friends at Camp Wandawega each fall—although certainly not this fall—in which he met the co-founding team from Penrose Brewing, Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs, and so began his inevitable journey into the professional side of brewing. He was a stop of the Joshua-Bernstein-inspired tour we hosted in Chicago called Homebrew-to-Pro, featuring people who had started breweries, or “gone pro” from their home brewing roots - like Jerry Nelson of Une Anne and Gary Gulley of Alarmist Brewing.

But after he cycled out of Penrose and moved north to Milwaukee, it started to seem like the vision for starting a brewery that most of us, his friends had, was maybe also cycling out. Maybe that’s just what we wanted for him—but it wasn’t what he wanted. Maybe we were gonna have to let it go and let him live his life.

But a couple months ago—something popped up on his Instagram that looked suspiciously like something that might become a brewery after all. And I can tell you that my heart skipped a beat. It’s about a week away from opening. And the beers are fantastic.

This is Rob Brennan of Supermoon, listen in.

One quick note before we jump in: this is being recorded during the now worst spike of the pandemic—so me and Rob were being extremely cautious—which means we recorded this outside in the cold, so you will hear some background noise here and there—a breeze, some chirpy birds, a contractor hammering down the street and a car or two driving down the alley we were next to. We did our best dear listener, so thanks for your generosity.