The story of how Hardywood Park Craft Brewery came to be is quite literally as old as its 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.