Over this past summer East Coast Taps was given the opportunity to embark on a killer relationship with Iron Duke Brewing, they are incubating in the Ludlow Mills, in Ludlow, MA. We were extremely excited to work with these guys first and foremost for their awesome beer, but also because we were able to watch their growth. The brewmasters or “brewing hometown heroes” we like to call it would be Mike and Nick. After working with these guys for a few months I knew they needed to be blogged about…so let’s dig in further.

How does any brewmaster get started? Their love for beer, of course. Nick has been brewing for over 6 years now and has been recognized and presented with multiple awards for his beer. A few years back Nick realized his love grew stronger than just a hobby, once he recognized his talents he knew they shouldn’t go unnoticed to beer lovers. His passion and hard work inspired Mike to hop on board and join the cause.

When I asked Mike if the hard work was what he expected he explained to me that the startup phase is harder! After a long day at work they head to the brewery for another 4 hours to wrap up their 14 hour day, go home, go to bed, wake up and do it all over again, now I’d say that’s dedication. Like any startup business a brewery requires a lot of attention, paperwork, machinery, licensing, materials and lots of elbow grease (did I mention money)….. East Coast Taps has visited their location a few times and it looks like Iron Duke is having a lot of fun with the construction “or deconstruction” Mike says of the brewery which is the fun part!

So what can we look forward to with Iron Duke? Well In addition to offering high quality craft beer, they hope to offer an inviting atmosphere which we know won’t be hard at all. Their hopes are that any time they’re at the brewery the tap room will be open, giving the public a chance to watch them brew while enjoying a beer or 2….or 3….(you fill in the rest).

Although a 5 year projection is difficult for a brewery because beer changes often Mike gave me an awesome 12 month projection of goals, they want to create good relationships with the local on-premise (bars, restaurants, etc) venues. While they have a taproom, their business model is to be a distribution brewery, that said if after 12 months they are on tap at 10-20 bars and restaurants, within a 25 mile radius of the brewery, then that is most definitely a win. Hey Mike…great goal! Totally doable.

To wrap up the little taste everyone can get of Iron Duke I’ll release some exciting news, their goal is to start distributing this spring…but that’s not all, the tap room is hopefully going to open shortly after (By July 1st, 2014). Their headlining beers will be the Baby-Maker (we love it)! Which is Irish at its root, but brewed with a bit of roasted malt to balance the sweetness of a traditional Irish Ale, next will be Stockhouse 122 which is a light and citrusy IPA…yum. Iron Duke plans on having at least 6 different taps on at all time.

We love working with Iron Duke and we can’t wait to watch them explode. Follow them on twitter at @irondukebrewing or check them out on facebook for updates! Thanks Iron Duke!