A chance encounter leads to new brew for Holy Hound
Last September, Scott Newman-Bale promised Scott Eden if Short’s Brewing Company ever distributed outside of Michigan, Holy Hound would be the first to get it in Pennsylvania.
Soon, that promise will come to fruition.
The Michigan-based brewery announced Jan. 28 it would start distributing outside of the state, something the company hadn’t planned on before. Holy Hound Taproom, 57 W Market St., will be one of the first bars in Pennsylvania to get the craft beer. Chicago is the only other place slated to get it so far.
Eden, owner of Holy Hound, said he couldn’t believe Newman-Bale was serious in distributing to him when the announcement came out.
“He was kind of joking around,” Eden said. “It’s nice that they’re seeking us out. When it comes to growth, you need to do what you have to do. We kept playing phone tag for a while, but this is pretty exciting.”
However, the story behind the promise shows just how small the world is and how much smaller the craft brewing world is.
The Michigan Brewers Guild hosts four festivals around the state every year for brewers and beer enthusiasts to gather and try new brews. The two Scotts met during the U.P Fall Festival in Marquette, a city in the north part of the Upper Peninsula.
“We originally met at the Detroit airport,” Newman-Bale said. “We were both headed to Marquette for the festival. We chatted a bit, and we grabbed a beer at the airport.”
Eden said the two were stuck at the Marquette airport after the flight from DTW.
“We flew into the Marquette airport which is this old airfield from the Cold War,” he said. “It’s a half-hour from Marquette. There’s nothing out there.”
When Newman-Bale’s coworkers didn’t come to pick him up, Eden and his friend rented a car and offered Newman-Bale a ride into town.
“We drove into Marquette and chatted along the way,” Eden said. “I dropped him at a bar where his friends were and then we went to check in at the hotel. Then we went back to the bar and hung out with the people from Short’s.”
The group of brewers chatted, bought each other shots and beers and talked about the business they love.
“At the end of the night, I told him ‘I’ll make sure I’ll talk to you if we ever get outside of Michigan’,” Newman-Bale said. “We laughed and joked about it, but now it’s true. I had to track him down again.”
Short’s brews will be distributed through Bella Vista Specialty Beer Distributors in Philadelphia.
“Short’s Brewing beers will stand out in the competitive Pennsylvania market,” Jordan Fetfatzes, vice president of Bella Vista, said in a Feb. 8 press release from Short’s. “We’ve known Scott Newman-Bale and the Short’s crew for over six years and are excited to finally be able to offer this fantastic portfolio of beers to our customers.”
Newman-Bale said Short’s is sending three of its flagship beers to eastern Pennsylvania.
Soft Parade, a fruit infused rye ale; Huma Lupa Licious, Short’s best-selling India Pale Ale named after the hops plant used to brew it; and Space Rock, a gluten-free American Pale Ale with floral and orange notes; will be available in the area.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to help share their beer,” Eden said. “This is something fun and beneficial for us and them. These are the things people love about craft beer. It’s a tight community.”