Founders' All Day IPA. Firestone Walker's 805 Blonde Ale. Victory’s Golden Monkey Tripel.
These are all examples of brands that have shaped bottom lines and shifted futures for some of the country’s biggest breweries. For most of them, that runaway success and influence came about serendipitously. These are business-altering beers that now steer the course of their respective companies—and there are plenty of other examples of similar players scattered across the country.
In today’s podcast, we’re going to hear about one of those—and how in 2014, an IPA from a 9,000-barrel brewery in Charlotte, North Carolina, completely changed the trajectory of the personal and professional life of its head brewer, Chad Henderson.
That beer is NoDa Brewing Company’s Hop, Drop 'n Roll, the 2014 World Beer Cup gold medal winner in the American-Style IPA category. It’s a West Coast IPA that continues to move fast to this day, even in an era of hazy, juicy counterparts. Five years ago, when some kind of monumental success at the bi-annual, global competition was the last thing Chad was expecting, his world got turned upside down. In this conversation, we follow this path of how a single beer changed so much for Chad, NoDa’s co-owners Todd and Suzie Ford, and the brewery itself. From sales, to quality control, to management of the NoDa beer portfolio, Hop, Drop 'n Roll is a continuous thread that runs through it all. It helped push the brewery to almost 16,000 BBLs' of production last year.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ll also mention a little about making hard seltzer, too. After all, if you’re talking IPA, you might as well hit on one of the other most important categories impacting beer and breweries in 2019. For now, let’s shift to hops.
This is Chad Henderson, head brewer and co-owner of NoDa Brewing Company. Listen in.