Five questions for Paris McFarthing, co-owner, Hop River Brewery and owner, Phil’s Hobby Shop | Editorials

1 How did you learn and get involved in craft beer brewing?

A: For me it started in college with home-brewing. I don’t remember how, but I stumbled across the local home-brew store Brewers Art Supply. I met (store proprietors) Francie (Lengerich) and Joe (Martin) and quickly became a good customer. I had always been into different hobbies, so I took to home-brewing quickly.

I remember brewing my first batches in my parents’ kitchen. They were nothing special, but I learned a lot about the process of making beer and what could be. From there I was hooked and kept progressing in home-brewing. I built several different home-brewing setups and brewed lots of beers I shared with friends.

Home-brewing naturally led me further down the path of craft beer. Fat Tire by New Belgium was my first real craft beer that opened my eyes. From there it was the large amount of creativity in what beer could be that drew me in.

2 What makes Hop River unique?

A: The thing that makers Hop River unique is the people and the community we have cultivated. While Hop River was started by myself and my partner, Ben Jackson, the people that worked at the brewery have given it life. I have so many memories of each person that has made Hop River what it is. I am also proud of the community we have cultivated. From the regulars to the partnerships with different organizations, they are all a part of our story.

3 Do you have a favorite style of beer?

A: I am all over the place with what I like. I like to experience different flavors, so I jump around.

At the moment, I am enjoying lagers. They are a traditional style but delicate and complex.

I enjoy what they offer and the skill it takes to brew them.

4 You also own Phil’s Hobby Shop. Do you have a favorite hobby or toy from the store?

A: I have always had an interest in flight. I enjoy flying anything remote controlled. In addition, I have been reliving my childhood with Legos as well.

5 What advice do you offer early entrepreneurs?

A: My advice is to be curious and open to learning. That can be about yourself, your business or anything in life. I feel asking questions and being open to the answers is powerful. In between those lines you will find opportunity.

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