Hook Point Brewing Company is due to land in Collierville by the end of the month.
Hook Point has been flapping its wings in the region for the last three years, distributing its flagship beer Flat Hat American Ale to liquor stores and restaurants.
The beer brand was established in 2017 by veteran naval aviator Mike Sadler, who wanted to follow his quest for adventure after his military retirement. He aimed to create a brand from the term "flat-hat," which originated from the early days of Naval aviation and means "unauthorized, low-altitude flying" or, broadly speaking, to fly outside the rules.
"As the story goes, a pilot was flying very low down a road and hit a pedestrian on the head, crushing his top hat, hence, the term 'flat-hat,'" says Sadler. "For us pilots, it was not about being reckless, but about pushing yourself, testing yourself, and being adventurous. Our Flat Hat is meant for those adventurous, active-lifestyle individuals who want to live life full-speed."
Sadler's son had been working in the beverage industry and was subsequently linked to a brewery in Atlanta called Second Self Beer Company. From there, a recipe was developed for Flat Hat: a dry, light-bodied ale that could "cool you off without slowing you down." For the next three years, the beer would be brewed there and distributed here, as well as in northern Mississippi and Nashville.
By 2018, Sadler knew he wanted a home base where he could brew the beer himself. He thought Collierville would be just the place, in part because he lived in the area for 14 years, but also because Collierville didn't have any breweries.
"Meddlesome was the first to bring something outside of Memphis," Sadler says. "But there's still nothing in the southeast. There were a lot of people driving, sometimes every couple of weekends, to taprooms in Downtown Memphis. I thought this would be a good spot that would be convenient for people in this part of town."
So Sadler leased a 16,000-square-foot building at 184 S. Mount Pleasant and enlisted the help of fellow military veterans and award-winning brewers Jay Marchmon and Stephan "Tank" Emswiler to help develop new recipes and tweak existing ones.
Six additional core beers were created, all of which center around aviation themes: Inky Barley Scottish Stout, Haze Gray New England-style IPA, Cat Shot Kolsch, Skyhook West Coast IPA, 3-Wire Belgian Tripel, and gluten-free Hangar Queen Bitter.
Only Flat Hat has been distributed here so far, but the group has used local festivals and tastings to introduce their newer creations to the public.
One of the crowd-pleasers has been Inky Barley. Named after a bombing range in California, the full-bodied stout features notes of chocolate and coffee with a hint of smokiness.
Two other favorites: Haze Gray and Hangar Queen. "There were people who didn't know that Hangar Queen was gluten-free when they tried it," says Marchmon.
Hook Point is working on developing non-alcoholic beverages like n/a beer, kombucha, soda, and nitro cold brew coffee. Some of these may be used in brew recipes. "We're definitely going to be using the coffee in some of our stouts and porters," Marchmon says.
Sadler hopes to be open for business by October 31st, but due to Collierville laws requiring that 50 percent of the gross revenue come from food and because of COVID-19 restrictions, they will be open only for curbside service.
Eventually, they may add a restaurant to the Collierville location, but Sadler has also considered opening a taproom in Downtown Memphis.
"There's a building in place, and a developer interested in bringing us in," Sadler says. "We've had some discussions. But before I commit, I want to get this place up and running."
Hook Point Brewing Company is located at 184 S. Mount Pleasant, Collierville.