A term of endearment from Dave Gronert’s “tough, old Norwegian” grandmother, and the basis for the name of a new beer brand hitting the market this August: Hunyuck Brew Co.
“Hunyuck was a term that my grandma used to describe backwoods folks in northern Minnesota that are basically real renaissance men,” says Gronert, co-founder of Hunyuck with DJ Huberty. “If they wanted it, they built it, they made it. Well-known for loving beer while working on their inventions. The mascot was the vision in my head of what a ‘hunyuck’ would look like—always with humor involved.”
While Gronert and Huberty finalize plans to build their brewery and taproom (projected to open in fall 2019), Hunyuck’s beers are currently being contract brewed out of Barley John’s facility in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Barley John’s also recently began contract brewing Duluth Brewhouse beers at their facility.
“Barley John’s was the only brewery that we found that was willing to work with us without looking for unrealistic commitments on the amount of beer we need to commit to making,” Huberty says. “They also were 100 percent on board with active participation by Dave and I with our beer. We are aware that there are those that frown on contract arrangements for various reasons. We want to be 100 percent clear on this point: the concept, the brand, and, most importantly, the recipes are 100 percent Hunyuck’s.”
And as for these recipes, Gronert’s 14 years as a homebrewer has helped shape Hunyuck’s lineup. Hunyuck plans to hit the market with two lagers, two pale ales, an Imperial IPA, an IPA hybrid, and an IPA called Oger. “We are betting Oger will be our flagship,” Huberty says. Gronert expanded, noting that Oger will be a “hoppy, juicy, well-balanced IPA,” clocking in at 6.5 percent ABV. “Not too much of anything, but lacking nothing,” says Gronert.
Gronert and Huberty are longtime family friends who started discussing starting their own beer company two years ago. “We have similar likes and dislikes in our craft beers,” Huberty says. “We also both love the huge variety of beers in the market, but at the same time know that our beers can compete. We both dream of doing something that we love, being our own bosses, and working the rest of our days making beer.”
While the two are licensed and ready to self-distribute their beers—and ready to pour their beers at this year’s Summer Beer Dabbler at CHS Field on August 25—Huberty and Gronert look forward to the day they open the doors of their own brewery.
Stay tuned for more information about Hunyuck Brew Co. in The Growler’s Now Open (Or Damn Close) column.