Featured Member: Sugar Creek Hops
While the Indy microbrew business was beginning, Spencer, his wife Alex, and their friend (and soon to be business partner) Matt, asked themselves why these breweries weren’t using more local products. It seemed like many restaurants were pushing for more local ingredients, while breweries were not. The answer wasn’t that these microbreweries didn’t want to use local ingredients, but rather there wasn’t really anywhere local they could buy the ingredients necessary to brew their delicious beers. Thus, Sugar Creek Hops was established in 2014. Spencer’s parents were entrepreneurs, so the small business gene is in his blood. He says, “I've never loved the idea of working for someone else and as risky as it is, the payoff of being the master of your own destiny is a pretty sweet reward.” And the reward has indeed, been sweet. They have begun experimenting with new hop varieties that are better suited to the ever-changing Indiana climate, in addition to being more disease resistant. They have also begun experimenting with different flavors to cure with their hops, including citrus, coffee, vanilla, and a variety of fresh herbs. This will allow them to better cater to the needs of individual businesses. Spencer says that this is one of his favorite things about being a small business. “...The ability to have close relationships with the people you do business with…having the flexibility to cater to the specific or unique needs of some customers.” These are the things that he loves about being an entrepreneur, specifically in such a fascinating field. Sugar Creek Hops is located in Boone County; they grow and ship hops all over the United States, while also focusing on the local breweries. Indiana Originals has proven to be a strategic partner in their business. Spencer says: “We ship to brewers all over the US, so some Indiana Brewers not in Central Indiana have no idea where we are. The Indiana Originals association shows our customers why we got in this business to begin with: support our local economy and supply chain.” With the Indiana microbrew business booming, and still growing, these local breweries now have a local hops farm to help cater to their brewing needs. Thanks for all that you do, Sugar Creek Hops!