You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello...
Over the summer of 2017, you may have noticed some changes around The Hop Yard. The beloved Austin Kaylor has decided to pursue his dreams outside of beer and Brian & Angela Johnson have stepped into his shoes to join James Wagner at the store.
We love our community at The Hop Yard, so let's get some proper introductions in place.
Brian and Angela
Both originally from the South (Florida and Louisiana, respectively), they met in California of all places. Brian, already the avid beer drinker, converted Angela into one as well early into their relationship. While living in California, Brian changed career paths from his bank desk job to working in craft beer bottle shops and breweries in the San Francisco Bay area. After some years and tough decision making, they decided to move to the East Coast to be closer to family and start a new chapter in their life together. Following a brief stint in Florida, they finally settled in Raleigh and recently welcomed a little guy named Andrew. The Hop Yard was their local watering hole and they jumped at the opportunity to have a larger role in the beer community here. Brian is super into his sports (notably his Florida Gators, Tampa Bay Bucs, Lightning, and Rays) and Angela loves her teams as well (New Orleans Saints, Texas Longhorns and San Francisco Giants).
James started out on the lovely island of Puerto Rico and moved to NC many moons ago. He's been a resident of the Raleigh area for almost 34 years and is a NC State grad. He tried the corporate world for a decade or so after some quality time in the Marines (Semper Fi!), but decided that he was better off as an entrepreneur. The Hop Yard was just the right fit when Austin came to him with the fabulous idea. James is the renaissance man who can chat with you on just about any subject matter and apparently has a secret recipe to the best mojito... Outside of shop talk, he's chillin' with his super cool family who you'll see helping out in the shop from time to time.
Though he has moved on to greener pastures, we must give some credit to the guy that brewed the concept of this fun and crazy place. Austin and James go way back as friends pre-Hop Yard era; enjoying beer, hunting, music, and scuba diving. Austin's wife brought him to the Raleigh area for her education, and Austin needed something to do. He loved beer and thought, I could make a living selling this thing I love. Hence, you have The Hop Yard.
We hope that you come to love this place as much as we do. It is our home away from home, and we hope that it becomes yours as well. Cheers!