Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with Nick Sheets, Henmick Farm & Brewery
Every Friday, we ask an Ohio craft brewery owner or employee to answer six questions about their path to the brewing industry, what sets their brewery apart and their thoughts on craft beer in Ohio.
Today we’ll chat with Nick Sheets, owner of Henmick Farm & Brewery in Delaware, Ohio.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
Ever since my first microbrewery visit in Vermont over 20 years ago, it was always a tucked-away dream of mine to own a brewery. It seems that much in life is timing and circumstance. After unsuccessfully pursuing several brewery locations in Central Ohio, I tucked that dream back away. When my family farm became available, I pitched the idea to my siblings and aunt about creating a destination, country brewery (more modeled after wineries) filled with unique spaces for people to enjoy. It served two purposes: becoming a way for us to keep our farm in the family for another 100 years and providing me a very fulfilling second career.
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
The easy answer and based on our sales are anything hazy or ending with IPA, but our Pilsner and Dunkel consistently sell well and get great reviews. We get a lot of positive feedback that we offer a wide range of beer styles despite being a very young brewery. Our head brewer, Zack Cline, has done an amazing job, and it’s fun and exciting for both of us to discuss what’s next and what we’ll do in the future.
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
The beauty of the spaces we’ve created and the natural beauty of the woods, fields and everything that surrounds it. It also makes me smile to think that I’m creating something special for our guests and knowing I’m the fourth generation to make a living on this land (albeit in a much different way!). I get to come to work every day to the one place on this Earth I love the most. How many people get to say that? It’s pretty special.
Your brewery offers a lot of modern amenities without losing the charming, rustic farm feel. Can you talk a little about how you blended the two when you were building out the space?
Even though the entire brewery is a “new” build, we used repurposed elements throughout, with the center piece being an 1860’s barn. We really tried to balance rustic and modern, wood and metal, aesthetics vs function – both inside and out. Most of our design inspiration came from visits to small Sonoma wineries that started as family farms then got reinvented, just like Henmick. Most importantly, we wanted to make the space feel comfortable and relaxed but with a feeling of home. The family pictures and art decorating the space helps accomplish this and provides a feeling of history.
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
Oh boy – that’s hard and a very loaded question! Ohio is fortunate to have so many great craft breweries and beers that I enjoy drinking. So, to name a few and make it easier by sticking to Central Ohio-based breweries, I would have to say Wolf’s Ridge, Seventh Son and North High. I appreciate how each has grown their brand in different ways and through unique and different spaces where people gather.
Where do you think craft beer is headed? What do you think craft beer will look like five years from now?
Being in the craft brewing community now for just nine months, I don’t have a lot of experience or historical perspective, but I think the future is a brewery’s offerings besides having great beer. Is it a unique genuine space, location or offering? What experience are you providing your customers besides your beer?