Been a Great Rye’d

May 21, 2019

The Beginning

I met David Williams at a CHAOS home-brew competition in April 2012. Horse Thief was in its early stages of development. Although I had a decent grasp on brewing, I felt the need to find someone more proficient. Dave handed me a Barrel Aged Belgian Quad he made that, to this day, is the best beer I’ve ever tasted. We quickly built a rapport. Within a couple of months, Dave was my right-hand man on this adventure.

The Middle

We were two young men wagering our entire futures in an insecure economy and a stale business scene. Neither of us had any real commercial brewing experience. I was a chef by trade, but I’d never managed a full-service restaurant. Dave was a computer guy by day and founder of C.H.A.O.S. Brew Club. What we lacked in experience we made up for in effort. We believed in each other from the start and rolled up our sleeves, determined to be successful.

Looking back on the emails, memories, conversations, and beers we’ve had is very sentimental. We’ve embraced the highs of international acclaim and the lows of worrying about making it to the next month. We’ve collaborated in creating incredible successes; challenged each other to be better; and argued over differences. In the end, we respected each other and built a business that continues to thrive. I know Horse Thief Hollow Brewing Co. would not be where it is today had Dave not signed up, and I like to think he’s honed a fine craft being here.

A New Beginning, & a Great Rye’d

Opportunity beckons—Dave has decided to move back home to New Jersey to open his own brewery and be closer to family. To say we’ll miss him is an understatement, but we’re certainly excited for his new venture.

Please join us Thursday, May 30, at 7:00 pm, as we celebrate one of the finest brewers Chicago has ever seen. We’ll be tapping Dave’s final HTH beer, Been a Great Rye’d, and enjoy live music from the Leadfoot String Band.  —Neil



Ink drawing of David Williams riding a beer keg as if it were a horse

By Kurt Mitchell