Born of love. Perfected by science. Hellbender Brewing Company was created out of a true love for the art, culture, history, and science of craft brewing. We have created every recipe as an artistic interpretation of an existing style, and refined it with years of fine tuning and tasting. Lots of tasting.
Hellbender Brewing Company was born from the shared passion for beer of co-founders and long-time District residents Ben Evans and Patrick Mullane. Both homebrewers when they met, they’ve been brewing together for nearly 10 years.
Ben, our President and Head Brewer, is a former microbiologist and neuroscientist that left the laboratory life in favor of the much bigger science experiment that is Hellbender Brewing. He personally directs daily brewing activities, recipe development and quality control, where his science and brewing experience are crucial to ensure our beer is made according to the highest standards.
Patrick’s road to brewery founder was less direct. He worked for 12 years as a congressional aide on Capitol Hill, moonlighting as a server and cook on the side for much of that time. Patrick directs all business, sales and marketing activities and helps brew when there’s a break in the seemingly endless paperwork and red tape.
The Hellbender Salamander
The Eastern Hellbender is the largest salamander in North America, and the third largest in the world. That may not sound impressive until you realize these nocturnal amphibians reach up to 2.5 feet in length and three pounds in weight. They can grow large enough to eat a small kitten. Luckily for kittens everywhere, Hellbenders prefer to eat mostly crayfish and some small freshwater fish.
Hellbenders are now endangered or threatened in many states. Fortunately, captive breeding programs are underway throughout the mid-Atlantic, Ozarks and Ohio River Valley to restore this species to its natural habitat. While you may still find hellbenders in the wild within 60 miles of D.C., you don’t need to go any farther than the Smithsonian National Zoo right here in D.C. to see these amazing creatures up close.
Hellbender Brewing Company is dedicated to environmentally safe brewing practices. We plan to raise awareness about the Hellbender, its habitat and the environment in an effort to help bring this unique animal back into our neighboring rivers.
The Last Dragons
The video below was recently screened at the brewery as part of a fundraiser for Fresh Waters Illustrated, a non-profit dedicated to telling the story of America’s precious fresh water resources and the wonderful creatures that inhabit them. This video is the first an only HD video capturing the American Hellbender, whose habitat under river rocks and nocturnal nature make it very difficult to film. Millions of years old, these beautiful creatures truly are the last dragons.