What’s in a Name? Part II

Holystone is dead! Long live Holystone!


So in the last post (What’s in a Name? Part I) you were given the story of the birth of Holystone Brewing. Now let me tell you about the death of Holystone… Ok, so it is nothing too dramatic. We had always said that we could never open a commercial brewery using the name Holystone mainly because Charleston already has Holy City Brewing and Stone Brewing is obviously big enough to tell us we can’t use the word Stone in our name. Would they give us trouble if we tried to open with that name? Maybe. Possibly. Probably not. Whatever.

The truth behind it all is that I have this little logo that I drew up about 4 years ago and had been sitting on. It was this little cartoonish octopus with a hop cone for a head. I called it the octohops. When I launched this blog, I used the logo to represent the blog. Pearce (and everyone else for that matter) loved it. I never really thought about it, but people were asking us left and right if it was our brewery logo. I kept saying no, but Pearce kept pushing me on it saying we SHOULD adopt it, if for nothing else, our homebrew operation…

We knew that we were going to stop using Holystone but I fought using this to represent anything other than the blog. I was thinking, “Why would we use this throw away little logo…” “Octohops Homebrew has a nice ring to it,” Pearce said. I wasn’t convinced.


But I was wrong.

There, Pearce. I admitted it in a public forum! Haha!

It would seem that not only do people really think it is a cool logo, they have let us know that they would totally buy t-shirts and stickers and hats that have this logo on them. And they have already! We launched www.octohops.com yesterday and have already sold a couple of t-shirts without people even really knowing the store was open.

So there you have it. We are adopting the Octohops as our logo for our homebrew operation, and maybe we will even take it into our commercial venture as well.  How would you like to help us in this journey and be a part of the adventure? Well, if you feel so inclined, then please consider purchasing one of our articles or clothing or a sticker (and hopefully other items in the near future…)

You can do so by visiting www.octohops.com.

Be a part of turning our vision into reality.




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What’s in a Name? Part I

Are you curious yet about what we will be calling ourselves as professional brewers?
Well, don’t hold your breath…


I promise that this blog will be the first public place that we announce our commercial name, but we aren’t ready to do that just yet. One reason is that our vision and branding MAY be location dependent. What that means is that we know HOW we want our brewery to be run and WHERE we would like for it to be, but in reality, it may just not work out that way. Of the several locations that we are pursuing, each has its own personality that may or may not work with the name or names that we would like to use. I know that is vague, but at some point in the future it will make more sense. Alas, don’t fret. You will love the name and branding when we do reveal it.

In the meantime, allow me to spin a tale about the original naming of our homebrew operation and in a subsequent post, the renaming of our homebrew operation.

When Pearce and I first started brewing together, we knew that adding a name to our operation would make it seem like it was more than it really was; a hobby. But we also wanted to immediately add a little credibility to what we “might” do in the future. That being said, naming anything these days is next to impossible if you ever plan to use terms or phrases or names that are actual people, places or things. Basically, if you think of something that isn’t a gobbledegook mash-up of non-words, a minimum of 5 people have already had the thought ahead of you and have bought every instance or combination of letters that would make up a decent domain. This reminds me of the SNL skit about Dillon Edwards Investments

Pearce and I have our own ideas about what makes a good name, but we agreed that we wanted something that represented our love of the coast, the history of our area and was also a subtle nod to our faith. Talk about a tall order. Well cleanliness is next to Godliness and any good brewer knows that the art of brewing is 10% recipe, 10% skill, and 80% cleaning and sanitation. Our research for the right name led us to a historical item that was once used to clean the wooden decks of ships. The item was known as a holystone, a porous type of sandstone, that legend says was first gathered from the ruined church of St. Helens Cathedral on the Isle of Wight. A holy relic used for cleaning and purification?  It represented our coastal heritage, our dedication to brewing sanitation standards, and had just enough veiled faith context as to create intrigue. How perfect! We adopted the name Holystone Brewing and started making our presence known. That is until we decided to change our name…


Stay tuned for the next episode of Planning to Brew where we talk about the death of Holystone and the birth of a new name and brand. You will not want to miss out on that story. Speaking of not missing out… Have you subscribed yet? Just add your email address and we will notify you whenever there is a new post. Scared of spam and other nefarious things from giving out your email addy? Fear not. We will never spam you or sell your information.

Until next time my friends…

The Background Story – Part I

How We Started Brewing

Pearce and I were friends before we started brewing together. We actually met through a mutual friend (this is your shout-out Jason Trotta) in the triathlon community. That’s right, Pearce and I are triathletes. Don’t be so surprised. We have been known to crush that shiz.

Triathlon & Beer go together like bacon & anything.

I am pretty sure that both Pearce and I could have been considered beer connoisseurs (read: snobs, geeks, a-holes) before we knew each other. If nothing else, you could say that we appreciated the finer craftings of barley, water and hops. I am not sure where Pearce’s interest in craft-beer came from (I will ask him and update his profile) but I can tell you that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Pete’s Wicked Ale were the first beers to touch these lips and I never looked back. (I also went to a hippie college ((App State)) where you were actually made fun of for drinking macro-brewed American lagers.) This love of beer and getting outside, while not the glue that holds this friendship together, made it easy for Pearce and me to have something to rally around. I know that “me” doesn’t seem correct in that sentence, but, according to grammar, it is so no trolling…

There have been a lot of Saturday mornings where Pearce and I go out and ride bikes or run and then will have a “brewery lunch.” That is that thing where we burn a bunch of calories and then negate the effort by heading over to Coast Brewing or Revelry Brewing and grabbing some BBQ and a couple of beers. I think it is a common practice among those in the know.

One day while we were hanging out, Pearce said, “I think we should brew some beer.” I, being one to never back down from a challenge, said, “Okay.” So off we went to the LHBS (local home brew shop) to purchase the goods with which our own craft was born.

English Nut Brown - Yes, I know...
English Nut Brown – Yes, I know…

We met up at his house one day and proceeded to brew up our first batch, an English Nut Brown Ale. We chose an easy to brew kit with the knowledge that we wanted to get at least one easy brew under our belt before diving into IPAs and Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts and Spontaneously Fermented American Wild Ales.

It was funny, because even though neither of us had done this before, there was something familiar about it. We felt like we were naturals. When the brew day was done, we were hooked. Even though we would have to wait several weeks before tasting the first fruits of our first labor, we knew that we were destined to brew beer. I know, I know. We were just a couple of newbz who had not even produced a drinkable product. But still. Sometimes you just know.

Over the next year or so, we produced several batches of beer, we built a fermentation chamber to help us control temperature during fermentation, we started kegging and we upgraded our equipment a couple of times.  We still had not taken the leap into all-grain brewing, but the story of that transition is for another day.

In the next background post I will tell you about the name we chose to call our homebrew endeavors and about our first homebrew “competition.” Please make sure to subscribe to this blog to get notified whenever new posts are made. I look forward to you coming along on this journey with us…

brew2 chilling ferm-chamber siphon
bottling2 bottling bottled open