Madhopper joins Brewers Union

Published Friday, February 1, 2019
by Molly M. Fleming

A brewing business with culinary flair has joined the Brewers Union and will start selling beer on Saturday.

Madhopper Brewing joins Brewers Union tenants Crossed Cannons and Skydance Brewing Co.

At the Brewers Union, 520 N. Meridian Ave., the tenants share the equipment, which helps with their overall costs. The union has a taproom where they can sell their beer by the glass.

Brewers Union operator Brad Stumph said he met Madhopper on the beer-festival circuit. The brewers have poured at popular events such as ZooBrew and the OKBio BrewFest.

Todd O’Daniel, Isaac Hines and Steven O’Daniel make up the Madhopper team. Steven O’Daniel is Todd’s father.

Stumph said Madhopper caught his attention because Todd O’Daniel’s culinary knowledge comes through strongly with his beers.

“He has a unique perspective,” Stumph said. “The fact that they’re leading with a Basil IPA tells you a lot.”

O’Daniel went to culinary school in 2007. He said he has a passion for food. But on a visit to Coop Ale Works, they learned how beer was made. He said that while they thought beer is delicious, they wanted to make it better and pair it with different ingredients.

When they started pouring their homebrew, their friends and even strangers at a Halloween party were raving about it. After touting their beers on the festival circuit, Madhopper was born in late 2018.

“We like to take the culinary side of things and add it into our beer,” he said. “It’s not that we’re being different just to be different. We want to bring different beer styles to light.”

Madhopper’s lineup includes a stout made using daikon radish, as well as a passion fruit saison called a Hurt-icane. The popular hurricane cocktail has passion fruit as an ingredient. The beer name came from Todd O’Daniel’s son, who as a 7-year-old said “hurticane” instead of “hurricane” while watching the news. O’Daniel has been waiting to use it for a beer name.

That’s just one of the stories that will accompany a beer. O’Daniel said every beer will have a story and eventually they’ll have a beer-theme storybook to share.

The O’Daniels and Hines are ready to write a second chapter in Madhopper’s story. They plan on opening their own place eventually and building it out themselves. They built their own tap handles at the Brewers Union.

Being at the union will give Madhopper the time to build up its fan base, said Todd O’Daniel. The business plans to distribute its products statewide. The taproom allows them to have a place to generate revenue to pursue opening their own place. Before Madhopper moved into the union, the guys couldn’t sell the beer as homebrewers.

O’Daniel is nearly full-time with Madhopper, though he has a side hustle in real estate. Steven O’Daniel and Hines have full-time jobs.

Todd O’Daniel said it’s very scary opening up at the Brewers Union, but the feedback from people has kept them moving forward.

“My wife, Tori, has been the backbone of this,” he said. “She’s been pushing and being my support through it.”

The brewery will open at 11 a.m. Saturday for Madhopper’s debut. He said they want to hear honest feedback about the beer. They check their emotions at the door.

“We want people to be a part of our story,” he said.

Stumph said with O’Daniel’s food background, he’s expecting a lot of fun brews to rotate through the taps, which will keep people coming back to the Brewers Union.

“His style really plays well for these one-off specialty beers,” Stumph said. “He has a creative and imaginative approach that will keep people interested.”

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