We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Harrop and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, what do you want people to remember about you?
I want to be remembered as somebody who constantly pushed boundaries and changed people’s perception of beer. I want people to drink one of my beers and be at a loss for words. It is not going to be for everybody, it is still very niche to this day, but I want them walking away from the experience thinking they have never had anything like that before. I set out to make beers that have never been done previously, whether it is using a particular fruit for the first time, procuring an oak barrel nobody has aged beer in before, using coffee that costs a thousand dollars a pound, or putting a thousand pounds of coconut into a small batch of beer. I am one of the first people to brew “Pastry Stouts,” especially here on the left coast. It is pretty comical thinking back just a few years ago and how daunting it was introducing that newer style of beer to the land of world class West Coast India Pale Ales. Most breweries have since brewed their own interpretations of these dessert-like Stouts recently, but it was a big deal at the time when I brought this new realm of beer to an area that was known only for brewing traditional styles. At the time I released my first one of these beers, most people locally had no idea what they were or what to expect, but they caught on quick. People will remember that I never let the cost of quality ingredients deter me, as I always seek out the highest quality, most unique, and rare things I can get my hands on. I never think twice about brewing what I want to brew, even if I have to charge a premium price for a single bottle of beer. My beers have ranged from twenty to forty-five dollars per bottle and the cost of ingredients for each individual beer is what determines its price tag. These types of beers are not cheap to make, especially on such a small scale like mine, but I cannot sacrifice the quality for quantity, it is not in my DNA. During the brewing process, from the time the wort is first transferred to the boil kettle until the beer is done recirculating on adjuncts, I can be left with 25% of the liquid I started with sometimes. This is not ideal from an efficiency perspective, but this is the only way to get the flavor and mouthfeel I strive for. I will never deter from that because I would not be proud of the final product otherwise. Beer does not have any limits in my mind, but I will continue to push them to the brink through experimentation. That is what makes brewing fun for me, as the idea of brewing the same recipe over and over again on a production level would be my worst nightmare. I will continue trying new things, not all of them will be home runs, not all of them will be inexpensive, but none of them will be boring!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a huge beer nerd who has been given the opportunity to brew the beers I like to drink myself to be enjoyed by others.
In a few months, I went from a guy who was making small batches in my garage to showing up at the first beer festival I was invited to and having a line wrapped around the entire venue with people waiting to get a taste of my beer. I will never forget walking up to my booth and seeing that. I get to brew with my favorite craft breweries across the world and that is a dream come true. I feel very fortunate to be able to call my job something that I love to do. All of the accolades have been a bonus, but I am very proud of winning a medal for one of my barrel aged sour ales at the first Festival Of Wood And Barrel Aged Beer I attended in Chicago, Illinois. Having my first “Pastry Stout” being named best beer of the year by the leading online beer publication was a highlight too. It was also amazing to be able to throw my own beer festival featuring 80 of the best breweries in the world. I am very lucky to have a career in brewing because it is something I truly love to do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eat: That Boy Good (Oceanside), Wrench and Rodent (Oceanside), Jeune Et Jolie (Carlsbad), Spirito’s (Carlsbad), Pho-Ever (Vista), Sue Thai Om (San Marcos), Urge Common House (San Marcos), TJ Tacos (Escondido), Fish 101 (Leucadia) Drink: Local Tap House (Oceanside), Mission Street Bar and Grill (Oceanside), Pacific Coast Spirits (Oceanside), Pizza Port Carlsbad Village (Carlsbad), Campfire (Carlsbad), Aloha Cowboy (Encinitas), Modern Times Far West Lounge (Encinitas) Visit: Oceanside Pier (Oceanside), Lake Calaveras Hiking Trail (Carlsbad), Brengle Terrace Park (Vista), La Paloma Theater (Encinitas), Meditation Gardens (Encinitas), Double Peak Park (San Marcos), Kit Carson Park (Escondido)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Laurel deserves a lot of credit for the success of Horus, from giving me the logo as a wedding gift, giving me that extra push, teaching me how to be an entrepreneur, instilling confidence in my vision, raising our kids while running her own businesses, and providing her input on all my crazy ideas. She motivates me to brew collaborations across the world, attend festivals across the globe, and put every minute necessary into the business. It has not been easy running a company by myself, having a young family, and finding any sort of work-life balance, but I can always count on her to be there!