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Rabbit Hole Brewing to release Mike Modano craft beer

Posted 11:44pm on Sunday, Sep. 15, 2013

Former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano and Justin-based Rabbit Hole Brewing have teamed to develop a craft beer to be known as Mike Modano's 561. The beer, a German-style Kolsch, was named to honor Modano's 561 goals, the NHL all-time record for an American born player. The first chance for beer lovers and hockey fans to try the new brew will be the brewery's launch party scheduled for late November at Oak Street Drafthouse in Denton.

“I suggested it be called '561' after the record I’m most proud of, and I insisted it be a beer that I’m proud of as well,” Modano said in a news release. "We accomplished that."

There is a good bit of history in the collaboration between Modano and Rabbit Hole that dates back to 2010 when a talented group of homebrewers that dubbed themselves "The Horsemen of the Hopocalypse" were approached by the owners of The Famous Water Company. The idea was to brew a beer using their water as a special client Christmas gift. Jeff Poirot and Tom Anderson -- two of the horsemen's founding members -- agreed that their Bohemian Pilsner recipe was a perfect match to brew with Crazy Water #1 and Crazy Beer was born.

The feedback was positive and then it went to an entirely new level when they learned the news that Modano has tried their beer and was impressed enough that he wanted to carry it in his Uptown bar and grill, Hully and Mo. Anderson would inquire as to what Modano's favorite beers were and began to work on creating a new beer specifically for the hockey legend. Being a huge hockey fan and fortunate enough to attend Modano's retirement ceremony, Anderson touched base with Modano and his agent to give him the new beer.

When Anderson, along with Laron Cheek and Matt Morriss, decided to go forward with Rabbit Hole Brewing, they reached out to Modano with the proposition of producing the beer and putting his name on it. Since it was important to the company that Modano actually like the beer, they gave him three different samples and his choice is the recipe being used as '561.'

In addition to having Modano on board, Anderson and Morriss have amassed over 100 awards for their beer. Like most homebrewers, there was talk of opening their own brewery and 'turning pro.'

"In almost every bar in America, you'll find a table full of friends having a good time and one will always say to the others 'We should open a bar!' Well Tom, Matt and I have been saying 'We should open a brewery' for years," said Cheek. "Finally Tom's wife told him to do it or stop talking about it. We spent the latter part of 2011 and beginning of 2012 writing a business plan. And rewriting. And rewriting. One thing about engineers, we can be very detailed in our research. We finally had our plan complete and now we have started our own brewery."

Rabbit Hole Brewing, located at 608 Topeka Ave in Justin, TX is hoping to have its doors  open in early December. For further information and updates on Mike Modano's 561 and Rabbit Hole Brewing, visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

FOLLOW JAY BETSILL ON TWITTER @THEFAMOUSJAY


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