HUDL Brewing Company
All three of us have had great experiences in our lives. We remember those weekends, when gathering with our friends and drinking great craft beer was so much fun… we would debate why we liked a certain beer or brewery, rank the beers…you know…just “GEEK” out. We would work to convert our friends to the craft side. There is no greater pleasure when your buddy (Coop) says “where have you been all my life”…as he is referring to the craft beer you placed in his hands. Then introducing blind tastings with your own home brew (Skip) and watching your buddies’ reactions. Some were good and some not so good. This of course meant returning to the garage, tweaking recipes and techniques and trying again. We so looked forward to our monthly get togethers!
When we set out on this journey two plus years ago, we wanted to recreate a place where we could have a great craft beer experience every day, just like we did in our backyards. A place where everyone was invited, where you can come together, forget about the problems of the outside world, meet new people and drink great craft beer. A place where you put down your cell phones and use your spoken words with friends and family.
But…We (Ken and Skip) realized the transition from a 5 gal home brew system to our 15 BBL system would be a bit of a learning curve…So, why start at “A” when you can start at “U” (Joe).
The HUDL Brewing Team
Left to right : Skip Norfolk, Joe Couzzo, Ken Cooper
Joe Couzzo (BrewMaster)
After High School, Joe attended Humboldt State in California. It was there that he first learned of beer that had color, flavor, history, and just plain tasted delicious. Humboldt Brewing Co in Arcata was turning out some of the best tasting beers in California. Their head brewer at the time was Steve Parkes, who then took over The American Brewers Guild. That made his decision between Siebel in Chicago, UC Davis, or American Brewers Guild an easy decision, graduating from the Guild in April of 1999.
After arguing with his parents that craft beer was a real thing in the 90s, Joe completed an internship at Hops Bistro and Brewery in La Jolla (1998), while attending the Guild. His first brewing job was an assistant brewer in Dallas at Coppertank Brewing Co. His first head brewing position was at Skagway Brewing Co. in Skagway, Alaska where he entered entered five beers in the Alaskan State Fair winning five gold medals and best of show.
Joe then decided to move back to San Diego in 2001 taking an assistant brewer position at Pizza Port Brewing and AleSmith. It was during this time, that he developed his craft, and he will tell you he learned from the best!
In 2002, driven to become one of the best brewers in the world, Joe again found himself as a head brewer in the growing SD craft beer market. Joe would enter and win multiple GABF medals and a world beer cup gold medal. During this time, he restarted the SD Brewers Guild (2002-2005). Working with the American Brewers Guild, he took on apprentices, who now have become medal winning brewers and successful brewery owners. From 2002 – 2018 he was instrumental in building the culture and marketing programs for all the SD local breweries as well as getting multiple start up breweries running around the country. Joe continued to brew medal winning beers and introducing many “best practices” that are now commonplace in successful breweries.
In 2006, Joe started calling Las Vegas “home”, along with his wife and two children. He is continuing his life’s work as a craft brewer and expanding the craft beer culture as HUDL’s BrewMaster.
Back in the 90’s when the Craft Beer scene was starting, Skip was “wrenching” (Crew Chief) in the sport of Supercross and Motocross. (Supercross is dirt bike racing in major stadiums around the country, Motocross is closed course off-road motorcycle racing). Skip was an integral part of 5 national titles, 1 world title (American Honda Racing) and 2 regional (Peak Pro Circuit Racing) “I was fortunate to be around some amazing individuals and teams.
When the 2000’s rolled around the Craft Beer scene in SoCal was taking off, he was all in for Craft Beer, so much so that he started home brewing with his buddies. He spent the next two decades in the action sport industry, where he developed technical Competition Racing Products for Motocross, Supercross, and Auto Racing. Most recently Skip was Race Director for the Traders Racing / Club MX Racing Team, where he was able to play in the dirt with kids every day.
Ken “Coop” Cooper
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the 12th of 13 siblings, he is a transplant to the Vegas area. Ken valiantly served our country for 21 years in the United States Navy as a Field Medical Corpsman, of which 18 years were assigned the Marines and he finished up his career with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines out of Camp Pendleton. Ken deployed to Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom during his military duty. Upon retirement he spent time in the Aerospace industry before leaving to help his wife, Lisa, pursue her dream of partnering in a beauty company, Famous Names Products, which brought them to Las Vegas in 2013 from San Diego.
After many years, it was time for Ken to pursue his dream of opening a brewery. Ken loves the desert, sports, people, our veterans, and he can’t wait to hang with best of them in HUDL’s friendly fun environment with GREAT beer.
As construction was up and going, the COVID-19 pandemic took control over the world. We, at HUDL Brewing, know how difficult and strange these past months have been for our community.
We hope to help ease your nerves and provide some steppingstones in getting us back to our social norm. We believe in the resiliency of the Las Vegas residents and Southern Nevada. We have been humbled by how Las Vegas has supported its many local businesses during this crisis, and we look forward to earning your trust and support us as we turn Las Vegas back on. We will follow all requirements and guidelines at HUDL Brewing for everyone’s safety and continued good health.
The three of us are looking forward to our next creations. The best part is… that you all get to share in this adventure with us. So, come on in and join us for a beer.