When a man sells his motorcycle, everyone knows that something’s about to go down. Except, in this case, it was up, as Karl Homburg (Castleburg’s owner and brewmaster) single-handedly stacked the recipes for one of Richmond’s smallest, but most fortified breweries.
While Castleburg’s taps officially began flowing in May 2016, its roots and recipes trace back to 2011, starting with a kitchen stove and a token gift: a home brewing kit. The event marked more than just the culmination of a relationship—a life partnership that was born over local tasting nights and a love of beer, nonetheless—but the start of a serious passion. As it turns out, with that one small kit, Rhonda Groves (Karl’s life-partner and Castleburg’s taproom manager) handed him his life’s calling: the art and science of making beer.
It was a gift that kept giving.
When one of Karl’s first creations (Castleburg’s legendary Cream Ale) graduated from a subtle request among friends to a fan-favorite, he knew he was onto something. Driven by a desire to share more great recipes, he began assembling the building blocks for Castleburg in his head—the name of which signifies his German surname and roots, along with one of history’s most iconic, fortified structures.
Add to that an early award (for his French Farmhouse recipe) and the scales began to tip from a long-lasting career in information technology to full-time brewing. Together, Karl and Rhonda stacked their talents—including her business acumen and knack for personnel management, with his systems-based, creative approach to brewing—forming Castleburg’s immediate success. As such, their story represents not only one of bold, new beginnings and personal discoveries, but also a testament to the concept of entrepreneurship.