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Pilot Brings Brewery to EAA Hops & Props

February 8, 2018 - Mike Doble, EAA Lifetime 602762, loves aviation, travel, and brewing beer. When he and his wife, Joan, decided to start their own brewpub in 2015, it made sense to combine all three of those things together. The result is The Explorium Brewpub, which just turned 1 year old on January 25.

Named by Joan, The Explorium Brewpub is based on the couple’s love of adventure, and meant to be a place for weary travelers to sit together and share tales of the road — and the sky — over a delicious beer.

“Joan and I love to travel, and we love to go check out new places,” Mike said. “As we were trying to theme our brewpub, we wanted a brand and a theme that spoke to our personality. Not just another restaurant with beer.”

Mike’s love of aviation began early. He was 10 years old when a neighbor stopped over and asked his parents if it’d be alright for him to come along to an air show. It was approved, and Mike went and saw Corkey Fornof flying a BD-5J. He was hooked.

“I was just like, I have to do that one day,” Mike said. “That was kind of my moment.”

Becoming an EAA Lifetime member, starting construction of an RV-10, attending many fly-in conventions at Oshkosh, meeting Jim Bede and Burt Rutan at those conventions, and bringing his family to the EAA Aviation Museum many times all followed.

Mike’s combined enthusiasm for aviation and brewing is perfect for Hops & Props, EAA’s annual beer-tasting event. The Explorium Brewpub is bringing its product to Hops & Props for the first time this year, and Mike said he was thrilled to be a part of the event.

“Everything about the history and the people involved in this really is cool to me,” Mike said. “To be able to bring our brand here, and serve some of our beer here and hang out with people who love aviation as well — everything that is really important to me comes together in one place.”

To learn more about the event and purchase tickets for the event, visit

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