Born in 1944, Dean Hatfield grew up in rural northern Indiana. At the time, this area was dotted with small farms populated by a colorful mix of first to third generation German, English, Scandinavian, Polish, and Slavik immigrants. These folks brought with them not only the great food we've all come to enjoy, but also the tradition of local breweries. Most of those no longer exist, but at the time they added an additional layer of local color with varied tastes—all of which were good.
When Dean concluded a 33 year career of aerospace engineering with Hughes Aircraft Company in 1999, he and Karolyn picked Carmel Valley as the site of their retirement home. Karolyn had lived in Monterey County for many years. Also part of that plan was the resurrection of fond memories of fine local beer and the community identity that Dean remembered from his youth. They decided to start a brewery; and thus the Carmel Valley Brewing Company was created. It instantly became the only, and hence oldest, brewery in Carmel Valley. After several years of work converting a portion of a barn on their ranch for beer production, the final licensing approval was received, and the first beer was sold in June 2007.