Along with his father-in-law Frank, Neil started home brewing in 2008 in Frank’s garage in Dundalk. Their first batch was a five gallon, all-grain IPA that turned out really good, but disappeared far too quickly. Batch number two was 20 gallons of the same IPA recipe, and while equally as good, also didn’t last long. Each beer they brewed got progressively better, and after winning and placing in several home brew competitions, they entered Clipper City Brewing Company’s Letter of Marque home brew contest in 2009, and WON. Clipper City brewed their Hop Rye Porter on a commercial scale and released the ale in 22 ounce bomber bottles to the general public. As more and more friends and family enjoyed their beer, they realized they needed to brew more in each batch so they built a two barrel frankenbrew system using a few stainless 55 gallon stainless drums, a lot of welding, pumps, and a hot water heater burner. With this larger batch size, heavier equipment and more cleaning, they decided to bring on another partner — Neil’s long time friend Jason, to join the team. Together they honed their craft, won some more competitions and formed the base of what is now Pickett Brewing Company.