On November 5, 2013, the owners of Vermont cult brewery the Alchemist announced they were closing their tasting room to the public. Now, Jen Kimmich, who runs the company with brewer husband John, has announced the plan to add a new property that will hold a second brewery, a tasting room and a retail shop.
Jen Kimmich says she has been looking at properties in the Waterbury area, and down the Route 100 corridor into Stowe. "We've had tons of people contact us who want us to go to Rutland or Barre or Colchester, but we don't want to drive that far," she says.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Kimmich described finding what she and her husband thought would be the perfect addition, before learning it wasn't zoned for retail. After a busy day hunting on Wednesday, she tells Seven Days she still hasn't found the perfect complement to their small brewery, which turns out 9,000 barrels of Heady Topper each year. "We have a few options," Kimmich says.
Just 18 months after opening, the owners of St. Albans' 14th Star Brewing are moving from their cozy Lower Newton Street digs into a far vaster space — the former St. Albans Bowling Center.
Co-owner Steve Gagner and his partners have signed a 20-year lease (from Pomerleau Real Estate) on the bowling alley at 133 North Main Street, which opened in 1958 and closed last July. The 14th Star crew plans to open a 2500-square-foot taproom and a 13,000-square-foot brewery in the space by next summer. "The plan is to have a place where people can come and enjoy some of the world's best beers," says Gagner, who will devote a few of the pub's 24 or so taps to other beers from around the state.
This week: Steven Sour, a "sour IPA" collaboration of Magic Hat Brewing Co. and Vermont Pub & Brewery.
Cost: Sample provided by Magic Hat, but 22-ounce bottles are for sale for $4.99 throughout Vermont (the beer is also on tap throughout the state).
Strength: 5.6 percent abv.
The pour: A murky, burnt orange with a faint head that quickly dissipates. The beer has little to no aroma, but if you try hard you might smell apricots.
The taste: There's zestier carbonation than its appearance suggests, and each sip bristles and roughs up the tip of your tongue before rolling across the middle with the slightest hint of sourness. It's quenching, with dry, lingering wisps of grapefruit — but it's also ever so chalky.
Drink it with: This made me want to start whipping up a chicken curry with almonds and apricots — or maybe just a plate of Comté, sliced baguette and quince paste.
Backstory: Two Vermont brewing heavyweights got together to brew this beer in celebration of VPB's 25th anniversary, and it's only for sale (in bottles and on tap) in Vermont.
This week: Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, N.H.
Cost: $1.55 for a 12-ounce bottle at Lebanon Health Food Store, Lebanon, N.H.
Strength: 5.7 percent a.b.v.
The pour: Inky and almost syrupy, like a porter, with a foamy head that holds its form for up to 10 minutes. The beer smells vaguely like a Dove Dark Chocolate Promise dipped in pine resin.
The taste: Hoppy-ho, this is bittah! At least to my wino palate. It's dry but substantial in the mouth, with coffee-like edges, hints of smoke and a roasty undercarriage. It lingers a looooong time on the back of the tongue.
Drink it with: I would love this with a plate of chicken molé, a sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwich (on Harpoon miche from King Arthur Flour — I'm just sayin') or hunks of Callebaut chocolate. As it was, I sipped it on its own.
A website called Watchdog.org has published an article suggesting that the Vermont ban on happy hours — selling drinks at lower prices during certain times — is economically illogical.
Writer Jon Street quoted the owner of Burlington's Ake's Place, Ronnie Ryan, who suggested that the state should allow bars to lure in customers with occasional happy hours.
“Burlington is so rich in young professionals and college students, I’m confident it would help business, and if it helps our business it also helps the state as it will generate more money in taxes,” he said.
Bill Goggins, director of education, licensing and enforcement for the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, broadly explained the role of the state government in keeping people safe, while a fellow at the Cato Institute lamented, “Why should Vermont insert itself between deals that please restaurants and customers alike?”
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