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Ales in Service 

Side Dishes: Veteran-owned brewery to open in St. Albans

click to enlarge 14th Star Brewing Co.
  • 14th Star Brewing Co.

During his last tour in Afghanistan, 16-year Army veteran Steve Gagner began wondering what he would do in retirement. It slowly dawned on him: Why not turn his passion for home brewing into a business?

Once back home in St. Albans, Gagner decided to partner with an Army buddy, Matt Kehaya, and seek funding. He cobbled together a brewing system from new, repurposed and self-fabricated equipment, circulated samples of home-brewed ales to friends and family for feedback, and applied for his federal brewer’s permit. “We’re being creative and imaginative to fit our needs and our budget,” says Gagner.

Now he expects the one-barrel 14th Star Brewing Company on Lower Newton Street to be up and running by July. Because it’s so small, the brewery will only sell growlers, at least at first. Growlers of…?

“We’ll let the community decide,” says Gagner. So far, the “big three” potential brews are a pale ale, a red ale and a Belgian white. “We’re really just about sharing the craft and the passion,” says Gagner. “There’s a lot of love in our beer.”

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More by Corin Hirsch

About The Author

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch

Bio:
Food writer Corin Hirsch joined the Seven Days staff in 2011. She is the author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, published by History Press in 2014.

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