Less than a month ago, former Trapp Family Lodge brewers Allen Van Anda and Jamie Griffith released the first kegs from their new endeavor, Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville. That same week, Joey Nagy and his partners poured suds from the spanking-new brewery at their recently opened Mule Bar in Winooski.
The collaboration between chefs and brewers didn’t end there, as Van Anda and Griffith wondered what to serve in the taproom of the building that once housed Rock Art Brewery. “We were originally just going to do meat and cheese and bread,” Van Anda says. “It’s just the two of us … We were kind of looking at our taproom as ‘How in the world are we going to manage this?’ We called Joey and said, ‘Hey, have you got any ideas?’”
Nagy had them in spades. On June 15, he’ll open an eatery at Lost Nation that will serve food to beer aficionados from Wednesday through Sunday, noon until 8 p.m.
Erik Larson, currently a chef at the Montpelier branch of Nagy’s Mad Taco mini-empire, will head the kitchen, creating a small daily menu of charcuterie, sandwiches on Elmore Mountain Bread and fresh salads.
Nagy says the debut bill of fare will include a sandwich filled with homemade sausage and another with grilled mushrooms, and “there will always be a vegetarian offering.” Green salads will provide just enough sustenance to help visitors keep up with their drinking.
Later this summer, Van Anda and Griffith will expand their seating area to include a roughly 3000-square-foot beer garden that will house a wood-fired oven. Flatbreads will emerge from the fire, but Nagy says other delicious surprises will be decided each day.
“You can cook anything in a wood oven,” notes Jean-Luc Matecat, the chef at Mule Bar, who says he hopes to stop by occasionally and contribute his culinary talents to the brewery.
Van Anda says the beer garden has a large overhang, “basically a glorified carport,” that will enable him to open it whenever the weather allows — possibly even during the winter.
Plans to make the brewery a destination make sense, given that the opening of the new Route 100 bypass next spring will give Lost Nation frontage on the big road. With an upcoming four-season recreational path routed along the back wall of the taproom, thirsty folks are likely to arrive by foot, bike and automobile. Van Anda says he’s confident, though, that Lost Nation will always feel “tucked away.”
The original print version of this article was headlined "Brews and Chews"
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