Last week, Kevin Pecor, owner of the Knotty Shamrock Irish Pub, broke ground on a new brewery adjacent to his 3-year-old pub.
The new space will house a four-barrel operation that — once up and running later this summer — will produce more than 100 gallons of suds weekly. With help from brewmaster Radley Herold, Pecor has been pouring small batches of housemade brew at the Knotty Shamrock since August 2013, experimenting with a variety of beers — ryes, Kölsches, ESBs, ales and stouts — to test pubgoers' palates. "We just keep playing around with things, and we're having a lot of fun with it," Pecor says.
Herold spent 15 years brewing in England and Germany, Pecor says, and was happy to take the lead at the new enterprise, called Paine Mountain Brewing. "When I was ready to make the jump [to brewing my own beer for the Knotty Shamrock], I reached out to him, and he jumped right up with his hand in the air to do it," Pecor recalls.
They've settled on three regular brews: a Bavarian wheat called the Knotty Blonde ("We've had a lot of fun with the name so far," Pecor says with a laugh); a double IPA called Wicked Warrior, brewed with five different hop varieties; and a stout, still in process. Herold brews a serious imperial bourbon stout that Pecor says they'd love to make all the time. (Pecor calls it "heaven in a glass, seriously.") But the complex brew takes eight months to ferment, so they may go with an easier milk stout instead.
Pecor says he's excited to bring a true brewpub experience to Northfield. Paine Mountain will offer brewery tours, growler fills and tastings, and will keep an open-door policy with the Knotty Shamrock next door, allowing patrons to flow between the spaces. He's also excited to open his doors to the greater Vermont brewing community: Since he started brewing, Pecor says, he's gotten to know other local brewers such as Matt Cohen at Fiddlehead Brewing and Steve Gagner at 14th Star Brewing. "It's just an amazing group of individuals around here," Pecor says, "who are just bonded for the sake of brewing better beer."
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