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Monday, September 28, 2020

Vermont Restaurants and Retailers Support University of Vermont Cancer Center

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 1:41 PM

Chef-owner Donnell Collins and former co-owner Bob Conlon of Leunig's Bistro & Café, the first restaurant fundraiser participant - FILE: LUKE AWTRY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Luke Awtry ©️ Seven Days
  • Chef-owner Donnell Collins and former co-owner Bob Conlon of Leunig's Bistro & Café, the first restaurant fundraiser participant
Things may look very different at local restaurants this fall but many are continuing their seasonal tradition of supporting the annual University of Vermont Cancer Center fundraiser.

In partnership with Farrell Distributing, 20 restaurant plus 20 retailers will donate $1 to the Cancer Center for every qualifying bottle of wine from the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits portfolio or 12-pack of von Trapp Brewing beer sold during September and October.  (See here for a full list of participating locations.)

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Two Burlington Breweries and Affiliated Restaurants Close Temporarily Over COVID-19 Concern

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 12:15 PM

Coney Island hot dogs and beer at Zero Gravity - FILE: SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Coney Island hot dogs and beer at Zero Gravity
Updated, July 20, 5 p.m. 

Foam Brewers and Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, as well as their respective affiliated restaurants Deep City and the Great Northern, all of which shut down Thursday due to a staff member's possible exposure to the coronavirus, announced Monday on social media that COVID-19 tests have come back negative.

The breweries and restaurants were closed temporarily while awaiting the results of testing.  Foam Brewers  announced on Facebook that it will open Monday, July 20, at 5 p.m. Zero Gravity announced on Facebook that it will  be back open Tuesday, July 21, with its "regularly scheduled programming."

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Kraemer & Kin Tasting Room Comes to GreenTARA Space in North Hero

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 5:26 PM

The Kraemer & Kin tasting room at GreenTARA Space - COURTESY OF KRAEMER & KIN
  • Courtesy of Kraemer & Kin
  • The Kraemer & Kin tasting room at GreenTARA Space
When Kraemer & Kin opened as the first brewery in the Champlain Islands in February, co-owners Christie, Levi and Heather Kraemer hoped to establish a tasting room within a year. Despite the global pandemic, it took them only five months to achieve that goal.

On Friday, July 3, the family-owned microbrewery will open a tasting room inside the GreenTARA Space art gallery and community center at 3275 U.S. Route 2 in North Hero.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Magic Hat Brewing Is Leaving Vermont; Zero Gravity Will Expand

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 5:47 PM

The Magic Hat taproom - FILE: SALLY POLLAK
  • File: Sally Pollak
  • The Magic Hat taproom
One of Vermont’s oldest craft breweries is leaving the state.

Magic Hat Brewing will shift production from its South Burlington digs to a Rochester, N.Y., brewery owned by its parent company, FIFCO USA. As part of the move, nearby Zero Gravity Craft Brewery will buy Magic Hat’s equipment and take over its leased space on Bartlett Bay Road.

Magic Hat’s 43 brewing and operations employees in Vermont will lose their jobs but will be considered for open positions with Zero Gravity, FIFCO said in a press release Tuesday. The deal is expected to close on July 1.

“With the capabilities and capacity of our new brewery and the evolution of Magic Hat, moving the production to Rochester provided the best long term opportunity,” FIFCO CEO Rich Andrews said in a statement. “We have been brewing a portion of Magic Hat in Rochester for nearly a decade. Having one brewery with new equipment, creates consistent, high quality beer that our Magic Hat consumers have come to expect.”

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Foam Brewers to Open a Restaurant

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 11:12 AM

Restaurant will be in site of Foam art exhibit - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Restaurant will be in site of Foam art exhibit
Foam Brewers on the Burlington waterfront plans to open a restaurant in the Lake Street building that houses its brewery and taproom, according to co-owner Jon Farmer.

The new restaurant, which Farmer expects will open in late winter or early spring, has yet to be named. It will be a quick-service, farm-to-table restaurant whose concept and menu will be further developed when Foam hires a chef/kitchen manager to run the new business, Farmer told Seven Days.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Stone Corral Brewery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 12:41 PM

Grilled corn and a chickpea taco at Stone Corral Brewery - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Grilled corn and a chickpea taco at Stone Corral Brewery
The server at Stone Corral Brewery in Richmond used perfect timing when he spoke these words to me:  ”The tyranny of choice.”

He was looking at me with a smile as I studied the menu, trying to choose what to eat with my grilled corn on the cob ($4). I felt the pressure, but kept reading the list. When I selected the last thing on the menu, a taco called Ganesh to Meet Yah, he was kind enough to affirm my choice with a quiet “Yay!”

The name of the taco meant nothing to me, but its ingredients were irresistible: curried vegetable chickpeas, cucumber, apple, Napa cabbage and pea shoot slaw, toasted sesame, coconut yogurt dressing. With a green salad, this beautiful assemblage totaled $7.

The melding of flavors and textures was terrific. The food filled a plate that I measured with my iPhone: a diameter of two phones, or close to a foot. The prep cook deserves a loud shout-out: the apple slivers were as uniform as matchsticks, with a speck of color — the skin — at each end.

We ate on the patio, where three Chittenden County brewers sat at a nearby table and a young family filled another one. With our glasses of  dark lager,  Stone Corral's Black Beer, the early evening supper was a calling card for summer in Vermont.

Sometimes a reporter can ask one too many questions, and I went over the mark when I asked our server if he had coined the phrase “tyranny of choice.”

It turns out he heard it on a TED Talk, delivered by a shrink. But I prefer to imagine the words originate with a curly-haired kid in a Richmond taproom.  If he didn’t invent the line, he knew just when to steal it.
Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: [email protected].

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Four Quarters Brewing Turns Parking Lot Into Beer Garden

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 10:10 PM

Beer garden at former bank in Winooski - COURTESY OF FOUR QUARTERS BREWING
  • Courtesy of Four Quarters Brewing
  • Beer garden at former bank in Winooski
The drive-up lanes of a former bank in Winooski are dispensing beer instead of bucks. Customers can walk up and score a hometown IPA.

Four Quarters Brewing is opening a satellite beer garden at the site of the old KeyBank on 70 Main Street. After a trial run last weekend, the parking-lot beer joint will be open Thursday through Sunday (weather dependent) starting on Friday, June 21. Four Quarters’ new site is about five blocks from its primary location, where owner Brian Eckert opened Winooski’s only brewery in 2014.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Magic Hat Artifactory

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2019 at 5:38 PM

Magic Hat #9 - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Magic Hat #9
No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9.

I knew what I wanted before I walked in the door of the Magic Hat taproom in South Burlington, a beer bunker called the Artifactory.

Too much time had passed since I drank a Magic Hat #9 in its long-neck amber bottle with the psychedelic orange label that says it all: # 9. (That first mark is a number symbol, not a hashtag; the label was designed pre-hashtag: #artwork.)

At the Artifactory,  #9  flows from a tap.  For this refreshing and alluring ale, the tap is identified by an orange lever in the shape of a 9. The taproom — part merch machine, part neighborhood bar — has old #9  bottles on display. You can ogle the classic vessel, a handsome relic in the age of 16-ounce cans, while you drink. I ate hot pretzel pieces and a side of a cheesy-beer dipping sauce with my #9. Supper for one.

With the pretzels polished off, I took my beer on a self-guided tour of the brewery,  paying homage at a flashy # 9 emblem and soaking in the flavor of a sign announcing  "Low Key."

Artifactory sign - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Artifactory sign
My brewery stroll, which took about three minutes, peaked at a lookout over the production floor, still but for one forklift moving in reverse.  Back in the taproom, I took my last sips of #9 and listened to a couple of Bob Marley songs. Low Key.  Then I paid my $12.60 tab and left.

The next day, I called Magic Hat cofounder Alan Newman to ask him something I’d been wondering for about 20 years. What's #9 refer to?

“It was referring to my car, which was a Fiat X1/9,” he told me. “I tried to name it X9 and the X couldn’t be trademarked. We just dropped the X.”

The 1 "just didn’t make sense,” Newman added, when I pressed him on that number. So he called the beer #9. 

In the beer-naming game, it's a beauty.

Tap for Magic Hat #9 - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Tap for Magic Hat #9
Newman, 72, who sold his share of Magic Hat in 2010,  said if I want to make up a story about the origin of the beer's name, I have his permission.

But a little orange Fiat sports car as the driving force behind #9 is good enough for me.  I won’t reinvent the story — is it a scoop? — but I’ll dress it up: I imagine Newman driving around Burlington in his X1/9 listening to the Beatles' “Revolution 9” on the radio. When the song was over, I bet he cranked up the volume and played “Revolution.”

Magic Hat launched #9 in the summer of 1995, when the brewery was on Flynn Avenue in Burlington. The beer was made to be seasonal, Newman said, but his bar accounts had other ideas.

“They said if we stop selling  #9, they’d throw us out,” he said. “So we made it year-round.”
Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: [email protected].

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Hired Hand Brewing Co. to Add Full Brewery in Vergennes

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Hired Hand brews - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • Hired Hand brews
Ian Huizenga had not planned on adding a full-fledged brewery to his pair of neighboring Vergennes food and beverage businesses. But then 23,000 square feet next door became available and, he said, he really had no choice.

“I knew it was my only shot at doing a brewery right here,” he said.

Huizenga is chef and co-owner of Bar Antidote, a restaurant and bar, and a brewpub, Hired Hand Brewing Co., for which he brews beer at the Bobcat Café & Brewery in Bristol. He had just finished installing two fermenters and a chiller in the basement of Bobcat last March when he found out the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, previously in the School Street space, was moving to a new location.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hill Farmstead Top Brewery in the World for Fifth Year

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 4:13 PM

The team at Hill Farmstead, founder Shaun Hill standing fourth from left - HILL FARMSTEAD BREWERY
  • Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • The team at Hill Farmstead, founder Shaun Hill standing fourth from left
Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro was named the best brewery in the world for the fifth straight year by RateBeer,  which announced its annual ratings on Tuesday. The brewery on a dirt road in the Northeast Kingdom beat out more than 34,000 breweries  to win the 2018 title,  according to RateBeer.

"At this point, it's kind of like we really hope we get No. 1," said Phil Young, who works in production and retail at Hill Farmstead.  "If you're at the top, there's nowhere to go but down, so you want to stay there."

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