Smokin' Butt's BBQ Brings the Smoke at 14th Star Brewing in St. Albans | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Smokin' Butt's BBQ Brings the Smoke at 14th Star Brewing in St. Albans 

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

14th Star Brewing Co. began as a battlefield dream. While serving a yearlong tour in the Afghanistan desert's Andar District in 2010, avid homebrewer Steve Gagner bounced ideas around with the men in his company. With their encouragement, he researched commercial brewing and envisaged a business plan. After returning home to St. Albans, Gagner and his army brother-in-arms Matt Kehaya set to work building 14th Star.

Location Details 14th Star Brewing Co.
133 N. Main St., Suite 7
Champlain Islands/Northwest
St. Albans, VT

The name — referencing Vermont's entry into the Union as the 14th state — brims with patriotism and state pride. The beers, from head brewer Dan Sartwell, began as a mix of modern (read: hop-driven) and classic (malty). A hoppy amber ale called Valor became a runaway hit in craft-beer-starved northwestern Vermont.

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

By 2013, the business was outgrowing its brewhouse. One year later — with Gagner's sister, Andrea, joining as CEO — the operation had moved into a converted bowling alley across town and become a well-oiled machine. Today, visitors can sample a dozen rotating styles on draft in the lofty, industrial-style tasting room.

The brews range from the tart and smoky Upside Down sour to the Barbe Rouge-hopped, straw-colored Who's Barb? — both inspired by Netflix's "Stranger Things." Except for strong double IPAs such as Tribute, all are available in growlers, pints and flights. And, thanks to the 2015 enlistment of local pit master Dave Burbo, who runs Smokin' Butt's Bar-B-Q from a counter inside the brewery, there's food, too.

Burbo's fried wings crackle with sweet, spicy dry rub. Meaty, tender ribs drip with smoky juices that mingle irresistibly with a tangy, slow-burning barbecue sauce. And the Piggy Pile — a heap of golden fries scattered with pulled pork, scallions and crunchy bacon — is so sinfully good that it easily overpowers any reservations you may harbor about the gooey orange Cheez Whiz drizzled over it.

Beer and barbecue: It doesn't get more all-American than that.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation