What is it about Vermont?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MichialTanner1, Nov 8, 2015.

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  1. Captstrapper

    Captstrapper Initiate (106) Nov 19, 2011 Vermont

    As a few above have pointed out, a very strong argument could be made about the Greg Noonan theory. He was extremely influential in this area.
     
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  2. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (667) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    Myself, I do seek out beers from other areas, especially when I travel out-of-state. But I try to always have a supply of HT, SOS, and various other local beers in my fridge, and I always order local beers on draft. Living in VT, it's not hard to keep the majority of my beer purchases local. And, yes, I think the top VT beers are some of the best anywhere, and that's not just homerism.
     
  3. jamesewelch

    jamesewelch Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Vermont

    Ouch man. I don't just write about beer, I do have a life and a real job. Yes, I don't base my perception of beer on their trade values. It should be about beer and not how valuable the beer is in trade/black markets. And I do enjoy a lot of local beer and I've traveled all over the US and world for work/personal and lived in other great beer regions, but yeah, thanks for getting personal.
     
    #83 jamesewelch, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
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  4. supertech

    supertech Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2015 California

    I wonder if the brewers share similar techniques and share secrets with each other. Cause theyre just making phenomenal beers out there. California has Hundreds but seems more like a competition with them, and only a handful make amazing beers.
     
  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Meyvn (1,011) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Imo that is true about people from any state in New England!:stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  6. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (525) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
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    The price of milk is driving those once destined for cheese making greatness into the world of beer? :wink:
     
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  7. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,108) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    So being a local, what did your parents do for a living to raise you and send you to college? How about some of your friends situations? Just trying to get a pulse on multi-generational families from Vermont whom I'm guessing are the backbone of the population, vs wealthy retirees from the cities, brewery employees, B&B owners, ski instructors and organic/hippie farmers (maybe that really is the bulk of population?).
     
  8. WillemHC

    WillemHC Initiate (143) Jun 21, 2013 Utah

    There are so many good all around breweries that are better. His hoppy beers are mess. I drank a glass of single hop citra from the source a few weeks ago and it tasted like slightly citrusy watery grain. And plenty of breweries make farmhouse beers better than his. And some of those breweries make both better..
     
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  9. timotao

    timotao Disciple (311) Sep 16, 2013 New York
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    I suggest you duck for cover
     
  10. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,983) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I know quite a number of fine beer lovers and none of us share that opinion. In fact, Le Sarrasin is the finest saison I have tasted, and most of his other saisons are in with my top favorites also. Abner, Ephraim, Double Citra, Susan, and Double Galaxy are some of the finest hoppy beers anywhere. His stouts are good to very good, and only Beyond Good and Evil would I consider great. Everett is certainly one of the best Porters in the country.

    Of course, this is only the opinion of myself. And everyone I know. And the overwhelming majority of BA's who rate and review. So take it for what it's worth.
     
  11. bobv

    bobv Poo-Bah (3,765) Feb 3, 2009 Vermont
    Society

    Lost Nation: Allen is from NJ and Jamie is from VA.
     
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  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,108) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    Thanks. So far the tally I have is 1 homegrown Vermont Brewer vs 4 transplants. Anyone else have intel on the other brewers whom have been around for a while (Otter Creek, Long Trail, Magic Hat etc)?
     
  13. bobv

    bobv Poo-Bah (3,765) Feb 3, 2009 Vermont
    Society

    Before moving to Delaware and Dogfish Head, Mike Gerhart of Otter Creek brewed at Kross Brewing in Morrisville, VT with Allen Van Anda of Lost Nation. I'm pretty certain he was born in our state.
     
  14. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (650) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Magic Hat was founded by Alan Newman. I can't find where he was from originally, but he's an eccentric character who found a place in VT. I believe he currently works for Boston Beer Company leading their Alchemy and Science division, unless he went back into retirement. Here's a good archive interview with him: http://archive.burlingtonfreepress....nder-Magic-Hat-mission-boost-craft-beer-world
    Most of the VT locals turned against Magic Hat when he sold the company. That fierce local loyalty can run two ways, just ask Ben and Jerry's and Cabot cheese. :rolling_eyes:
     
    #94 Ranbot, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  15. WillQC4Beer

    WillQC4Beer Initiate (0) May 1, 2014 Vermont


    This post nails it right on the head, add in Greg Noonan's influence that others have said and sprinkle in a bit of luck as well as a community of brewers who communicate and share amongst each other and you have vermont beer. There is no magic well of beer here that others cannot do, it is just Vermont is doing it and has been for a long while.
     
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  16. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (816) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Trader

    This is laughable. Which breweries are you referring to and which beers?
     
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  17. jamesewelch

    jamesewelch Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Vermont

    Mike is from Suffern, NY. He was going to college in St. J when he first applied to start work at Kross brewery. Alan and (I think) Jamie also went to school there. There's a good Alumni article that came out in the summer with interviews of them,
     
    #97 jamesewelch, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  18. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (438) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    If I'm not wrong, he's the one in the Traveler Beer Co commercials where he comments about how he has been fired from every job he's had. And yes, that's part of the Alchemy and Science division. And Eccentric Character is putting it lightly...
    Magic Hat has had some ups and downs, and I think part of it is just quality control - and use of Ringwood yeast a few too many generations (see Shipyard, though apparently they are PROUD of the butterscotch thing they have)
    I still like the Heart of Darkness when they release it, though not a huge fan of most of their other beers.
    That said, MH was one of the beers / brands that got me into craft beer in the mid - late 90s, when so many others from then are long gone.
    It is funny how many of the "old school" VT brewers are having a resurgence of sorts - Otter Creek, Long Trail, along with MH to a degree. The Shed is still kicking, Rock Art, Even Catamounts recipes do really well when Harpoon brews them.
     
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  19. MichialTanner1

    MichialTanner1 Disciple (349) May 17, 2009 Texas

    Thanks for the tip--I'll bring up some Jester King to barter with.
     
  20. FrancisT

    FrancisT Initiate (101) Apr 11, 2008 Vermont

    Crazy talk plain and simple. Over-hyped, sure I can see that. But to call his hoppy beers a "mess" is just crazy talk. He also produces some of, if not the finest saisons in the country. And that is not just my opinion.
     
    #100 FrancisT, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
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  21. WillemHC

    WillemHC Initiate (143) Jun 21, 2013 Utah

    Lol laugh all you want. I get it with his saisons and with Everett. Everett is out of this world good. But his hoppy beers are so unbelievably subpar. And all it takes is one style to be bad for the well roundedness thing to fall through.

    As for other breweries. Cellarmaker. So good.. At least in my mind if I could choose one with the consequence of eliminating the option to consume the other ever again, I would choose Cellarmaker without even a millisecond of hesitation. Another would be Holy Mountain in Seattle. Their "saisons" are mind blowing and everything else they make is wonderful too.. Just two that come to mind and neither are very hard to get to!
     
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  22. matcris

    matcris Meyvn (1,187) Sep 17, 2015 Arizona

    Gotta go sometime. My folks always said to take a trip to NE, and be sure to go in the fall. That could turn into a massive and pretty sweet haul.
     
  23. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Poo-Bah (1,791) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia
    Society

    Holy crap I f'd that calculation up. Please disregard my San Diego numbers...they are completely wrong. Thanks.
    Now that I think about it, it is hard to think of a real apples-to-apples comparison. Portland (10.8 breweries per 100K...unless I screwed up the math again) has a population closer to Vermont (~609K vs ~620K), but is not comparable in square miles. With enough data, it would be interesting (well, maybe not that interesting) to compare high-density brewery areas of like population and size, but I'm not sure it exists in any accessible form.
     
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  24. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,983) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Cellarmaker only has one saison in rotation? They make a lot of hoppy beers. I love hoppy beers, but please, one brewery for my life but all they make is hoppy stuff? Good on them. Would love to try them.

    BTW, which of HF's hoppy offerings did you get to try?

    A lot of good saisons around, but I have never tried Holy Mountain, sure would love to, though. Guess a lot of folks would, but looks like they don't can or bottle?

    To me Le Sarrasin, Nordic Saison, Brother Soigne, Anna, Arthur, and Flora all are world class. Tried all/any of those?
     
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  25. dank203

    dank203 Zealot (503) May 21, 2012 New Jersey

    not sure but pretty much all new england/northeast beers are preferable for me because they drinik cleaner for me than any other beers
     
  26. Flashy

    Flashy Zealot (553) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    and the late, great Catamount.
     
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  27. sefus12

    sefus12 Aspirant (224) Sep 7, 2006 Virginia

    I'll duck right there with him. I don't live in VT but am lucky enough to have a buddy who is up there multiple times a year as well as a little brother who lived there. Because of that I've been lucky enough to try all sorts of goodies from VT/MA. I've had some good beers from HF, but overall I found them a bit over-hyped, as I did the beers from up there in general. Don't get me wrong... I had some fantastic beers from that area (Sip of Sunshine remains one of my favorite hoppy beers of all time), but I guess they just didn't live up to the "these are the best you will ever try" hype they tend to get. As someone mentioned, there are amazing breweries all over the country. And for picking a brewery better than HF? I'll take SN's catalog of beer all day, every day.
     
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  28. jeffgott

    jeffgott Zealot (541) Feb 15, 2015 New Jersey
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    Much has been said already and for me and many on here craft beer is a major pleasure in our lives and besides the great tasting beer, the Vermont culture adds a great deal to the mystique. I go to Vermont once a month to escape the congestion of the big city and indulge in the beer, the beer festivals, the conversation between beer lovers, the sparcely populated roads, the beautiful scenery, and the excitement of finding the next top creation of Vermont brewers talent. If I was to get a similar product and I had to deal with traffic jams, nasty servers, unpleasant surroundings it just would not be the same. I would say similar to other industries talent leakage, given the rich brewer talent in Vermont and their training of staff, this perpetuates new breweries as some of the talent goes their own way or joins another brewery. We are the beneficiaries.....

    No disrespect to anyone here but Vermont as a hotbed for craft beer is not about the education status of the the population or even about the great water system; both are quite important but not variables that aren't readily available in most other states. I think what is keeping Vermont amongst the elite states in craft beer is the inability of the major breweries w/major distribution channels to treat craft beer properly. The biggies, and we know who they are, have executives who don't have the beer knowledge or thought process to treat the products as we all would like - meaning maintaining the quality. They are entering the market via acquisition and we all seem to think that once that happens product quality drops. This is probably true as the quickest way for an executive to make his/her mark is to increase the bottom line and I can tell you that working in Corporate America for a long time its a lot easier/quicker to cut expense than increase revenue. So unless some of the great brewers in Vermont or other states decide to apply the craft and choose to grow the business into a national conglomerate, Vermont will be a great beercation for all of us.
     
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  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,983) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Well, that about makes the rest of your post unnecessary.

    SN is a great brewery. If they keep trying maybe they will make a beer as good as Hill Farmstead, Alchemist, or Lawson's, but I doubt it.
     
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  30. BoldRulerVT

    BoldRulerVT Savant (908) Oct 2, 2013 Vermont

    I think Greg Noonan at Vermont Pub and Brewery also had a lot to do with it. He was John Kimmich's mentor, Sean Lawson was really influenced by Greg directly and his helping hand availability to many brewers who were starting out.
     
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  31. WillemHC

    WillemHC Initiate (143) Jun 21, 2013 Utah

    Holy Mountain bottles, check their facebook page they have them available quite often.

    Cellarmaker makes many more than just one saison, though they are available less frequently than are their hoppy beers. They also always have at least one "dark beer" on. Their "coffee and cigarettes" is on now and is amazing. Their stouts have all been phenomenal as well. Typo pils is also a wonderful american twist to a pilsener.

    Ive only had Soigne, Anna, and whatever the leaves of grass thing was. They are all great, but nothing mind blowing by any means. And I had single citra, single mosaic, mutual admiration, and double galaxy. I don't have anything very positive to say about any of them. Maybe I shouldn't have tried treehouse and trillium for the first time around that same period, they are infinitely better with hoppy beers. Again this is my opinion, no intention to offend.
     
  32. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,983) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Since par means average, and you called them subpar, I guess my problem was with what you said then, not what you are saying now, which is a different thing.

    I agree, Trillium and Treehouse are making the best IPA in the country and I would place Hill Farmstead behind that. Congress Street and Julius are amazing, better than HF's hoppy bews. But subpar? They are soooooo much better than below average that I had to respond.

    And for Cellarmaker I merely used the beers that had been rated here. There are 3 saisons listed, two of them retired, one rotating
     
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  33. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Disciple (396) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    I'm no Vermonter, but do have a second home there (technically in-law's) and visit often. My general take is that Vermont is old school and "crafting" anything is something it does well. That applies to cheese, maple syrup, pottery (and other arts and crafts sold throughout the state by local artisans), and burgers at Worthy Burger (from local grass fed beef, local rolls, local produce and local cheese). Before it went big time, it likely applied to Ben & Jerry's. And it applies to Beer.

    Vermont makes small batches of things with great care, and those more "bespoke" items tend to stand out against more mass produced items. Stone, Oskar Blues, Langunitas, Founders, Bells, etc. are barely "craft" by comparison. Yet you do see Trillium, Treehouse, Toppling Goliath, RR (and many others I don't have experience with) "crafting" small batches beer as well, and many of those beers get the same acclaim. Of course, many small breweries aren't good at all. So the skill needs to be there, and when it does, the results are tremendous.
     
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  34. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (569) Oct 29, 2008 California
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    Could be a self-fulfilling prophecy situation where the power of suggestion made them think that the beers were that much better than what is available locally, which given how many excellent breweries there are throughout the northeast, is just not the case. Also, lets not forget how much of the beer from those extra long beer runs are just for trade fodder.
     
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  35. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (569) Oct 29, 2008 California
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    Is where a head brewer born really something that matters to people?
     
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  36. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (192) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    "Inventors" of drink fresh, drink local. Still rings true.
     
  37. Flashy

    Flashy Zealot (553) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    I believe when we are discussing regional beer culture and why some places are better then others- yes.
     
  38. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (569) Oct 29, 2008 California
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    That makes no sense to me. What if someone was born in Hawaii, but moved to Vermont when they were 2 months old? What if someone was born in NY but moved to Vermont as an adult because that's where they wanted to start their brewery? Is the beer "less local" due to birth location of the brewer/owner? I just don't see how location of birth makes any difference whatsoever. Do you think that there are people who wouldn't be able to enjoy HT if they found out that Kimmich wasn't born in VT*




    *I don't know or care where he was born.
     
  39. MrDave

    MrDave Disciple (385) Jan 23, 2013 California
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    I just think of it as New England's California.
     
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  40. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (265) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    We live closer to the land than people in many places; dig being DIY entrepreneurs; appreciate hard work that results in small-scale quality products; like to support the locals that do so. The hype didn't start here. People visit and fall in love with the lifestyle, quit their jobs, take pay cuts in order to find a chiller way to live & raise a family. Or move back here when they realized what they missed growing up here. We happily drink local, and wonder why others don't seem to want to.
     
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