Vermont has highest number of breweries per capita, and growing

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Vermont has highest number of breweries per capita, and growing

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 8:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Brewers Association of Denver, CO has calculated the Vermont has more breweries per capita than any state in the United States, and since the beginning of the year the Vermont Brewers Association has seen four new members: Hermit Thrush Brewery in Brattleboro, Frost Beer Works in Hinesburg, Bent Hill Brewing in Braintree, and J’ville Craft Brewery in Jacksonville. Expansions have occurred at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery in Burlington, Von Trapp Brewing Co. in Stowe, and Stone Corral Brewery in Richmond. There are also a number of breweries in planning, and even if only a few of them were to open by the end of the year, this could make 2015 a year of unprecedented growth for artisanal beer in Vermont.

Early in the year Hermit Thrush Brewery became the third brewery in Brattleboro, and is brewing Belgian-inspired ales, barrel aged ales and sour ales. Frost Beer Works is a seven-barrel production brewery and their tasting room has quickly become a popular gathering place in Hinesburg. On a road less traveled is Bent Hill Brewery in Braintree. The brewery shares space with a maple sugaring operation and as you might expect some syrup finds its way into the beer.

The newest member is J’ville Craft Brewery in Jacksonville, and is a spinoff of the award winning Honora Winery. The brewery is the brainchild of the owner Patricia Farrington and her winemaker Janice Stewart. Stewart became interested in beer and enrolled in a brewing program at the Siebel Institute. She then worked at Four Quarters Brewing in Winooski putting what she learned in the classroom to good use. The sensibilities of an award winning winemaker brought to the art of brewing: According to Kurt Staudter, Executive Director of the Vermont Brewers Association, “Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure.”

Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead

The Vermont Brewers Association now has 40 members.

Staudter points out, “In the seven years that my wife Patti and I’ve been running the VBA we’ve never seen this kind of growth before – It’s very exciting! Vermont is a prime destination for beer tourism, it has become a hotbed of innovation and creativity, and the growing number of breweries means there’s always something new to try.”

Hill Farmstead Brewery has brought a state-of-the-art German brewhouse to the Northeast Kingdom that blends seamlessly into the landscape of the farm that has been in the family for hundreds of years. American Flatbread/Zero Gravity Craft Brewery is one of the cornerstones of the Burlington pub scene, and now they have opened a production brewery on Pine Street.

Trapp Family selection

The Von Trapp family has also brought a German brewhouse making it one of the larger breweries. Meanwhile, Stone Corral Brewery in Huntington has moved their operations to nearby Richmond where they have opened a production brewery and pub.

There are a number of small breweries that are just getting started with another few more in planning. Staudter points out, “While we have been in touch with some of them, and helping in any way we can, some are just getting their feet wet; we look forward to adding them to the growing diversity of the Vermont beer culture.” He continued, “As we look to where Vermont’s place is in the global market, I believe that we’re becoming the North American Bavaria: Vermont is the place where good things to eat and drink come from!”

Source: Vermont Brewers Association,