Looks like we’re going to ride on a more serious tip this week friends. It’s Vermont Beer week and I just wanted to give you all a little glimpse into why I am where I am and what I think about the things that surround my profession and the aspects within this kind of profession.
You see, I was working at a brewpub in New Hampshire throughout college; first washing dishes, then waiting tables, then cooking, then hosting, then bartending, then doing all of the above whenever a situation would present itself where I was needed most. I’ve been in and out of restaurants basically my entire life so I’m pretty versed in all of the areas of the establishment. Well, I graduated from college and it was becoming time for me to move across the country to pursue my Masters Degree but I wanted to spend another summer in the lakes region (it’s a beautiful area and most of my friends stuck around so it was kind of imperative to do so), so I stuck around.
I was scheduled to leave on September 1st, 2001. On August 29th of that year I had walked into the restaurant for a daytime bar shift. The owner, when I walked in, was visibly upset about something but I remember just saying my “hellos” and going on about opening the bar. I then remember him coming up to me and saying something to the effect of, “Hey, do you have any friends who are homebrewers?”
I did not.
I asked him why.
He proceeded to tell me that our brewer at the time was moving on and left us in a weird position (moving on meant he was injured) where we had X amount of beers on tap but we were already out of many of them and that they weren’t even fermenting yet (in my knowledge of beer at that time – I knew this wasn’t good). So, the owner was scrambling to try and find someone to help us out.
He had scheduled a guy (I’ll save him from being mentioned but he was older than I (I was 21 – do the math) and he had German roots) to come up and get a couple of our core beers into fermenters but he would have to work through his vacation and that was about two weeks. You really can’t really make a beer in two weeks.
So, I told the owner to have that guy train me and I’d do it.
And that was that.
I had a new path.
I never went to go on to get my Masters (sorry Mom! Oh, by the way, tomorrow is my mother’s birthday. So, for the majority of you (I imagine there’s a good amount of you who actually know her) who do know her, please send your Happy Birthday vibes to the greatest mother this world has ever known).
My first batch of beer was 200 gallons.
That was in 2001 before the hops Citra, Simcoe, Galaxy, Mosaic even existed. That was before the race to make the world’s strongest beer and before everyone got so sick of everyone making nothing but IPAs that brewers went back to their roots and made sessionable authentic beers again (not that there’s anything wrong with IPAs). Craft beer (microbrews as they were called) was in short supply. It was more like a cult to actually call yourself a brewer. I had a girlfriend in my late twenties who, anytime that we were at a “mixer” for her company we would make up a new profession for me to tell people so that when I told people that I was a brewer it didn’t turn into me talking about beer to everyone in the room for two hours, leaving her to fend for herself (my favorite was something I stole from my brother; I would tell people that I was a Nauga farmer, you know as in Naugahyde).
My point is; craft beer has come a long way. But, you knew that. And, I wanted to give you a little bit of a “credible” source to listen to whenever I mention beer or the brewing of said beer.
Craft beer in VERMONT has come a really long way. And, it’s no mistake that we’re the head of the beer renaissance (their words, not mine, I’m more humbler).
This state produces the best beer in the world, collectively, and there’s a great reason why humans flock to this state in order to acquire these goods.
We have completely different Pale Ales and IPAs than anywhere in the country and folks are really starting to emulate them more than anything. That can be filtered to giving thanks to a few certain breweries who shall remain nameless that have truly put our great state on the map (that’s a figure of speech since, last time I checked, Vermont has almost always been on the map when I’ve looked for it). But, by and large, Vermont has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to high-quality offerings in the beer category.
And this is the week that we’re celebrating that notion. Welcome to Vermont Beer week.
You will notice a not too dramatic inclusion of various offerings from around the state as we’re celebrating with you for this week because, well, we very often have a lot of beer on tap from Vermont and that’s no mistake.
What we try and do in our daily basis is have the very best, the very best representations of different styles for you to choose from. Well, that’s a very good reason that many of those offerings come from Vermont. It’s because they’re the best that we can find for you.
All of THAT being said, tonight (today – all day) we’re celebrating one of the breweries that we love that has (in my humble opinion) the greatest grasp of the most numerous amounts of styles in the state.
Zero Gravity simply nails every style that they make. Everything from Kolsch to Altbier to a Belgian Specialty Ale touched with Brettanomyces (AKA Cote de Champlain) to an American IPA and beyond, they have their hands on a ridiculous amount of styles and get each one damned near to perfection. And that’s what we’re trying to show you today; because all of the beers that I’ve just mentioned will be on tap for you to try. And, there’s an even more specialer one going on from our basement that I’ll just leave a hint for here and you can see for yourself when you come in (that’s a really obscure reference and I’ll be very happy if you get it). You can call it a “takeover” if you’d like to but I don’t really like using that word unless it refers to this.
So, as you’re celebrating Vermont beer week, let’s toast Zero Gravity and show the love for (in my humble opinion) one of the most underrated breweries out there (not anymore since they’re pretty well known but I always include them personally whenever anyone wants to talk about the best of Vermont).
And with that, I wish you all a good day and a good night and a be well and a keep in touch Garrison.