Vermont, the aptly nicknamed Green Mountain State (errr…Beer Mountain State?) is home to more craft breweries per capita than any other. But where did it all start? Right in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, at Vermont Pub and Brewery! Greg Noonan first authored ‘Brewing Lager Beer,’ the seminal American beer making guide, in 1986 followed two years later with the launch of Vermont Pub and Brewery. Vermont Pub and Brew’s 14 barrel brewing system cranks out Noonan’s original recipes for deliciously fresh, unfiltered craft beer. Noonan went on to write more beer books and open Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon, New Hampshire and Amherst Brewing Company in Amherst, Massachusetts. John Kimmich got his start in the beer business under Noonan, working his way up to Head Brewmaster before leaving to start The Alchemist and bring Heady Topper into the world!
Maine Beer Company was founded by brothers David and Daniel Kleban, a financial advisor and lawyer by trade, respectively, on the outskirts of New England’s Freeport, Maine. While fairly new to the craft beer scene, the Kleban’s pack an inordinate punch relative to their small batch production due to legendarily hoppy ales such as Lunch (IPA), Dinner (Double IPA), Peeper (Pale Ale) and Zoe (Amber Ale). They have been compared to Russian River Brewing and The Alchemist due to their laser like focus on quality, community and sustainability (as evidenced by their motto: “Do What’s Right”). If you come across their beers, which can be a challenge due to limited distribution, drink them – you will not be sorry! Or just make the trip to Freeport…Maine Beer Company is worth it, especially when combined with a visit to L.L. Bean!