The Vermont Foodbank Needs Our Help

With food and fuel prices continuing to rise and pandemic-era relief programs expiring, many of our neighbors are struggling to feed their families. Together, we can help. Last week we kicked off our early summer round-up program for the Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank partners with 220 food pantries around the state to help combat food insecurity in Vermont.

While food banks across the country are seeing a dramatic increase in demand (up a reported 85%), about 55% of food banks say they have seen a decrease in food donations. And the food that they’re able to purchase is more expensive (and harder to find) than ever. Food banks are paying 40% more for food purchases to keep up with demand and make up for fewer food donations.

This is also true in Vermont, where food insecurity is a growing concern. WCAX recently reported that 27% of Vermonters are currently experiencing food insecurity, up from 10% before the pandemic.

VeggieVanGo volunteers in Springfield help fill people’s cars with fresh produce and eggs. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Foodbank.

In this Valley News article, published on April 17, the Vermont Foodbank’s CEO, John Sayles, said they’ve also seen a steep increase in demand for its VeggieVanGo program, which provides fresh produce to people at pickup locations around the state, including at Woodstock Union High School. In the same article, a representative from the Listen Center’s food panty in White River Junction said that March was the busiest month ever.

VeggieVanGo volunteers in Barre serving their community on a cold winter day. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Foodbank

The Vermont Foodbank depends on donors and volunteers to carry out their mission of feeding Vermonters in need. Thank you to our cashier team, in advance, for leading the fundraising charge yet again. And thank you to our customers who continue to say, “yes, I want to help.”

Champlain Valley Creamery: Making Creamy Deliciousness Since 2003

During the month of May, in celebration of American Cheese Month, we’re spotlighting a few of our local cheesemakers. These small producers keep our cheese case well-stocked with their unique, handcrafted cheeses. Each one has a unique story and a true passion for the craft of cheesemaking. 

We’re greatly appreciative to Carleton Yoder, owner and cheesemaker at Champlain Valley Creamery in Middlebury, Vermont, for taking the time to share his cheesemaking journey with us. We’re suckers for their creamy, soft-ripened cheeses made using fresh organic milk from a small neighboring farm.

Photo courtesy of Champlain Valley Creamery.

Q. What can you tell us about the history of the creamery? 

A. We started the creamery in 2003 in Vergennes with Old Fashioned Organic Cream Cheese and moved to Middlebury in 2012.

Q. When and how did you first get into the cheese-making business?

A. I moved to Vermont in 1996 to make hard cider in Middlebury. I have a master’s degree in Food Science from Virginia Tech and a background in winemaking.  I wanted to do something in food on my own; cheese became the something!

Carleton at work. Courtesy photo.

Q. Where did you receive your training as a cheesemaker? 

A. I’m mostly self-taught, but did a stint at Shelburne Farms making cheddar to get a feel for the commercial cheesemaking scale. 

Q. What makes your product unique or special?  

A. We are probably one of the smallest creameries to separate our milk to make cream-added cheeses, operating a vintage DeLaval cream separator.  Also, our milk is single-source, 100% grass-fed organic. You can learn more about their cheesemaking process here.

Photo courtesy of Champlain Valley Creamery,

Q. What are the most important things to you in the cheesemaking process? 

A. Probably cleanliness and safety, along with attention to detail.

Q. How did the Covid-19 crisis impact your business? 

A. Initially, Covid put a huge slowdown on the business, but we recovered and had our best year in 2020, followed by an even better 2021. I feel people shifted buying habits even more locally during the pandemic, which has been a benefit to our small business.

Q. Anything new or exciting coming up at the creamery? 

A. We have been slowly transitioning to production of the triple cream into block forms, which will allow us to make more cheese a little less manually and with more consistency while saving physical space. The struggle has been supply chain issues with getting the needed equipment from Italy and France!

Q. Do you have a desert island cheese? 

A. I’d say Reggianno, as we make mostly fresh and short-aged cheese that would not last long on a desert island! Plus, Parm is super versatile!😊

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A. Thanks to WFM for supporting us over the years!

Maplebrook Farm Cheeses: Handmade in Vermont Using Old World Techniques

During the month of May, in celebration of American Cheese Month, we’re spotlighting a few of our local cheesemakers. These small producers keep our cheese case well-stocked with their unique, handcrafted cheeses. Each one has a unique story and a true passion for the craft of cheesemaking. 

Thank you to Tim Capron at Maplebrook Farm in North Bennington, Vermont, for sharing with us the farm’s unique origin story and also what makes their cheese different from other mozzarella and burrata on the market. (You’ll never buy mass-produced cheese again!) Also, find out Maplebrook’s new product on the shelf!

Mike Scheps and Johann Englert, Maplebrook Farm founders

Q. What can you tell us about the history of the creamery? 

A. Tim felt the story as told on their website explained it best:

In 2003 Johann Englert had a flash-back to her college years abroad, while visiting Manchester, Vermont. A cluster of fresh mozzarella balls sitting on the counter of an Italian specialty shop brought her back to a tiny groceria she and her mother visited while traveling through the Napali countryside. To her surprise, these Vermont cheese artisans produced genuine, Old World mozzarella. Since Johann could not find such quality cheese in Boston, she bought 20 balls of mozzarella on the spot. Before she left that shop, she asked the owner’s son, third generation cheesemaker Mike Scheps, if he would supply her with more small quantities in future.  Little did they know, a business was born.

When 5 out of 6 gourmet shops in Boston wanted more of this genuine mozzarella, Johann and Mike knew they were onto something. Shops sold out of cheese as fast as they could supply it, and business boomed. Soon their operation moved from a kitchen to a small store to a 50,000 sq. ft. building. What began with 3 local Vermonters has grown to include 65 employees making small batches of cheese and wrapping them by hand every day of the week. From those first 20 mozzarella balls to the current 40,000 pounds of cheese produced weekly, Maplebrook Farm has established itself as a premier producer of handmade artisanal cheeses in the Green Mountains of Vermont, distributing unparalleled quality cheeses throughout the country.

Q. Who is your cheesemaker, and where did they receive their training?

A. Michael Scheps is a third-generation cheesemaker who started working in his father and grandfather’s operation, Scheps Cheese in New Jersey, when he was 14 years old. He’s been hand stretching mozzarella ever since and is also an absolute expert with ricotta. Maplebrook makes all of its own curd from only 100 percent Vermont milk and essentially uses the same recipe that Michael learned from his father when he was a boy.

Q. What types of cheeses do you produce?

A. Mozzarella, Burrata, Ricotta, Feta, Cheddar Bites (cheese curds), Ciliegine, Ovoline, Bocconcini, Stracciatella and Scamorza. We also have an assortment of smoked cheeses.

Q. What makes your product unique or special? 

A. 100 percent Vermont milk from family farms that is rBGH & rBST-free. We are very selective about the milk. Most mozzarella and burrata in the U.S. is now made by machine. Maplebrook Farm still produces at scale handmade mozzarella where we hand-stretch the curd and hand-form each individual ball. Virtually no other major producer still does this. All of our burrata is made 100% by hand and our ricotta is hand-dipped from our 100-year-old kettles. Many mozzarella makers today simply buy curd with little regard for the milk it was made from and put it into a machine to make the balls of cheese. We select our milk bringing in only Vermont’s finest, make the curd from scratch with Michael’s family recipe, and keep the whole process very artisanal.

Q. What are the most important things to you in the cheesemaking process?

A. High quality milk and Old World techniques.

Q. How did the Covid-19 crisis impact your business?

A. We stayed very busy. Turns out people turned toward comfort food and lots of traditional home-cooked recipes. Our traditional cheeses did very well through the pandemic.

Q. Anything new or exciting coming up at the creamery?

A. We recently started making butter with Ploughgate Creamery and through a partnership brought all of Ploughgate’s butter-making into our facility in North Bennington. Each ball of butter is hand formed and hand wrapped so there are a lot of similarities to our cheese-making processes.

Q. Do you have a desert island cheese?

A. BURRATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe with some figs and a little honey drizzled over the top.

Grafton Village Cheese Continues a Community Tradition

During the month of May, in celebration of American Cheese Month, we’re spotlighting a few of our local cheesemakers. These small producers keep our cheese case well-stocked with their unique, handcrafted cheeses. Each one has a unique story and a true passion for the craft of cheesemaking. 

Thank you to Ruth Anne Flore, president of Grafton Village Cheese, for taking the time to chat with us. We hope you’ll find the history of this local creamery as fascinating as we do. A great example of the amazing (and delicious!) things a community can do when they come together to support a cause.


Q. When was Grafton Village Cheese founded and how has the company evolved over the years?  

A. The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. 

In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory. Several decades later, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, and a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste are the hallmarks of our company’s award-winning cheeses. Our traditions have stayed over the years: we make our cheese by hand using premium raw/unpasteurized milk from small, local family farms.

The Jersey cows at Richardson Farm

Q. What is the role of the Windham Foundation in Grafton Village Cheese today?

A. The Windham Foundation works to preserve and enhance the social, economic, and cultural vitality of Vermont’s smaller communities and their rural way of life, especially within and around the town of Grafton, Vermont. The Foundation focuses on Vermont’s history, natural resources, and agrarian traditions.

The Windham Foundation is an operating foundation. It operates the Grafton Inn, which has been open for over 200 years; the Grafton Village Cheese Company, which has made award-winning artisanal cheddar for over 55 years; and the Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center. The Foundation operates these social enterprises to ensure that the region’s and the state’s rural economy remain viable.

In addition to these activities, the Foundation offers philanthropic, charitable, and educational programs and supports the village of Grafton through its preservation of historic buildings, open land stewardship, and financial support in the form of taxes and grants.

Handcrafted cheese

Q. What makes your product unique or special?  

A. As one of Vermont’s legacy cheese producers, we continue to make our traditional New England style cheddar cheeses by hand and in small batches.

Q. Who is your head cheesemaker and where did that person learn their craft? 

A. Mariano Gonzalez, Grafton’s head cheesemaker, began developing his cheesemaking skills as a young child in Paraguay. In 1987, Mariano moved to the US and learned to make traditional cheddar at Shelburne Farms. During his tenure at Shelburne Farms, his cheddar was recognized by the American Cheese Society with the coveted Best of Show award. It was at Shelburne Farms that Mariano began developing a traditional clothbound English style cheddar, his dream cheese. In 2001, Mariano became head cheesemaker at Fiscalini Farms in California’s Central Valley. His clothbound cheddar was recognized internationally at the World Cheese Awards “Best Cheddar” in 2007, 2011, and 2014.

The cheesemakers at Grafton Village Cheese

Q. What are the most important things to you in the cheesemaking process?

A. As all of our cheeses are unpasteurized, the quality of the milk is paramount.  For more than a century, Grafton Village Cheese captures the old-style cheddaring process that has long been forgotten by many of today’s larger cheddar companies. The result of the Grafton Village Cheddar, whether it is aged from one to three years (or longer), is a line of award-winning cheddars that have unique flavor profiles that imbue the pace and life of our family farms.

Q. How did the Covid-19 crisis impact your business? 

A. Grafton made the difficult decision to downsize, moving all of our block cheddar production from our Brattleboro facility back to our original Grafton facility with the emphasis on becoming a smaller, nimbler, and more focused producer of exceptional specialty cheeses. With demand consistently outpacing supply, lower annual production has been challenging as we continue to work on balancing our 1yr and 2yr block cheddar aging inventory. About the same time the pandemic hit, we completed our new caves and committed to increasing production of our sheep’s milk cheeses: Shepsog (50% cow, 50% sheep) and Bear Hill (sheep) and have expanded our inventory of Clothbound Cheddar.

Grafton’s 1-Year Cheddar

Q. Anything new or exciting coming up at Grafton Village Cheese? 

A. We expect to introduce a new cave-aged cheese to the market in the coming months. Stay tuned. You won’t be disappointed!

Q. Do you have a desert island cheese?

A. I am hard-pressed to choose…any one of our cave-aged cheeses. I love them all!

Making Cheese at Cobb Hill Farm

During the month of May, in celebration of American Cheese Month, we’re spotlighting a few of our local cheesemakers. These small producers keep our cheese case well-stocked with their unique, handcrafted cheeses. Each one has a unique story and a true passion for the craft of cheesemaking. 

A big thanks to our first cheesemaker interviewee of the month, Jeannine Kilbride. She is a partner, administrator, and head cheesemaker at Cobb Hill Farm in Hartland, Vermont. It’s always a busy time of year at the creamery! So we appreciate her taking the time to share with us the history of the farm and what makes their cheeses unique.


Q. What can you tell us about the history of the farm/community? 

A. Cobb Hill Cheese began in 2000. When Cobb Hill was being built, farmers Kerry Gawalt and Stephen Leslie brought their cows with them when they moved to the Cobb Hill. Together with a few other community members, they decided to start making cheese with the milk.

Q. When and how did Cobb Hill first get into the cheese-making business?

A. Cobb Hill Cheese has been handcrafting artisan cheese on the farm in Hartland for over 20 years. We started out with our award-winning Ascutney Mountain Cheese, then developed Caerphilly, a Welsh-style cheddar, also an award winner, suited to the rich milk from our Jersey cows. In 2016 we branched out into making a farmhouse-style Gouda. Then we had our young Gouda smoked at Grafton Village Cheese. Eight months later we had our first aged smoked Gouda for sale. Every batch of cheese is made from fresh milk every other day. Our cheesemakers follow the age-old process of heating milk, adding lactic bacteria and vegetable rennet, hand stirring the curd, hooping, and pressing.

Q. What makes your product unique or special?  

A. What makes our cheese unique is the rich creamy Jersey cow milk. The high butter fat gives our cheese its unique flavor.

Q. Who is your head cheesemaker and where did that person learn their craft? 

A. I am head cheesemaker. I started making cheese in 2008. I learned from the small group of women who started the business. I have a culinary degree and background. When I joined the business we made two cheeses. Now we make seven varieties. Partner Kerry Gawalt and I developed our Gouda and Havarti recipes.

Q. How did the Covid-19 crisis impact your business? 

A. The early days of the pandemic presented us with sales and inventory management issues. We took advantage of everything the American Rescue Plan had to offer. Not knowing how long the situation was going to last was most difficult. We plan into the future with cow births and milk production. Uncertainty about future production and sales can be stressful.

Q. Anything new or exciting coming up at the farm? 

A. Cobb Hill Cheese received the Working Lands Grant this year. We are very excited to be able to use the grant to create a dedicated space to be used as a vacuum sealing room.

Q. Do you have a desert island cheese? 

A. Our dessert cheese, Four Corners.

Chilaquiles with Salsa Rojo and Chicken 

Greg, prepared foods

Another recipe from WFM prepared foods powerhouse Greg. This dish is traditionally eaten for breakfast, perhaps after a Cinco De Mayo celebration, but it doesn’t stop being delicious in the evening. Crispy tortillas quickly simmered in a smokey sauce and topped with salty cheese always wins.

This recipe is super easy to riff on and a great way to use up odds and ends you may have in the kitchen. Add avocado and a scoop of sour cream, punch it up with a squeeze of lime, or dab it with your favorite hot sauce; shred a bit of lettuce to remove guilt. Be a hero and drop a fried egg on it. It’s supposed to be a party. 

~ Mike L., prepared foods leader and chef

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients

  • 1 pint WFM fire-roasted salsa 
  • 1 medium jalapeno, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup) 
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced small 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 
  • 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced or chopped 
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, shredded or sliced*
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 12 oz Cotija, crumbled 
  • 1 bag tortilla chips, chef’s choice 
  • 2 Tbsp oil 

*This is a great place to use up leftover chicken, be it from the grill, skillet, or oven. You could even poach a few chicken breasts and use the broth in this recipe. Anything simply flavored will do. 

Instructions

In your largest skillet, Dutch oven, cast iron, etc., add the oil and fire roasted salsa and turn the heat to medium. The salsa should reduce by about half and begin to emulsify with the oil, approximately 3 minutes. Once reduced add the chicken stock and reduce again by about half. Give the sauce a taste; it should be fully flavored and rich on the palate. Wonderful. 

Add your shredded or thinly sliced chicken to the sauce and swirl it around to heat and become one, about 3 minutes should do. If the pan begins to look a bit dry, feel free to add a few tablespoons of chicken stock. Shut off the heat and add half of the diced onion, half of the jalapeno, half of the cheese, and half of the cilantro. Add half of the bag of tortilla chips to the pan and gently toss and stir to thoroughly coat. Add the remaining tortilla chips and repeat the process. You should end up with a pleasant mix of crunchy and sauce. To serve, either in the pan (which we highly recommend) or in a large casserole dish, simply garnish with the radish slices and remaining cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and cheese. Really paint the dish.  

This dish is best consumed quickly after creation. The joy is in the mix of textures and temperatures although leftovers have a lot to love as well. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

A Chat with Ned at Maplecrest Farm in Woodstock

Last year, at the end of sugaring season, we meandered up the hill behind our Woodstock store to meet up with Ned Macksoud of Maplecrest Farm. Ned has been supplying the Market with maple syrup since we first opened our doors back in 1992.

At the moment, he’s busy boiling and bottling once again. But if you’d like to meet Ned and learn more about the maple sugaring process—and the impact of climate change on maple syrup season, here’s your opportunity:

What’s Organic Maple Syrup?

Pat Kelly and his furry friend outside the sugarhouse at Old City Maple

The sap is running, which means the folks at Old City Syrup Company are busy boiling and bottling their Grade A maple syrup—in their signature glass bottles. Located in the Old City of Strafford, Vermont, this family-owned maple farm produces organic, small-batch maple syrup using a traditional wood-fired evaporator.

“I really enjoy doing what I am doing and work hard to make my maple syrup the absolute best that it can be,” said sugarmaker and owner Pat Kelly. Three seasons ago Old City Syrup Company became a certified organic producer for its traditional syrup by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). This isn’t an easy process. But Pat and his team have put in the time and effort.

Pat monitoring sugar levels at the evaporator

If you’re familiar with the way maple syrup is produced, you might be wondering how organic and conventional maple syrup differ.

After all, it’s a pretty natural process: you tap the maple tree at the beginning of the season; collect the sap using buckets or tubing while temperatures are “just right,” i.e., above freezing during the day and below freezing at night; boil down the sap in an evaporator, reducing the water content (and thereby upping the sugar) from about 98% to 33%; and bottle the finished product.

So when it comes to maple syrup, what exactly does organic mean?

To have their product certified organic by VOF, sugarmakers must adhere to a number of restrictions. These rules are put in place to protect the sugarbush as an ecosystem and prevent the use of synthetic materials at all stages of the land management and production process. Here they are in a nutshell:

  • Sugarmakers must follow a number of land management practices. These range from ensuring tree diversity and the protection of wildlife to verifying that no substances prohibited in organic production have been applied in the sugarbush over the past few years.
  • The sugarbush must be part of a forest management plan that has been submitted to VOF. Among other things, this plan includes a highly detailed map of the land and an annual Organic Systems Plan (OSP).
  • Producers must follow VOF tapping guidelines, which are VERY specific. But in a nutshell, they’re aimed at ensuring healthy tree development and protecting the sugarbush for future generations.
  • Sap and syrup must only touch food-grade equipment, and only certain approved products can be used for filtering.
  • Only certified organic vegetable oil can be used for de-foaming during the evaporation process.
  • Sugarmakers are required to keep all kinds of records on file, from production plans to product traceability and sitemaps. There’s a ton of paperwork involved.

Just reading through the exhaustive list of requirements for organic certification will make your head spin. It’s a LOT of work! And here’s the thing: they have to be re-certified every year.

So hats off to the team at Old City Syrup Company, who are working hard to be responsible stewards of their land and produce the highest quality maple syrup possible. You can find their products at both our Woodstock and Waterbury stores. For more info: Old City Syrup Company.

Greg’s Thai Cabbage Salad

Michael Lawyer, prepared foods leader/chef

March and early April can be a difficult time in the kitchen. It’s beginning to feel like spring, but the spoils have yet to show. We’ve gotten a bit too used to potatoes and turnips and stew. This recipe, developed by kitchen stalwart Greg, is a great way to buck the heavy, monotonous meals while celebrating the shoulder season. 

Eat this with a bowl of steamed rice or as a punchy sidekick to grilled meats like chicken thighs or a fat ribeye. Serves 4.

Note: This salad is so easy to play around with. It should be vibrant and textural. I would encourage you to customize it to your liking but don’t be scared off by fish sauce and fresh chili peppers. Add more or less chili if you like. Crushed peanuts would be lovely.  Go crazy.

~ Mike L., prepared foods leader and chef

 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 each long red chili or jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (or grated)
  • 2-inch piece ginger,  peeled and finely chopped (or grated)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (keep those stems in there!)
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with a large cast iron pan or baking tray inside. Peel off the outer few leaves from the cabbage. Cut into quarters leaving the core attached. Lightly brush or rub the cut sides of the cabbage with a bit of vegetable oil. Once the oven is preheated, place the cabbage cut side down and cook for 15 minutes, then flip to the other cut side and cook for 10 more. The cabbage should have a rich color on the cut sides while still maintaining some of its integrity.

While the cabbage is warm but easy to handle, cut at an angle to remove the core and discard. Cut the cabbage leaves in large (1-2 inch) pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the fish sauce (start with 2 Tbsps), lime, and brown sugar and mix well to coat. Don’t be afraid to put some emotion into it. Next, add the chili, shallot, garlic, and ginger; mix well and taste again. The dish should be bright, pleasantly savory and have an occasional pop from the chili. Once you have dialed in your seasoning, mix in the cilantro. Serve with an extra wedge of lime.

Drink Green: Spotlight on Ten Bends Brewing

It’s time to Drink Green! And not just because it’s the season of shamrocks and leprechauns—although that’s what inspires this annual celebration of Vermont brews. In March we’re raising our glass to the long list of amazing breweries here in the Green Mountain State. And four in particular.

We’re excited to spotlight these local brewers—Vermont Beer Makers in Springfield, Ten Bends Beer in Hyde Park, Mount Holly Beer Co. in Mount Holly, and 14th Star Brewing Company in Saint Albans. Thank you to our brewers for taking the time to share their beer-making stories with us.

Plus, get 15% off beers by these four brewers all month long.

Co-owners of Ten Bends Beer, Mike (left) and Jason. Photo courtesy of Ten Bends Beer.

Q-and-A with Jason Powell of Ten Bends Beer

Q. Please tell us your name and your role at the brewery.

A. Jason Powell, co-owner and brand director at Ten Bends Beer

Q. Can you tell us the story behind your brewery’s name?

A. The Ten Bends Name is rooted in Vermont. The Lamoille River distinctly bends ten times between the towns of Morrisville, Vermont and Johnson, Vermont. Bends five and six are within one mile of our brewery location. The name “Ten Bends” is rooted in the area’s history. We are proud to hold the name “Ten Bends Beer” in an effort to tie ourselves to the local region, its natural wonders and strong community.

Q. Who does your brewing?

A. Our head brewer in Vermont is Chad McGinnis. We make some of our products at our Vermont facility and some at a contract partner facility in upstate New York.

Head brewer Chad McGinnis. Photo courtesy of Ten Bends Brewing.

Q. Does the brewer have any type of formal training? If not, how did they learn the craft?

A. Chad has gained his experience and knowledge through working his way up at various breweries and through working with the owners of Ten Bends to develop products and processes rooted in the origin of our brewing practices.

Q. Can you give us a brief history of your brewery? How did you get started and how long have you been in business?

A. Ten Bends Beer is a culmination of early workshop experimentation, creative discernment, business prowess, and raw perseverance that has resulted in some of the highest quality and most sought after small-batch ales in the Northeast. Our two co-owners, Mike Scarlata and Jason Powell, began brewing together in 2012 in a roughly outfitted shed in the woods just three miles from the current Ten Bends location in Hyde Park, VT, which opened in 2016. While facing the adversities of brewing craft beer in a harsh climate with homemade equipment, Ten Bends Beer was born. Today we operate a seven-barrel brewery where we produce distinct ales inspired by the unique nature of our origin and region. We have also partnered with one of the finest production breweries in the Northeast to expand the reach of our flagship brands to more than twelve additional states.

Q. How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?

A. Our total production is 3000-4000 bbl annually.

Photo courtesy of Ten Bends Beer.

Q. How is your beer connected to the local area?

A. Our brewing origins are rooted in the local region of the Lamoille Valley and our products are inspired by that origin and region. Much of our branding speaks to the Vermont landscape and the natural wonders of our state. We make signature IPAs that we consider to be Vermont-style IPAs. 

Q. What is your favorite style of beer to drink?

A. Vermont-style IPAs

Q. What is your “desert island beer”?

A. Rotary Chaos IPA by Ten Bends Beer

Q
. If you could sit down with anyone (living or dead) and have a beer, who would it be and why? What would be the first question you would ask them?

A. Since my co-owner Mike and I both lost our fathers long ago, I know we would love to be able to get together with them and drink some Ten Bends. The first question would probably be, “What do you think of our beer?” You can see an illustration of them on the label of our lager “Reflections 101.” They are some of the people who we’ve lost who have inspired us to do what we do and to keep doing it every day.

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