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.
Q-and-A with Prescott Stanton of 14th Star Brewing Company
Q. Please tell us your name and your role at the brewery.
A. Prescott Stanton, director of brewing operations
Q. Can you tell us the story behind your brewery’s name?
A. Our name and logo are a reference to our pride as Vermonters and Vermont being the 14th state entered into the Union.
Our Founder Steve recalls taking inspiration from watching the year-long series that ran in 1991 on Vermont’s WCAX-TV (Channel 3) entitled “1st Republic, 14th Star,” where news anchor Marselis Parsons conducted interviews and a week-long broadcast from each of Vermont’s 14 counties while celebrating Vermont’s Bicentennial.
Vermont became the 14th state in March of 1791. At that time the official flag of the United States had a 13-star pattern representing the original colonies. Not to be left out, some Vermonters modified the original Betsy Ross 13-star flag to incorporate a 14th star in the middle. We use this 14-star orientation in our logo today! Alas, the 14-star flag was never an official flag of the United States (it went directly from 13 stars to 15 stars in 1795), but it still holds a place in our hearts and history.
Q. Who does your brewing?
A. Daily brewing operations are performed by our talented brewers Kendall Krebs and Andrew Godiksen.
Q. Does the brewer have any type of formal training? If not, how did they learn the craft?
A. Our team’s training has all been experiential-based—working with and learning from some of the best, most talented brewers in the industry.
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. 14th Star Brewery was founded in 2012 by Steve Gagner and Matt Kehaya.
Homebrewers, best friends, and brothers in arms, Steve and Matt originally drafted the business plan for 14th Star Brewery on the back of a notebook while serving our country on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
Upon returning home to Vermont, Matt and Steve first opened the doors to 14th Star Brewing Co in 2012 at 41 Lower Newton Street in St. Albans, brewing beer on a 3.5 bbl pilot brewhouse they hand-built using repurposed retrofitted maple sap collection tanks.
In November of 2014, 14th Star Brewery expanded from our 3.5 barrel brewhouse on Lower Newton Street to our current 30 barrel Brewery and Taproom at 133 North Main Street where we continue to operate today!
Q. How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
A. We produce over 8,000 barrels of craft beer annually.
Q. How is your beer connected to the local area?
A. At 14th Star, we believe service doesn’t stop, and our commitment to our community is always at the forefront of whatever we do. Our Taproom is a gathering place for friends, family, and craft beer lovers, and we regularly play host to a myriad of live entertainment and charitable functions. Our year-round core brews are all “Brewed With A Mission” to give back to local organizations and various charities.
Q. What is your favorite style of beer to drink?
A. I love a good Kolsch!
Q. What is your “desert island beer?”
A. Goody Two Shoes.
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. My dad. How’s it going over there?