This month, during our annual Drink Green campaign, we’re sharing news from our Vermont breweries. Up this week is Rutland Beer Works. A big thanks to brewery owner Dale Patterson for updating us on how things are going. Through the end of March, Rutland Beer Works beers are 15% off. Give them a try if you’re not already a fan!
Q. How would you describe your role at the brewery.
A. As the owner of a small brewery I have many roles depending on the day. Everything from materials ordering to running the packaging line to loading trucks.
Q. Can you tell us the story behind your brewery’s name?
A. We wanted to bring some positive light to Rutland and the surrounding area. We started as Hop’n Moose Brewing, and although we continue to operate the restaurant under that banner, Rutland Beer Works made sense from a packaging standpoint.
Q. Who is your brewmaster?
A. Woodstock native and former head brewer at Long Trail, Ian Harbage. He is also, as I understand it, a former long-time employee of the Woodstock Farmers Market when he was younger.
Q. Does Ian have any type of formal training?
A. He does. We feel that he is one of the better brewers in the state, if not the country. His attention to detail and skills are amazing. He has a Masters of Brewing Science and years of work experience.
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. We started as a brewpub on Center Street in Rutland as Hop’n Moose 7-plus years ago. That has evolved into packaging our beer locally and to several surrounding states. We also do some contract brewing for other small breweries in the area.
Q. How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
A. Approx. 2000bbl
Q. How has Covid-19 affected your business and what have you done to adapt to the new conditions?
A. It has affected the restaurant dramatically, but it has not affected the brewery too badly. Initially we lost some employees, but sales resumed quickly and we are now busier than ever.
Q. What is your favorite style of beer to drink?
A. My favorite style is a good Red Ale, hence the reason we pushed so hard for Rutland Red to succeed. It’s just a great style and a great drinking beer.
Q. What is your “desert island beer”?
A. Probably a Better Dayz. No matter how good or bad it seems, there will also be Better Dayz.
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. Oh boy, probably my grandfather. I’d ask him what in the heck has happened to the world in the 20 years since he left us?