This month, during our annual Drink Green campaign, we’re sharing news from our Vermont breweries. Up this week is Outer Limits Brewing, located in Proctorsville.
We’re greatly appreciative to Wesley Tice, co-owner and head brewer, for taking the time to answer our questions. If you’re not already a fan of Outer Limits, now’s the time to give them a try. Through the end of March, Outer Limits beers are 15% off.
Q. Can you tell us the story behind your brewery’s name?
A. My wife’s father and I were brainstorming names for the brewery. He said “Outer Limits,” and I knew immediately that was it. We both have a love for Outer Space and space rocks. I’ve had a small collection of meteorites for many years as has Mike. He has a 250 lb. museum-grade meteorite from the Sikhote-Alin meteorite shower of 1947 in Southeastern Russia. Someday we hope to put it in the brewery as it’s kind of our mascot.
Q. Who is your brewmaster?
A. Although I’m the head brewer, I’m not quite sure I want to call myself a brewmaster just yet. I have a consultant/mentor, Alan Pugsley (of Pugsley’s Brewing Projects International) whom I work with and who has been a pivotal figure in the history of New England brewing. I met Alan and worked with him when I was at Shipyard in Portland, ME.
Q. Does you have any type of formal training? If not, how did you learn your craft?
A. I learned to brew professionally at Shipyard in Portland, ME. Our brew system, the Peter Austin Brick Kettle Brewing System that Shipyard uses, was designed by Alan and Peter Austin back in England. All the equipment used to be built in England and sent over by ship. Now the equipment, including our system, is fabricated in Maine.
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. Outer Limits came from a shared desire and vision (between me and my wife) of wanting to open and run our own business. We happened upon the building—an old wool mill built in the 1850s—and knew it would make the perfect brewery. Outer Limits Brewing is a 10BBL brewery and taproom and we opened in July of 2019.
Q. How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
A. We currently have the capacity to brew 1500BBL/year but have the space for the addition of a few more fermenters and conditioning tanks that would allow us to produce around 1800BBL/year.
Q. How has Covid-19 affected your business and what have you done to adapt to the new conditions?
A. Covid has most certainly affected every aspect of our business. We’ve adapted by keeping an open mind and staying focused on moving forward. Creativity and efficiency have become extra important.
Q. What is your favorite style of beer to drink?
A. To be honest, I consider myself a dark beer fan, but at the moment I’m in love with our Bitter. Our Black River Bitter is 4%abv with just a touch of hop character. The hops are more traditional, so it’s not a juice bomb and it’s absolutely crushable.
Q. What is your “desert island beer”?
A. You might think it’s weird because it’s not my own beer, but Alllagash White has always been my desert island beer. We will make a white at some point.
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. I think it’d be fun to sit down with Michael Jackson, a British author. He was one of the original beer geeks and I think it’d be fun to ask him what he thinks of my beer.