Whetstone Turns to Cans during Covid Restrictions

This month, during our annual Drink Green campaign, we’ll be sharing news from our Vermont breweries. Up this week is Whetsone Craft Beers, located in Brattleboro.

Thank you to Connor Busch, their head brewer, for taking the time to answer a few questions. If you want to give them a try, here’s some added incentive: Whetstone beers are 15% off throughout the month of March!

Left to right, James Branagan, Tim Brady, and Connor Busch

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

A. Whetstone Craft Beers was named after the Whetstone Brook which is located just next to our taproom. Our taproom, The Whetstone Station, also gets its name from the train station (Amtrak stop) that has been a huge part of Brattleboro’s history. 

Q. Do you have any type of formal training? If not, how did you learn the craft?
I was an avid homebrewer for years before becoming the head brewer at Whetstone.  In my eight years at Whetstone I’ve had the opportunity to really expand on my talents and attend more professional training. I’ve also had the honor of working alongside some incredibly talented brewers, both in collaborations as well as contract brewing.

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. Our brewery opened in 2012 with a 3.5bbl brew system. In the summer of 2019, we upgraded to a 15bbl brewhouse located just down the road from our beautiful waterfront taproom. 

Whetstone Craft Beers @ Whetstone Station combines an award-winning brewery with a casual dining experience in a picturesque waterfront location. With more than 100 outdoor, comfortably spaced seats, our biergarten and open riverfront deck provides the perfect place to enjoy a craft beer in a comfortable, socially distant outdoor atmosphere.  Beautiful in every season, the covered patio has been called “a stop not to miss in your New England getaway” and “one of the most beautiful places to enjoy a beer in the Northeast.” 

Q. How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
A. 750bbl

Q. How has Covid-19 affected your business and what have you done to adapt to the new conditions?
A. We had to slow down production as draft sales were harder to come by; however, we were able to invest in a new canning line to package our product for the very first time.  It’s been really exciting to see all of our beer packaged. 

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

Q. What is your “desert island beer”?
A. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 

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. Definitely Wayne Gretzky. I’d love to ask him about his favorite Canadian macro breweries. I am a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and have always wanted to share a brew with Gretzky!

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