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On Tap

On Tap: Honor for a Brewer Who Inspired Many

You might soon find yourself at the grocery store, scanning a cooler along the far wall and land upon a six-pack from Smuttynose Brewing that bears the image of Greg Noonan. His silver hair is swept back. A slight grin is framed by his salt-and-pepper goatee, and his eyes, creased at the corners, are looking back at you. He seems relaxed and happy to see you, like an old friend. He is the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. If you

On Tap: On the Prowl for Growlers in Vermont

The ruby colored beer in my glass still carried an herbal hop bouquet and peppery bite, tasting as though it had been poured from a tap in the next room. But here I was, drinking a pint of Lost Nation’s Rustic Ale, in my living room. The sticky lacing clung to a glass from my cupboard. And at least three more pints were left to chill in my refrigerator. What makes this remarkable is that Lost Nation doesn’t bottle its beer. I’ve never seen its

On Tap: Worthy Alternatives During the Heady Topper Shortage

By Chris Fleisher Valley News Staff Writer Stop the madness. Bombarding the brewery, raiding stores and even resorting to illegal activity, all just to score some Heady Topper? I enjoy this Vermont-made double IPA as much as the next person, but the craze around it has now become criminal. By this, I refer to the news several weeks ago that a Burlington woman got busted by the state liquor department for trying to sell five cases of Heady Topper online for $825. Not only is

On Tap: Restaurants Test Market for Fine Beer

West Lebanon — This July, Anthony Gayne offered his boss at Lui Lui restaurant a beer he wanted him to taste. Gayne was still relatively new, having started as a server at the West Lebanon Italian eatery in February and becoming bar manager in July. But Gayne wanted to share with Lui Lui’s customers his passion for beer. Good beer. The kind of stuff he was drinking back in Maine before he uprooted to the Upper Valley. The beer he wanted general manager Anthony Dolan

On Tap: Kuster Endorses Pumpkin Beer, Tax Breaks

West Lebanon — A few regulars were perched at the bar of the Seven Barrel Brewery one Wednesday afternoon when an eager congresswoman stepped inside. Dressed in a gray checkered jacket, buttoned high, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster looked a little out of her element, as though she needed directions to a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Nope. This was the right place. And with a television crew set up in a corner, the Democrat from New Hampshire chatted with Seven Barrel brewer Tony Lubold about her

On Tap: Of God, Beer, America

Years ago, when I lived in Texas, I hit the supermarket one Sunday before football started. It was late morning and I was studying the beer shelves. A fellow shopper, wearing handsome suede cowboy boots that I coveted, advised me to browse a while longer. “You’re gonna have to wait until noon, anyway,” he said. Why? He chuckled. “Because of church,” he said. God did not prohibit beer sales before noon on Sunday in the Lone Star State. Texas lawmakers did. The reason, as suggested

On Tap: Making Better Beer Drinkers

I had a creative writing professor in college who told my class that he had relatively low expectations for us. He taught creative writing, he said, not so that he could produce the next Faulkner or Hemmingway, but so that we would become better readers. This was an ego crusher, of course, as each of us intended to become successful novelists. Though looking back on it, I think the greatest work of fiction I’ve written was my imaginary Pen Award acceptance speech, rehearsed daily in

On Tap: A Brew That Honors Fred

During the late summer harvest years ago, guests at the Norwich Inn would have seen an older man sitting outside the brewhouse, plucki ng hops. His name was Fred Berg. A Navy fighter pilot in World War II, Fred lived his retirement years in a home across the street from the inn. He visited often when Tim and Sally Wilson renovated the building in 1991, and when Tim Wilson planted hop plants two years later, Fred offered his free labor. “He did most of the

On Tap: Ready or Not, The Flavors of Fall Beers Have Arrived

It was the last week of July when I spotted the first arrivals, colored in the shades of sunset and suggesting that summer was ending.  I found myself getting angry. Why? Why do distributors have to push the fall beers so early! I’m not ready for pumpkin beers yet! What’s with the Oktoberfests?  That party is still two months away!  And so I ignored them. But now that Labor Day has passed and the evenings have turned brisk, I think I’m ready to indulge in the rich, toasted

On Tap: Gose, a Salty Beer That People Love or Hate

There comes a time in every beer nerd’s life when that nerd steps into the world of sours. Inevitably, they go to the extreme. They want the most pungent, most mouth puckering, curl your nose hairs beer they can find. Be bold. Be confident. Try not to look like you’ve swallowed a glass of Lemonheads. Then they might come upon a gose and discover that sour beers can be approachable, after all. That was Jamie Griffith’s reaction when he discovered the Leipziger Gose several years