First brewery to open in Rutland County
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | November 06,2012
Anthony Edwards photo
Patrick, left, and Daniel Foley stand behind the bar at the Neshobe River Winery in Brandon on Monday. The brothers will now be offering bottled beer in addition to their local wines.
BRANDON — Brothers Patrick and Daniel Foley have specialized in making local red wine at their family-owned winery since 2008, but later on this month, they will start selling home-brewed beer as well.
“I have been brewing for four or five years,” Daniel Foley said. “I started off with small batches and recently stepped it up.”
The brothers started Foley Brothers Brewing, an expansion of sorts to the Neshobe River Winery which their family has owned for the last four years. Once it opens later this month, it will be the first brewery in Rutland County.
“The Vermont Brewer Association told us that,” Patrick Foley said. “We are kind of stoked about that.”
He said one of the biggest motivators to wanting to start a brewery was the fact that they can, and kind of have to, brew every day. It is something that does not happen while making wine.
“When you make wine, it’s a couple of months,” he said. “Traveling to other breweries, we saw that they are brewing every day.”
To start the Foley brothers are offering two types of beers — the Ginger Wheat and Brown Ale — which will be available first wholesale in 22-ounce bottles. They brothers hope to start the kegging process sometime early next year.
“We are brewing six barrels a week and hope to bump it up to 12 barrels at some point,” Daniel Foley said. “One barrel is about 31 gallons.”
He described the Ginger Wheat beer to be golden in color with a warm ginger zest that can be enjoyed all year-round. The Brown Ale, on the other hand, was made with maple syrup lending to its rich, earthy flavor and “true Vermont character.”
They will be using local ingredients for the beers, including homegrown hops and locally grown wheat.
“We really enjoy the Vermont beers and using local products,” Dan Foley said. “We are growing the stuff ourselves.”
The brewery is next to the winery, located at 79 Stone Mill Dam Road, which also includes the Old Mill Inn Bed and Breakfast. Although they are working on selling wholesale at the moment, the taps of the two beers will be available at the brewery.
Kurt Staudter, executive director of the Vermont Brewers Association, called the new brewery very exciting, especially for Rutland County, which he said, has not had a brewery.
“We thought if a brewery and pub was going to open it would have been in Rutland,” Staudter said. “This one caught us by surprise.”
He said the closest breweries to Rutland County are the Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater and a handful in Addison County. He said Vermont is on track to having 30 breweries by the end of the years — the most per capita of any state.
“Vermont is becoming like the Disney of breweries,” Staudter said.
To inaugurate Foley Brothers Brewing, they are hosting a grand opening on Nov. 24. The all-day event, running from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., will feature free beer tasting, wood-fired pizza all day and selling drafts and bottles. It will be hosted at the Big Red Barn on the property and will also feature Middlebury Chocolates.
“It’s going to be a good time,” Patrick Foley said.