Rutland County’s sixth brewery will launch next week when Mount Holly Beer Co. ships its first batch.
“The beer is bubbling as we speak,” co-owner Dave Mango said. “I think we’re going to be at nine restaurants, stores and bars in the Ludlow-Killington-Shrewsbury area.”
While the company is starting out contract-brewing at Whetsone Station in Brattleboro, Mango said he and co-owner Dan Tilly have long-term hopes and dreams for their adopted hometown.
“We’re hoping to grow some hops in Mount Holly itself,” Mango said. “Only 4% of U.S. hops are grown outside of the Pacific Northwest. We’re trying to bring it back to New England. ... We have a couple of vines growing in our backyard. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”
Mango said he Tilly knew each other from their shared youth in Connecticut. He said Tilly grew up vacationing in Mount Holly in the summer and winter, and lives there now. Mango said his family spent similar spans of time in Stowe, and while he now works in finance in New York City, he would love to be able to join his business partner in Vermont.
“Mount Holly is a very small town,” he said. “It’s very communal, very Vermont-ish.”
The brewery’s first beer is named for the Green Stand, Mango said, which was the name of the first bar in Mount Holly.
“It was (started by) a Civil War soldier who moved there after the war,” he said.
Mango said they hope to come up with future beers by collaborating with area restaurants to devise beers that pair with their menus. He said they are already working on a Pilsner to be served at an Italian restaurant in Ludlow.
“I think Pilsners are kind of the next future for us,” he said.
Within Rutland County, Mango said, the beer will be available at Hops on the Hill in Killington, the Rustic Rooster in Shrewsbury and the Belmont General Store.
Mount Holly Brewing Co. joins Rutland Beer Works, Foley Brothers Beer, Red Clover Ale Co., Liambru Tasty and Killington Beer Co. on the roster of Rutland County brewers.
“I was on the phone with a brewer yesterday, who said they were doing quite well and expansion could be possible,” said Lyle Jepson, executive director of Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region. “We do have some top-quality brewers, and I think their popularity is going to allow them to continue to grow. I’m not sure we’ve maxed out the opportunity.”