I is for Independent Brewers

Blogging A to Z….

I is for Independent businesses. Vermont is full of them. Some have made it big: Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese and Green Mountain coffee, but most are small operations, many of which are breweries. My husband went on a quest to find and taste the beers of some of these microbreweries and in our corner of Vermont there are several: Trout River, Hill Farmstead, Grateful Hands, and The Alchemist.

Vermont is unique in many ways and certainly has an unorthodox but inspiring way of doing business. It’s almost as though they don’t care if you buy their products. Most websites are outdated and their hours of operation are weird like the second Tuesday of the month from 2:00-4:00. I’m not kidding. Take Trout River, an amazing pizza and brew pub but only open Fridays and Saturdays. Imagine a pizza place in a college town that is only open two days a week! They used to be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until one Thursday we showed up to an empty parking lot and noticed that Thursday had been crossed out on their sign. Naturally we returned on Friday. They knew we’d come back.  While waiting in line, we looked at the shabby side deck littered with broken lounge chairs. We quickly envisioned patio dining complete with tables and umbrellas. They could double their dining capacity in the warm months! “Simmer down Massachusetts!” my dad replied. No need to over do it.

Vermont is the perfect embodiment of the demand curve of price determination in the marketplace. They supply and we demand. They set the price (and hours) and we show up on time with our money. It’s that simple.

Independence is the special ingredient offering the freedom to explore without the shackles of quarterly reviews and shareholder expectations. You can almost taste the anti-establishment. It would be great if you could get your favorite Vermont products anytime and anywhere but it wouldn’t taste as good.

These craft breweries inspired my husband to start brewing beer and this fall he launched is own label: Farm Hill Brewery maker of The Lonely Wife IPA. Come visit us for a tasting while we’re still an independently owned small operation. Be sure to call in advance because our hours are limited.