Tom Bedell

Keane Aures, seen here in 2021, is the new owner of Whetstone Brewing Company. He recently purchased the Whetstone Brewing brand and its brewery on Frost Street in Brattleboro.

What’s next for beer in Brattleboro?

There were three breweries pre-pandemic, and now there are none — but only for the moment, as the Whetstone Beer brand plans to resume production under new ownership

BRATTLEBORO-When I wrote in the Dec. 10, 2014, edition of The Commons that "Brattleboro, Vermont, now has three operating breweries," it was with an excitement that bordered on effusive.

The then-recent opening of Hermit Thrush Brewery on High Street really put the town on an enviable map of craft beer brewing locations. Three breweries in a relatively small town? What could be better?...

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‘Open with caution’

Ray McNeill did things a little differently, in brewing as in life

I would happily make a sandwich, with mayo, on the floor of most breweries these days. They're as clean, if not cleaner, than hospitals, for the simple reason that a lack of sanitation is the quickest way to produce bad beer. Bad in terms of flavor, and badly behaved,

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Think globally, drink locally

One can travel to Alabama, Michigan, and Canada for different purposes, but these trips are also all about the beer

With three trips in rapid succession in June, I feel on the verge of a “What I Drank for My Summer Vacation” essay. Not that any of the trips can really be categorized as vacations. I traveled down to the Gulf Coast of Alabama early in the month for...

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Fluid situations

Like the essential product, the business of brewing is a fluid situation. Brews and breweries come and go as ownerships move around like chess pieces, but for the imbibing public, it's usually what's in the glass that counts. And at festivals, there are plenty of chances to fill glasses with different products. The seventh Brattleboro Brewers Festival begins at noon on Saturday, May 26, running to 4 p.m. in a single session at the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center on...

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Two breweries are the newest in the state — for now

Leo Foy and his wife, Kelly, from Berlin, Vermont, drove out to Missouri last July. “We took about a week, made a little trip out it,” said Foy. The impetus was to pick up four beer-serving tanks, haul them back to Vermont, and set them up in time for the Dec. 15 opening of the Dog River Brewery on Route 302 in Barre. That made Dog River Vermont's newest brewery, though it held the title for less than a month.

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Come the revolution, there’s gonna be better beer

Other than beer itself, the best gifts for any fan of the suds may be those other grand consumables, books. And with impeccable timing, publishers have provided. Any self-satisfied beer geek will quickly warm up to Bill McKibben's Radio Free Vermont (Blue Rider Press, $22). On page 3 of the longtime environmental activist and writer's first novel, a beer truck is hijacked in a remote part of the state and 4,800 bottles of Coors Light emptied onto the ground. Even...

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Penciling in some beer on the calendar

Thursday, Sept. 28 was National Drink Beer Day. Or so I was informed via a cornucopia of social media messages. It was also National Poetry Day, which suggested that by late evening we could have probably, with impunity, added a National Verbosity Day. In case one overdid on National Drink Beer Day, whoever comes up with these things deemed Friday, Sept. 29 National Coffee Day, which is some kind of perfection. Several national coffee-and-doughnut chains gave away free coffee that...

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Getting a handle on tap handles

Steam was coming out of his ears the first time I saw Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewery fame. It was toward the close of the first Brattleboro Brewers Festival in 2010, his first year of operation. Hill was in angry pursuit and capture of two wobbly festival-goers who had purloined tap handles from the Hill Farmstead booth for what they thought would be nifty souvenirs. Hill left the perpetrators with a tongue-lashing that surely helped them remember the day,

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