At first glance, VT Fresh Ale might look a lot like any of the other Vermont IPAs we all know and love.
Like all craft brews, it’s made of hops, grains, and yeast. It has a hazy appearance, characteristic of IPAs brewed in New England. But there’s something special about 14th Star Brewing’s VT Fresh Ale: it’s made from 100% Vermont ingredients. And it will be on tap this month in a limited number of bars and restaurants around the state.
14th Star’s VT Fresh Ale includes hops grown by VFN member Champlain Valley Hops in Starksboro, and grain from the Vermont Malthouse.
“This beer takes the best of both coasts, and combines them into one smooth drinking IPA,” said Ryan Chaffin, general manager at 14th Star Brewing.
The Centennial, Chinook, and Nugget hops used in the VT Fresh Ale are frequently used in the brewing of India Pale Ales - particularly West Coast IPAs. But when grown in Vermont, these hops take on a different flavor profile than their west coast counterparts.
Centennial hops, for example, are known for their pine, citrus, and floral notes. However, the Vermont-grown variety has a darker, fruitier character. Chinook hops are known for their spicy and earthy character, but when grown in Vermont, they take on a pineapple flavor. Vermont-grown Nugget hops tend to be more fruity, with lemon and orange notes, than the earthier west coast variety.\
The Vermont-grown grain - unfiltered - gives the beer the classic haziness of New England IPAs. And finally, the yeast - also a New England IPA style - ties it all together to create an easy-drinking, juicy IPA with notes of grapefruit, that finishes with a little bitterness to round out the balance.
Several Vermont Fresh Network member bars and restaurants will be carrying VT Fresh Ale in April. Grab a pint (while supplies last!) at the following locations:
- 14th Star Brewing | St. Albans, VT
- Johnny Seesaws | Peru, VT
- The Essex | Essex Junction, VT
- Pearl Street Pizza | Barre, VT
- Three Penny Taproom | Montpelier, VT
- Pizzeria Verita | Burlington, VT
- American Flatbread, Middlebury Hearth | Middlebury, VT
- The Pitcher Inn | Warren, VT
A portion of the proceeds from each glass of VT Fresh Ale supports Vermont Fresh Network’s annual programs and work advancing relationships among farmers, chefs, specialty food and beverage producers and consumers to grow markets and eat more locally grown food.
“It’s great to have so many amazing partners and members around the state, who are so excited about collaborating and sharing locally-grown and locally-made Vermont products with their guests,” said Tara Pereira, Executive Director at Vermont Fresh Network. “We’re so grateful for their support of our mission to promote Vermont-grown agricultural products, and connect chefs and producers in Vermont.”