Hermit Thrush Brewery is the
brainchild of President and Brewmaster Chrisophe Gagné and his
beer-loving friend and Vice President Avery Schwenk. Together,
Christophe and Avery are dedicated to providing top quality Belgian
inspired ales to the residents and visitors of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Through the use of historical brewing processes, oak casks, and new
green technologies, we aim to make exciting, yet accessible beer while
keeping an eye on minimizing our environmental impact.
Our project will raise funds for a pair of Vermont-made wood
pellet steam boilers powered by local, sustainable biomass fuel to
craft our product. We will reduce packaging and energy waste by
predominantly using refillable growlers for beer-to-go. We are purchasing only renewable solar and wind energy from Green Mountain Power. Our
beer will be fermented and aged primarily in oak casks, limiting the use
of stainless steel, while providing unique flavors and aging
Hermit Thrush Brewery will provide tasting flights, a local art gallery, brewery tours and beer-to-go
for those visiting the brewery, just a short walk off Main Street. We are on schedule to open in early November or December.
About the Brewers
and Avery met over a decade ago as students at Swarthmore College in
Pennsylvania where they cohosted a radio show featuring their rather
eclectic music tastes. After school, they parted ways, but remained
close friends. Christophe, a native of upstate New York, remained in
the Philadelphia area and acquired the skills and tools of a master
brewer, sous chef, cheesemonger and social worker. Avery, born and
raised in southeast Minnesota, sated his wanderlust and thirst for
excitement with a stint in Canada and training as a paramedic,
meanwhile developing a taste for fine beer and food. After Avery
relocated back to Philadelphia, they hatched a plan together to open
a fine microbrewery and to migrate from the city to a place that fed
their desire for community, nature and environmental awareness. Thus,
Hermit Thrush Brewery was formed! With Christophe's talent for
brewing and industriousness and Avery's persistence and esoteric
knowledge, the two have embarked on an adventure that culminates, as
all good adventures should, in world-class beer.
About the Project
Pete Noble of Guilford, Vermont was the one to initially suggest looking into the possibilities of using converted oil boilers to generate our process steam. These types of boilers see fairly regular residential use in the area, but have not, to our knowledge, been used in any other brewery in the world. The pellet burners we are raising funds for are made by the local Vermont company Pellergy, and in addition to seriously reducing our carbon footprint compared to typical oil boilers, they significantly reduce our long-term energy costs. Talk about two birds with one stone! For more information about wood pellets and wood pellet conversion boilers, check out Pellergy's site!
How to help
Back our Kickstarter campaign! Help us get beer off oil, and get some cool stuff in the process. In this all or nothing campaign, we only receive funding if we meet (or exceed!) our total goal of $20k, but you can help us get there! Just follow these 4 easy steps:
1. Create a Kickstarter account. It's quick, it's easy, and all you need is an email and a password. No sweat.
2. Sign in at Amazon.com. If you've got an account, go ahead and use that one. If not, it's just as easy as signing up for the Kickstarter account.
3. Back our project. Any level of pledge is helpful, but the more you give, the more you get! Your card will only be charged if we reach our goal by August 16th.
4. Share this project with everyone you know! This includes, but is not limited to: your family, your friends, your coworkers, you drinking buddies, that cute person at the coffee shop you see every morning, but haven't had the courage to talk to yet. Be creative! Even if you can't back us, this step is a huge help to us. The more people who know about us, the better chances we have of getting our project off the ground, and getting beer off oil!
Still need a little convincing? Take a look at some of the great rewards we're offering!
Feel free to ask us any questions here, or on Facebook or Twitter. Hope to hear from you soon!
Christophe and Avery
Risks and challenges
We're in a good place right now. We have the funding we need to get the brewery off the ground, but we need your help to get these boilers installed and run the brewery the way we want to: with responsible stewardship of Vermont's natural resources. Successful funding of the project will give us the capital to fully lay the groundwork for a green, sustainable brewery and showcase technology that just simply isn't being utilized to its full potential in (or out of) state.
Getting all the necessary equipment installed on time is an art and a science. Currently we're on schedule, but there can be snags in construction, inspection, or permits and licensing. Thankfully, we've built in plenty of time to account for just about anything. There may be some minor delays, but these won't threaten the project as a whole.
Event! Enrollment in Brew School. A full brew day and tour with Christophe and Avery from formulation to cleanup! Walk away with a homebrew-scale recipe generated by the class, a t-shirt and a small part of Christophe's vast brewing knowledge.
Gary's Reward (Item and Event)! Get the full swag package with can/bottle opener, the shirt, the glassware and 4 cork beverage coasters, PLUS an invitation to one of our cheese pairing events of your choice with a handpicked selection of 5 Vermont artisanal cheeses. Thanks, Gary!
Private Event! Private cheese pairing seminar. Christophe will show you and up to three friends the ropes on how to select just the right cheese to go with your beer. And vice-versa! Plus, you get to experience the magic first hand with 5 Vermont artisanal cheeses and some quality time with the brewers.
Private Event! The very best we can offer. Get the whole swag package, brew a 1 on 1 collaborative batch and Christophe will cook you and up to 5 friends a 7 course Belgian inspired meal in his home. You are definitely family at this point.