If you think you’re driving to the middle of nowhere when heading to Bent Hill Brewery, you’re probably heading in the right direction. And if you think you’re about to pull into someone’s personal driveway, then you know you’re in the right spot. On the first day of their soft opening, we urged our heavily protesting car up the hill to this beer oasis in Vermont’s Orange County.
You can tell that Bent Hill founder and brewer Mike Czok has a fantastic supporting team behind him. As we sipped our free samples in the small space, Czok’s buddies arrived with a fresh cup delivery to get him through the next day and a half of tastings. And the free-standing structure, roughly 20’x20′ (in Ian’s estimate), was built for the express purpose of housing the brewery. That could only have been accomplished with the help of dedicated friends. A while back on this blog, I described 14th Star as homebrewing run amok. Bent Hill fits that description perfectly. Everything in their brew shed was handmade to fit their purposes, and they’re already putting out some offerings.
Vienna Blonde – Light, refreshing and supremely drinkable
Maple Red Ale – The sweetness of the maple definitely comes through in this one, and the dark brownish color was unexpected. We love that the maple came from the sugar house about 10 feet away from the brewery.
After an unsuccessful Kickstarter attempt, it was uncertain whether Bent Hill would still be able to open its doors this summer. But brewing continues in full force with more offerings in the works. Bent Hill is planning on keeping the 4 taps at their tasting counter stocked with 3 rotational beers, keeping their Maple Red Ale as a constant. A coconut porter is on deck.
Bent Hill is a great addition to the Orange County area, and we think they’ll succeed in providing their community with fresh craft beer. With their stunning setting, we foresee some gorgeous Vermont summer Pint Nights on the horizon.