Have you checked out Meulemans in Rawsonville, Vermont? What are you waiting for!
May 05, 2019 10:06AM
By John Gales
& A with Greg and Pat Meulemans of Meulemans’ Craft Draughts
THOUGHTS ON THE CRAFT SCENE:
Vermont as a state has always had a strong reputation for producing quality products and the beer world is no different. Each brewery is always striving to offer a great product and this elevates the playing field and raises the bar for everyone. It’s almost guaranteed that the next release from a brewery will be as good as the last one.
Like everyone, we sell a lot of IPAs. One thing that differentiates us is our selection of sours. We now have over 50, including ten from Hermit Thrush of Brattleboro. We are also one of the few retailers where you will find the incredible Backacre Sour Golden Ale from Weston.
OUT OF STATE CUSTOMERS
We are a small shop and located in a very rural area. Because of this we rely on out-of-state visitors. We’re near Stratton Mountain Resort, so we based our business model off of this but it always amazes us when we ask and people say they traveled from Mount Snow, Killington, or Okemo. And summer is strong too with people going out of their way to find us. There are also a handful of people who travel down from Montreal and Burlington just to acquire Backacre limited beers.
RECOMMENDATION FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO TRY A VERMONT CRAFT BEER, WINE OR CIDER:
The great thing about Vermont is that there are a lot of reasons to visit the state in all seasons. Someone may not come here to drink a locally produced beverage per se, but the culture of ‘local’ permeates through restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. Also, being a small state means that it’s pretty easy to seek out and visit the producers directly.
There are so many varieties of beer available now, it just takes some experimentation to find what is your favorite. Even within a style there is so much variation because brewers today are being so creative. Start in your comfort zone, most likely a pilsner. Then move out from there to saisons then sours or pale ales to double IPAs. It’s fun with a group of people, a few beers, and small juice glasses so you can just have a sample. And be wary of friends that want to convert you to a craft beer fan by pushing you into the deep end with a double IPA.
Tell us a little about your store.
When we opened in 2010, there were only a handful of Vermont breweries and the shop was a big gamble what with being basically in the middle of nowhere. We were both in between jobs so we took the gamble, working multiple part time jobs until it finally took off. It amazed us how long it took to get the momentum going, but we persevered. Now what amazes us is people that have driven by for eight years to their ski house and are coming in for the first time.
Meulemans’ Craft Draughts