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Going Whole Hog: Pro Pig Puts Southern Style on a Plate

Jun 16, 2021 12:21PM ● By Joe Siess

The Prohibition Pig is known for its smoked meats, specifically, the way they do the whole hog, eastern North Carolina style.  The two big smokers out front really seal the deal, but the Pro Pig’s owner, Eric Warnstedt, says the brewery and restaurant is currently selling some new products in stores, which is a fresh approach for them.  

Pig in the Front, Brewery in the Back 

The Pig was founded by former owner Chad Rich in 2012 before being purchased by Eric in 2018. Both Rich and Eric have roots in North Carolina, hence the whole hogs. Given their relationship in the restaurant business, Eric was the most logical person to take over.  

Eric says the front building of the Pig houses the more traditional restaurant offering the famous smoked meats. The brewery, located just behind the restaurant, opened in 2015 and offers counter service for Latin-inspired street food, such as tacos.  

While the brewing at the Pig is diverse, the smoked meat is consistent and remains in the capable hands of the Pig’s chef, Trenton Endres. The eastern North Carolina style of smoking the whole hog is not typical in Vermont but features a tangy vinegar-based sauce that compliments the flavors of smoked pork.  

Eric says that the Pig sources its hogs from Snug Valley Farm in East Hardwick, which raises both grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork.  

As far as beer goes, the Pig is constantly switching things up, Eric says. There is no specific style of beer at the Pig, but the brewery’s brewmaster, Nate Johnson, is prone to do all kinds of stuff, and there are usually “thirteen lines depending on what’s going on, and things rotate constantly,” Eric says. “I wouldn’t say that we just have one style.”  

New Draft Pick… In a Can 

During the pandemic, the Pro Pig put out a new American Pale Ale called Little Fluffy Clouds in addition to a new hard seltzer that comes in three different flavors. “We just released a beer in a can, something we have never done before. It’s called Little Fluffy Clouds and is an American Pale Ale. It’s pretty awesome, and we are really proud of it,” Eric says.  The new beer is available both in Vermont stores and on tap at the Prohibition Pig. 

The hard seltzer is called Swine Cooler, is 5% ABV, and comes in lemon-lime, prickly pear, and watermelon. It’s available in 4-packs of 16oz cans statewide just in time for Vermont’s hard seltzer-drinking weather this summer. With its cool and quirky can design and refreshing flavors, Swine Cooler was whipped up by Johnson, who used Champagne yeast for the fermentation process, along with natural fruits and extracts. The result is a crisp, sugar-free, and gluten-free option for the hot months coming up.  

Not Too Serious 

Eric says Swine Cooler was something the Pro Pig came up with to show people that they don’t necessarily take themselves so seriously. “We all might make fun of seltzer, but we all kind of enjoy it anyway,” Eric says. “It’s a cool product.” 

“So, we have the three Swine Cooler flavors and the American Pale Ale out and available to the public, which is super new for us. It all just happened,” Eric says.  

In the end, the Prohibition Pig is eager to get back to normal after the difficult time during the pandemic. “We are just excited to get post-covid world, to be honest,” Eric says. “And that means filling up the restaurant and bar area and getting more people out on the patio enjoying the Pro Pig’s diverse food menu and many libations.” 


Prohibition Pig 
23 S. Main Street 
Waterbury, VT 
(802) 244-4120

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