Two Heroes Brewery in South Hero is about to Expain.
WELL WORTH THE WAIT
After several years of planning, partners Daren Orr and Matt Bartle are expanding their taproom, Two Heroes Brewery, in early 2023. When they first came up with the idea for a brewpub five years ago, they had no idea their plans would be derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pair was perfectly poised for a successful venture. Daren was a home brewer for much of his life, earning a certificate in advanced brewing theory from the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Matt has a B.S. in mechanical engineering and has been the proprietor of Wally’s Place since 2008, with connections to some of Vermont’s many venerated farmers.
A LOCAL TAPROOM
In February 2021, the pair pivoted and opened Two Heroes Brewery, a pilot taproom located at 1 Ferry Road in South Hero, the original home of Wally’s Place, as a temporary space until their new facility was completed. It bills itself as “a small island brewery that seeks delight in malt and hop modification.” Daren is the head brewer, and his wife Danielle serves as the taproom manager.
The brewery produces 200 barrels annually, with 5 to 9 beers on tap on any given day. It also offers a limited menu, as well as cans and growlers to go. Two Heroes has gained a large local following and is a must-stop destination on Vermont’s burgeoning brewery trail.
A WIDE VARIETY OF BEERS
Daren believes the brewery’s ability to produce a wide variety of beers sets it apart saying, “We pride ourselves in a lot of different styles of beer, so that all types of beer drinkers can come here and find something they like.” There are typically IPAs, two different types of lager, a stout, and two Belgian ales including a sour on tap. Daren continues, “About half the time, we offer a double IPA.” Two Heroes also produces specialty beers such as an altbier, a German ale produced with top fermenting yeast which is fermented in cooler temperatures. In a unique move, Two Heroes also makes its own hard cider, produced with apples from local farms. As Daren
explains, “We use the same equipment to make the cider—and the apples are prepared and pressed by local orchards.”
In addition to its indoor and outdoor tasting spaces, Daren and Matt make deliveries to a faithful following in Grand Isle and Chittenden counties, with plans to expand to the Plattsburgh, NY area.
A NEW BREWPUB
Finally, Daren and Matt’s dreams of opening a brewpub are about to be realized. They hired AES Northeast, an architecture and engineering firm in Plattsburgh, NY, and Hayward Design in South Hero to construct a 4,200 square foot building that will house both the expanded brewery and a 50-seat restaurant, to be named “Two Heroes Public House.”
Designed as a monitor, or raised center aisle (RCA) structure, it is modeled after a traditional Vermont barn design that features a raised center section. The new facility will have the capacity to produce over 1000 barrels a year. The brewpub will offer unique pub food made with local ingredients.
As Daren describes it, they will soon be serving up “simple pub food that goes well with beer.” The focus will be on creating an experience, not just a place to drink beer, for individuals and families alike. “We’ve been keeping an eye on the brewery market for over a decade,” Daren concludes. “We believe that a small town nano-brewpub is a great model for producing beer and running a restaurant. The community is the most important aspect of South Hero, and our goal is to fill the void by creating a local gathering place for both members of the community and visitors from all over.”