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Take me to Dirt Church - Dirt Church Brewing Company is an outdoor lovers haven

Jun 22, 2023 09:14AM ● By Rachael Gomez

DIRT CHURCH  is a term of endearment often associated with the outdoor activities people participate in on Sunday mornings,  like hiking, gardening, or bike riding. One of these “dirt churches” brought together brewery owners Anna Cronin and Bruce Lindsay and gave inspiration to their East Haven venture, Dirt Church Brewing Company.

 Going to the chapel

Anna, a former professional athlete and strength coach, and Bruce, an arborist and horticulturist, met years ago while mountain biking in Circumburke, a difficult and grueling 26-mile bike race around Burke Mountain. After striking up a conversation, the two became fast friends before falling in love and starting a long distance relationship. 

When COVID struck in 2020, so much uncertainty hit their lives. While it gave the couple the time to grow closer while quarantining and riding bikes, both of their careers were up in the air. 

But with this uncertainty came a level of freedom. They were now given the chance to do anything they wanted. As Anna shared, “We were given the chance to live our most joyful and authentic life, which began with the purchase of the historic 1876 East Haven Chapel.” This building, spotted by Bruce years prior, was an icon in the community. Having hosted New Englanders for over a century for celebrations and gatherings, the duo dreamed of renovating the chapel to preserve its rich history. “We simply hoped to expand on this heritage, with new and innovative ideas,” Anna said.

 And so Dirt Church Brewing Company began. With the newly renovated chapel, Anna and Bruce added the taproom and Party Barn, which offered plenty of space for weddings, events, and social gatherings for everyone—dogs included. “We sought to create a space for all who enjoy outdoor recreation and a reverence for the land to celebrate life and enjoy a craft beer to savor it all,” Anna said.

Building on their brews

Bruce, while a former Tree Warden by trade, was an avid home brewer and spent some time working at New England Brewing Co. in Woodbridge, Connecticut. There, he gained his commercial brewing experience and grew his love of craft beers, which shows in the brewery’s vast array of offerings. 


Recently, the brewery added Owen Hartman to their team as the new head brewer. Owen comes with a craft beer background from his experience at Livingood’s Restaurant & Brewery in New York and Fiddlehead Brewing Company in Shelburne, Vermont. His dedication and passion for making fantastic craft beer is evident in everything the brewery produces.


Currently on the menu in the taproom, one can find amazing beers such as their Church Key Lager, Queen of Essex New England IPA, and the Full Vermonty Hefeweizen, among many others. They plan on releasing a number of new offerings soon, including a Rye IPA, an Altbier, and an Oktoberfest Marzen.



Always staying active

To go along with the beer, Dirt Church holds an annual Oktoberfest complete with traditional music, German cuisine, stein-holding competition, keg toss, costumes, and of course, plenty of beer. This year’s event is slated to be held on Saturday, September 30.

In addition to Oktoberfest, the brewery hosts group bike rides throughout the summer and has live music almost every weekend. You will find the most up-to-date information for their events on their social media pages @dirtchurchvt. So grab your friends, family and pups, and take a ride to church—Dirt Church that is.

Dirt Church Brewing Company

1171 VT-114

East Haven, VT

(802) 745-9252

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