Pineapple Mint Ginger Beer Shandy? Session Ale with Hemp? I'm There, NanoFest!!!
Two years ago, Anne and Ben Linehan of Brocklebank Craft Brewing threw a get-together with a couple of other small-scale brewers in their taproom in Tunbridge. Bent Hill (of Braintree, VT) and Tunbridge's Upper Pass were there. So were a taco truck and a band. They called it NanoFest, since it was all about tiny breweries -- nano-breweries, which are even smaller than micro-breweries, a lot of which (let's face it) aren't all that small any more.
Some 200 people showed up that first year. This year, you can bet there'll be more. It will be at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds on August 18. But let's let Anne tell you about it...
Why NanoFest? "I don’t think tiny breweries are getting ignored, but it’s hard for us to produce the volume of beer that big festivals require. NanoFest is smaller so breweries don’t have to bring nearly as much beer, and we pay enough for the beer they serve that brewers make the same money they would make selling the beer in their taprooms."
So what's the difference between a nano-brewery and a micro-brewery? "I don’t think there’s a legal definition of nano, at least not in Vermont. I generally keep to 4 barrels or less when I invite breweries to this fest."
And what'll I see when I'm there? "NanoFest is fun! There’s a relaxed atmosphere with kids and dogs and music. It’s not a rowdy drunk fest. The actual brewers are there serving, and there aren’t long lines, so attendees have the chance to talk to the brewers. There’s a big variety of beer styles, even gluten free ginger beers, so everyone should find something they like. We had over 700 people last year, and I’m hoping for about the same this year. I don’t really want to get bigger. It’s got to stay nano!"
Just what'll you find? Here's just a sample of nano-offerings:
Stack O’Lee: American pilsner from Brocklebank
Chill Session: session ale with hemp from Green Empire
Tempest: dark ginger beer from Halyard
Smokin' J: IPA from Saint J
Passion: gose-saison with passionfruit from Simple Roots
Hoppy Wheat: wheat ale from Upper Pass