by Alice Levitt
On November 5, 2013, the owners of Vermont cult brewery the Alchemist announced they were closing their tasting room to the public. Now, Jen Kimmich, who runs the company with brewer husband John, has announced the plan to add a new property that will hold a second brewery, a tasting room and a retail shop.
Jen Kimmich says she has been looking at properties in the Waterbury area, and down the Route 100 corridor into Stowe. "We've had tons of people contact us who want us to go to Rutland or Barre or Colchester, but we don't want to drive that far," she says.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Kimmich described finding what she and her husband thought would be the perfect addition, before learning it wasn't zoned for retail. After a busy day hunting on Wednesday, she tells Seven Days she still hasn't found the perfect complement to their small brewery, which turns out 9,000 barrels of Heady Topper each year. "We have a few options," Kimmich says.
Whatever real estate the couple decides on, it will serve several purposes. John Kimmich will soon announce a second beer that the company will can. The additional brewery will allow him to create different varieties and experiment with smaller batches. These will be served in the tasting room, but will primarily be for retail. Kimmich also envisions an outdoor as well as an indoor space.
Kimmich says the tasting room will likely serve snacks, such as cheese plates, along with a rotating lineup of beers. However, don't look for another brew pub. "We don't ever want to have a full restaurant again," she says.
Beyond that, Kimmich says to expect the unexpected. "Our creativity has been stifled [by lack of space]. But soon we'll have a lot of space that will allow us to do all the fun things we want to do."