There's no sign yet marking Granite City Brewery in Barre, but they've been pouring pints for a couple of weeks. "We're more than a bar; we're a restaurant," explains co-owner Bud Stevens. Don't forget small-scale brewery and brewing supply store.
Granite City is aiming to be a nightlife hotspot, too. The space, in the old Lash Furniture building, boasts a very small stage and a baby grand piano. Friday and Saturday nights feature live music. Stevens and his business-partner brother, Jason, are aiming to "pull in as many neat artists as we can." What styles do they look for? Mainly blues, jazz, folk and acoustic rock.
"We're trying to appeal to a mature crowd trying to enjoy themselves," remarks Stevens. "It's a place they can go to and not feel like they're overwhelmed by a lot of noise."
To keep the crowd full and happy, there's an extensive menu. Granite City serves pasta, soup, pizza, panini and pub-style munchies. Local suppliers include Cottage Street Pasta, El Sol, Delicate Decadence and Capitol Grounds. Once Ariel Zevon's L.A.C.E is up and running, Stevens hopes to get veggies through it.
And what of the beer? So far, Stevens' red ale and I.P.A. have been the best sellers. This week, he's trying out double red ale and wheat beer. Eventually he expects to have three "standards" on tap at all times and three more beers that rotate regularly. Of course, you can always get a Rock Art, Switchback or Trout River.