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Side Dishes: Homebrewers looking for Robin Hood

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If you’re a trio of dudes living on Nottingham Lane and your wives happily tolerate your homebrewing projects, it only makes sense to refer to yourselves as “Ye Merry’d Men.” At least that’s how it seems to Scot Barker, Jean-Andre De Bedout and Charles Baah.

The three friends, all of whom have techie day jobs — Barker at MyWebGrocer, De Bedout at BioTek and Baah at the University of Vermont — started concocting brews together in 2008. Now they’re hoping to find investors so they can take their suds to the next level. “If we were to sell it, we’d have to get local and federal brewing licenses … and we’d have to find a way to defray the cost,” De Bedout proclaims.

The “Men” are convinced there would be a market for their booze. “We did some blind taste tests to see where we gauged in relationship to commercially available stuff,” says De Bedout. “We took our Kissing Trout ale and compared it to Bass, and seven out of 10 people preferred [ours].”

Beeradvocate.com is a great virtual source of data about all things brewed. But where do Todd and Jason Alstrom, the site’s founders, actually go to get their drink on?

Montpelier, apparently. In a short Boston Globe piece, published on September 27, the brothers list six great places to drink around New England. The suggestions include the Three Penny Taproom.

What do they say about the bar? “In the middle of Vermont lies this craft-beer mecca with a much-needed fresh approach to beer, excellent service … 16 taps and roughly 40 bottles all poured into the appropriate glassware.” Bet the Alstrom accolades made the Three Penny staffers pretty, um, hoppy.

The annual Great American Beer Festival may not feature a red carpet, but it is effectively the Oscars of brewing. This year’s version took place last week in Colorado, with 49,000 attendees, 132 judges and 3308 beers in competition for medals in 78 different categories.

Vermont businesses came away with three awards. Otter Creek won the “Bohemian Style Pilsner” gold for Vermont Lager, and Waterbury’s Alchemist Pub & Brewery scored gold and bronze in the “Gluten Free” category for its Celia Framboise and Celia IPA, respectively.

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