By day, Brian Eckert is a web designer at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. By night, he’ll soon become a Winooski commercial brewer.
Eckert will start brewing at 150 West Canal Street by mid-autumn, once his federal and state licenses are in place, he says. His four-barrel microbrewery, Four Quarters Brewing, should open “four to six weeks after that.”
An avid home brewer for 12 years, Eckert explains how he decided to push his hobby into the commercial realm: “I avoided the temptation to make my avocation my vocation for a long time, but over the last few years I decided to take a peek at what it would take,” he says. “I’ve been searching and searching [for a space], and this property popped up, and I moved on it really fast.” The building is also home to the Vermont Sailing Partners.
Eckert will launch with a few different styles, “to see what people prefer.” He’ll focus on Belgian-inspired brews such as abbey beers, saisons, sours and wits, plus IPAs, stouts and barley wines. He plans to barrel-age some of his beers, and possibly try out other kinds of fermentation. “I’m also a beekeeper and will probably get licensed to do mead at some point,” Eckert notes.
His current plan is to open Four Quarters’ tasting room on Friday nights and one weekend afternoon. Besides growlers, he may eventually offer “special bottles.” Does he envision any beer becoming his signature style? “I’m looking to focus on a Belgian abbey single, which is a lower-alcohol, super-flavorful year-round drinker,” Eckert says. But he’s keeping his options open.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Mashing the Noosk."