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It's Nearly Go Time at Collaborative Brewing in Waitsfield

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From left: Steve Parker, Craig Isvak, Brett Seymour and Jen Fleckenstein at Collaborative Brewing - COURTESY OF COLLABORATIVE BREWING
  • Courtesy Of Collaborative Brewing
  • From left: Steve Parker, Craig Isvak, Brett Seymour and Jen Fleckenstein at Collaborative Brewing

The tanks are in at Collaborative Brewing at 264 Mad River Park in Waitsfield. "We're getting really close to actually being able to brew in here," brewer-owner Brett Seymour said. If all goes well, Seymour and business partners Steve Parker, Jen Fleckenstein and Craig Isvak plan to fire up the kettle next week; they'll deliver their first run of cans and kegs to central Vermont restaurants and retailers in mid-March.

The brewery is zoned for production only, so it won't include a tasting room or other amenities open to the public. In another contrast to many Vermont brewers, Seymour said he plans to produce mainly dark ales, lagers and other malt-driven styles.

"I want to give people options other than the hoppy beers," the brewer said. "When you go to a bar, the draft list is all hoppy pale ales and IPAs. If you don't like that one dark beer [on the list], what are you going to do? There are so many styles out there, and we don't get to see any of them right now."

In 2015, Seymour won top honors in Vermont's statewide Make the Cut homebrew competition with a German-style schwarzbier called Salute Your Schwarz. The smooth-drinking dark lager will be among the collaborative's early releases, along with a porter and a boozy pale pilsner styled after a German Dortmunder Export, Seymour said.

As his brewery's name suggests, Seymour is excited to engage with the rest of Vermont's beer hive-mind. "Brewing is a collaboration of minds and ingredients, arts and science," he said. "I've got a lot of friends who are brewers, and we want to do as many collaborations [in the brewery] as we can. It's just such a great community."

The original print version of this article was headlined "Pleased to Malt You"

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