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Kickback Brewery Prepares for Launch


  • Courtesy Of Kristy Dooley
  • Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith, 34, homebrewed for almost a decade before deciding to launch a brewery from his garage in Westford*. An Essex native with a degree in community development and applied economics from the University of Vermont, Smith tapped into his brewing passion (pun intended) shortly after graduation. Come 2017, he'll start distributing kegs — and eventually bottles and cans — to local venues hankering for a pint.

The name is Kickback Brewery, and, for Smith, it sums up an action, an ethos and a drink all in one. "I love the name," he says. "I asked my friends, 'What do you envision when drinking a beer?' They all said something similar: 'I want to sit down, put my feet up and relax. Just kick back.'"

Though permits are still pending, Smith hopes to be making and distributing beer before the summer 2017 season. "The ultimate goal is to gain a spot in this summer's Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington," he says. "Then I'll know I've made it as a brewer."

In the meantime, Smith is developing recipes for "simple, straightforward beer," as the brewery's moniker indicates. In the works are a porter with a hit of fresh vanilla bean, a chocolate-coffee stout, a raspberry-spiked pilsner and a not-too-hoppy pale ale for easy drinking.

*Correction November 30, 2016: An earlier version of this story misidentified the location of Smith's garage. It is in Westford.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Vermonters Still Like Beer"