1st Republic Brewing Company is located on River Road in Essex, Vermont, and I stopped by the tap room on a sleepy Fall Saturday to give them a try. 1st Republic is a relatively new commercial operation … although this duo of brewers has been crafting small batches in their garages for a few years, they just celebrated their one-year anniversary in their Essex location.
Upon entering, I noticed that, adjoining the bar/brewery, is a home brewing retail space. I did a quick wander around the cases of hops, grains, kettles and everything else you would need for your home-brewing hobby. Then I got to the real stuff.
I requested a sampler of four of 1st Republic’s creations:
- Denial IPA (6.5% ABV): This is the classic Vermont IPA … nice and hoppy.
- Caught in Webs IPA (5.25% ABV): This is a “blood-orange blonde” … I could taste the citrus overtures, but it wasn’t appealing to me.
- Republic Pale Ale (5.5% ABV): A good drinking ale, not too heavy.
- Raspberry Saison (5.5% ABV): The Saison was surprisingly good! It definitely had the essence of raspberry, but not overpowering. It also ended with a slight “sour” finish … very good!
Alas, I was hoping to take home a bottle of the Raspberry Saison, but, while they were providing growler fills, the bottles were sold out, and their canning operation has yet to start up. Looks like I will be making a return trip in the Spring!
The Cicerone says: Check out 1st Republic’s home brew shop; while you’re stocking up on exotic hops and yeasts, you can be imbibing one of their great beers!
1st Republic Brewing Company & Homebrew Supply Store
39 River Rd #6, Essex Junction, VT
Open 10am – 9pm on Saturday, 10am – 4pm Sunday, 3-7pm on Wed & Thurs, and 3pm – 8pm on Friday. (Closed Mon & Tues).