I continually have the pleasure of sampling so many awesome Vermont craft beers, but sometimes I face the daunting challenge of where to find and sample a new beer from an established brewer or a beer from a new brewery altogether. Luckily, I have my friends at Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop, located right on Main Street in Stowe village, to guide me.
Proprietor John Decker, along with Tori and Zach, curate the best beers (and ciders) available and will guide you through the selection process. Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop features selections from Stowe/Vermont breweries, as well as some “imports” from the US and Canada (e.g., Collective Arts Brewing).
But what I like best about Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop is the ability to purchase individual cans or bottles! According to John, “Allowing customers to buy individual cans is our policy. Its what makes us unique. Its hard to ask someone to spend $15-$16-$18 for a 4-pack of beer without knowing if they will want a second sip let alone three or more cans.”
I asked John some more questions about Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop:
Cicerone: Beer preferences are evolving … what buying trends do you see from the customers who come to Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop?
John Decker: The major trend that is sweeping the nation … New England-style IPA. So many people come in and just ask me for the haziest or juiciest IPA. I’ve renamed these IPAs as “manmosas” … a mimosa with beer instead of champagne. I have also been seeing a tend towards the sour and Gose beers … fruit forward is what’s preferred.
C: Where do customers go wrong when buying beer and how do you expertly guide them?
JD: I don’t see them as buying the wrong beer. People have different flavor profiles of what they enjoy. Most like the juicy IPA, but some come in asking for a more balanced or a malt-forward, “West Coast” IPA. As they are checking out, I like to briefly explain what they have picked out if they don’t already know. Sometimes they will ask me to substitute based upon the description of what I give them. The only way they can go “wrong” is to pick out a can for its artwork.
C: How is Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop evolving? Any future plans?
JD: We are continually bringing in what’s new and exciting, as well as keeping the traditional or as I like to call it, the “OG”s! We’ve added a bar where we do pours of cans and bottles. I like having the ability to bring new beers up to the bar for people to enjoy. We don’t yet have any taps, but might move towards it in the future.
C: Anything else you would like to add?
JD: The beer world is fascinating and fun. People are being very creative when making beer. I’ve had beer made with chicken wings (Veil Brewing), pixie sticks and Cap’n Crunch (Breaker Brewing), dill and pineapple (Bent Hill Brewing), and sriracha (Rogue Ales) … the list goes on. What may be a a turn-off to one is a delight to another!
The Cicerone says: I’ve been working through my baker’s dozen beers from Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop this past week and will continue through the whole holiday weekend … check out stowebeer on Instagram for pictures and ratings!