Hot girl ski season is in full effect and although I've only been on a bunny hill one time, I'm doing my best to fit into the season. I got my two money pieces peaking out of my beanie. I have my Sorel boots. I have my flask mittens. I am IN VERMONT. But what is a ski esq lady to do when she doesn't want to ride the lift? Answer : she drinks.
Snow Republic Brewery is located in West Dover, VT and a literal five minute drive from Mount Snow. Despite it being my first visit to both the brewery and the region, I can tell it's the heart of the village and the mountain community. I have a soft spot for the Hallmark things in life and Snow Republic fits into that narrative seamlessly.
I made my way to 33 Vermont Rte 100 shortly after open but I wasn't the only one with the idea of day drinking in mind. IT WAS PACKED. I love to see a small business thriving and it only added to the Hallmark scene I had playing in my head. Walt, the Marine Corps veteran turned brewery owner, was behind the bar and in the trenches of taps. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to sit down and chat with him but he was kind enough to answer my DM and give a great answer.
And from Walt..
"Here’s the one minute version of my story…I went to high school in San Diego. Following high school, I went to Boston University on a ROTC scholarship. Upon graduation, I was commissioned a 2ndLt in the United States Marine Corps, and served 4 years active duty followed by some reserve time.
While deployed in the Persian Gulf on active duty, I applied to law school. My parents had relocated to Connecticut, and my dad recently had a heart attack, so when I returned from deployment a chose a law school in CT to be close to the family. I have been a criminal defense trial lawyer for the last 18 years in CT.
About 3 years ago, I decided it was time to switch things up again. I have owned the Snow Republic building since it was built in 2006 and rented it out to Bennington Furniture for 13 years. When I was trying to decide what to do with my life, I said to myself, “Well, I own this bad ass building, on the main access road, to a major southern VT ski resort, in a top 5 brewing state, with no breweries around. I’m going to open a brewery.” Bennington Furniture agreed to leave in 2019 so that I could build out the brewery.
Snow Republic has gone so well since opening in October 2019, I said to myself, I can do this again. In June 2021, I opened another brewery in Mystic, CT called Bank & Bridge.
The vibe I try to kick in the brewery is because of my San Diego background…flip flops, palm trees, Cali Reggae music, kid friendly and dog friendly…laid back, chill, let’s all get along and hang out together.
I am not a brewer. I hired a super artistic, creative, and outside the box thinking brewer – Justin Maturo. When he was hired, I told him I would not restrict any of his creativity. As such, he creates all the beer, and the names that go with them, at his discretion. As for the condiment series of IPA’s, he got the inspiration from a Soprano’s episode with the quote, “you’ve got mayonnaise on your chin.” Yes, Mayo was the first one. No, the beers do not have any of the condiments in them!
Hope you had a great time and enjoyed the vibes I kick!"
Thank you Walt for the great, great story and the better vibes. And thank you to Justin for creating some awesome beers - Oil Change included. I'll be back as soon as I can!