Magic Hat: Brew Story

Walking into the Magic Hat brewery is like entering Willy Wonkas chocolate factory.

Only 10 minutes away from campus, the Magic Hat brewery has become a tourist destination and part of Burlington culture.

Its a given, however, that you must be over 21 to imbibe with your tribe as one of the sayings on their signature bottle caps reads.

Started by Seventh Generation cleaning product company workers Allan Newman and Bob Johnson, the brewery has remained in the same location since it began in 1997.

Years after Johnson and Newman had left the cleaning company, the men met on Church Street down town for some beers.

Realizing their mutual affinity for beer, the friends spawned the idea to start brewing their own.

They took a trip out to the Northwest Coast where the first of American craft beers were being brewed, visiting breweries such as Big Sky Brewing, Full Sail Brewing Company and many more.

Over the duration of the one-week trip, the pair visited 33 different breweries. With their newly attained knowledge of the craft beer brewing style, the two brought their skills back east to craft what would become Magic Hat beer.

Appropriately named, Bobs First Ale is now known as Humble Patience, an Irish Red Ale still being sold by the local company today.

Pulling open the heavy steel doors, the tour-goer is immediately greeted with a bombardment of hats, bags, glasses for both drinking and wearing, scarves, t-shirts, 6-packs, 12-packs and yes, even condoms.

Tom Terracino, floor manager of the brewerys self-proclaimed Artifactory, was happy to provide a tour of the said floor-space, which essentially functioned as the brewerys gift shop.

Complemented by an adornment of multiple wall decorations and guitars signed by various appreciative artists, the Artifactory offers each and every one of Magic Hats 50 beers on tap.

Sophomore Hunter Jakupko had this to say about the gift shop.

In this negative degree wonderland known as Burlington, Vermont, simply wearing a beer jacket does not suffice anymore. You need a beer turtleneck, beer sweater, and a beer parka, Jakupso said.

The atmosphere conveyed in the Artifactory is not the only aspect of Magic Hats impact on the community. It also directly impacts the Hope Works program in town.

Contributing over $250,000 dollars to women rape crisis center, the Magic Hat brewery has lent a helping hand to the organization according to its website.

As typically displayed by most Vermont-based organizations, environmental awareness is also high on the brewerys list of civic duties.

They are, in fact, the only brewery known to use an Anaerobic Digester.

Set up by MIT affiliates, the machine is designed to practice the most environmentally conscious method in breaking down and condensing the barley and grain during the brewing process.

With over two hundred different types of beer, there seems to be a brew for just about everyone.

The Indian Pale Ales, though, have a much higher alcohol content. With a 7.0% alcohol content, 5 beers is more like 7 or 8.

The Magic Hat brewery and Artifactory is open Monday-Thursday: 10am-6pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-7pm and Sunday: Noon-5pm.