Long Trail Brewing Company
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|Headquarters||Bridgewater Corners, Vermont|
Long Trail Brewing Company is a regional brewery in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, USA. Founded in 1989 by Andy Pherson in the basement of the Bridgewater Woolen Mill, the company relocated to its current state-of-the-art brewing facility and visitor center in 1995. Originally known as Mountain Brewers, the company changed its name to Long Trail Brewing Company shortly after their relocation to Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. In 2006, Long Trail was acquired by its present owner, Fulham and Co., a Massachusetts-based private equity firm. Located on the banks of the Ottaquechee River in the heart of the Green Mountains, the Long Trail campus includes its brewing operations, visitor center, farmhouse pilot brewery and wastewater treatment facility.
Long Trail makes a number of different styles of beer, mostly English-style top-fermented ales, but its flagship beer is Long Trail Ale, a Düsseldorf-style altbier. It also participates in the tradition of brewing a "Sticke" Alt (from a dialect German word for secret) known as Long Trail Double Bag, though unlike the German originators of the style, Long Trail makes Double Bag available year-round. During the 1990s it also brewed a Kölsch-style ale as a spring seasonal.
In the summer of 2006 Long Trail added a hefeweizen to its list of brews. Originally Long Trail's summer seasonal brew, Blackbeary Wheat became a year-round beer in the Fall of 2007. In 2013, the Farmhouse Pilot Brewery introduced the Limbo IPA, which became the first year-round brew produced by the Pilot project.
Brown Bag Series
The Brown Bag concept was developed in 1993 as a way for Long Trail to develop new recipes quickly without the added expense of graphic design and packaging. These small batch brews developed into Long Trail favorites like Double Bag, a year-round Strong Ale and Hit the Trail Ale, a limited release English Brown Ale.
Although discontinued in the early 1990s, the Brown Bag Series was revived in October 2012 as a small-batch, limited release series that pays homage to the original Brown Bag concept. Thanks to a small-batch pilot brewing facility on Long Trail's campus, brewers can experiment with recipes on a small-scale. The draught is available at the brewery and other establishments throughout the East. Current and past Brown Bag releases include an American IPA, Belgian Smoked Porter, Milk Stout and Maple Maibock (fermented with maple syrup).
Long Trail Brewing Co. is one of Vermont’s most progressive and forward-thinking breweries. Long Trail uses an ECO Brew process. ECO stands for Environmentally Conscious Operations.
Here are some of the environmentally conscious actions that Long Trail Brewing Company implements in their brewing process:
Using like-minded suppliers – The brewery partners with like-minded, environmentally-friendly companies when possible. In the past, Vermont Coffee Company has supplied them with organic, fair trade coffee for seasonal Coffee Stout offering.
Spent mash – Local cattle farmers use the spent grain generated from the brewing process to feed their cows. The mash is inexpensive compared to the soybean or corn feed that’s available, and it’s better for the cows.
Heat recovery – The steam that is produced from the cooking process is recovered and turned back into water and used again in the brewing process.
Biodiesel – The grease from Long Trail's visitor center pub is used as bio diesel for the company's tractor, the truck that delivers their spent mash, and some of the employee’s commuter vehicles.
Water conservation – Long Trail is not hooked up to the local municipal water system. They have a hydrologic cycle that allows them to take water drawn from bedrock artesian wells, process most of it into great beer, and fully treat any wastewater that results before returning it to the ground via underground injection into on-site leach fields.
Water conservation has become an integral part of the brewery's successful sustainable practice. They use 2.37 gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer. Six gallons of water for every one gallon of beer is the industry average. In addition, this process saves 1,100 gallons of propane per month and eliminates the release of smoky water vapor from the facility.
Cow Power The Central Vermont Public Service electric company harnesses methane from cow manure & use a digester machine to convert it to energy that can be purchased by businesses. 25% of Long Trail’s power is cow power, making it the largest corporation using cow power.
Long Trail Brewing Company distributes its product throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia. 45% of its beer is consumed in Vermont.
In August 2014 Long Trail Brewing Company filed a trademark infringement suit against Bent Paddle Brewing Company for using a logo of a hiker with a backpack similar to their own. The suit was amicably settled in December 2014 with Bent Paddle agreeing to discontinue the use of that logo and both breweries making charitable donations to hiking-related groups in one another's states.
- Ayres, Tom (June 1996). "Long Trail Opens New Brewery". Yankee Brew News: Archive.
- Shreeves, Robin. "Sustainable brewing at Long Trail". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Haase, Patrick. "Top 4 Sustainable Breweries in Celebration of American Craft Beer Week". Opportunity Green. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
- Kennedy, Clare (11 Dec 2014). "Bent Paddle, Vermont brewer end trademark dispute". Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved 16 April 2015.