As craft beer fans (and if I’m honest, as a beer podcaster/quasi-journalist/YouTuber), when we document the industry, we tend to focus primarily on the owners or brewers. And that makes sense, right? We want to hear the info and the stories direct from the mouths of the people who are making the beer we love, or who have created the companies who make the beer we love.
But there’s a whole slew of other super important people who keep the industry going. From the craft beer bar owners to distribution companies, liquor store owners to brewery marketing reps, these folks all have a ton of stories to share that generally don’t get told as often as they should. So when we ventured out to Vermont back in February, we made a point of connecting with people from nearly all of these categories, starting with Giles Smith, co-owner of Hostel Tevere, a super cool ski hostel in Warren, VT that just happens to be hiding a bloody incredible beer bar inside.
I connected with Giles via Instagram, which is where I tend to do the majority of my beer networking (shout outs to reddit, Twitter and Facebook, though), and I wasn’t entirely certain what his deal was before we met with him. But as we arrived at the hostel, we were incredibly impressed. It’s a quaint ski-style chalet with creaky floors and long hallways, the main corridor leading to the paradise that is their incredibly well-stocked bar. And not only did Giles and his wife Sarah host us warmly and curate a phenomenal tap and bottle list that would rival any other bar in the state, they also cook up the legit best burger I’ve ever had in my life.
And to top it off, Giles is essentially a beer fairy in that he was dropping whales on us from the moment we walked through the door. He gave us our first Trillium beers (life changing, worthy of the hype), a bunch of incredible bottles and drafts from Lawson’s (including a 2014 keg of the Fayston Maple Stout), some gems from Giles’ home state of Wisconsin, Night Shift and more as the night went on. Check out the highlight video below, and listen to the full convo on iTunes.