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Read about how Frost Beer is made in Food For Thought!

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Frost Beer Works will be at the Co-op June 8th (3-5pm)

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Garin and Christina Frost of Frost Beer Works

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Producer of the Month: Frost Beer Works PDF Print E-mail

by Jon Megas-Russell
June 2017

The drive to Northern Vermont this time of year provides an absolutely incredible display of natural beauty. From the majestic views of Mt. Mansfield, to the towering spring clouds, and the soft green budding trees, what a treat! It is also a pleasure because my drives to Northern Vermont represent an opportunity to meet even more local producers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and families that are the lifeblood of our local economy.

This time around, I visited Hinesburg, Vermont, to meet Christina and Garin Frost of Frost Beer Works. If you have not found Frost Beer Works brews in the beer cooler, let me encourage you to do so!

Frost Beer Works has been in business since February of 2015. Christina shared that building the brewery to its current 6,000 square foot capacity started many years ago in the basement of their home. The current brewery contains a taproom, bottling line, and ten fermenters, including two 930 gallon fermenters just for Lush, one of their Double India Pale Ales (IIPA).

They also have a tremendous-sized cooler, storage room and loading dock for deliveries. Garin started brewing due to a love for process, engineering, mechanical systems, and, of course, great beer. He was testing recipes and learning the ins and outs of brewing, which is a highly technical process.

While brewing in his basement, he used a “great unit” called Brew Magic by SABCO. Over the years, Garin talked that his experience with brewing is that the process breaks down to 5% recipe and 95% cleaning as well as many other brewing specific tasks.

Since opening in 2015, they have invested in automating their process, expanding their facility and hiring a brewer to work with Garin. Garin’s search for a brewer started in February of 2015 through the University of California at Davis, which offers a master brewing program and a job posting network.

By April of 2015 Garin hired Mike Lieser who had previously worked brewing Oskar Blues in Colorado. Mike is no stranger to Vermont. Mike has a English degree from Middlebury Colleges Bread Loaf School of English, therefore loves to write, is super creative, and fits right in with Christina and Garin.

Frost Beer Works developed a Research Series to continue to explore recipes such as Plush, which tastes of citrus hops and is quite juicy, similar to Lush but with tweaks in the hops and processes. They have also honed in on consistent recipes for their flagship beers such as RPA (Really Pale Ale), Junior IPA, Lush Double IPA, More Double IPA, Some Double IPA, Heavy Imperial Stout as well as seasonals.

Garin talked about sourcing and how his goal is to find the juiciest hops such as Simcoe, Mosaic, Cascade, Azaca and Citra. Frost sources the hops from both the northern and southern hemisphere and has to obtain them from allies in the brewing industry both locally and nationally. This is due to brewing being so popular right now that most of the big breweries own large contracts with hop farms.They may brew with as many as eight hops, with three or so hops being the main players in the flavor profile.

They recently brewed an all Vermont beer called Vermont Rye Pale Ale with Addison County hops and Peterson malts. All local ingredients is pretty cool! Garin is very enthusiastic about Lush, which its popularity makes it is hard to keep in stock. Pop the cap off of Lush and you will encounter the smell of mango and many juicy flavors including orange and grapefruit. It is truly delicious, consistent and one of my favorite beers that we carry at the Co-op!

Christina shared that Garin is an entrepreneur by nature. They owned a graphics company on the west coast back in the 1990s.  Once they had their first child in 1999, they decided to head back east to return near Garin’s roots in New Hampshire. Soon after settling in Vermont, Garin and Christina purchased Vermont Print and Mail and ran it for a few years. 

Garin is a high energy entrepreneur with a technical background, a love for mechanical systems, and the leader behind Frost Beer Works processes. He led their growth by automating their systems, hiring Mike, and striving for consistency.

He also has a great eye for design, and together with Christina’s expertise they designed their logo, merchandise, printed materials and print their own labels. Some nights before they bottle beer you can find Garin up all night printing labels! Frost Beer Works is a labor of love. Garin said that they are serious about their brews, trying to approach perfection, while realizing that as an artisan process, “that’s nearly an impossibility.”

Christina manages the taproom, events, distribution and any areas in which Garin or Mike need assistance. She loves what she does and is excited for the expansion into their new taproom which they hope to open in the next six months or so. She also manages distribution as they deliver in their slick Frost Beer Works vans. She is excited that they are able to supply many natural food stores and co-ops around Vermont. She feels that the shopper base aligns well with their beer.

What does the future hold for Frost Beer Works? As mentioned, their new tap room will open in the next six months or so and will allow them to continue a close relationship with their loyal fans. They are also building a small lab to build data on different yeast profiles, to support the continued refinement of their brewing recipes and process.

They have the capacity to brew more beer, store more beer, and warehouse ingredients on site, which is quite exciting. They hope to ramp up their volume in the coming year in response to its growing popularity. In fact, they were recently mentioned in the Boston Globe as a part of an article called “Five Brews You Should Be Drinking Right Now.” (The Brattleboro Food Co-op carries three of them...) Swing into the Co-op and try Lush Double IPA, Junior IPA, Micro IPA and Plush, in the large brown bottles with white labels. This beer pairs well with a Saturday afternoon BBQ; your taste buds will thank you.

Come meet the Frost Beer Works team and taste their beer* on Thursday, June 8, from 3-5 pm!

*Tasting is for those 18 + years of age with valid proof of identity in compliance with Vermont State law.