Vt. brewery joins forces with regional small business - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. brewery joins forces with regional small business

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A local brewery is joining forces with a small business on wheels to expand here in the state.

There's nothing tropical about Vermont this time of year, but the owner of Fiddlehead Brewery has pulled some sunny inspiration from Hawaii.

"We are canning up for our first ever can release of Hodad vanilla chocolate coconut porter," said Matt Cohen, owner of Fiddlehead Brewery.

The new beer was made as a sort of tribute to a friend who relocated to the Aloha State, and now consumers can get a taste of the island inspired brew on tap or in a can.

"To have the ability to go into a can gives up the opportunity to now reach a whole new audience that we weren't reaching with our draft only product," said Cohen.

So they called upon another small business, Iron Heart Canning, to make it happen. Iron Heart is a mobile canning business that launched last year and travels around New England canning for small breweries.

"There was obviously nothing like it around here so one thing led to another and my plan changed from building a brewery to now working with breweries," Tyler Wille owner of Iron Heart Canning. 

His company can fill up to 15,000 cans a day. Wednesday, they'll fill 550 cases at Fiddlehead Brewery in Shelburne.

"You're able to get into the market, get yourself established, but without the capital of buying the line itself," said Cohen.

Each pallet is lifted. Cans slide down and are sanitized and then coated with carbon dioxide and filled with Hodad.

"CO2 is again covered on top of the beer before the lid is placed onto it and sent into the steamer," said Wille.

Fiddlehead Brewery will be out here packaging and canning beer for about 14 hours Wednesday, but it will all be worth it this weekend when Hodad finally hits the shelves.

So what's the story behind the name? Well, a Hodad is a surfer who goes to the beach with no intentions of surfing, a kind of contradiction that works for a tropical beer made in Vermont.

"If you look at the can, thats what you see, there's a surfboard there, there's Camels Hump mountain in the background so probably not Lake Champlain, but pretty cool," said Cohen.

And there you have it a taste of sunshine in a skier's paradise.

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