Burlington craft brewery basks in aftermath of James Beard nod

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:08 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The prestigious James Beard Award semi-finalists were announced just last week and five Vermont eateries and drink-makers got the semifinalist nod. They include Foam Brewers, a popular spot in Burlington to grab a beer. The team says they think passion, love, and effort are what snagged them the spot.

Foam Brewers has got all of the ingredients for a successful brewery -- a lakefront location, a colorful taproom, and local ingredients. “It’s fun working with local farmers as much as we do. It’s really important, it’s part of our ethos,” said Bob Grim, Foam’s co-founder and head brewer.

They launched the watering hole back in 2016 and have seen a lot of growth since then, with art that adorns the walls, live music, and countless brews. “We really have a passion for creating a gathering place, an environment, so working with our local artist community and the musicians,” Grim said. But a James Beard Award nomination? He says it hasn’t really been on their radar. “I mean, it still is pretty surreal. It wasn’t expected that’s for sure.”

“Definitely surprised,” added McKenzie Bearup, Foam’s general manager. They are semifinalists in the ‘Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages’ category and in the company of beverage-makers from across the country. Despite the shock factor, Bearup says this is recognition the Foam team deserves. “I think a lot of us, especially the partners and the owners here, have put a lot of time and effort into building an amazing product. We curate something that people want to experience.”

Both Bearup and Grim acknowledge the nomination is the result of a team effort both behind the scenes and in their popular taproom. They say a knowledgeable and friendly staff plus a solid product drives people in the door day after day.

“Our team is amazing. We all have a lot of fun -- work hard, play hard mentality,” Bearup said.

“And we’re always striving to create something better -- better beer, a better place for people to come, better relationships with people,” Grim said.

And they say it’s the people that make Foam special, as they try to combine the stories of staff, artists, and farmers all in one place -- something they hope the folks at the James Beard Foundation can see.

Related Story:

Area eateries, chefs among semifinalists for 2023 James Beard Awards