7Days: Rolling Out the Barrels
Hopheads may be happy to hear that the first beer to roll out of Matt Cohen’s brand-new brewery on Route 7 in Shelburne will be an India pale ale, and they won’t have to wait much longer — it should be flowing by Christmas.
Those first kegs will mark the end of a year of intense work and planning for Cohen — known as “Matty O” from his days as the beloved head brewer at Magic Hat Brewing Company. He left his job last fall to pursue the dream of every beer maker: his own brewery.
All year long, Fiddlehead Brewing Company has been gradually rising just across the street from Shelburne Vineyard — first its foundation and skeleton, then its steel shell, and finally a weathered, wooden, red façade. In September, gargantuan boilers and mash tuns arrived. This month, Cohen will finally start brewing. In a few weeks, craft-beer pilgrims can trickle in to sample two or three beers he’ll have on tap in his tasting room and order growlers that they can tote next door to Folino’s, a pizzeria soon to open in the same structure. There, building owner John Koerner — Cohen’s landlord — will crank out flatbreads from a brick oven, the perfect foil for fresh brew.