Talking Shop with Fiddlehead Owner/Brewer Matt Cohen
Published Nov 19, 2014
Written by Hannah Palmer Egan
When Matthew (“Matty O”) Cohen opened Fiddlehead Brewing Company in 2011 after more than a decade brewing at Magic Hat, he wanted to get one thing right: an easy-drinking, well-balanced, draft-only IPA. “For the first year and a half,” Cohen recalls, “all anyone really saw from us was the IPA.” That was a deliberate decision, he says: “We wanted to put that beer out there and build our brand.”
While the flagship IPA still commands tap lines statewide, Shelburne-based Fiddlehead is one of a handful of Vermont breweries — along with the Alchemist, Hill Farmstead and Lawson’s Finest Liquids — with a fan base willing to stand in line for a taste of its latest brew. Last spring, Fiddlehead teamed up with mobile operation Iron Heart Canning Co. and started offering beer in cans: first, the wildly popular Hodad Porter, then Second Fiddle, a piney, hoppy double IPA.
Last Thursday at the brewery, brewheads braved near-freezing temperatures to score cans of Mastermind, another deeply hoppy, bright and fruity, pale gold double IPA. The beer’s final canning is this Wednesday, November 19. Just before last week’s release, Cohen took a moment to chat with Seven Days in his tasting room.