NORTHFIELD — “Vermont is the best state for beer in the union,” Scott Kerner said. “The amount of tourists that pour into our state each year is one barometer for the strength of this industry. The brand is strong, and the community is stronger.”
Kerner should know. After he moved to Vermont from Oregon — where he worked for that state’s oldest microbrewery, Bridgeport Brewing Co. — he helped open three beer-focused restaurants: Three Penny Taproom, The Mad Taco and Mule Bar.
Now, Kerner and his business partner, Andrew Leichthammer, have made their own mark on the Vermont brew industry with Good Measure Brewing Co., in Northfield.
“Opening Good Measure had something to do with my love of beer, and the fact I just built a home in Northfield, and felt the community could support it,” Kerner said recently via email. “Andrew was the GM of Mule Bar (in Winooski), and his home-brewed beer had always amazed me. His passion and knowledge of the craft made it a perfect fit for partnering in Good Measure. We have a great network of friends in the Vermont brewery family through our work in the restaurant, and look forward to being involved now from the production side.”
Good Measure Brewing is at 17 East St. in downtown Northfield. That location was home to a grocery store from the 1950s to 1970s, and then it transformed into The Economy Store, a popular general store in town for decades.
“Northfield’s community is very strong, and we felt honored to be able to give the people something they can be proud of in this town,” Kerner said. “The space has the industrial needs and feel that fits our aesthetic and efficiencies. Northfield has amazing potential, and we feel we are just the beginning of an economic surge for the town.”
Kerner and Leichthammer signed the lease for 17 East St. last January. Construction started immediately and took about nine months.
“There were a number of updates that we needed to make to the building in order to bring it up to code, and also so it could handle the weight and production flow of the seven-barrel brewing system,” Kerner said.
Good Measure Brewing started selling beer to bars and restaurants at the end of last month. For now, they are handling accounts according to their resources and limitations. One of The new brewery’s “biggest accounts will always be” the Cornerstone Burger Company, a direct neighbor — and friends — to the east, Kerner said.
Good Measure has already started its own distribution company, East Street Distribution, so that its beer reaches accounts outside Vermont. The brewery’s beers are listed on its website.
“We plan on selling approximately 70 percent of our batches to outside accounts,” Kerner explained. “The other 30 percent will be sold at our soon-to-be-open retail space. We are currently applying for our Class 1 restaurant license to be able to sell full pints of our beer to our community. We are very excited to share with the public our vision for a classic taproom environment.”
Kerner and Leichthammer want to reach a wide variety of beer drinkers with different styles of brew, such as Early Riser, a product with a varietal that traces back to the Abenaki.
The size and scope of GMB are what make it fun for Kerner and Leichthammer. They have a vision, a space that works for them, and they make “a really great team,” according to Kerner.
“We have the upmost respect for the brewers that have been creating such a strong Vermont beer brand,” he said. “We are lucky to have such a supportive community, a lot of which have played huge parts in helping us open our door.
“When I opened Three Penny back in 2009, the landscape looked very different. But as we look around, all of the friends who were part of the brewing industry in Vermont are all still here, and all have grown with conscious precision. What has become one of the largest tourism trades is something we are ready to help expand and promote.”
Learn more about the company at www.goodmeasurebrewing.com or find the business on Facebook.