Allan MacDonald started brewing his first batches of homebrew in the late 80's. For years, he enjoyed making and sharing delicious craft beer with friends and family at home. Many would say "Al, this is really great beer. You should open a brewery". The usual reply would be "why turn a hobby into a job?" Well... what happens when a homebrewing chemical engineer spots local deals on brewery equipment? He has to go check it out of course! With family encouragement and a growing accumulation of brewery equipment that wouldn't fit in the house, the search began for the perfect spot for a new brewery.
The location search began in our favorite place, the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of Vermont. Al has owned a camp in the area for nearly 40 years and even though our family has lived in many other locations, we've always had ties to the NEK. It wasn't long before we found a location and the space just happened to be next to a popular campground. Sounded like a good match! Papers were signed in late 2015 and the dream was falling into place. There were permit applications to file and we chose local trades for the buildout. Demo and construction in the building started in the spring of 2016.
We wanted to create a space to brew and have others enjoy our craft beers. The goal was to have a productive brewery operation that was big enough that we wouldn't have to brew every day and we could have more time to enjoy life. The adjacent taproom was designed so patrons could not only taste our beers, but be able to chat freely with all members of the team and interact with others at the brewery creating a neighborhood environment.
Liz (Allan's wife) suggested the name "Next Trick". Allan went from chemical engineering into the biotech world into a brewing career, so Next Trick seemed to fit. Our niece Sarah designed our logo. It includes many of the things we love about the NEK.
The brewery is filled with stories. Allan loves to share the passion behind Next Trick with our patrons. Besides the beers, there are all kinds of interesting behind the scenes facts about the construction of the brewery and the uses of repurposed materials and equipment. Just ask Al and he will be happy to share!
For much of 2016 and early 2017, there was a flurry of activity around the building. People driving by on Route 5 saw all the stainless steel equipment and hoped that it meant a brewery was coming to the area. Vermonters sure love their craft beer!
After over a year of construction, renovations, licensing and brewing, the brewery and taproom opened May 2017.
In just a few years, Next Trick Brewing has grown from offering tasters and filling Crowlers to pouring full pours and canning 6-packs ready for sale. Expanded outdoor seating has made more room for patrons to taste our beers safely while enjoying the fresh air of the Kingdom. Starting with just a sandwich board on the side of the road we have grown to attract many beer lovers to our little area of the NEK. This was our opening day in 2017.
As we head into our 5th season of operation, we want to thank all of our friends, family and the local community for their support. We learned last year that life can take some unexpected turns. Always remember to appreciate the opportunities that you have and don't let the unknown keep you from trying your next trick!
Thank You - the Next Trick team
"More Beer! Tiny Vermont Breweries Off the Beaten Path"
"Micro Brews Bubbling Up In the NEK"
"Vermont Breweries Guide"