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SWITCHBACK BREWING CO. HISTORY

A Vermont Tradition since 2002 

The Switchback Brewing Company was founded in 2002 with one goal in mind – to brew unexpected, relatable, great tasting beer.

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Business partners Bill Cherry and Jeff Nieblum combined Bill’s expertise in brewing and science with Jeff’s experience as a business entrepreneur. The very first pint of Switchback ever served was at Ake’s Place in Burlington, VT on October 22, 2002.

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Brewing to a Flavor Idea

The idea that became Switchback Ale was developed in Bill’s imagination, with no test brewing. He envisioned maximizing complexity, flavor, and delivering beer the way a brewmaster experiences it. To do this, the beer is left unfiltered and is carbonated 100% naturally in a special process using the yeast. The result is a beer that defies easy description, because it is brewed to a flavor idea and not based on any existing style guidelines. All Switchback beers are brewed this way.

Today, the Switchback lineup has grown to include over 20 beers as year-round offerings, rotating specials and limited releases and we haven’t stopped reimagining flavor.

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Expansion, Bottles and Cans 

The brewery hired its first employee, Chris Dooley, in 2003 and eventually ran 24-hours a day to keep up with demand.

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As demand continued to grow, Switchback added state-of-the art German equipment including a 1964 built copper brewhouse from the Brauerei Schmucker in Beerfelden, Germany, a bottling line, and a canning line to ensure the high quality and flavor standards Switchback fans had grown to love. 

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We added the Tap Room at Switchback in 2014 as an outlet to showcase experimental brews and limited release batches you usually can’t find anywhere else. We also host beer-themed events including Stretch & Sip Yoga, Cheese and Beer Pairings and various educational classes.  

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Now available throughout New England and in New York, beer fans can enjoy Switchback's consistent quality and flavor on tap, in bottles and in cans wherever their adventures take them.

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 100% EMPLOYEE-OWNED

 
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Our Next Chapter

Founder, brewmaster and president Bill Cherry took another bold step in 2017 when he turned ownership of the brewery over to the employees. Switchback is now 100% employee owned via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and will remain locally-owned and -operated forever. Switchback is the first Vermont brewery to operate under this structure.

In addition to Cherry, the brewery is operated by a management team with an off-site board of directors providing occasional support. It's a collaborative management style and environment of ingenuity that assures Switchback will always be made locally by real brewers and not high-production operations.

The best news? Beer fans can count on the brewery to provide a great beer experience every time they choose Switchback beer.