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Exploring a cabinet of curious beers

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by Emmett Avery

CRAFTSBURY – Hops is the calling card of many Vermont craft breweries, but that’s not quite the case at Wunderkammer Biermanufaktur, a “nano” brewery whose beers often incorporate pine needles, linden, rhubarb, yarrow, chokecherries, wild mushrooms and other local foraged and farmed ingredients.

While the ingredient list may sound outlandish, Wunderkammer (roughly translated from German as ‘curiosity cabinet’) is a serious project with deep historical roots and sterling brewing credentials.  Former Hill Farmstead brewer Vasilios Gletsos started the venture, and many of the methods he employs saw their initiation long before scientific advances polished beer to a clear and repeatable industrial product.

Mr. Gletsos started Wunderkammer as a sideline at Hill Farmstead, where he experimented with foraged ingredients and created a “canon” of beers. However, he said, when he wanted to expand his line of off-the-beaten-track beers, Hill Farmstead was not interested, so he struck out on his own.

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