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Autumn Arch Beer Project

Sep 3, 2020 | Brewery, Quick Sip

After a trip to Asheville, NC brothers Jimmy and Dan Vennard pondered on a plan to start their own craft brewery. Those dreams turned into reality as they opened the doors to Autumn Arch Beer Project in Newark, DE, creating tasty brews and establishing themselves within the community as the place to go. Check out what they have to say about their craft beer scene and when they tried Budweiser for the first time!

What inspired you to start a brewery and how did the name come about?

After an amazing trip down to Asheville, NC (Beer City USA), my brother and I were inspired to bring a little bit of that vibe back to Delaware. Open atmosphere, tanks right in front of you, big garage doors open to the outside, barrels everywhere, rad IPAs and superb barrel aged-sours. Who’s not inspired by that?!
Autumn Arch Beer Project is named for two things – the place where my brother and I bonded as young adults and our “experimental and boutique” brewing nature. 

What is your favorite thing about running a brewery?

Releasing cans. Hands down. We typically release three new beers in cans every quarter, although in the time of coronavirus, we have increased the frequency of can releases to every other month. It is a lot of fun working with Dan to come up with the can label designs (usually in my basement over a few stellar brews). Knowing that they go out into the world, we put a lot of effort into making them standout.
And we have a few badass ones coming out next month…

What one beer of yours would you want people to try?

Just one?! That would have to be Saison Ledoux, our barrel-aged farmhouse saison, which I think is a microcosm of our brewery – funky and surprisingly tart while offering the casual beer palette something truly different.

What exciting stuff can we expect from Autumn Arch in the near future?

We started our sour program in spring 2019, and a few of the first barrels are really coming into their own and we are starting to release them not only in the tasting room, but also in bottles. Check out our latest – Shelter in Space, a barrel aged dark sour fermented on blackcurrants and strawberries.

How do you try to differentiate yourselves in a wonderful but burgeoning craft beer market?

Tons of breweries make great beer these days. That’s no longer enough. I strongly believe that in order to be successful in today’s craft beer market, you have to offer something different than your competitors. We do that through a cool taproom vibe (this was one of the take-aways from Asheville) and a sour beer program unique to our area.

What beer other than yours has really stood out to you?

Budweiser. I actually had my first one recently, and I couldn’t understand why this beer is so special in America. There is nothing remotely interesting about it, other than it invoking some 1980s nostalgia from summers at the beach with my grandparents.
As a craft brewery owner, I ask myself, “why do Americans consume more of this beer than all craft beer combined”? I don’t think it’s solely a price point issue. But craft brewers should probably be getting a few more pilsners out into the world, because frankly, we can do better than Bud.

How can we get our hands on your beer?

Remember how I said we’re a boutique brewery? Well, that means acquiring our beer takes a little bit of work since it probably won’t be in your local bottle shop. Autumn Arch beers are available in our Newark, DE taproom (draft, cans, crowlers and growlers) and, on certain occasions, at a few select bottle shops and pizza joints around town.

Check out their tasty craft beers in Delaware by visiting their tap room.

You should also check out their blog at autumnarch.com/blog – it’s a light-hearted look into the life of brewing and business ownership with a sprinkling of some things to do in Delaware when you visit Autumn Arch.

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