The Norwich Inn- Jasper Murdock Alehouse
Jeremy Hebert began as a home brewer more than 20 years ago, and then brewed professionally for a few years at Golden Dome brewery in Montpelier. He landed at the Norwich Inn’s Jasper Murdock Alehouse thanks to good timing and a solid reputation as an excellent brewer. Jeremy explained, “One of the aspects of being the sole brewer at a small brewery is the opportunity to create new beers. New recipes can often take four to five iterations before I feel confident it’s going to be a good brew. It’s a lot of fun and once I have it right, the next step is naming the beer. When stuck, I put it out to others and do a beer -naming contest, usually on Facebook.” He continued, “One of my favorite beer names is Two Stuck Trucks IPA, because of the humorous story behind the name in which I was involved that makes me chuckle every time I hear reference to that beer.”
Once brewed, ales are pumped underground to the six taps located at the bar in the pub. An additional tap is cask ale that is tapped from underneath the bar, creating and serving beer in the old, authentic English style. And I had plans to visit the pub after my visit with Jeremy, assuming I still wanted beer after watching the process of murky mash. I did.
Friends joined me at the pub post-interview with Jeremy and volunteered to sample some of the brews. One of my guests, long time Hanover resident Joan Snell, recalled with fondness the old days when she and her husband Laurie, a Dartmouth math professor, were Thursday regulars. They met up with another couple and sat at the same table in the corner. “It still has that same friendly spirit and the beer tastes just as good,” Joan shared. My other friend, recently acquainted with Joan that afternoon, smiled and remarked, “I remember you and your friends. Whenever my husband and I came in on a Thursday, we always noticed how much fun you were having.” A friendship was forged that late afternoon as we shared stories and drank our Hops on Top IPA and Golden Strong.
Another old friend and local Reed Birdwell added, “There is no cozier place than the Norwich Inn pub…..to slip into that tight little space, take a place between the many regulars at the small bar and order Whistling Pig Red Ale….ahhhh that is living.”
And, after observing the art of a happy seasoned brewer make beer, hearing the stories and the rich history, and then sampling several of Jeremy’s brews, I had to agree. There would always be a new brew to try and the convivial spirit of old friends to enjoy here.
Laurie Caswell Burke looks forward to another visit to Jasper Murdock pub soon to try Jeremy's latest brew, and to learn the story behind, Two Stuck Trucks IPA. Someday, she might just be able to name one of his creative brews.