Check out this great article in Seven Days! Cheers.
After installing a new chef — Michael’s alum Jason Bissell — and a new menu, the owners took their time fine-tuning softer factors such as staffing, service style and space layout. “We were in the assessment phase for a long time,” says Laura Kloeti. “We didn’t want to come in, like, We can cook, so we know how to run this place. We really wanted to watch it and figure things out.”
On Monday, after nearly seven months of incremental changes, the restaurant served its final shift as Crop Bistro & Brewery. When it reopens on November 11, it will do so as Idletyme Brewing Company.
Though Bissell will launch a new autumn/winter menu upon reopening, Kloeti says that’s more about seasonal rotation than sweeping change. Locals can expect the same burgers, chicken, potatoes and other pub-style comfort food they’ve been getting to know since May, with adjustments to showcase seasonal ingredients — and beers.
As for those beers, brewmaster Will Gilson‘s ever-popular brews will remain unchanged. “Will is here, he’s incredible and he’s an artist,” Kloeti says. “[He and the kitchen] work together all the time.” That collaboration has given rise to dishes such as a vanilla porter sticky-toffee pudding and an onion tart made with Gilson’s Helles Brook Lager.
To help consumers connect the dots between the two brands, Kloeti says she plans to change the beer labeling slowly. For now, Gilson’s Helles Brook Lager, Fall Bock Lager and Idletyme IPA will be sold under the Crop Brewery label. Gilson tells Seven Days he hopes to transition to the new labels in early 2016.
The brewery is also adding fermentation tanks to increase production, with an eye toward shipping more kegs to local restaurants and selling more retail bottles. Gilson has begun brewery projects such as aging beers — look for an English-style barley wine aged in rum-soaked oak barrels from Mad River Distillers very, very soon.
Back in the pub, most of the changes are cosmetic: Kloeti says renovations include refinishing the floors, painting and changing the layout to improve the flow. She describes those as just finishing touches in a process that she and her husband hope will return the pub to the laid-back community spot of the Shed Restaurant & Brewery days.
To celebrate that mission, Idletyme Brewing will host a reopening party with snacks, live music and beer tastings — including one very special new brew — on Sunday, November 15. “This property was always the hub of town,” says Kloeti, who has lived in Stowe for 16 years and raised her family there. “That is the most important thing to us, and we want this place to become that.”
Stowe, VT – Award-winning Vermont chef, Michael Kloeti, and his wife/business partner, Laura, announce the opening of their new restaurant, Idletyme Brewing Company on November 11. Located in the former Crop Bistro and Brewery building, Idletyme Brewing Company offers a warm and casual setting, and houses a brewpub, restaurant, outside biergarten, and cozy bar where patrons can lounge by a stone fireplace.
As owners of Michael’s on the Hill Restaurant in Waterbury Center, Michael and Laura have long been serving acclaimed fare to locals and visitors alike and earlier this year they decided to turn their attention towards Stowe.
“This property was called Camp Idletyme in the 1930s and was the hub of town where the community gathered. That is what we hope for again,” says Laura. “We thought the space deserved a fresh start and there’s nothing quite like it in the area now: the huge backyard and biergarten are located right on the Rec Path and there’s also our in-house brewery where our Brewmaster Will Gilson continues to create delicious brews like Idletyme IPA.” -Laura
The menu consists of simple, fresh comfort food. From burgers to chicken with mashed potatoes and homemade buttermilk biscuits, the restaurant offers something for every taste, including lots of healthy options like Edamame with Lemon and Truffle, and Smoked Trout Dip served with veggies for dipping. Many items incorporate Idletyme beer and can be tasted in signatures like the Helles Lager Onion Tart and Vanilla Porter Sticky Toffee Pudding. Idletyme tries to use as much local and regional product as possible, grows quite a bit in the back yard garden, and are members of the Vermont Fresh Network, Farm Plate, Local First Vermont and Slow Food.
“Idletyme has so much going on,” Laura says. “You can have a quick bite with the kids, enjoy a beer in the brewpub, a fine wine and steak dinner in the restaurant or grab a quick cocktail and appetizer at our copper bar. In the summer you can literally spend the day out back playing under the apple trees. It’s a really special place and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone.”
The restaurant’s hours are 11:30am to 10pm seven days a week and brewery tours are available by reservation or by chance. The space can also be used for special group functions, custom events and “bar hop meet & greets.”
“We’ve lived in Stowe with our kids for 14 years and spent a lot of time in this building over the years, and we realized it was time to put it back on the map,” says Michael. “For us, Michael’s on the Hill and Idletyme Brewing Company are a perfect match because we can now offer something for everyone. It’s so great to come to work and see the community at both restaurants every day.”
For more about Michael and Laura’s extensive culinary background as well as the numerous awards their restaurants have received, log on to www.idletymebrewing.com. To schedule an interview with them, please contact Laura Kloeti by calling 802-384-3663(FOOD) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.