100% employee-owned & operated. Switchback Brewing Company, located in Burlington, VT, was founded in 2002 by Master Brewer Bill Cherry and his longtime friend, Jeff Neiblum. The vision was to concentrate limited resources into making beers that achieve the highest quality possible. To maximize complexity and flavor all of our beers is left unfiltered and carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself, creating a 100% naturally conditioned beer.
Switchback Ale - 5.0% ABV - 28 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated, Switchback Ale was developed as a flavor concept, not adhering to any style guidelines. Using only traditional ingredients, Switchback Ale is an unfiltered, reddish-amber ale which is particularly well-balanced, allowing for complexity of flavor coupled with an unusually smooth and refreshing character. Five different malts, select hop varieties, and our own specially cultivated yeast create an ale which leads with hop flavors and a subtle impression of fruit (our yeast’s contribution), followed by a palate pleasing malty finish.
Citra-Pils Keller Bier - 5.1% ABV - 36 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated, and Born as a classic pilsener lager, Citra-Pils gets the added bonus of a lively, citrusy aroma from Citra hops to create a fascinating blend of pilsener and IPA sensibilities. The result is a complex beer which is clean, crisp, and refreshing. Citra-Pils is our special “twist” on the classic pilsener style of lager beer. We brew this lager in the most traditional way, using only Light Pils malt and Saaz hops. After a six-week lagering process, we dry hop this beer with a blend of Citra and Saaz hops. The bright lemony citrus notes of the Citra complement the noble Saaz character perfectly, yielding a delightfully refreshing pilsener with a decidedly nontraditional twist.
Connector IPA - 6.2% ABV - 65 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. Light in color and body, the beer is designed to showcase the hops delicious medley of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine characteristics. Following a huge late addition of Citra hops at the end of the brewing process, we dry hopped this beer with a massive amount of Mosaic and Centennial hops. The result is a lively, refreshingly hoppy IPA that finishes dry with a quick hit of bitterness that fades quickly and invites you back for another sip. Our Connector IPA is named after “The Southern Connector” road that has been debated for over 52 years and would connect the south end of Burlington to Route 7. The world’s tallest filing cabinet created by local artist, Bren Alvarez is located a few hundred yards away from the brewery on Flynn Ave and was constructed to represent the bureaucracy of the project.
Flynn on Fire Smoked Beer Initiative
The FLYNN ON FIRE SMOKED BEER INITIATIVE challenges the conventions of modern beer culture by exploring the endless possibilities of smoked malt. Each of the expertly crafted beers in this series proves that, when done right, smokiness adds complexity and character. Our mission is to stoke the fire and bring these virtues to light. Push the boundaries of your palate with Flynn on Fire.
Current Beers in the Series:
Gates of Helles - 5.1% ABV - 25 IBU
The perfect way to enter the realm of smoked beers is through the Gates of Helles. A soft touch on the smoke superbly complements this helles-style lager. The result is an amazingly satisfying and refreshing golden lager whereby the smoke brings complexity and depth to the world’s most popular style of beer. Crack open the Gates of Helles and abandon all hope of returning to conventional flavors.
Smoked Märzen - 5.4% ABV - 30 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. A strong dose of old world smokiness adds a whole new dimension to the Märzen experience. Our Smoked Märzen carries an intense smoke flavor that elevates this style to new heights of complexity and satisfaction. Take a few sips and be transported to the cobblestone streets and biergartens of Bamberg, Germany where Rauchbiers are a way of life.
BLACKSTRAP ALE - 5.9% ABV - 30 IBU
This smoky dark ale is inspired by Switchback Founder Bill Cherry’s time in Kansas City. Blackstrap Ale harkens to KC’s iconic BBQ tradition with its combination of sweet and smoke, derived from an outrageous use of smoked, roasted, and caramelized malts with a hint of dark brown sugar. Drink up and dream of burnt ends with this explosion of bold and smoky flavors.
Dampf Punk - 5.4% ABV - 38 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated, DAMPF PUNK, a hoppy California-style Common started as a one-off experimental batch. This rebel brew quickly became a favorite among our Tap Room regulars and these self-proclaimed Punk fans insisted that we make it available outside the brewery. So here is our unique take on this 100% American beer style. While still using our house lager yeast, this beer is fermented at a warmer temperature closer to ale yeast conditions, giving it a toasty flavor that is light and crisp. Dry-hopping this beer with a brand new, unnamed hop variety provides soft tropical and herbal notes. The result is wonderfully clean and complex, our unique take on this 100% American beer style.
Extra Pale Ale - 4.8% ABV - 47 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. Our Extra Pale Ale (XPA) is a hop-forward pale ale that employs an abundant use of whole cone hops. We have balanced the amazing bouquet and flavors that whole cone hops possess with a subdued malt character, creating a crisp refreshing beer. We developed Extra Pale Ale as a test brew on our 5 gallon pilot system utilizing Vermont grown hops from the UVM Hop Extension Program, and we loved the test beer so much that we decided to put XPA into production on our original 15 barrel brew house. Using whole cone hops created the challenge of re-configuring the brew house just for this beer, but we’re overjoyed with the resulting aromas and flavors of the Centennial, Chinook, and Cascade hops.
Dooley's Belated Porter - 5.7% ABV - 43 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. Our Porter features a blend of roasted and caramelized malts giving it a luscious malt signature that has an earthiness derived from the non-traditional use of flaked barley in the grain bill. The bold use of only Simcoe hops for both bittering and aroma highlights this hop varietal and balances the malt to create a robust, yet smooth finishing porter. Long ago, the owner gave his first employee, Chris Dooley, the honor of selecting the next beer style to produce. Dooley (never call him Chris) chose porter. However, the demand for Switchback Ale, our flagship brew, exceeded our capacity, preventing the release of this new beer for FIVE years. Our first kegs of Porter were finally sold in December 2009. Considering this long delay, we christened it Dooley’s Belated Porter.
Roasted Red Ale - 5.6% ABV - 50 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. Our Roasted Red Ale is a deep mahogany-red colored ale. Its flavor leads with a rich caramel maltiness balanced with a bold hop signature, and followed by a delicate cocoa roasted finish. When selecting the hop varieties to complement our flagship Switchback Ale, we discovered the then new variety of hops called Amarillo. Not the right hop for our Ale, we decided to feature it in our next beer. The pungent citrus and ¬flowery aromas of Amarillo demand a big malt character for balance. We use dark caramel malts to provide an intense malt profile, with a touch of roast malt to cleanse the palate of the inherent sweetness of red ales. To create hop complexity, we add a bit of Simcoe hops to the Amarillo for kettle additions and dry-hopping.
Slow-Fermented Brown Ale - 5.2% ABV - 26 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated. Slow-Fermented Brown Ale is a beautiful chestnut brown colored beer with a rich roast and caramel malt flavor delicately balanced by hop undertones and a subtle sweetness in the finish. Fermenting at cool temperatures with ale yeast causes a stress-reaction leading to a clean flavor coupled with a rich and full mouthfeel. As a test, we fermented our Slow-Fermented Brown Ale recipe normally and also at a lower temperature just above the yeast’s tolerance. The results were remarkable. A testament to the importance of yeast to a beer’s flavor, the slow-fermented version has a gentle creaminess that balances perfectly with the soft caramel overtones of the brown ale recipe, ending in a crazy smooth finish. It is a difficult and touchy beer to make, but we are hooked on the results!
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