Broadening, strengthening, and deepening our understanding of Vermont; assuring a repository for our collective cultural memory; and strengthening communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.

VFC on VPR! Updated!

VFC on VPR update!


Story Circles Preserve Memories of Irene

Greg Sharrow of the Vermont Folklife Center talks about organizing “story” circles over the last year, where people who were affected by Tropical Storm Irene talk in groups and record their experiences.  Originally aired on 8/21/2012.



The Fiddling Tradition
series

Co-produced by VFC’s Andy Kolovos and VPR’s Steve Zind, “The Fiddling Tradition” presents the music and perspectives of Vermont musicians Lausanne Allen, Erica and Erik Andrus, Adam Boyce, Roger Perrault, Oliver Scanlon and Pete Sutherland.  Originally aired 7/16/2011-7/20/2011.



Vermont Food Traditions and the Localvore Movement

Greg Sharrow and UVM anthropologist Amy Trubek explore the connections and disconnections between traditional foodways and the modern localvore movement.  Originally aired on 05/29/2012.



Sap Beer, A Traditional Farm Brew Survives

Steve Zind explores the partnership between the Vermont Folklife Center and the Fiddlehead Brewing Company to produce Frog Run Sap Beer.  Originally aird on 04/25/2012.



Daisy Turner: One Woman’s Amazing Life

Jane Lindholm discusses the life of Daisy Turner with VFC founder, Jane Beck.  Daisy was the daughter of Alec and Sally Turner, former slaves who settled in Grafton, VT.  Originally aired on 02/22/2012.



Exhibit Showcases Drag Queens

Jane Lindholm talks with photographer Evie Lovett, and drag performers Mike Powers (aka Candi) and Mark Hermon May (aka Mama) about the VFC exhibit, Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co.: The Drag Queens of Dummerston, Vermont.  Originally aired on 10/26/2011.



VT Artists Preserve Songs With New Recordings

Steve Zind speaks with VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos and musicians Robin MacArthur (of the band Red Heart the Ticker), Tony Barrand and Keith Murphy about new recording projects they’ve undertaken using the Vermont field recordings of Margaret MacArthur that are part of the VFC Archive collection.  Includes tracks from the artists’ CDs, Your Name in Secret I Would Write by Red Heard the Ticker and On the Banks of Coldbrook by Barrand and Murphy. Originally aired on 10/04/2011.



Exhibit Showcases Iconic VT Photos

Steve Zind talks with VFC Director of Education, Greg Sharrow about VFC exhibit, Visions of Place: The Photography of John Miller, Peter Miller, and Richard Brown, including excerpts from interviews Greg recorded with each of the photographers.  Originally aired on 07/21/11.



Fragile Music Recordings Preserved

Steve Zind discusses the VFC’s GRAMMY Foundation funded music preservation project with VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos.  Originally aired on 02/10/11



Thrufters and Throughstones series

A series that featured VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos discussing selections from the Vermont Music Library’s Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Project, Thrufters and Throughstones. Originally aired 07/20/2010 - 07/24/2010.



The Art Of Action Project series

A series created to run along side the Art of Action Project, featuring interviews conducted by VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman with artists who participated.  Originally aired from 01/04/2010 - 01/08/2010.



Exhibit recalls Nearing’s homestead experience

Steve Zind examines the VFC exhibit of Rebecca Lepkoff’s photographs of the community that formed around Scott and Helen Nearing in Jamaica, Vermont—Almost Utopia: In Search of the Good Life in Mid-Century America.  The piece includes excerpts from interviews condcuted by the VFC, and comments by VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman and Nearing historian, Greg Joly.  Originally aired 08/24/2009.



Exhibit looks at the lives of Mexican farm workers in Vermont

Steve Zind explores the VFC exhibit, The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers, including excerpts from interviews by Chris Urban, and comments by Chris himself.  Originally aired on 09/23/2008.



Interview: Brent Bjorkman, Director, Vermont Folklife Center

Jane Lindholm talks with VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman about the work of the Vermont Folklife Center.  Originally aired on 11/01/2007.

VFC on VPR Roundup! Updated!

VFC on VPR update!



The Fiddling Tradition
series

Co-produced by VFC’s Andy Kolovos and VPR’s Steve Zind, “The Fiddling Tradition” presentsthe music and perspectives of Vermont musicians Lausanne Allen, Erica and Erik Andrus, Adam Boyce, Oliver Scanlon and Pete Sutherland.



Vermont Food Traditions and the Localvore Movement

Greg Sharrow and UVM anthropologist Amy Trubek explore the connections and disconnections between traditional foodways and the modern localvore movement.  Originally aired on 05/29/2012.



Sap Beer, A Traditional Farm Brew Survives

Steve Zind explores the partnership between the Vermont Folklife Center and the Fiddlehead Brewing Company to produce Frog Run Sap Beer.  Originally aird on 04/25/2012.



Daisy Turner: One Woman’s Amazing Life

Jane Lindholm discusses the life of Daisy Turner with VFC founder, Jane Beck.  Daisy was the daughter of Alec and Sally Turner, former slaves who settled in Grafton, VT.  Originally aired on 02/22/2012.



Exhibit Showcases Drag Queens

Jane Lindholm talks with photographer Evie Lovett, and drag performers Mike Powers (aka Candi) and Mark Hermon May (aka Mama) about the VFC exhibit, Backstage at the Rainbow Cattle Co.: The Drag Queens of Dummerston, Vermont.  Originally aired on 10/26/2011.



VT Artists Preserve Songs With New Recordings

Steve Zind speaks with VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos and musicians Robin MacArthur (of the band Red Heart the Ticker), Tony Barrand and Keith Murphy about new recording projects they’ve undertaken using the Vermont field recordings of Margaret MacArthur that are part of the VFC Archive collection.  Includes tracks from the artists’ CDs, Your Name in Secret I Would Write by Red Heard the Ticker and On the Banks of Coldbrook by Barrand and Murphy. Originally aired on 10/04/2011.



Exhibit Showcases Iconic VT Photos

Steve Zind talks with VFC Director of Education, Greg Sharrow about VFC exhibit, Visions of Place: The Photography of John Miller, Peter Miller, and Richard Brown, including excerpts from interviews Greg recorded with each of the photographers.  Originally aired on 07/21/11.



Fragile Music Recordings Preserved

Steve Zind discusses the VFC’s GRAMMY Foundation funded music preservation project with VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos.  Originally aired on 02/10/11



Thrufters and Throughstones series

A series that featured VFC Archivist, Andy Kolovos discussing selections from the Vermont Music Library’s Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Project, Thrufters and Throughstones. Originally aired 07/20/2010 - 07/24/2010.



The Art Of Action Project series

A series created to run along side the Art of Action Project, featuring interviews conducted by VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman with artists who participated.  Originally aired from 01/04/2010 - 01/08/2010.



Exhibit recalls Nearing’s homestead experience

Steve Zind examines the VFC exhibit of Rebecca Lepkoff’s photographs of the community that formed around Scott and Helen Nearing in Jamaica, Vermont—Almost Utopia: In Search of the Good Life in Mid-Century America.  The piece includes excerpts from interviews condcuted by the VFC, and comments by VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman and Nearing historian, Greg Joly.  Originally aired 08/24/2009.



Exhibit looks at the lives of Mexican farm workers in Vermont

Steve Zind explores the VFC exhibit, The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers, including excerpts from interviews by Chris Urban, and comments by Chris himself.  Originally aired on 09/23/2008.



Interview: Brent Bjorkman, Director, Vermont Folklife Center

Jane Lindholm talks with VFC Executive Director, Brent Bjorkman about the work of the Vermont Folklife Center.  Originally aired on 11/01/2007.

FROG RUN SAP BEER FEST
Join us on Saturday July 7, 2012 from 12:00pm - 6:00pm at the Fiddlehead Brewing Company in Shelburne, VT for Frog Run Beer Fest—a celebration of Frog Run Sap Beer and the traditional fiddle music of Vermont, New England and Quebec! Free music all afternoon and pints of Frog Run Sap Beer—in special pint glasses with frog logo—available for purchase! Come and hear some great sap beer stories! More information: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/sapbeer/ 
Proceeds will benefit programs and archive at the Vermont Folklife Center.
"A pretty good drink for hayin…"—Edgar Dodge
Sponsored by 7 Days, Essex Resort and Spa, Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Awesome Graphics, Newcomb Graphics and Radiator.

FROG RUN SAP BEER FEST

Join us on Saturday July 7, 2012 from 12:00pm - 6:00pm at the Fiddlehead Brewing Company in Shelburne, VT for Frog Run Beer Fest—a celebration of Frog Run Sap Beer and the traditional fiddle music of Vermont, New England and Quebec! Free music all afternoon and pints of Frog Run Sap Beer—in special pint glasses with frog logo—available for purchase! Come and hear some great sap beer stories! More information: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/sapbeer/ 

Proceeds will benefit programs and archive at the Vermont Folklife Center.

"A pretty good drink for hayin…"—Edgar Dodge

Sponsored by 7 Days, Essex Resort and Spa, Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Awesome Graphics, Newcomb Graphics and Radiator.

Sap Beer Stories

Blake Harrison of Middlebury, Vermont shares a more contemporary tale of sap beer:



I made sap beer a few years back in the early 1990s with my friend Jon in Dover, Vermont. We really didn’t know what we were doing, but in a time before the internet we did what anyone would have done—we asked a few older neighbors what they knew, and we somehow managed to string together a recipe. The general recollection was that it was consumed as a refreshment while farmers cut the rowan. We were told to find a sugarmaker who would let us clean out the partially boiled leftovers from their evaporator and to mix in the following ingredients: a handful of checkerberry leaves (a wintergreen-like ground cover that emerges from under the snow in early spring); the inner bark of a yellow birch; some handfuls of raisins (which have a natural yeast on their surface that would get the fermentation going). We added our own brewer’s yeast, too. Fermentation was pretty slow and on and off; it was a bit deceiving really, and in hindsight, we should have let it ferment longer than we did. One year we ended up bottling too soon and we lost a number of bottles to explosions. I had one blow up on me in the sun on the front seat of my car while driving down interstate 90 in New York. The end result was a sweet-champagne-y type drink spiced by the checkerberry leaves and bark. It was drinkable, I suppose, but not a huge success either of the two years we did it. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again. After moving away from Vermont for roughly 15 years, I am back and ready to give it another try.


Have a sap beer story you’d like to share?  Send it to us at info@vermontfolklifecenter.org!

Sap beer stories! Share your stories with us!

Frog Run Sap Beer

Sap Beer Stories!

 

Do you or a relative have a memory of sap beer?  Share it with us! Post your sap beer story to the VFC Facebook page, send an email with “Sap Beer Stories” in the subject line to info@vermontfolklifecenter.org or give us a call at (802) 388-4964!

 

Here’s a sap beer story from Bob Hazleton:

 

Bob Hazelton, born and raised on a farm in Londonderry, VT describes how is grandfather, “Pac” (Walter Merrill Hazelton, 1888-1981), made sap beer.

 

Wow, had to go into the memory archives for this one. Dad never got into the beer-cider-wine-liquor creations—he left that to Pac, who would and could make spirits out of anything and everything. His recipe was just sap and yeast. He seemed to have a knack for that “stuff.” He’d boil the last run down “some”—whatever “some” is—and then add maple syrup to get it just to the right sweetness for his palate. If it was too sweet, it’d come out “ropey” (sorta like a stringy gelatinous substance), and if the sap wasn’t sweet enough, it soured. As for the yeast, I never paid any attention as to what type of yeast or the amount. However, when I would talk to him about it, whether it be sap beer, hard cider, or mash liquor, he always just said “yeast,” so I can only deduce he was referring to just plain bread yeast.  Back then, I’m sure that’s all you could get in ‘Derry.

 

One had to be very patient, trusting, and hopeful, for you’d keg the boiled down sap and added yeast in late March, let it sit undisturbed in the cellar over on the wall opposite the bottom of the stairs and then, three months or so later, tap the keg and judge whether you’re a culinary genius or a complete idiot!

 

The stuff used to last.  Pac told me about the time he stopped the men snowplowing the winter roads (one was Leroy Williams, the other was Roy Mathews). As we lived at the end of the traveled road, the trucks would turn around in the driveway. It was late at night and Pac got their attention by waving the flashlight from the front porch. Knowing Pac, he was a very hospitable man and wanted to give the men “pick-r-upper,” and he offered them both a tall glass of his sap beer. He said he felt pretty smug about it for they couldn’t stand up after drinking it—must have been pretty potent stuff.