Tilted Barn in Exeter, RI is a family-farm-turned-hop-farm-turned-farm-brewery. Sided with weathered wooden shingles and stationed across a dirt driveway from co-owners Kara and Matt Richardson’s house, the simple, titular barn serves as a brewing space and retail taproom for visitors to buy cans and try the soft citrus, liquid of their IPAs and DIPAs.
When I arrive, there's a short line of people waiting in the driveway. Shifting uncomfortably under the sun’s hot rays, we all watch Matt and one other gentleman prep for opening. Cans are loaded onto pallet forks and moved by tractor from an adjoining refrigerated shed to the barn. In between tasks, Matt checks in on his daughter Libby, who is patiently selling green peppers, cucumbers, and squash under the shaded protection of a nearby tree. As noon arrives, Kara emerges from their home and crosses the driveway to help serve their guests, all eager for the sweet relief of a cold one.
Stepping over the barn’s threshold, I’m reminded of all the beer makers that started this way—in a barn or a basement, a garage or a shed—with family and friends pitching in to make it happen. The visit mutes the noise of acquisitions and private equity investments, the online squabbles and diversity issues bubbling up in this exciting, quickly growing industry. Out here at Tilted Barn, Kara and Matt are in the early chapters of their story. I’m just thrilled to see what comes next.