LUDLOW, Vt. – People don’t frequent an establishment without cause. A person might try a bar for its ambience, its people, its drinks, food, or location – but it’s a place’s personality that makes a regular. While Eight Oh Brew boasts each one of these reasons and more to come visit, it’s the bar’s personality that’s sure to keep people coming back again and again.
Tucked into the base of the Mill at 145 Main Street, Ludlow, Eight Oh Brew will sport an impressive 30 taps, many of which will be rotating, all of which will be pouring Vermont beers. “Vermont beer, all of it,” said Jake Baraw, one of the owners of the bar. “Alchemist, Zero Gravity, Outer Limits, Switchback. Some of the smaller breweries too – Foley Brothers, Hermit Thrush.” And to Jake Baraw and Alex Del Tufo, who, along with Lisa and Dave Del Tufo, own and operate Eight Oh Brew, the focus really does seem to be Vermont. Together, they’ve knocked out a wall to expose the original stonework of the building, hung a lift-chair from Stratton from the ceiling, and created a warm and inviting environment.
The owners are also aware that their bar will be located where Christopher’s, once a local watering hole, used to reside. According to Baraw, Eight Oh Brew aims to fill that niche for both locals and visitors. They will serve some food to compliment the beer, wine, and cocktails, but as Baraw says, it’s a bar, not a restaurant, “a place to go and hang out, shoot some pool, that sort of thing.”
The story behind Eight Oh Brew is just as compelling as its premises. Apparently, the pieces for its establishment have been ready to fall into place for years. Jake Baraw bought the name ‘Eight Oh Brew’ back in high school about ten years ago, and he and Alex Del Tufo have been carrying the vision of the company for years, ever since living in the Winooski region, when it was merely a reviewing account, and even before that, when they met in college.
“It’s really cool to see this come full circle,” said Alex Del Tufo. “Running ‘Eight Oh Brew’ originally, we would go on Fridays and test out all the different breweries. We would visit, post about them, and then hop on a bike and ride home.”
Alex, Lisa, and Dave Del Tufo, while hailing from Westchester, N.Y., have had a house in Weston, Vt. for years, and have since relocated to Ludlow. Baraw is from Stowe, and remembers when the mountain was purchased by Vail and how many local hubs became flooded with tourists. “It’s important for us to keep the local crowd,” Baraw said. And between the gleaming bartop, the wealth of beer options, and the cozy, but refined atmosphere, all patrons are sure to find a reason to stay. For the community’s part, people seem eager for it to open. In fact, midway through the interview, someone came in asking if Eight Oh Brew was ready for business, to which the owners responded that they were opening late-February, early-March.
The owners of the bar plan on featuring local mountain conditions and sports schedules next to their draft list, and soon-to-come theme nights and live entertainment. Eight Oh Brew is sure to become a destination, not only for those visiting Okemo, but for any Vermonter who walks by, an irresistible draw due to its charm, vivacity, and personality.