The story of this brewery begins with a common occurrence: college drinking.
It was 2010 and Carlisle Schaeffer and Sam Wagner were new students at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The famous institution of higher education was founded by Matthew Vassar, who made his fortune as a brewer, so it seemed fitting that the new students were bonding over drinking and making craft beer as home-brewers, even if they were underage.
Schaeffer had previously had to hide jugs of fermenting brews from his parents in his closet at home. At Vassar, he ultimately converted his dorm-room kitchen into a lab for new brewing ideas. Wagner had learned the basics of home-brewing from his dad when he was 15 and was eager to expand on that knowledge.
“Pretty quickly into our relationship, we started joking about starting a brewery one day,” Schaeffer recalls. “Eventually, we just took that joke a little too seriously.”
The result is Little House Brewing Co., a charming, destination-worthy brewery that opened last year in Chester, in a building built in the 1800s that would do Matthew Vassar proud.