Farm Road Brewing (copy)

Seth Barrows stands behind the bar of Farm Road Brewing at 400 Main Street in Bennington in this file photo. Farm Road is among downtown establishments hosting a pub crawl Friday morning with WEQX-FM. 

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BENNINGTON — St. Patrick’s Day is a good excuse for a party. And the folks at WEQX-FM in Manchester do enjoy a good celebration.

Put that together with the growth of downtown Bennington’s brewing and distilling businesses — all a stone’s throw from the Four Corners — and you’ve got the ingredients of an early morning “kegs and eggs” pub crawl with food and drinks in honor of the holiday, and live on location broadcasts.

The fun starts at 8 a.m. at Harvest Brewing, 201 South St., and proceeds to Village Garage Distilling at 107 Depot Street at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., the party moves to Farm Road Brewing at 400 Main St. (on the four corners), and then to Madison Brewing Co. at 428 Main St at 11. On-air personalities Jeff Morad and Doug Daniels will alternate live broadcasting duties from the four locations for the Manchester-based alternative rock station.

“It’s an event we’ve done many times in the past,” Morad, the station’s affable program director, said. “It’s always been in one location in Bennington. But with all the excitement downtown Bennington is seeing as far as fantastic businesses, restaurants and bars, we decided to reach out to a few of them, and grabbed the four we have for a quick Friday morning St. Patrick celebration.”

It’s not a pub crawl in the traditional sense, Daniels said — patrons can stay at any of the four establishments or follow the on-air schedule as they wish. But staging the event in one-hour blocks was the best way to highlight all four businesses, he said.

“In just the past few years, pandemic be damned, downtown is really starting to come together,” said Daniels, who lives in Bennington. The four restaurants hosting the event are just a few of the businesses that are creating a buzz, and others have sprung up as that momentum builds, he added.

“It’s really starting to happen,” he said.

Given that EQX is a locally owned business — an anomaly in an industry where corporate consolidation has been the norm — Morad appreciates working with area entrepreneurs. He was touched that three of the four business owners involved came to Manchester to do in-person voiceovers for the 30-second spot advertising the event.

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“I love how well the owners get along and how they support each other and want to see everybody do well,” he said. “If only one is doing well, that doesn’t bode well. When everyone does well that speaks volumes about the community and the ownership.”

“I had a conversation with Seth [Barrows, the owner of Farm Road Brewing] last weekend ... about how there’s this collaborative effort among all of them,” Daniels added. “It’s not a competition — they all want to see each other succeed.”

As for the 8 a.m. timing?

“We understand people have jobs,” Morad said. “What I think is cool for people on their way to work as they start to get their pans for the evening, they’ll get to hear about these great spots and what they have going on.”

That goes for locals as well as listeners in the station’s listening area – which, thanks to its tower atop Mount Equinox, extends north towards Killington, east to New Hampshire, south to the Berkshires and west to New York’s Capital Region, Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls.

“We’re putting in people’s minds ‘let’s stop in downtown Bennington — whether going to Magic or Killington or wherever — we’re putting in people’s heads that this is where you want to stop, for sure.”

Not to be outdone, the Shires Young Professionals are also planning a downtown Bennington pub crawl, which will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, starting at the Dutchman’s Tavern at 135 Depot St., and meandering to locations throughout downtown Bennington. Anyone 21 and older is welcome to come along, as long as they’re wearing green. Coggins Auto, which is sponsoring the event, will be making sure participants stay safe by offering free rides from 6-9 p.m.

In Manchester, the town’s annual Irish flag raising and declaration reading is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the town offices, followed by an informal parade down Main Street. If past is prologue, St. Patrick himself will be in attendance, resembling former Select Board Vice Chair Wayne Bell.

Greg Sukiennik covers government and politics for Vermont News & Media. Reach him at

Greg Sukiennik has worked at all three Vermont News & Media newspapers and was their managing editor from 2017-19. He previously worked for, for the AP in Boston, and at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.


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