Bob Russell recalls the “a-ha moment” when he and business partner Matt Johnston began Collective Arts Brewing.

The two were in Toronto, where the business began three years ago, and visited a bar to talk with employees about their concept of a brewery that worked to promote artists and musicians. Most of the bartenders were artists and musicians, and they loved the idea. That helped Russell and Johnston realize just how interconnected arts and beer can be.

Now based in Hamilton, Ontario, Collective Arts Brewing launched its beer in Vermont last month with a series of events, starting with one Nov. 12 in Stowe that Russell said drew 325 visitors. Russell and a couple of employees work in the former Tubbs Mill building in Stowe Village, where they seek work from artists and design the brewery’s beer cans and beer mats that incorporate the art. Collective Arts also promotes music through a Blippar app that lets consumers use the cans to access musicians’ videos, websites and songs on iTunes.

“We’re basically trying to create another avenue where emerging artists and musicians can get recognized,” Russell said at a Collective Arts’ Vermont launch event Nov. 18 at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington. “In every market, engaging the creative community is almost Job One for us.”…

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Collective Arts Brewing