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Virginia Mote and Rebecca Ward of Pownal, Vt., shop during the grand opening at the Vermont Liquor Store on Thursday morning.

POWNAL, VT >> Enthusiasts of craft beer, wine and spirts, from the Berkshires to Bennington: Take note of a new business on the state line.

Owners of Dwyer's State Line Beer & Wine on Route 7 in Pownal say the store carries a wide variety of those beverages for any occasion. And on Thursday, it became the newest place in the state to buy spirits.

Owner Ron Dwyer said he is working with distributors and customers to bring in a wide variety of products. He plans to hold tasting events, expand the walk-in cooler, and will soon install a beer growler filling station.

Dwyer purchased the building at 7324 Route 7, the former site of Next Door Beer and Wine, and opened up shop in mid-June. He said he wants to attract people from both Vermont and Massachusetts, whether they're year-round residents or students at nearby colleges.

"I've always had a warm spot in my heart for this particular store," said Dwyer, who lives in Clarksburg, Mass. He said he is good friends with the Tornabene family, who operated Next Door Beer and Wine, and thanked them for helping during the transition.

Dwyer and some of his employees, along with officials from the state Department of Liquor Control, celebrated the opening of Vermont's newest state liquor agency with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday morning.

Vermont, like New Hampshire, is a "control state," where the state controls the sale of distilled spirits through government agencies. Thursday marked the first day the store could sell liquor, said Kim walker, DLC's director of retail operations.


Joining Dwyer at the business are his wife Sonja, and sons Olden and Jackson. Before opening the store, he worked for a beverage distribution company and von Trapp Brewing in Stowe.

Longtime customers are greeted by the same front counter when they walk through the door, but it's been moved back about six feet.

"We wanted to keep the sales floor open and give the store a low profile," he said.

New wood laminate flooring replaced the carpet. Other interior changes include some new interior lighting and new wine racks.

Dwyer plans to extend the walk-in cooler another five feet and switch out the door to make it a more visible "beer cave." And next to that will be a station to fill "growlers," the 64-ounce jug of beer.

There are a lot of good beers from small batch breweries, Dwyer said. He's working with distributors to find beers that are a good fit for his store.

"A lot of college kids are craft beer savvy," he said. "So I hope to get some Vermont beers that may not be available in Massachusetts."

For more information, visit Dwyer's State Line Beer & Wine on Facebook or call 802-823-7912. The store is open Mon.-Wed., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.