Friday, January 24, 2014

Vermont Brewery Tour


Our last day in Vermont turned into an adventure when we realized they're home to almost 30 different breweries. Our first stop was the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington.
The Magic Hat Brewery has been brewing excellence since 1994. Today, the South Burlington based brewery is cranking out 400 bottles of beer every minute and the brewing process is non-stop. It's quirky theme shines through the entire brewery. We went on a self-guided tour and sampled some brews only available in Vermont. It was definitely the most entertaining stop of the tour.
Next we headed to Fiddlehead Brewery in Shelburne. This new operation was opened by one of the former head brewers at Magic Hat, Matt Cohen. Their mission is to produce full flavored beers with beer lovers in mind. They focus on depth of flavor, freshness of ingredients, and incorporating local products whenever possible. Head brewer Matt creates a single batch of a different beer every month as a special that is only served at the brewery. This is a great way to get people into their operation, tasting, and taking beer home with them. We also received our 'Vermont Brewery Tour Passports' at Fiddlehead, which we got stamped at each brewery so we can eventually send in for some free stuff! And yes, we even went back to Magic Hat and got it stamped, haha!

After Fiddlehead we shot back over to Burlington and tried out Switchback Brewery. The Switchback Brewing Company was founded in 2002, serving its very first pint of beer in October. With tremendous sales growth in Vermont, Switchback also released its beer in the Albany, New York area in 2006 and part of New Hampshire in late 2007. In 2011 Switchback was able to begin distribution to Lake Placid, NY and southern Maine. We were in love with the porter we sampled there. They're hoping to continue to expand and maybe one day expand into Western Mass.

The Vermont Pub & Brewery, also in Burlington, was opened in 1988 after lobbying the state legislature for three years to allow pub brewing in Vermont for the first time since Prohibition. We ordered a sample platter here with six different brews. We really enjoyed the Bacchus Brau, Dogbite Bitter, and Mocha Java. As you can tell by their names, these aren't your typical brews. They're quite unique and extremely delicious. We highly recommend them.
Pretty much on the same street as The Vermont Pub & Brewery is Zero Gravity Craft Brewery. A very small brewery with some delicious ales and IPAs. We split the Winter Gruit and Conehead which were both tasty. They even make their own root beer which was literally the best root beer I think I've ever had.


Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville was our second to last stop. There was a very laid back vibe in this brewery. One big open room featured almost everything they have to offer; growler refills, kegs, bottles, Rock Art swag, Vermont foods, and handcrafted wood items. You can head upstairs to their viewing room that overlooks their entire operation. Very cool place to check out.

Last but not least, we headed to Crop Bistro & Brewery in Stowe for our last sampler platter. We picked six brews off the menu, all were great. This past year at Crop, their head brewmaster has been working hard at concocting a number of straw and golden Lagers, big malty Double Bocks, Amber Ales, IPA’s and Double IPA’s, Brown ales and Stouts, Belgian-influenced ales, and his famous New England specialty, classic Bavarian weizens. And just this September, they have begun bottling select brews in 22 ounce bottles, including their Helles Lager, Crop Weizen, and Idletyme IPA.


To remember our tour, we decided to pick up a piece of merch (mostly free stickers and coasters) at each place to bring home. Check out what we got!


I hope the details of our day are making you want to devour your own Vermont Brewery Tour on your next trip!

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