Eight Vermont Craft Breweries, One Day.
What was supposed to be a quick run to Burlington for a case of beer, turned into a marathon day of beer drinking and brewery hopping.
The whole reason for our Burlington trip was to grab a case of the coveted Mastermind, an 8.1% Double IPA. Customers line up out the door to grab their allotment before the brewery even opens, but by the time we arrived, two hours after doors opened, the line was gone and we were in and out in just a couple of minutes. But not before sampling their Fiddlehead IPA and grabbing myself a Fiddlehead tank top.
Grab a slice right next door at Felino’s pizza – you won’t be disappointed.
Magic Hat Brewing
To say that Magic Hat is weird would be a major understatement. But weird in a good way. We did the self-guided tour and sampled 10 of their beers, with their famous #9 and their Hi-PA being our favorites.
Even though many don’t consider Magic Hat to be craft beer anymore, I still recommend a stop here. The place is wild, and it was quick, fun stop to check off the beer bucket list.
Next up, Switchback. Huge contrast to Magic Hat. We’d already tried their more “standard” beers, so we grabbed a mix of lighter and darker beers that we hadn’t yet tried. I was pleasantly surprised by Connector, a 6.4% American IPA, and by their 4.3% Extra Pale Ale.
Zero Gravity was one of my favorite stops of the day. We sampled 9 of their offerings, with Green State Lager (strange, since I’m not typically a fan of lagers) and Choice Make Good double IPA being our favorites. Honestly, there wasn’t a single one of their offerings that I didn’t enjoy.
Everything about this place was great – friendly staff, unique decor and artwork, great outdoor seating area, and even the interior design.
Queen City Brewery
Our next stop was Queen City Brewery, where they were celebrating their 2nd anniversary with beer specials and free hamburgers and hotdogs. If you enjoy European style beers, this is your place. You’ll find English bitters, Scotch Ales, Hefeweizen, and other traditional-styles beers on tap for pints, samples, and growler fills.
This was the biggest surprise and my favorite spot of our trip. We grabbed a couple small pours – Terraform, a 6.5% IPA and Built to Spill, an 8.0% Double IPA. Both were fantastic, and I went back for another pour of the Built to Spill, which was super juicy and tropical.
If we hadn’t been on our sixth brewery visit of the day, I would have remembered to grab a bottle of Orange Dot from House of Fermentology while we were there. Kicking myself in the ass for that one…
Thanks to Untappd, we ran into Luis (find him on Untappd @ LuisinQC) and Jakki who just happened to be at Foam at the same time we were. We’ve been following each other on Untappd for a while, but never actually met until this weekend 🙂
Burlington Beer Company
After 6 breweries, I definitely had a good glow on… Yeah, let’s just call it a good glow. Bobby convinced me to make “just one more” quick stop at Burlington Beer Co. Okay. We’re already up here, so we might as well stop by and get the stamp for our passport.
I’m a huge BBC fan and you can almost always find a few cans of their Light In the Window in our fridge. Today however, we went for a few we hadn’t tried:
Chunky – 12% American peanut butter porter
Chunky & Jelly – 10% peanut butter porter w/raspberries and cherries <– so, SO good.
Amber Ridge – 12% Imperial Brown Ale
Echo Champer – 10% Cherry porter
Seven breweries and countless samples later, we were on our way to our final brewery of the day. I had forgotten that I was planning to blog about my trip, and quite possibly that I even had a camera on my phone at this point, hence the lack of photos for BBC or Goodwater Brewery.
We’ll be back, Burlington. Cheers!
Related: Vermont Brewery Challenge. Day One.