The Bar Towel is happy to bring back a classic feature, “On The Road” reports, detailing (non-comprehensive) beer experiences from destinations outside of Ontario. In this article: a recent excursion to central Vermont, including Burlington, Waterbury and Montpelier.
View from the top of the Stowe ski area.
It was quite amazing that through all my travels I had not yet made it to Vermont. It’s only a state and a province away, shares a border with Canada yet it seems far away. But luckily, at the end of December 2012 and early January 2013 I was finally able to make my first trip to the Green Mountain State. And I am sure happy I did.
Vermont is truly is a unique place, a state that feels unlike anywhere else in the U.S. It’s as if the wide-spread commercialism that has permeated our culture hasn’t arrived there yet. It’s friendly, quaint, pretty, honest, and remarkable in how much good beer is there considering the state’s small population size (ranked 49th out of 50).
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When I moved to BC in 2010, I intended to report on this vibrant brewing scene and post all of the interesting new beer releases. It quickly became apparent that there were far too many, so I started putting them together in monthly updates. It has been a few months since I’ve posted (new baby in the house), but I assure you that this scene is not slowing down.
The Canadian Brewing Awards were held earlier this year, and the BC craft brewers took home an astounding 40% of the awards. Their proportion has gradually increased every year that I’ve been here. Moreover, as Joe Wiebe reports in Urban Diner, the number of craft brewers has steadily increased as well. There were about 40 craft breweries when I moved here, and by the end of 2013 we’ll have close to 60. That’s about a 50% increase!
One the new breweries to watch is Parallel 49. Their head brewer, Graham With, has been experimenting with homebrews for years. Now he’s churning out some interesting stuff. Their regular lineup includes the excellent Hopparazzi India Pale Lager, while recent seasonals have included the sessionable Ugly Sweater Milk Stout and a divine Salted Caramel Scotch Ale.
In addition to all of the new breweries popping up, others continue to expand. The most notable is probably the Central City Brewing Company. They’re finally moving equipment into their new brewery, which will provide much more volume, and hopefully some more diversity as well.
Happy New Year!