Vermont

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

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Ceecee
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Re: Vermont

Postby Ceecee » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:45 am

The Alchemist is opening a visitor centre and brewery in Stowe this summer, tentatively set for early July. They will be selling Heady, Focal Banger and seasonals.

http://alchemistbeer.com/blog/
rejtable
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Re: Vermont

Postby rejtable » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:09 pm

I'm there Canada weekend, hoping it'll open early but it'll be a shitshow if so. Likeliest opening is a softer weekday opening after July 4 I assume.

If anyone's going this weekend, getting Heady in stores will be a bit harder until the brewery opens. Store delivery being cut starting soon in anticipation of the brewery opening.
Ceecee
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Re: Vermont

Postby Ceecee » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:52 pm

I'm going to Smugglers' Notch in early August. I'm taking a few hours one day for Stowe and Waterbury and am now really looking forward to the Alchemist. Hopefully they will be firing on all cylinders by then.
Ceecee
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Re: Vermont

Postby Ceecee » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:48 pm

Alchemist is open today for a soft launch and open for regular business starting tomorrow.
rejtable
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Re: Vermont

Postby rejtable » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:23 pm

Just got back from another awesome weekend in Vermont.

Mule Bar: again a great spot. Lots of interesting taps, 3-4 HF, Heady cans for $5. Nice small plates, good crowd, beautiful patio out front.

Winooski Bev: just breezed through this time, picked up some Frost and Foley Brothers.

Alchemist: Was there on first full day of opening (Friday). Big lineups and only one cash going, but it went pretty smooth. 3 samples available, and mixed 24 of cans, 2x Heady, Focal Banger and Crusher. Merch. New space is really nice, industrial and new.

Hill Farmstead: Soooo much better than my first visit a few years ago. Draft room with on-site glasses and growler fills. Day I was there they had roughly 10 taps for growlers, and aother 8-10 for on-site. Not many on-site bottles. Went smooth, grabbed a number for growlers, got my on-site glasses and waited maybe 15 mins. Ate lunch from one of the two food trucks on site. If I just wanted to get in and out with growlers, I could have been out of there in 20 mins, tops. Hung around an hour and a half. The retail side was pretty quiet, some merch but bottles were pretty limited, only three I think.

Hen of the Wood: Incredible spot. If you can hang out on the back deck next to the waterfall, it's magical. Awesome food, so well prepared. Heady on tap!!

Prohibition Pig: My first time, and it was a treat. Tons of great taps, including maybe 10 of their own. 3-4 Hill Farmstead, great range of bourbon and whiskey. Food looked great as well.

Fiddlehead: Letdown. Just two taps for growler fills only. The pizza place next door was jam packed, and you can only drink out of the growler you buy from Fiddlehead. Unless they were sure to have something special on, not worth the drive out.

Zero Gravity (Pine St.): Super cool spot, and you could make a great afternoon out of it hitting up Queen City across the street, and I think Switchback is just around the corner? Check out the World's Tallest Filing Cabinet while you are in the hood! 6-8 of their taps on, lots of to-go cans and some limited edition bottles. Cool merch. Simple food, huge patio. Fun spot.

Foam: Just north of the Echo acquarium, don't be fooled into paying for parking at the acquarium, foam has a huge parking lot if you are driving. Really cool industrial funky spot. 6 of their beer on tap and a coupld of guest taps from House of Fermentation. Super solid beers, man Vermonters are so spoiled! Snacky food to be had, cheese and meat and whatnot. Great addition to downtown Burlington.

Farmhouse: Enough has been said about this place, not much to add. Great food again, great atmosphere, great beer. The back beer garden is so comfortable. World Class spot.

Juniper (Hotel Vermont): the bar at the hotel is very cool. Quite the young crowd though. Maybe 15 taps, good range from Imp stouts to some Frost and Foley IPAs. I think they usually have at least one HF on, nothing while I was there. Nice change from the more pub feel of some of the others spots around, definitely more Abercrombie.

Another great weekend, aided tremendously by the unexpected opening of the Alchemist. It seems nearly impossible to have a bad meal or bad beer in Vermont. FYI, I walked easy from Best Western in Waterbury to Hen of the Wood and then to ProPig. Nice walk. Be a bit daunting in the winter though, I guess, or on an ugly night.
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DeMarco
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Re: Vermont

Postby DeMarco » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:16 pm

Great review!

I agree about everything except foam. I had one of the worst beers of my trip there, which was some farmhouse saison. Tasted like wit that was made in Ontario. I feel like i need to revisit them because I keep hearing glowing reviews.

The chicharron at pro pig was the best i've had. Top that with their bbq sauces, fantastic.

Wish I was there again!
rejtable
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Re: Vermont

Postby rejtable » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:43 pm

I had one of the IPAs and IIPAs, both were really, really good. I had the House of Fermentation Pink Dot as well, also really good. As with everything in life, YMMV. It's too bad your experience wasn't good though. For sure in my case I wouldn't hesitate to head back a second time.

I also forgot to mention... the new Growler Garage space just behind the mall downtown, next to the waterfront. Pretty neat spot. I didn't actually have any beer here, but I passed through to check it out. Maybe 20-30 taps seemed to be decent range. No whales, but lots of tasty taps. Growlers to go and glasses for on site. Space was pretty cool. Cornhole toss outside, big couches, sports on TV and shuffleboard inside. I originally intended to get back there later in the night, but forgot about it and opted for Juniper instead.
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Cass
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Re: Vermont

Postby Cass » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:15 pm

rejtable wrote:Just got back from another awesome weekend in Vermont.


Thanks for the updates! I had heard that the new Alchemist was open for business. Gotta head down there again soon!
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jp_jkl
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Re: Vermont

Postby jp_jkl » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:59 am

I just got back from a quick trip to Vermont. My infant daughter was along for this trip, so I only got to a couple grocery grocery stores, Hill Farmstead and the Alchemist.

The new Alchemist location is beautiful. They're opening the parking lot at 10am and doors open at 11am. They're quite adamant that you don't park on the street, use the neighbour's driveways to turn around or show up before 10am. We arrived at 11:10am on a Wednesday and were out the door with 2 mixed cases of Heady Topper, Focal Banger and Crusher in 40 mins. Lots of shirts and beer koozies available but no glassware. VT Brewfest the weekend before probably cleared them out of glassware. Everyone in line was really friendly and the free samples when you're inside are much appreciated. I think they're still selling out regularly, so show up before noon.

A couple other FIYs...

Despite the Alchemist distributing less Heady Topper to retail locations, it was easy to find in stores provided you arrived the day they get their shipment. I saw it all over the place hours after it had been put on the shelves. One or two four packs is the standard limit.

Focal Banger isn't distributed to bars and restaurants anymore. Only available at the Stowe brewery.

Hill Farmstead is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. It reminded me of hanging out at Scribe Winery in Sonoma, California. If your GPS tells you to go down a horrible, nasty looking gravel road, that's not the right road to take. I had a wonderful encounter with Shaun Hill's brother, Darren, who was nearby after almost attempting to take that road. Incredibly nice guy!
sprague11
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Re: Vermont

Postby sprague11 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:44 am

I've done that horrible gravel road in my old Honda Fit thanks to my old GPS. Best/Worst part was when we finally came out on 16 there was a farmer who was waiting to see if I'd come out onto the highway with or without my car.

Oh, sent a message also.
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
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jeremyg
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Re: Vermont

Postby jeremyg » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:29 pm

Just got back

The alchemist brew shop is insane. Beautiful place. Super well organized. Got a bunch of Focal and Crusher. Great time.

Foam rules. So hard. Everything I tried (and i tried everything) was exceptional. Can't recommend enough.

Hill Farmstead was a bit of a letdown. Only 3 bottles in the shop and the brew pub was only letting you have 2 drinks. We did buy a "guest" bottle of SARA and a 2014 bottle of port BA Ronan that was absolutely ridiculous. Whoa is me.

Hit up Prohibition Pig and Blackback and definitely liked Blackback way more. If you do go to Pro Pig i recommend sitting at the brewery as opposed to the restaraunt. Better beer selection.
sprague11
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Re: Vermont

Postby sprague11 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:42 pm

Stopped at Frost a couple times on my most recent trip. Love that spot. Their stuff should only get better.

Couple spots to add to the list:

Worthy Burger in South Royalton has a killer taplist, especially for being in a town as tiny as Royalton. Both Hill and Lawson had taps when I stopped over during a monster thunderstorm that forced me off the highway for a bit.

River Roost in White River Junction is another brewery that should be a player within a few months. As an aside there are at least 2 more brewers coming on board by years end in central Vermont alone. I know beer tourism drives things as well as the localvore attitude of the state but you gotta wonder how many breweries the state (and people like us) can support. I can't remember the last time I even looked at a Long Trail, Harpoon, etc.

On the non-beer side I camped in Elmore State Park outside Morristown (some beautiful sites, beer-friendly campground, a nice little beach and a challenging hiking trail for 20 bucks per night). Also grabbed cheap breakfast at Debs Place in town before the requisite drives to Hill and Alchemist (the lineups were enough for me to not bother this time around).
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
sprague11
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Re: Vermont

Postby sprague11 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:55 pm

Not quite Vermont but I also hit Deciduous in New Hampshire on this trip as well. Some neat things being brewed there, including some of the better Berliner's I've had from the US.
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
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spinrsx
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Re: Vermont

Postby spinrsx » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:52 pm

What are some good grocery stores in stowe/waterbury to find frost/foley bros etc? Other than craft beer cellar..
Last edited by spinrsx on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
rejtable
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Re: Vermont

Postby rejtable » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:35 am

Stowe Beverage.

Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier is also a big beer stop. Think Whole Foods.

There's also a grocery store in Richmond, about half way between Burlington and Waterbury. I picked up SOS there last time.

And of course craploads of spots in Burlington. Winooski Bev, Healthy Market, whatever that fake whole foods is downtown, etc.

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