Welcome to the first ever blog on BAOS! About damn time, eh? For those who haven’t been following, we’ve been blogging for a while over at Brew Studs but we figured it was only right we hit y’all with some exclusive content right here in our own web world.
Earlier this year, we did a podcast trip down to Vermont to chat to some amazing breweries and establishments, but over our multiple VT trips, we’ve really discovered a few gems that we just need to share with y’all. Here are 7 of our fave beer-focused spots in Vermont. Get it in ya!
1. Farmhouse Tap & Grill
Vermont is all about farm-to-table and craft beer, and nowhere is this more exemplified than downtown Burlington’s Farmhouse Tap & Grill. The location is perfect (on Bank St. right by Church), the beer selection is next level (mostly local but there are always out-of-town gems), the fresh local food is phenomenal (try the cornbread, seriously) and reasonably priced, it’s warm and cosy in the winter and when it’s not frigid out, you can enjoy their two large patios.
2. The Alchemist
No trip to Vermont is complete without a visit to their most famous export, The Alchemist. They recently-ish opened a huge production brewery in Stowe, not far from their other Waterbury location, and it’s gorgeous. The brewery is a looming structure situated just outside the mountains (the drive down from Montreal is worth it alone) with trees and farmland surrounding it, and what awaits inside is a beer drinker’s delight. We’ve never had issues getting Heady direct from the source, but their other beers like Skadoosh, Lightweight, Focal Banger or Crusher are all equally worth the trip.
3. Fiddlehead Brewing Co
Fiddlehead was a bit of a random gem for us. Tiffany and I were visiting back in September 2016, and we were at the Sherburne Vineyard, not far from Burlington. We told them we were visiting a ton of breweries and they said “Have you gone to Fiddlehead just across the street?” We hadn’t even heard of it, so we popped across, sampled a few beers and grabbed some cans to go. We interviewed the owner Matt and he was such a great guy that even though we already loved his beers, we now loved his company even more. Definitely one not to miss, but their beers are on over 400 taps around town so you really can’t miss it.
4. Hostel Tevere
Hostel Tevere was another random gem we discovered on our podcast trip in February 2017. I connected with the owner Giles Smith on Instagram and he invited us down. He said it was a ski hostel so we really weren’t sure what to expect, but what we found was this incredibly inviting bar, super small and cosy and filled with jovial skiers relaxing after a day on the slopes, but most importantly, the beer list and the food are phenomenal. The draught was a who’s-who of Vermont beer, while the can list was equally impressive. And the food - good lord, Giles’ wife Sarah made us the legit best burgers we’ve ever had in our lives. Cannot wait to go back just for them. And if you’re from out of town, bring Giles some of your fave beers from your city and he’ll very likely return the favour. Hey, it’s how they do down there in VT.
5. Foam Brewers
From the first time we went to Vermont, we always heard about Foam but just never found the time to get down and check it out. So finally, over the summer (of 2017 for those reading in the future), I went to check it out and goddamn, it’s amazing. Their beautiful patio with sick fairy lights overlooks Lake Champlain, while their beers are legit some of the best hazy IPAs I’ve had thus far. They often have a food truck in the parking lot (not sure if that goes down in the winter) to keep you fed while you drink, and the vibe is kinda like a house party with really, really good beer. It’s so good that we made an excuse to get back maybe 2 weeks after we went for the first time. Do yourself a favour, mate. You’re welcome.
6. Idletyme Brewing
Let’s travel back to the ski town Stowe, which has more than just The Alchemist, people. Our first ever American podcast was with Head Brewer Will Gilson of Idletyme, a wicked brewpub and restaurant who essentially cater almost exclusively to the folks getting off the mountains. Their beers are extremely approachable and well made, with a super wide variety of styles available and legit all of them are bomb. Idletyme is the perfect VT opener; it’ll warm you up for the heavier beers from The Alchemist and keep you fed so you don’t overdo it.
7. Beverage Warehouse
What’s a visit to Vermont without leaving with some of the State’s finest beers? Aside from purchasing directly from the breweries themselves, you’re going to need to make your way over to Winooski, just one freeway exit from Burlington, and mosey on into Beverage Warehouse. Beer & Wine Manager Jason Dennis does an exceptional job with his selection, not only from Vermont (which, of course, is hella thorough) but from across the USA, and surprisingly, Quebec. Jason is a little obsessed with QC beer, and for good reason, so it’s a great bonus for folks wanting something a little different but are too scared of French to cross the border. Tell Jason we sent ya.