New England Report 9:2008-07-20 (Burlington, Vermont)

We had planned a slower phase of the trip so the next day was a full day in Burlington and the same hotel as the day before. Burlington is a great city to stay at when you want craft beers from Vermont and you do not even need to leave central Burlington to find a couple of great local breweries and brewpubs.

After some shopping we started the first couple of beers over at "Magic Hat" in south burlington. We managed to get to the brewery tour at 13.00 and started with some samples in their temporary beer tent outside the brewery. Here I got to sample the following beers before the tour started;

68. Magic Hat Lucky Kat
69. Orlio Brewery IPA
70. Notion (sour beer)

The tour started and it turned out to be very popular so it got really crowded when got into the brewery. With the help of a great dude from the brewery we got to see the whole brewery from start to end and got loads of information from our cool guide. Magic Hat is quite big brewery and they are constantily growing.

As a brewery they are fun with a large number of beers each year. Not my favorite brewery but they do decent drinkable beers and sometimes they show that they can do big beers. If have nothing else to choose from it is always a great choice to pick up the Magic Hat #9 or a Lucky Kat.

We learned the story and history of the brewery and it was one of the better beers tours so far, simply quick and loads of information (sometimes these tours can be so long and boring, meaning that a brewery works in the same way, so you have listened about how you do beers many times).

After the tour and Magic Hat we programmed the GPS and went outside the city to Waterbury and the very popular "Alchemist Pub & Brewery". Popular was very easy to see as it was the longest queue ever in the history of beer samples (at least what I have experienced) at the vermont brewers festival.

As we did not have the time and strenght to stand in the queue during the festival we simply figured out that it must be much easier to actually get to the place. It turned out that we were early as they did not open until 15.00 plus that it started to rain. So 4 beer geeks were standing outside in the rain for at least 15 minutes until they let us in, must have looked quite fun as it seems that Waterbury is not a big city to do much more in.

The Alchemist is a pub and brewery and they simply do BIG beers in all type of categories, some might thing they are simply to extreme but that actually do great beers with a extra touch. Most of the beers include different american styled pales, IPAs and IIPAs but they also experiment with styles as Dopplebock and Saison (american style). As we had to wait for the chef to get to work we sampled some beers before "lunch" including;

71. Pappys Porter
72. The Crusher Imperial Pale Ale (cask)
73. Holy Cow (IIPA)

I like this place, both as place to get great food and seconday get the opportunity to drink some amazing IPAs and IIPAs.

I must say that when they finally got the Holy Cow on a free tap it turned out to be one of the best beers of the beer trail and definately the best beer from Vermont. It was a amazing experience and the Holy Cow should be on my beer list, only problem is that you need to get to Vermont, through that it will probably not make it. But its is something to check for next time you get the opportunity.

Bought a cool T-shirt and also managed to meet the brewer over at Cape Ann in Glouchester, MA. This was a really nice guy that had also been to the festival the day before. He did not remember and neither did we, but we actually met him over at his brewery a couple of days earlier (so I have their bus in a picture both in Glouchester and Waterbury, Vermont).

To summarize, if you ever go to norhern Vermont, you simply have to get to the Alchemist and try out these amazing brews, it is worth the trip and it is once in a life time beer experiences.

After a quick trip up to Stowe and Ben'&'Jerry ice-cream factory we turned the car back to Burlington and night out in the city.

Visits during the evening was concentrated on the breweries and places we did not have time to visit after the festival.

"Three Needs Brewery and Taproom":

74. IPA

A fun place were we met both the brewmaster of "3" and a brewmaster from "MOUT Brewery" in North Conway, NH. Moat Mountain is a brewery that I liked to visit but simply did not have the time, at least very nice people and we talked a bit about beers and other stuff about brewing in both US and Sweden.

"American Flatbread" (Zero Gravity)":

75. T.L.A India Pale Ale (American Flatbread Burlington Hearth)
76. Rock Art I.P.A (cask)
77. Trout River Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
78. Orlio Organic IPA (bottle)
79. Magic Hat Chaotic Chemistry (plus 5)
80. Zero Gravity Boognish Brown

American Flatbread is both a restaurant and brewery (Zero Gravity), so that both have their own beers here but also a large amount of other Vermont based breweries. So this was a good place to stay a couple of hours, you did not need to travel all over Vermont to get the beers, instead you could sit in the bar and enjoy everything that beers is about in Vermont. Great place.

Due to the nice bar at American Flatbread it turned out that we did not get further in Burlington and the beer storage was full for us. What can you do, it must simply end and it was time to get home to our hotel again.

The area arround Burlington was great and the day included loads of great beers where the 2 winners went to the Holy Cow from the Alchemist and the Chaotic Chemistry from Magic Hat.

What more can you wish for.

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