Guide to Vermont's Microbreweries
One of Vermont’s most important industries is the sale of artisan foods, novelty
items and fancy foods. Among these is microbreweries—in fact, the state ranks
first in all the U.S. for craft breweries per capita.
A microbrewery is a modern brewery that produces only a limited quantity of
beer. A brewery can only produce a maximum level of beer, as defined by the
local authorities, whether that is the state or the county. It is usually produces
about 15,000 barrels or 475,000 gallons a year.
Some of the best quality breweries can be found in the Green Mountain State:
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
This microbrewery brews four year-round beers as well as four seasonal
creations. Some of the more popular brews include summer’s Hocus Pocus,
Jinx, Roxy Rolles, I.P.A. and Lucky Kat. The company is known for putting
short text phrases on the underside of their beer bottle caps.
Long Trail Brewing Co.
In Bridgewater, this brewery features a visitor center that has an open-air deck
overseeing the beautiful Ottaquechee River. This company makes a variety of
brews, mostly producing English top-fermented ales. They are also known for
their Long Trail Ale. Local residents surely appreciate this quality of good
beer—after all, 40% of the brewery’s product is consumed in Vermont.
Trout River Brewing Co.
In the northeastern region of Vermont stands the Trout River Brewing
Company, one of the premier breweries in the state, thanks to its thoroughly
original, all natural ales and lagers. What makes the beer taste so good? Part
of it must be that the company only uses pure Vermont water, along with the
best of imported malts, hops and yeasts. This all-natural approach to brewing
creates a much tastier product.
The Harpoon Brewery in Windsor was actually the first company to get a
permit to manufacture and sell alcohol in the area of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts in about 25 years. The company is influential in returning the
microbrewery model back to prominence in America. Since then the company
has continued to produce fine quality brews, including its famous Harpoon
India Pale Ale as well as the Harpoon Ale, Munich Dark and UFO Hefeweizen.
If you can plan ahead, plan to visit for their three big seasonal festivals to
celebrate summer, October-fest and St. Patrick’s Day.
The Vermont Pub & Brewery
The VPB is one of the oldest microbreweries on the entire East Coast. It has
been ranked as one of “America’s 25 best craft breweries.” At this pub guests
are invited to try a number of beers and ales, including popular selections like
Handsome Mick’s Irish Stout, Dogbite Bitter, and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale.
Rock Art Brewery
The Rock Art Brewery is a relatively new brewery currently located in
Morisville. The company name comes from the idea of ancient petroglyphs, or
images etched in rock. The image of legendary flute player Kokopelli is found
on the company symbol. Meanwhile guests can also enjoy bottles, growlers
and firkins of cask ale.
Other Vermont Breweries That Deserve Another Round
Besides the most famous breweries in the area, check out some of the other
breweries in Vermont, each with their own unique selection of original brews:
the Shed Restaurant & Brewery in Stowe; the Alchemist Pub & Brewery in
Waterbury and the Green Mountain Cidery in Middlebury.
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