2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vermont - Part 3 - Day 3

WOW, Nelly... The final Vermont Day 3 post is done? WOWSER...

Lets have a quick recap. Day 1: Amber and I went to Vermont. We ventured to Waterbury Vermont. The Alchemist brewery rocked the house. Day 2: We visited the Ben and Jerry's factory and then traveled to Burlington to visit Magic Hat, American Flatbread, Vermont Pub and Brewery, and Three Needs. We then ventured to Steve's neck of the woods and capped off the evening with our 3rd pizza at Trout River Brewery. Recap over.

After getting a slow start in the morning, I wonder why, Amber and I removed the top from the jeep and set our wagons south. Our adventure started from St. Johnsbury Vermont. It's near the border of New Hampshire, but also not to far from Canada.

So, we set our GPS on going south, pretty much following the NH/VT border on rt 91. It was pretty cool. Very hilly and very pretty. It felt like we were in the alps, so I sang all of the songs from the Sound of Music. NOT!!

Our goal for the day was to reach Long Trail Brewery and then attend the Harpoon BBQ festival in Windsor.

On the way to Long trail, we saw a big shopping area that was hosting an outdoor flea market. We decided to make a pit stop. This place was pretty cool, there was a Cabot outlet, Winery, Toy Museum and other cool shops (There was a company where you could watch them make glass). I am not sure the name of the town, but it was within a mile from Quechee gorge. (The gorge is wicked f'n cool.)

After filling up on Wine and cheese, we ventured to Long Trail Brewery.

It was around noon and the parking lot was nearly full. We ventured into the brewpub and received a warm welcome from the hostess/merchandise expert. She informed us that they do have something available at the pub that they do not distribute. This perked my attention. It was their double IPA that they made just for the Vermont Brewers Festival, that took place the previous weekend. This was music to our ear.

They don't have a formal tour, but they allow their visitors to take a self guided tour. So, we checked it out and took a peak of the brewery. The self tour is a cool idea. Next time, it would have been neat to see it in production.

We sat down at the bar. (This is a great looking pub. They offer indoor and outdoor eating, along with a long U shaped Bar and plenty of seating area. Most of the patrons were outside, so the bar area was pretty quiet. We learned from the bartender that the pub is only opened from 12-6 (daily). They aren't open at night time, to avoid disrupting business at the other restaurants/bars in the area. Interesting idea, but makes it difficult for outsiders to come and visit. Maybe this will change in the future, who knows.

We enjoyed our pint from the tap (Amber - Hit The Trail Ale
and Sean - Double IPA) and then hit the merchandise area on the way out. (Yes, I had to purchase a 6 pack of this tasty Double IPA.. but it was $15 for a 6 pack. A little steep, but worth it..)


Our Second stop was the Harpoon BBQ Festival

We have spent many hours at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, but never Windsor, Vermont. We were excited. Beer and BBQ. WOOOO HOOOO.

It didn't take us too long to get from Long Trail to Harpoon. We arrived at the brewery and parked in a field. It was the second day of the competition and there were many people there. After entering, we scoped out many of the BBQ competitors booths to see what they were selling.

We decided to grab a brew under the beer tent and then find something to eat. When purchasing our tickets, we saw Schyler and chatted it up for a second. He recommended some of the booths to check out and informed us where Jamie's (Harpoon Brewer) team was setup. It was quite hot, so we ordered a Harpoon IPA and UFO Raspberry.

It was pretty cool going on the second day of competition. Many of the competitors were offering free samples, so we initially purchased a pulled pork sandwich (yum) and grazed around trying sausages and grilled chicken. (Yes, your mouths should be watering.) We located Jamie's tent. He was grilling and asked us to visit in about 15 minutes.

So, Amber and I ventured around. We checked out the strong man competition, the band, and other booths offering food items and merchandise. We also went into the store/brewery. The store was much bigger than the Boston location. When taking a rest in the AC, we chatted it up with a couple of micro brew gurus.

We headed back to visit Jamie and he offered us some prime rib that his team entered in the competition. The recipe and cooking explanation was very elaborate. The steak was amazing. It was very good. Liz Melby (public relations) stopped by while we were there. Amber and I were excited that we saw some of our favorite Harpoon employees during this event.


After walking around a few more times, Amber and I decided to end this venture.... OR did we?

*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*& EXITING VERMONT *&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&

Well, once we exited Vermont and reached New Hampshire, Amber asked if I would like to Visit the 7 Barrel Brewery. That's a silly question. Yeah... brewery number 9 baby.

Our THIRD Stop

So, we made a quick pit stop and cooled down in the brew pub. We ordered a sampler to share. This sampler included the following:

* Queche Cream Ale (Breweries Most Popular) [ok, very light, served to bud drinkers]
* Ice Rock Canadian [malty with a syrupy taste, medium yellow body, Amber found this refreshing]
* New Dublin Brown [burnt malt aroma and taste, creamy feel, thin body]
* The Red 7 (Breweries Second most popular) [moderately bitter, light body, crisp and creamy]
* Champion Reserve IPA [Citrus hops with grapefruit notes, light to medium in body, soft carbonation, moderately bitter initial/finish for an average duration.]

* RIP Stout [burnt malts, creamy, tasty, sweet initially and then noticeably bitter with an alcohol taste]
* Cathy's Summer Wheat [Banana and clove notes, Very smooth, surprisingly a little tart, unfiltered and cloudy light yellow]

It was a great looking bar, good atmosphere and good service. We chatted with the bartender. We learned that this was the brother/sister brewery of the Vermont Pub and Brewery. They were owned by a Husband/Wife team (that I think might have split), but I am not positive. He mentioned that he wasn't a beer expert, but would show me around the brewery if I wanted. It was the end of his shift, so I declined, but was thankful for the offering.

They offer a variety of food offerings and about 9 beers. You can purchase a sampler in 4 or 6 varieties. All beers had great lacing, none were watery.

To our surprise, the guru's that we met at the BBQ, sat down in the bar. We shared a few laughs and they mentioned that they were hitting another brewery on the way home, Flying Goose brewery, in New London, NH. The offered us to join and provided directions.

We were unsure, but we had to fuel up, so we went off on our own. When getting close to the suggested exit, we decided "what the heck, lets do it". So, we got off the recommended exit. We initially went the wrong way, so we stopped at a gas station and checked the directions.

After heading in the proper direction, we went through all of down town and it started to look like the wrong way. Could we have been duped? When we pulled over, to turn around, the Guru's in their truck sped past us. HA.. what a coincidence. (BTW, their truck was easily distinguishable. They had traveled from Merrimack NH to somewhere in Vermont to pick up some wood. Yes, very weird, but the wood was offered for free to them and one of the guys had recently build a brick stone pizza oven. Still odd to go to Vermont for wood.)


Anyways, we sat down at the Flying Goose Brewpub and grill (at crocket's corner) and ordered dinner. The menu was extensive. Amber ordered the salmon dish and I ordered the buffalo fingers. To wash this down, we ordered some pints:

* Crockett’s Corner Oatmeal Stout (Amber ) -
The original business here was the Crockett family dairy famous for their homemade ice cream. This oatmeal stout that bears their name is smooth like a glass of milk and delicious. 6%ABV

* Pearly Town IPA - (Sean)- This one is a juggernaut of India Pale Ales and named after the original settlement of our town. Full of hops, a touch darker and with a fuller body than others, this specimen is perfect for those who enjoy a hearty drink. 4.73%ABV

* Long Brothers Strong Ale - (Sean) -Hoppier and more bitter than I.P.A., it's the perfect beer for anyone who is a fan of ales that leave their mark afterward. 6.77%ABV - very hoppy and tasty. (Sean)

They have over 17 different brews on tap. Each tap handle is a different goose head. Pretty cool, but they don't have them for sale.


After a long weekend and 10 breweries, we decided to call it quits, waive the white flag, throw in the towel, stick a fork in us... WE WERE DONE.

It was a great adventure. Good beers and a very pretty time to travel through Vermont. Overall, the Alchemist brewery takes the blue ribbon. The only downside is that they don't distribute. Second best is going to be tough. The BBQ festival was awesome and we should all visit next year. Long Trail has a great pub and is a must visit brewery. Magic Hat and the other offerings in Burlington was a fun time.

If you have any questions or comments about our Vermont trip, please let us know.

AND Yes, we have 8 of the breweries stamped on our Passport. Check it out. Take the Challenge.

The Vermont Brewers Association is challenging YOU to visit as many Vermont breweries as you can- and offering rewards to those who are up to the task! Official passports are available at breweries, as well as online at http://vermontbrewers.com.

This candle is finally burnt out...

Drink Craft Beer, You've Earned It!!


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