Craft brewmasters are hopping on the ski town brewery bandwagon, and why not? Beer and skiing go together like kids and ice cream. Stowe breweries have added a new dimension to the ski town. Within a 25-mile radius are 8 craft breweries, each with its own style and taste objectives. Visiting them in person to taste what’s brewing is a great way to get to know and understand beer. Here is an overview of Stowe breweries and craft beers.
403 Hill Road, Greensboro Bend
Brewer Shaun Hill has won numerous awards for his beer and has been ranked number one brewery by RateBear.com several times, an impressive accolade considering over 13,000 brewers entered the contest. If you want a true Vermont experience, go during the summer when the dirt roads are manageable. That’s when you can socialize around outdoor picnic tables while soakin in the view and the beer. Don’t forget your Vermont Atlas!
Route 100, Morrisville
Matt Nadeau, owner and head brewer at Rock Art makes a long list of seasonal and session beers at their new facility on Route 100, just south of Morrisville, where you can take a tour of the facility, refill your growler, belly-up to the sampling bar, and purchase kegs, bottled beer, and swag.
87 Old Creamery Road, Morrisville
Allen Van Anda and James Griffith are the founders and brewmasters at Lost Nation, and they have one mission: to make honest beer. They base their flavors on less-common European lagers and ales. Of note: great selection of pub fare, outdoor seating in the summer, and located on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, so you can start and end your excursion here!
Route 108, Mountain Road, Stowe
Idletyme’s brewmaster Will Gilson is known for making clean session beers, like their Munich-style Helles lager and eclectic variety beers. Gilson says Idletyme is an efficient Bavarian brewhaus that allows for full saccharification (the process of turning complex carbohydrates into simple sugar) that results in a dryer beer. Idletyme is also a restaurant and is located on the Stowe Rec Path.
700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe
At the Trapp Bierhaus you will find a flight of eight lagers (six regular; two seasonal) ranging from light Helles to dark Dunkle. Their three session beers are Golden Helles, Vienna Amber, and Dunkel, and they also have rotating seasonal offerings. They claim it’s their artesian well water that makes their lager special because its qualities are similar to Austrian spring water, which is considered ideal for brewing European-style lager.
100 Cottage Club Road, Stowe
Probably the most popular of the Stowe breweries, the Alchemist Brewery makes the wildly coveted Heady Topper, as well as Focal Banger, Crusher, and occasional special runs of something inspiring. There’s also a tasting area, a small gift shop, and no lines!
23 South Main Street, Waterbury
This is a popular brewpub in downtown Waterbury. In addition to on-site smoked meats and an eclectic pub-style menu, they also brew a dozen in-house beers. Tip: if the front of the restaurant is crowded, walk around to the back for a quiet brew-pub experience.
Sean Lawson ages his beer in old whiskey barrels and brews a gut-warming variety of full, well-rounded flavors. Sip of Sunshine is Lawson’s benchmark beer. No brick-and-motar for Lawson’s; you have to find them in bars and stores. Check their website for locations.
3 Elm Street, Waterbury
Not a brewery, but worth a mention, because this craft beer bottle shop (and cans) has a huge selection of craft beers and beer-making supplies from around the world. That said, their best sellers are Vermont-brewed Heady Topper and Sip of Sunshine. Definitely the place to “buy and try.”
Now that you’re up-to-speed on Stowe breweries and the local beer scene, give me a call and I’ll show you some houses and join you for a Heady.