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A perfect beer day in Vermont

Discussion in 'New England' started by brikelly, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. brikelly

    brikelly Savant (470) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2010 Verified

    Thanks to BA I was able to concentrate my beer hunting in Vermont to just one day, leaving lots of time for vacationing over the weekend and drinking the awesome beers I got on day 1 :) I figured I'd share it in case others want to get as much done in VT in only one day.
    • Morning: fill up, get on the road, start salivating
    • 11am-ish: get to Warren, head to the Warren Store. The Lawson's beers are usually delivered on Thursday mornings. There's a per-person limit of 4, but they're SO worth it. Now eat a snack in the Warren Store's excellent little sandwich cafe. They've also got excellent other beers available too.
    • Noon: Head to Waterbury to the Alchemist! Pick up your cases of Heady (limit 3 each right now). Thursday is a canning day so you should have no problem getting some.
    • 1pm: Get on over to Hill Farmstead, fill yer brown growlers and buy your bottles. Thursdays should be really quiet and the line should be minimal.
    It should be obvious now that if you want to get the trifecta of HT/HF/Lawson's done in only one day then you've gotta go on a Thursday.

    Also, when you're up there, make sure you visit all the awesome local markets, stores, bars and restaurants that you can find. It's a nice way to say thanks for brewing some of the best beer in the world!
  2. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003 Verified

    No skiing?
  3. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Savant (400) New York Aug 1, 2012 Verified

    I thought canning is Monday and Friday?
  4. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Savant (315) Massachusetts Sep 20, 2012 Verified

    It's Thursday.
    Source: I went last Thursday.

    I'm in Mass so I went to northernmost HF first and then the Alchemist on the want back south. Skipped Lawsons due ti time constraint and not being too interested in their stuff
  5. brikelly

    brikelly Savant (470) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2010 Verified

    Oh man, neither was I until I tried it. The Kiwi DIPA is unreal. Like Abner and Heady made a baby. A fresh, hoppy, bitter little baby. That looked like a Kiwi.
    4kbrianb likes this.
  6. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    In about 3-4 weeks, there will be 3 canning days per week at the Alchemist and the canning run will be larger. I think the first brew on the newly expanded equipment is tomorrow or Tuesday:)

    And southern VT should be getting Heady within 6 weeks...
    sandman3479 likes this.
  7. They posted this to Facebook on Jan. 14th: "It's official. We have just mashed in batch 2 of our first week of double brews. Stay tuned..."http://t.co/TjbVhp53

    and "This means that in about 4 weeks our VT distribution will expand (if all goes well - no promises!) but beyond that, we'll keep you posted"

    So hopefully it's even closer!

    Nice haul, you definitely had good timing to get 4x of the Kiwi.
  8. brikelly

    brikelly Savant (470) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2010 Verified

    Thanks! I actually got 5 but guzzled one that evening out of excitement. Goddamn it was so, so great!
    smutty33 likes this.
  9. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Verified

    It is Monday and Thursday. But HF is not open on Monday so Thursday is the best day to get beer in VT.
  10. celfan

    celfan Advocate (590) Vermont Jul 4, 2004 Verified

    I'd recommend that out of staters drink as much Lawson's on tap when visiting because it's so much better
    than out of the bottle. Heady is as good from the can so you can have the same experience when you get home. Same with HF growlers. I've always enjoyed Double Sunshine, Triple Play, Kiwi from the bottle but found most of the other stuff pretty average - until I had it on tap.
    RonfromJersey and Shilt like this.
  11. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Verified

    Thanks for coming to Vermont and supporting our beer industry. You sound pretty organized, so we officially appoint you, to the post of BA Vermont Advice Surrogate. From now on when someone asks a question about getting any of these beers, it will be your responsibility to either respond to the inquiry or tell them to look it up in another thread.:D
  12. brikelly

    brikelly Savant (470) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2010 Verified

    Happy to do so!
  13. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Verified

    You do realize you are now obligated to attend our official Summer Gathering, June 29th in Charlotte.
  14. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Advocate (545) Vermont Nov 2, 2007 Verified

    I was worried it was going to be the weekend before - thank god no conflict w/The Festival. :)
  15. deanhead

    deanhead Advocate (500) Vermont Sep 2, 2005

    Everyday is a perfect beer day here in Vermont.
    franklinn, brikelly and youbrewidrink like this.
  16. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    it will be even better when we start seeing some of the trifecta down in these parts ;)
  17. nogidrew86

    nogidrew86 Savant (250) Nevada Aug 16, 2010

    This post was awesome! I will be doing the same run next Thursday!
    Gosox8787, Destral and brikelly like this.
  18. RonfromJersey

    RonfromJersey Champion (910) New Jersey Jan 25, 2002 Verified

    I'm hoping to duplicate this trip next August.
  19. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003 Verified

    ? Meet you tomorrow afternoon then.
  20. Shilt

    Shilt Savant (475) Virginia Dec 26, 2011 Verified

    Completely agree. Had had many of Lawson's offerings out of the bottle before visiting Waterbury over New Years. I thought fayston maple was average at best, and kiwi was pretty good. Then I had both on tap and was floored. The Fayston is such a different beer on tap, thick and has more maple to it. Trying to work out another trip up there in the next couple months, the food and beer in that area is pure awesomeness.
    franklinn and Number45forever like this.
  21. WickedGoodBBQ

    WickedGoodBBQ Aficionado (150) Massachusetts Mar 8, 2012 Verified

    Thats how I chose to spend my birthday a couple weeks ago. Did the Thursday trip all in one day. About 9 hours of driving including a white knuckler through franconia notch in a squall. Decided to go HF, Alchemist, Blackback (Cantillon for lunch), Warren Store, In person trade, 5hr energy, drive home. Already scheming to do it again.
    JxExM and franklinn like this.
  22. celfan

    celfan Advocate (590) Vermont Jul 4, 2004 Verified

    The Maple Nipple at Blackback is more lush than the bottle. Had a bottle of Chinooker'ed and thought it was money not well spent, then had it at the Pig and wow.
    franklinn likes this.
  23. Number45forever

    Number45forever Savant (400) Vermont Jan 6, 2012 Verified

    Agreed on seeking on Lawson's on draft. Maple Nipple is AWESOME on draft. Fayston on draft is like two different beers (compared to bottled). Kiwi was great in bottle, but sooo good on draft. Double Sunshine is one of their only beers that has seemed just as awesome in bottles. Can't wait for that one to come back!
  24. It's not a VT beer, but that Ballast Point Victory at Sea in the haul photo is just fantastic. So far, that's my favorite porter. It just rocks....
  25. celfan

    celfan Advocate (590) Vermont Jul 4, 2004 Verified

    And speaking of container vs draft..

    After visiting the Alchemist today and having one of their samplers, I'm sure I now like Heady out of the
    can more than on draft.

    I have a theory everyone will disagree with - the bigger the head , the less oily and juicy Heady is. You'll release the hop aroma, but I don't care for the texture.Today's sample had a big head and I accidentally poured a huge head at home the other night - both were below par, imo.

    After drinking the one with the large head at my home, I poured the next one ultra-slowly down the side of the glass -it was super oily and juicy.

    I've always thought the can offered the best taste, but I like the appearance, smell and feel of glass so much better. Pouring with no/little head seems to come close to the canned oily texture and juiciness.
    MarkF150 likes this.
  26. deanhead

    deanhead Advocate (500) Vermont Sep 2, 2005

    Sorry I can't. I'm a chaperone for the winter sports program at my children's school. They would likely frown upon me hanging out at the bar and then driving students home. Sautrday works though. I'll look for you in the base area.
  27. Seriously - there's nothing better to do in that area of Vermont in the winter time besides chasing limited beer? ;0)

    Perfect beer day for me in VT would be skiing on some decent powder @ Sugarbush & doing apres-ski in the lodge with good friends drinking copious amounts of Switchbacks. Arranging my vacation schedule to tick HF & Lawson's would be secondary by far IMO. The social / complementary aspect of beer drinking has been lost with craft beer hunters, sadly.
    Flashy likes this.
  28. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003 Verified

    Hey, Mount Snow has Bourbon County- you can do both.
  29. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (735) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Verified

    That sounds like a good time bro
  30. brikelly

    brikelly Savant (470) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2010 Verified

    After the Thursday of beer hunting we then spent 3 more days enjoying the incredible non-beer things the state has to offer.

    With excellent beer in the hotel room at night as a bonus :)
  31. Destral

    Destral Savant (410) Nevada Oct 20, 2009 Verified

    Assuming I don't run our car off the road in the snow.
  32. BlueRogue

    BlueRogue Advocate (635) Maine May 1, 2011

    This is on my bucket list
  33. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003 Verified

    it's all about the tires- and not driving like a nut. No all season radials- snow tires make the difference.
    youbrewidrink likes this.
  34. WickedGoodBBQ

    WickedGoodBBQ Aficionado (150) Massachusetts Mar 8, 2012 Verified

    Picking up shelf Hill Farmstead and cans of Heady Topper hardly qualifies as ticking/chasing limited beer.

    Tasting beers at Hill Farmstead and discussing with Phil, getting a tour of the expansion at the Alchemist, meeting an old VT friend for lunch at Blackback... all quite social and complementary. Not to mention the beers I brought home are special enough that each time I crack one I reminiscent on the great day I spent in VT.

    Plus I'm fat and out of shape, skiing would end badly.
    ColdOne likes this.
  35. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (735) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Verified

    Can you ski in VT during non-winter seasons? I like to travel there through-out the year but I dont want anyone to think I'm anti-social and not vacationing there properly.
    franklinn likes this.
  36. deanhead

    deanhead Advocate (500) Vermont Sep 2, 2005

    It depends entirely on the amount of snowpack we have. I have skied/snowboarded as early as October 1st and as late as May 1st. Other non beer related social activites that one could participate in up here include hiking, cycling, sailing, mudbogging, hunting, and camping which can be social and involve drinking beer. Most importantly of all, enjoy yourself and have fun doing whatever brings a smile to your face.:cool:
  37. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (735) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Verified

    Is there an apres-hunting place people go to socialize? Maybe one that has Switchback on tap?
  38. I heart Vermont. Northern Vermont is gods country. Been hiking the Green Mountains for a coupla years and they're really as nice as the Dacks and the Whites. Maybe not as plentiful. Hill Farmstead is my new favorite brewery. Check out the Bobcat Cafe Brewery in Bristol. Nice friendly brewpub.
  39. No, there's just a dark windowless room with no tv's but all the HF, Heady & Lawson's you can drink - by yourself. You would be very comfortable there.
    deanhead likes this.