Vermont Honeymoon RECAP

Discussion in 'US - New England' started by rjp217, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    I figured with so many Vermont pilgrimage thread/questions on the board, I would share with you my extremely amazing honeymoon. My goal is to share mainly our beer adventures but I will also leave some details about where we stayed and other activities that you may find interesting. I will preface this whole "blog" with a few things of note..... This trip happened just last week (Monday-Friday) and both my wife (thankfully) and I love craft beer. We live in the Boston area though I am originally from Philadelphia and she from New Hampshire. We also have never been to Vermont besides some quick day-ski trips. We based all of our research off of the suggestions we saw on here. I hope this helps some who are looking to make their first trip as well ;-)

    I would also like to point out that we did some hiking in Stowe at a few different locations. We took the Jeep up to the top of Mount Mansfield. We also did a tour of the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory (Burlington) and stopped in at the Cider Mill in Waterbury/Stowe and the Cabot Annex store. I am happy to expand upon any of this, just message me. All in all, we packed a ton of things into a relatively short time. I think we made the absolute most of our time. My one regret was not making it to Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier and the Waitsfield Farmers Market. I have heard great things but we just couldn’t fit it into our schedule. Next time we will be stopping by for sure. Again, if anyone has any questions about the above, feel free to message me or ask on here! Cheers!

    Due to size I will break this up into posts for Hotels, Beer Shopping and Bars/Restaurants :)
     
  2. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    HOTELS
    Hotel Vermont: This hotel was a recent construction in downtown Burlington, literally across from Lake Champlain. It was absolutely beautiful. They have a parking garage attached and a soon to be finished Hen of The Wood restaurant. Our corner suite had great views of the lake. Breakfast at their restaurant Juniper was out of this world. It is a must dine. Everything is farm to table which is a plus. Their bar looked pretty interesting. Lots of seats and a good tap selection (no Hill or Lawsons). We would have gladly sat their and enjoyed some beer but we just ran out of time.
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    Green Mountain Inn (Stowe): Nice stay for sure. We were there for two days. Very cozy and has a bunch of separate buildings. We had a suite that was split into a living room with a jacuzzi. They comped our honeymoon with a bottle of champagne which was very nice of them. Very quiet area and an all around great place to stay. Their breakfast leaves a bit to be desired. We ate their one morning and just decided to eat at a local café for the rest of the week.
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    Top Notch Resort (Stowe): Upscale resort and was very expensive but it was perfect for a honeymoon. Brilliant foliage views in the distance. Outdoor and indoor pools as well. This place I am told just undertook a huge facelift and you can certainly tell. They have two separate restaurants and a good tap selection though it is pricey. We decided to spend most of our time at other places for food and beer but this is a place you could spend your whole day and night relaxing, drinking and eating.
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  3. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    BEER SHOPPING
    Guild Fine Meats: We just happened upon this place while walking Burlington in search of a couple bottles of beer. We were told they have great sandwiches but didn’t have anything left in our stomachs to eat. They have a small craft beer selection both cold and room temp and it is pretty solid. We picked up a bottle of Logsdon Seizon Bretta and Grassroots Arctic Saison.
    Winooski Beverage: Nice craft selection in the back. Nothing to write home about in terms of eye appeal but who cares, I was here for the bottles of beer. The manager was really nice and informative. We were told this was the best place for selection in the area and I would have to agree. We didn’t come on their stock day as they usually have Heady and Lawsons. I picked up a bottle of Prarie ‘Merica and 3 bottles of Grateful Hands (IPA/BIPA/DIPA) at their recommendation.
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    Alchemist: We arrived early, at like 10:45am on Wednesday. There was a couple cars in the lot but nothing crazy. At 11am we walked right in and bought 2 cases (1 per) and did a complimentary tasting. I’d imagine this is nuts on Saturdays but it was very relaxed when we were there. We walked around the tasting room and checked out the cannery while sipping some Heady. We ended up walking back to the register and grabbing a sign a glass. So glad we finally made it here!

    Warren Store: Woah, in the middle of nowhere! Haha, I didn’t think we would ever find this place but I am glad we did. Thank you to everyone who knew all the times to find Lawsons. We arrived just after 11am on Thursday and were the only ones in the store. Small shop so we didn’t stay long. We grabbed 3 bottles of Lawsons Big Hoppy (4 bottle limit). Only one kind but I am glad I got any. They also had some other nice beers but we were there for one purpose. I believe they also had Heady cans.

    Hill Farmstead: Well what can I say….. amazing. If you been, you know, if you haven’t, you must. We arrived around 12:30p to a small line, nothing crazy. Such a relaxing atmosphere and amazingly nice people. We both did a sampling which was like $5 each for four pours. We just kinda hung in the yard outside the barn where they did the pours and chatted. Again, very relaxing and enjoyed the sunshine. I believe they were doing 3 individual refillable bottles per person and some limits on their other bottles. We left with 5 750mls of Edward, Citra, Amarillo, Walden, Society and Solitude #4 as well as Damon, Flora and Sankt Hans. Again, this was the highlight of the trip. I could have stayed there all day!

    Hunger Mountain Co-op: Arrived just after 11am on Friday. This is basically a Whole Foods for Vermont. They have a great bottle selection. We came for the Lawsons but they only had Big Hoppy which we previously grabbed at the Warren Store. We didn’t purchase any but we did grab another bottle of Grassroots Arctic Saison and Anchorage Brewing Darkest Hour.
     
  4. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    BARS/RESTAURANTS
    Farmhouse Tap and Grille (Burlington): Excellent food and an outstanding craft beer selection. Various local taps but unfortunately no HF or Lawsons at that time. We shared a cheese plate and each had a turkey burger. The cheese plate was comped because we were on our honeymoon. Very cool of them! We split our first bottle of Grassroots Artic Saison and then De Ranke Kriek (cellar). Both were very good. They have a pretty nice cellar menu though the Cantillon was all gone. I would say this place does not disappoint in the least and is a must stop in Burlington.
    Pizzeria Verita (Burlington): Stopped here for dinner. Very good pizza with local ingredients and a good beer selection. The bar looked nice to sit at as well. Upscale but a relaxed atmosphere and some good views of the sunset over Lake Champlain by the window. I had a fresh can of Heady Topper and the wife had a draft pint of Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin Stout.

    Mule Bar (Winooski): This place came at the recommendation of the bartender of Farmhouse. Pretty cool that all these places like and recommend each other. Solid selection of about 16 taps. Small bottle selection I believe and also a cellar menu. We didn’t eat here so I can’t comment on that but I had a draft pint of Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail and the wife had Anchor Porter. Our only complaint about this place was the college scene. I guess I should have known better but it was annoying. Especially since I am an old married person now. I guess if I came here with a big group of friends it would be different but just a word of warning.
    Misery Loves Company Café (Winooski): Small beer selection but they do have Heady cans. We came here for a quick bite as it is mostly a lunch spot. I had the Vonnegut (porkbelly and egg) and the wife had the Aubergine Dream (fried eggplant). The sandwiches were great. Stop here for lunch for sure.

    Trapp Family Lodge (Stowe): The wife is a Sound of Music fan so we decided to check it out. My god it is a bit pretentious. Very old crowd as to be expected. I just wanted to see the brewery. It wasn’t much but then again we didn’t spend a ton of time there. We did a sampler of Helles, Vienna Lager, Dunker and Summer. Nothing really stood out for either of us but it was enjoyable to sit at the picnic tables and enjoy the view.
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    Prohibition Pig (Waterbury): Had the pulled pork sandwich with duck fat fries. It was tasty. Cool atmosphere with a bunch of local taps. They have a cellar menu as well. On draft we had Hill Farmstead Everett, Grassroots Legitimacy, Goodlife Sweet As Pacific Ale, Bruery Humulus Lager, Lost Nation Petit Ardennes.

    Blackback Pub (Waterbury): Didn’t eat at this spot but kind of wish I had as the tacos looked really good. This is a bit of dive/local hangout which is perfectly ok with us. This might have been my favorite bar. The bartender and patrons were really cool and nice to us outsiders. Small tap selection but very quality. We had Rodenbach Grand Cru, Lawsons Backyard Red and 2010 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

    Blue Stone (Waterbury): Cool décor and very local. We had a pizza which was on par with Verita in Burlington. Great tap selection as well as fresh Heady cans. We had Fiddlehead IPA, Finchs Secret Stash Milk Stout and Lost Nation Saison Lamoille.

    Hen of the Wood (Waterbury): Thanks you BA’s for talking up this spot. One of the best meals we ever had. I made a reservation a month in advance and I can see why as on a Wednesday it was completely sold out. Parking is a pain in the ass as the lot was full so we parked at a nearby park. Once we made it in, for an app we had the Beef Tartar and Sweet Corn Soup. We then had the Gulf of Maine Hake and Vermont Rabbit Leg and Loin. Highlight of the night was splitting our first Cantillon Classic Gueuze. We loved this place and this is an absolute must stop again. As a side note, they have Heady on draft. What a treat!
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    The Reservoir (Waterbury): Didn’t eat here as we were stuffed from dinner. Great selection of taps and bottles though. We had Maine Beer Co Collab Time III (bottle), Grassroots Legitimacy (draft) and Green Flash Surfs Up Symposium (draft). We also happened to meet the director of the movie Brewland and he shared some cool stories with us about interviewing local brewers such as Shaun Hill.

    Positive Pie (Hardwick): Got kinda hungry after leaving Hill and stopped here on the way home. A pleasant surprise! Very cool décor like most of the places we have been. Munched on some appetizers. Good draft selection though I didn’t remember much in the way of bottles/cans. We had Drop-In Brewing Red Dwarf and Lost Nation Pitch Black. As a note, they did have Hill Farmstead as well.

    Sushi Yoshi (Stowe): I believe this is a new establishment. We just happened to be in a sushi mood. Place is fairly large and looks like they have a great bar as it was packed with locals. Good sushi, nothing amazing as we are partly sushi snobs. For beers we had Lost Nation Vermont Pilsner.

    Matterhorn (Stowe): What a divey ski bar! So badass! They also have sushi and were told it is very good. Large place with tons of seating. I can only imagine this place in the winter. Looks sketchy inside but the bartenders are fn awesome. Draft list is nothing to write home about but whatever. We were looking to play pool and hang out. We had Rock Art Ridge Runner and Switchback Ale.

    Worthy Burger (South Royalton): Once again, thank god for you BA’s and your recommendations. This place is off the charts. We stopped here on our way home to Boston. It is almost directly off 89. Appears to be built in an old train station or something. It is right on the train tracks in town and I would like to applaud my GPS as I didn’t think there was a restaurant in the location it brought us too. They specialize in Burgers. Everything is written on a chalkboard. They focus on local ingredients and being very green. They have a fairly large bar and an awesome craft beer selection on draft. Very casual atmosphere as we sat at the bar. We had Zero Gravity Conehead, Foley Brothers Maple Brown, Lost Nation Rustic Amber and A LOT of Hill Farmstead Edward.
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  5. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    THE FINAL HAUL
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  6. Patrick

    Patrick Initiate (0) Massachusetts Aug 13, 2007

    Great write up.
     
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  7. bring

    bring Savant (260) Massachusetts Aug 17, 2005

    Pretty sweet. When is the party in Boston?
     
  8. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    Thanks, I apologize for the grammatical errors :oops:
     
  9. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    Seriously, it's a lot for two people to drink.
     
  10. Glad you enjoyed your visit, congrats, and thanks for visiting our state!
     
  11. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    Will be back soon I hope and maybe one day permanently!
     
  12. Gmr75

    Gmr75 Savant (405) Connecticut Apr 30, 2002

    Excellent post! very enjoyable and informative.
     
    biniek13 likes this.
  13. Glad you had a memorable time here. Feel same about Mule Bar, but so many other options.
     
  14. I've never been here but always wanted to. Can you elaborate on it being pretentious? Just the crowd? Or from employees?
     
  15. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    That probably came off a bit harsh. We didn't have much interaction from the employees. They seemed nice enough but it was weird since we weren't staying there and walking around. It just wasn't our scene to stay. The grounds are nice with the views and go try a sampler from the brewery for sure. I would say 90% of the people I saw or interacted with were senior citizens.
     
  16. DaKur

    DaKur Savant (400) Rhode Island Nov 15, 2012

    Congrats!!! Nice reviews. I'm using this thread as a guide for my next trip up there.
     
  17. jbart

    jbart Savant (255) Massachusetts Oct 2, 2004

    Congrats! Sounds like you did everything right! :)
     
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  18. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (585) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    Damn, I'm jealous and I live here. I'd love to see this kind of writeup for other destinations (Portland?).

    edit: I have to agree about Trapp's. They have the best x-c trails around in the winter but I ski elsewhere just because of the atmosphere. The brewery isn't much to look at but the beer is very solid.
     
  19. rjp217

    rjp217 Champion (895) Massachusetts Apr 24, 2012

    Right on! Enjoy, I know you will

    I should do one for Portland, that's where we got engaged..... Maine though not Oregon :)
     
  20. We had a unique visit to the Trapp brewery that I think echos this impression. As far as the beers, the Trapp brewery is very conservative and proud of producing Austrian-styled beer with quality that rivals the old world masters. For the current beer drinking tends, this runs directly counter to the hop-centric dominant theme and the experimental wilds counter theme. So their beers are excellent and underappreciated. And the attitude of the bar staff echoed. They were polite and friendly, but almost self-righteous in dismissing discussion outside their worldview. We were there late in the evening on a wild stormy day, watching lightening strikes over the hills (the hills were alive with the sound of thunder) and wondering if the umbrellas on the patio were about to climb every mountain. The bartender made an offhand comment that the von Trapps would be in soon, and sure enough Sam von Trapp sat down beside us for his dinner. I knew about his ongoing efforts to seek foreign investment to build out the brewery (google it), and it was a great opportunity to talk one-on-one with the driving force in re-vitalizing a stagnant business through strategic investment in brewing.
     
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  21. Thanks for a insight and personal anecdote. I always appreciate when folks on this site backup opinion with first-hand experience. I would love to see more Trapp beers around and it seems wide distribution is not a priority for them. Thankfully they do come on draft occasionally in Dover NH of all places.

    You are quite right in that they are counter to the trends of hop-centric and/or wild beers of the moment. I can respect that they are continuing to follow their niche of solid continental lagers. It's very sad when breweries try to reach too far in providing all styles to all customers.