So I’ve returned to my desk, fresh off a weekend of fun and frivolity at the Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, VT and I cannot stress enough, if you live within striking distance of Burlington and you didn’t make it to this years festival, you missed out big time! I would strongly suggest you plan ahead now for the summer of 2010 and do not miss next year’s festival!
Our Vermont beer-filled weekend began with lunch at the Long Trail Brewery on Friday, followed by a tour & tasting at the Otter Creek Brewery, a visit to Winooski Beverage in Winooski, VT (just outside of Burlington), lots of beers around the campfire Friday night, a side-trip to the Ben & Jerry’s factory Saturday morning (because it can’t all be about the beer), a tour & tasting at the Magic Hat brewery Saturday afternoon, and it all culminated with the festival itself on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain Saturday evening from 6:00-10:00. You could not ask for a better weekend!
The winning individual beers for me for the weekend were definitely the Smuttynose Baltic Porter, the Wild Child sour ale from The Alchemist, and the Imperial Stout from Otter Creek. But I would have to give the overall kick-ass award to Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel from Montreal, QC – every beer of theirs we tried was out of this world. I know a few of their beers are available here in Portland (at Downeast Bev and Whole Foods for sure), so if you haven’t tried any of the Dieu du Ciel stuff before, its absolutely worth the price.
Many thanks go out to Kurt, Laura and the rest of the Vermont Brewers Association crew for making my trip possible and to Pete, Russ, Kellie, Jamie and Meryl for accompanying me on the journey. And please watch below for a fun little video snapshot I put together of the festival-that-was (featuring the song Happy Man by The Prodigals). Cheers!