What I did on Summer Vacation...Hint: It Rhymes with DRINK BEER
Roger Goodell & Dee Smith gave me the go ahead to cease fantasy football operations for a week, so during that time I spent some time with my sweet "better half" in the rolling green hills of Vermont. During that time, I hiked, ate some quality grub, and of course, enjoyed some tasty craft beer.
First up was a little brew pub in Waterbury, Vermont called "The Alchemist." It was kind of a dark joint, but the beer did not disappoint. I can't say the same for the food, but fuck it, that's not why you came to this site in the first place. 2mugsff.com is about beer and fantasy football, and guess what? WE AIN'T GOT NO FOOTBALL. Anyhoo, "The Alchemist" had a nice sampler of about eight different house made craft beers. Each one was pretty enticing, and I settled on six two ounce "shots" to wet my parched whistle: "The Lightweight", "Donovan's Red" , "Holy Cow" , "Whonky", "Pappy's Porter", and it's most recent release, the "Shut the Hell Up." Each one was quite tasty, but the clear winners were "The Whonky," a Belgian inspired IPA with Curacao, orange peel and coriander, (my wife's favorite), and "Pappy's Porter", a dark caramel porter with a hint of bitterness.
"The Whonky" struck me as a great Summer beer. Lots of refreshing crisp flavors, with hints of smoke that lends itself well to BBQ and fish tacos. "Pappy's Porter" was a tasty, smooth operator. A bit of a bitter finish, this was a champ come football season (Gawd willin', as they say in Southie.) Unfortunately, none of the Alchemist's brews are available locally in bottles or growlers, so unless you hoof it to Vermont for a ski vacation, you're shit outta luck. Although, if you are a ski bum and enjoy a tasty libation, it's worth the hustle. If you MUST eat, get the sweet potato fries, they managed not to fuck those up.
On to Burlington, South Burlington that is... Next stop was Mom & Pop brewers, Magic Hat. Some of you may be familiar with it's #9, a pretty well kept secret and a rather inspired brew for Summer. I've seen many an unwashed hippie at hemp & patchouli festivals enjoying these, so it has to be good for you right? Or at least contain mind altering LSD* *It does not contain LSD, but I did detect some honey?
Magic Hat has a small, but psychedelic store front where you can sample the latest releases, on tap when we arrived, was the aforementioned #9, Vinyl (a Spring Lager), Wacko (Summer Ale), Single Chair (English Ale), and Blind Faith (IPA). All were free in their storefront tasting room, and the standouts were Wacko (the Summer Ale) and Blind Faith (the IPA.) "Wacko" was a refreshing Summer Ale and went down pretty easy. Blind Faith (IPA) was a little more complex and would be one I'd prefer to drink alone without food...or with George Thorogood (he hates when I do that.) Magic Hat has a nice little self guided mini-tour, with an overlook of their operation. It's a pretty sweet hi-tech hook up for a smallish craft brewer, a testament to how seriously they take their brew, and I'll be honest, I'm a fan. Vermont in general is home to great craft beer, and I suggest you sample as many as you can, but in moderation...and not at work...or in your underwear...especially at work. Cheers!
Vermont Brewers' Association
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