By Marc Demeule, Brewpublic’s Quebecer Beer Trekker
Crossing the border for another beer adventure can lead to unexpected discoveries. Our first stop was at Burlington’s American Flatbread where we enjoyed their famous pizzas and sampled a few Vermont beers from Zero Gravity Brewery. I also had a Cuvée de Jacobin that made me remember good times at the Casacade Brewery (but it didn’t equal all the extreme sour ales I had in Portland)… We gather with other beer geeks for few trades. Charlevoix Lupuplus, Dieu du Ciel!, Saint-Ambroise Barleywine, Corne de Brume are some of our products that can be easily traded to US geeks. At least, they don’t have access to those ones!
We reached Winooski Beverage Warehouse for a quick beer shopping session. The selection always gets better here. They have all the classics US craft breweries, but also a good selection of Belgian products. I was pleased to find some Mikkeller Single Hop Amarillo IPA and Tomahawk IPA. Now I’m just waiting for a special event to open them. Because we have an environmental conscience, we brought some of our empty bottles and were surprised to discover a recycling center behind the beer store. I saw three guy sorting all the bottles and cans. It was the first time I saw such an organization in a beer store. Is it the same everywhere? Maybe they recycle for other places because you can’t generate enough empty bottles from this one spot to keep three dudes employed.
Have you ever hear about the Trapp family? The land they own in Stowe, Vermont is absolutely unique. But what interested us is that they recently (end of January) opened a brewery. “High in the Green Mountains, low in a labyrinthine basement beneath the Austrian Tea Room at the Trapp Family Lodge, Allen Van Anda toils away like a crafty alchemist, pouring water and yeast into shining stainless-steel vats and hoping the combination turns into something close to heavenly”.
Our contact arranged a meeting with Allen, the brewer. He leads this brand new brewery which specializes in German-style beers. We had the chance to taste three beers, a Helles, a Bourbon Barrel Bock, and a Dunkel. These beers help to increase the beer standards in Vermont. For now, distribution is in its early stages, but they will be soon become more widely distributed. And, if you happen to see one of those kegs in your preferred bar, ask for a pint. We will have to make a detour by Stowe when we’ll come back to Vermont.
A last stop at Waterbury to the Alchemist Pub and Brewery is necessary. I’ve talked about this place a few times, so what was new on the taps? A Heady Topper Double IPA. Simply malty enough to support a blast of pine and citrus (claiming 120 IBU, we could expect it). I took a taster tray, just to be sure that this double IPA was my preference and I was right, it was. Please, don’t change the recipe.
At the Canadian border, we were been caught. No alcohol importation for a day trip. So I had to pay 10$ of taxes for a case of 50$. It is nothing when you figure the trip we had. Thanks to Émilie, our designated driver. We owe you one.