What was supposed to be a quick run to Burlington for a case of beer, turned into a marathon day of beer drinking and brewery hopping.
The great part about brewery hopping in Burlington, aside from the amazing beer, is that there are so many breweries to choose from, and you can usually find a few located close together. I’d recommend an Uber or designated driver though, if you plan to visit as many as we did on this trip.
The whole reason for our Burlington trip was to grab a case of the coveted Mastermind, an 8.1% Double IPA. Customers lined up out the door to grab their allotment before the brewery even opened. By the time we arrived, two hours after doors opened, the line was gone and we were in and out in just a couple of minutes. But not before sampling their Fiddlehead IPA and grabbing myself a Fiddlehead tank top.
To say that Magic Hat is weird would be a major understatement. But weird in a good way. We did the self-guided tour and sampled 10 of their beers, with their famous #9 and their Hi-PA being our favorites
Next up, Switchback. Huge contrast to Magic Hat. We’d already tried their more “standard” beers, so we grabbed a mix of lighter and darker beers that we hadn’t yet tried. I was pleasantly surprised by Connector, a 6.4% American IPA, and by their 4.3% Extra Pale Ale.
Zero Gravity was one of my favorite stops of the day. We sampled 9 of their offerings, our favorites being Green State Lager (strange, since I’m not typically a fan of lagers) and Choice Make Good double IPA. Honestly, there wasn’t a single one of their offerings that I didn’t enjoy.
Everything about this place was great – friendly staff, unique decor and artwork, great outdoor seating area, and even the interior design.
Our next stop was Queen City Brewery, where they were celebrating their 2nd anniversary with beer specials and free hamburgers and hot dogs. If you enjoy European style beers, this is your place. You’ll find English bitters, Scotch Ales, Hefeweizen, and other traditional-styles beers on tap for pints, samples, and growler fills.
This was the biggest surprise and my favorite spot of our trip. We grabbed a couple small pours – Terraform, a 6.5% ABV IPA, and Built to Spill, an 8.0% ABV Double IPA. Both were fantastic, and I went back for another pour of the Built to Spill, which was super juicy and tropical.
If we hadn’t been on our sixth brewery visit of the day, I would have remembered to grab a bottle of Orange Dot from House of Fermentology while we were there. Kicking myself in the ass for that one…
After 6 breweries, I definitely had a good glow on… Yeah, let’s just call it a good glow. Bobby convinced me to make “just one more” quick stop at Burlington Beer Co. Fine. We’re already up here, so we might as well stop by and get the stamp for our passport.
Related: Vermont Brewery Challenge. Day Two.
I’m a huge BBC fan and you can almost always find a few cans of their Light In the Window in our fridge. Today however, we went for a few we hadn’t tried:
Chunky – 12% ABV American peanut butter porter
Chunky & Jelly – 10% ABV peanut butter porter w/raspberries and cherries <– I’m not usually a fan of fruity beer, but this was so, SO good.
Amber Ridge – 12% ABV Imperial Brown Ale
Echo Chamber – 10% ABV Cherry porter
Seven breweries and countless samples later, we were on our way to our final brewery of the day. Goodwater is fairly new to the Burlington craft beer scene, but didn’t disappoint. I recommend their Hoppy Side of Pale, a 5.4% ABV American pale ale, and Stange, a 4.9 % ABV kölsch.
I had forgotten that I was planning to blog about my trip, and perhaps that I even had a camera at this point, hence the lack of photos for BBC or Goodwater Brewery.
We’ll be back, Burlington. Cheers!