A Beer Lover’s Bucket List: 6 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries
Despite showcasing only 66 taprooms, Vermont has the most breweries per capita in America, according to the Brewers Association. So, it should come as no surprise that the Green Mountain State also produces the largest amount of craft beer per adult, which, in turn, had the second-best economic impact in the country. Simply put, we love craft beer. Not only does it taste good, but it brings people together, sustains the economy, and creates thousands of jobs. Yes, The Norwich Inn is the proud home to one of the oldest breweries in New England, but that doesn’t mean we cannot also appreciate the competition. To ensure that your upcoming visit to the Upper Valley is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled a meticulously-curated list of our six favorite Vermont breweries.
Incredibly, four of the top 50 breweries in America are located in Vermont, according to Untappd’s thirsty community. One such brewery rests in the quiet village of White River Junction, which we’ll get to here in a minute. First, let’s start the list with one of the coziest Vermont breweries located just across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College.
We’re all about craft beer here at The Norwich Inn, home to Jasper Murdock Ales, one of the longest-standing Vermont breweries. While it’s rumored that “Ma” Walker began bootlegging from the basement during Prohibition, we didn’t start brewing English-style ales until 1993. Our Whistling Pig Red Ale remains a New England staple, which pairs perfectly with the brand new Jasper Murdock Whistling Pig Ale Cheddar.
Approximately five miles down the Connecticut River lies an unpretentious yet earnest operation known as River Roost Brewery, which ranks among the 50 best breweries in the U.S., according to Untappd. Unlike all other Vermont breweries on this list, River Roost lacks a true taproom. But beer lovers are urged to make a quick pit stop at this undersized industrial facility because the Mas Verde, Sound the Horns, and League of Shadows are all world-class.
Every self-guided Vermont brewery tour must include a stop at Long Trail Brewing. While the beer quality doesn’t match the likes of River Roost, The Alchemist, or Hill Farmstead, this gorgeous hillside facility is well worth the journey. Long Trail was founded inside the Bridgewater Woolen Mill’s basement in 1989 and has since blossomed into a New England staple. After savoring a farmhouse sampler, go for a stroll in the backyard along the tranquil Ottauquechee River.
The Day Trips
Many of the top Vermont breweries are approximately 90 minutes from The Norwich Inn. So, a scenic day trip is required to cross them off of your craft brewery bucket list. If you’ve had your pulse on the New England beer scene over the past few years, you likely already know all about these three microbreweries.
Nearly every brew that’s concocted inside this small oak barrel “fermentory” turns heads. The House of Fermentology is widely considered one of the 10 best breweries in America (alongside The Alchemist, as seen below). Fans of wild, unfiltered ales will unquestionably fall in love with the Fermentology’s many palatable ales. Oddly enough, visitors are urged to enjoy their newly-purchased bottles of beer at nearby Foam Brewers, an institution in itself.
The Alchemist, widely known as the birthplace of the New England-style IPA, recently opened a new, sleek brewing facility in Stowe. Most beer aficionados consider this trend-setting company the premier microbrewery in Vermont. We recommend hopping aboard the $10 brewery tour, which includes samples, a souvenir glass, and a behind-the-scenes look at this sparkling facility.
Hill Farmstead Brewery is perhaps the best summertime destination in the Green Mountains. Unlike most Vermont breweries, this jaw-dropping operation rests on a beautiful, secluded farm in the middle of nowhere. The rural ambiance and gorgeous architecture, combined with their fine ales, makes for a true one-of-a-kind experience.
Vermont Breweries: High-Calibre, Historic, and Innovative
As always, please establish a sober ride during your midday beer adventures. And, before returning to Norwich, don’t forget to explore the Upper Valley, visit a museum, and search for covered bridges. While our growing Norwich brewery gets a lot of buzz, it’s important to note that we’re also revered for our fine dining, historic ambiance, and elegant accommodations. To book a well-deserved beer, cheese, and bread vacay to the lush Upper Valley, please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online).