Jasper Murdock Ales: The Vermont Beer Trail Starts in Norwich

Jasper Murdock Ales: The Vermont Beer Trail Starts in Norwich

Jasper Murdock Ales

There’s no denying that Vermont is home to some of North America’s richest craft beer history and finest brewing facilities. After all, the birthplace of the modern-day “hazy IPA” (often referred to as the New England-style IPA) is approximately 80 miles northwest of Norwich in the rolling hills of Stowe. Unbeknownst to many, Norwich’s historic, picturesque town is home to one of the longest-standing breweries on the Vermont beer trail: Jasper Murdock Ales, an Upper Valley staple that dates back to 1993.

A Unique Slice of Upper Valley History

Jasper Murdock Ales on the BarAccording to the Brewers Association, Vermont boasts the most breweries per capita in America. We take craft beer seriously—and you should too. The self-guided Vermont beer trail, which we cover in more detail below, starts and finishes at The Norwich Inn. It’s not often that you stumble upon a 28-year-old brewery located inside of a 1797 inn that has hosted the likes of Dr. Seuss and President James Monroe.

Today, travelers can stroll into this classic Irish pub for a tall pint, a 22-ounce bottle to-go, or even a growler fill. The pub has retained its original charm, thanks to its rich mahogany bar, old-timey photography, and Irish-green accents.

Jasper Murdock Ales: The Legacy Continues

Jasper Murdock Ales in Front of a Fireplace

What began as a modest venture that only produced five-gallon jugs of English-style ales has blossomed into one of the proudest breweries in New England. The team now concocts 125-gallon batches covering nearly beer style, ranging from smile-inducing cream ales to trendy IPLs and classic Irish reds.

Jasper Murdock’s premier beer remains the Whistling Pig Red Ale, a multi-generational recipe that’s a delicious ode to the classic Irish reds that pre-date the new-age Vermont brewery scene. Recent hits include the genre-bending Schwarzpils, the aptly-named Mash Up, and the crowd-pleasing N2B Cream Ale, a proclaimed “lawnmower beer.”

A Self-Guided Journey on the Vermont Beer Trail

There’s no better reason to visit the Upper Valley this August than the annual Vermont NanoFest, the region’s premier dabbler. At the NanoFest, grinning beer enthusiasts can taste-test many of the state’s top-rated breweries, which is a welcomed alternative to a lengthy drive on the Vermont beer trail. Participants include Red Clover Ale Co., Green Empire Brewing, and Upper Pass Brewing Company. We also urge thirsty beer nerds to visit some of the area’s top-rated taprooms in White River Junction, Bridgewater Corners, and beyond. Use this Vermont brewery bucket list as your trail guide.

To book a long-awaited craft beer-inspired escape to Norwich, please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online).

Vermont Brewery Tours: Explore the Upper Valley

 

Vermont Brewery Tours: Explore the Upper Valley

Craft beer is a way of life in Vermont’s Upper Valley, where the region’s natural beauty melds flawlessly with the historical significance and artisanal quintessence. And there’s no better example of artistry, history, and beauty than The Norwich Inn, established in 1797. The Norwich Inn is a culinary destination, a historic hotel, and, of course, a 27-year-old microbrewery. So, it should come as no surprise that the inn collaborates with Vermontology Guided Tours to offer a one-of-a-kind beer, spirit, and food experience in the heart of the Upper Valley. New Englanders flock to The Norwich Inn to take full advantage of the two-day Vermont brewery tour package, which includes a seven-hour shuttled adventure, private tastings, two nights in an old-world guest room, and so much more!

The Vermont Brewery Tour: 6 Stops in 7 Hours

Photo from the Vermont Brewery Tour at The Norwich Inn, including Beer, a Growler, and a Pumpkin.

Before diving fully into the seven-hour Vermont brewery tour, it’s important to note that you may or may not stop at these destinations. Because of COVID-19, elements of the tour are fluid due to altered hours and availability. Rest assured, you’ll still enjoy seven full hours of world-class beer, spirits, and artisanal edibles. This all-inclusive Vermont brewery tour includes stops at a local cheese shop, several taprooms, two distilleries, and the world-famous King Arthur Baking Company (formerly known as King Arthur Flour). Buckle up—it’s going to be a flavorful ride!

1. Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Before opening the tasting tour with a bevy of distilled spirits, you’ll make a quick stop at Cabot’s Quechee location. Their homemade cheeses pair beautifully with just about every type of adult beverage.

2. Vermont Spirits

The Vermont brewery tour’s first core stop is the Quechee Gorge Village, home to Vermont Spirits. The earnest tasting room is spacious and quiet, and you’ll likely have the whole distillery to yourselves.

3. Long Trail Brewing Co.

Next, you’ll trek westward en route to Long Trail Brewing for a flight of craft beer and some American grub, such as a burger, kale salad, or turkey Reuben. Long Trail and Jasper Murdock Ales are two of the oldest craft breweries in Vermont. 

Photo of a Beer Flight During a Vermont Brewery Tour.4. Windsor’s Artisans Park

Windsor’s glorious, eight-business Artisans Park is one of the Upper Valley’s finest attractions. And it’s home to Harpoon Brewery, SILO Distillery, and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (among others). The experience can vary, depending on what your group hopes to see and taste. The Path of Life Sculpture Garden is a must-see!

5. River Roost Brewery

On the way back to Norwich, you’ll stop in Hartford at River Roost Brewery, a tiny operation that’s perfect for small groups and tours. Despite its modest taproom, River Roost remains one of the top-ranked breweries in the U.S., according to Untappd’s beer society.

6. King Arthur Baking Company

We’re still getting used to saying “Baking Company,” as it’s been “Flour” for 230 years. Despite the new name and logo, King Arthur’s flagship campus remains the same quintessential New England attraction. Watch a live cooking demonstration, shop on a variety of goods, sip on a hot beverage, savor a dessert, and admire the landscape’s natural beauty.

Two Nights at The Norwich Inn

Photo of a Vermont Brewery Tour inside Jasper Murdock—Bombers of Beer, Anyone?The Norwich Inn’s two-night Vermont brewery tour package includes a wide variety of exclusive luxuries, as seen below. Unlike an “average” stay, each package comes with special perks, such as a take-home bomber and an on-site dining credit. Keep reading to learn more about what’s included:

  • Two nights lodging at The Norwich Inn
  • A welcome beer flight (per person) inside Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse
  • Pick up at 10 a.m. via Vermontology Guided Tours
  • Return to the inn at 5 p.m. for one pint of beer (per person)
  • $25 dining credit per room, good for food or beverage at any time during your stay
  • A take-home 22-ounce bomber (per person) of the Jasper Murdock Ale of your choice
  • A block (per room) of our Whistling Pig Ale Cheddar Cheese made in conjunction with Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company

The package costs $339 per person (double occupancy) or $499 per person (single occupancy). Groups of four (or more) receive a $25 discount per person. While most tours are scheduled for Thursdays, weekends may be available. Please call 802-649-1143 to inquire.