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.

A Beer Lover’s Bucket List: 6 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries

 

A Beer Lover’s Bucket List: 6 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries

Photo of Beer Bottles at One of the Best Vermont BreweriesDespite 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.

The Locals

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.

Photo of Jasper Murdock's Taproom, One of the Best Vermont BreweriesJasper Murdock Ales – Norwich

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.

River Roost Brewery – White River Junction

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.

Long Trail Brewing Co. – Bridgewater Corners

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

Photo of Four People Toasting at One of the Best Vermont Breweries

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.

House of Fermentology – Burlington

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 – Stowe

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.

Photo of Hops at One of the Best Vermont BreweriesHill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro Bend

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).