Breweries, Friends and too much Food.

The past four days were a whirlwind. To be brief, Gabe had an interview scheduled in Vermont for Friday morning- to say the least it went well. At the end of their chat Gabe mentioned that I’m in Horticulture and was asked for my resume. Which was fine, I knew they had a position open but some places are weird about married couples working for the same company. Anyway, while we were out at my interview (which also went well) the man from the other company called and wanted to interview me too! So now I want the job that I didn’t even know I wanted of course. I may have to go back to Vermont this week for a second interview. I am anxiously awaiting his call.

So- after all of that we were finally on our way to Barre- at around 3 pm, having eaten nothing all day but a granola bar. The first place that I interviewed with suggested a small place on our way called “Worthy Burger” and it was hands down the best burger I have ever had. But if you weren’t looking for it, you’d never find it. The restaurant is housed in an old railway stop that from the road, doesn’t look like much. They cook all of their burgers over a wood stove, and they only come one way- medium rare. The french fries were amazing too; fried in the beef fat. They have a condiment bar complete with homemade pickles, spicy ketchup and an herb mayo.  I may never eat another Five Guys burger again after this. WB also has several local brews on tap, but since we were heading to the hotel we didn’t have one. A great little place though!

Saturday we headed out to Burlington, we have friends living in the city and thought this would be a good opportunity to see them. Before we got to them though, we had to stop at Gabe’s favorite brewery- The Alchemist. This brewery only makes one kind of beer, called Heady Topper. If you are not an IPA fan you won’t like this beer. Trust me. Not only is it a double IPA (making it higher in alcohol content) it is dry hopped to the max. I recommend only drinking one as it will knock you on your ass. They only come in 12 oz. cans, and if you want to buy it the brewery recommends you get to them before noon (and they open at 11). We were successful in our task and brought home 2 four packs (yes four, no six-packs here.)

beer

Once we arrived in Burlington we checked out a couple of antique shops and another brewery- Switchback. While neither of us were impressed with their flagship ale or seasonal stout, at least we got our brewery passports stamped. Then lunch.

We had lunch at the Vermont Pub and Brewery. More great food. Seriously. They had 10 beers on tap, all brewed right there. Like most brew pubs they offer a flight, VPB offers 3 oz. samples, and we tried them all. (I really only thought there was 7, then the bartender brought us 10 samples. We had a lot of beer with lunch.) They had an Irish red ale that I particularly enjoyed, as well as a chocolate stout. Mmm. I had a buffalo chicken wrap, it was great and Gabe had a chicken sandwich with cheddar and an apple reduction sauce. We split an order of sweet potato fries that were fantastic. One more passport stamp and we were on our way. After lunch we thought it would be best to walk around a bit, so we strolled the walking mall and checked out the winter sale at Patagonia (still to expensive) and the Outdoor Gear Store before meeting up with our friends.

Before dinner we stopped in at 3 Needs, another passport stop and local bar. No great shakes though. But for dinner we had pizza at American Flatbread/Zero Gravity Brewery. This pizza bar is owned by the current president of the Vermont Brewing Assoc. and offers some of the best flatbread pizza I’ve had. They cook all of the pizza in a clay oven right in the dining room. We had 2 (definitely gourmet pizza by the way) the special which had pot roast, baked beans with bacon and baby spinach. Gabe ordered a sausage pizza with mushroom, sundried tomato and caramelized onion. I liked the pot roast one better. They have 3 locations in VT and one in NYC so they must do something right! I was sick of beer by dinner so I had a hard cider, but Gabe tried an ale that was pretty good. (I had a sip.)

A note on the passport references- The Vermont Brewery Assoc. has developed a “passport program” wherein you receive a card from a brewery that lists that and other breweries around the state. Every time you visit a brewery you receive a stamp, and once you complete the passport you can send it in for a bunch of free stuff.

photo (20)

This is mine. I have also been to Rock Art, Magic Hat, Long Trail and Madison Brewing Co. but only Gabe had the passport at that time. Of course, because this is a booming industry there is already a new passport with 3 more breweries on it. But, I’m more than halfway there!

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