Quick Stowe, VT area recommendations

A few weeks ago, I spent some time in Stowe, VT for work. I went out a few days early with Sarah for a quick mini-vacation. This morning one of my co-workers sent me e-mail asking for brewery and restaurant recommendations. As long as I typed it up for him, I thought I’d repost it here. (We also stopped at two wineries, but since I wasn’t asked, I didn’t write. That might be a future post.)

Beer

  • The Alchemist Brewery – Stop in for a taster. They only make one beer, Heady Topper, but its currently rated 100% on Beer Advocate and it was damn damn good. I wish I could get it in IL. He might be able to find some around Stowe too, but they can barely keep up with demand and appear to make sure they have some in the home office for tasters.
  • Rock Art Brewery – This is also a good place to stop for a tasting, and you can taste multiple beers here. The big thing to buy while there is a bottle of their wheat beer that has maple syrup in it. They don’t sell it out of VT and its really good. Sadly, they can only sell you one taster. I briefly met the owners and they were cool people. Also, watch the videos on their webpage, they are hysterical. Here’s a shot of my taster:Taster at the Rock Art Brewery
  • We were staying at the Trapp Family Lodge, which has the Trapp Lager Brewery as part of it. Over the time we were there, I had one of each type they make. They were okay, the Dunkel was definitely my favorite.

http://www.vermontbrewers.com/ is an excellent resource too and has a map of like 30+ breweries in vermont. If you think you’ll hit more than 4 breweries in vermont, you should really do the passport program that’s on the site. I wish I had found out about it at the start of my trip rather than the last day.

Restaurants

  • Crop Bistro & Brewery – this will get you a brewery AND a farm to table restaurant. Food and beer were pretty good. It’s fairly low key, and the bar in the dining room is gorgeous. They are known for their fried pickles and, having eaten them, its for good reason.
  • Michael’s on the Hill – farm to table and chef owned. This was our “let’s have a really nice dinner because we have no kids” and it totally delivered. I did the “Gold Menu” and Sarah did the “Platinum Menu” and everything we ate was awesome. My dessert of “House Preserved Strawberry Milk Shake with Chocolate Ganache Donuts” was unbelievable.

If you had to pick only one, and you don’t mind the higher cost, I’d go to Michael’s On The Hill. If we had gone there our first free night, we would have gone back the second night. We’ll definitely be back if we ever make it to the area.