To celebrate the holidays, I decided to procure some beer and cider made specifically in Stowe, Vermont! This includes favorites from The Alchemist, Idletyme Brewing Company, von Trapp Brewing, Upper Pass Beer Company (yes, it is brewed in Stowe), and Stowe Cider. That’s a pretty good line-up.
Many of these operations are not open Sundays, i.e. Christmas Eve this year, so if you want to purchase a late gift, you’ll need to check out your friendly beer shop. In Stowe proper, the Cicerone recommends the Stowe Public House, Edelweiss Deli, or Harvest Market.
- The Alchemist (open Tuesdays thru Saturdays, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm). Ah yes, it’s our old friend Mr. Heady Topper. If you’re having guests from out of town (I am), you must have more than a few of these precious babies ready to go. At 8% ABV and with a hoppy, but sweet taste, this American double IPA is a perennial favorite during the holidays (or any time).
- Ideltyme Brewing Company (open everyday, 11:30 am to 9:00/10:00 pm). You can purchase beer directly at the restaurant on Mountain Road in Stowe, but in this case, I picked up a 22-oz. bottle of the Idletyme Idletyme double IPA (8% ABV) at Stowe Public House. Aside from the attractive bottle, the Ideltyme is an easy drinking beer, dry-hopped and finishing with citrus and other fruity aftertastes … from the elder brewery in Stowe.
- von Trapp Brewing (Bierhall open everyday, 11:30 am to 9:00 pm). I picked up two different beers from von Trapp: the “Natur Helles” – an unfiltered Munich-styled lager at 4.9% ABV and a cool, hazy yellow appearance when poured (by far my favorite of the von Trapps), and the “Pilsner” – a Bohemian-styled pilsner lager (5.4% ABV) breed with Perle and Saaz hops. Both of these live up to the brand and are great to serve to guests.
- Upper Pass Beer Company (available in select retail stores only). I remember when I enjoyed my first Upper Pass beer. I saw that Upper Pass is based in Tunbridge, Vermont, but the taste of the beer was so pleasant that I needed to study the can to find out what kind of hops were used. Lo and behold … Upper Pass is actually brewed in Stowe, Vermont; Upper Pass uses the von Trapp beer works to brew their brand. What a great idea! On this occasion I purchased a 4-pack of the “Cloud Drop” double IPA (8% ABV) at Stowe Public House. “Cloud Drop” is brewed with six varieties of hops, giving it a swirl of aromas and tastes.
- Stowe Cider (open Tuesdays thru Saturdays, 12:00 Noon to 6:00 pm). To round our list of libations made in Stowe, I picked up a bottle of “Bear’s Choice” hard cider (6.3% ABV) from Stowe Cider on Mountain Road. “Bear’s Choice” is infused with blackberry juice, which creates an exotic mix of apple and berry tastes. It’s comes beautifully presented in a 500 ml bottle. I happened to catch a snowflake in the picture on the right (one of the many that fell that day).
The Cicerone says: if you want to stick with beers and ciders made in Stowe, you have a wide choice available … you will have no problem finding one that piques your tastebuds!