The Cicerone is often asked, “What is your favorite Vermont beer?” Like many, it’s hard to name a single favorite … there are so many great beers and breweries, and new beers constantly arrive on the market. I always answer that “I never drink the same beer consecutively, preferring to mix it up.” However, in time for the holidays, I have listed some of my recent “favorite beers”, ones I am on the look-out for when at a local restaurant, pub, or craft beer store.
- Tripel Anniversarybier from Brocklebank Craft Brewing in Tunbridge, Vermont (~8.0 ABV) Brocklebank’s 3rd anniversary creation … a classic Belgian blonde ale, but aged in bourbon barrels … the bourbon flavors come through … excellent!
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.6 | Feel: 4.4 | Taste: 4.6 | Overall: 4.6
- Payroll from Good Measure Brewing Company in Northfield, Vermont (7.0% ABV) An American Pale Ale, loaded with hops (Simcoe, Columbus, Mosaic, Falconers, Centennial) and just oozing with aroma and taste.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.7 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.7
- Blood Orangle Imperial IPA from Bent Hill Brewing in Braintree, Vermont (8.2% ABV).This double IPA uses the zest of blood oranges, and Cascade, Mosaic, and Belma hops.
Appearance: 4.7 | Aroma: 4.7 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.7
- Smoked Spruce Pale Ale from Kingdom Brewing in Newport, Vermont (5.0% ABV) The flavors and smells coming from this beer are just amazing … certainly hints of spruce, ginger(?) and pine-needles. Pours with a super, dark golden color … loved this beer.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.4 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.7
- Rotary Chaos from Ten Bends Beer in Hyde Park, Vermont (5.8% ABV) An American IPA and one of our favorites from Ten Bends. Duly named after the chaotic roundabouts on Rt. 17.
Appearance: 4.2 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.3 | Taste: 4.8 | Overall: 4.7
- It’s Complicated Being a Wizard from Burlington Beer Company in Williston, Vermont (8.0% ABV) Note: this is not the musical album by “Portugal. The Man”, but instead a very hazy and great tasting double IPA. Finishes with slightly sweet notes.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.2 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.6
The Cicerone says: Not only are these beers good, but they can be hard to find. If you see some, buy some and you won’t be disappointed.