About an hour’s drive north of Stowe, up Rt. 100, you will find Kingdom Brewing in Newport, Vermont. En route you will pass bucolic farmsteads, home-town country stores, and a variety of little businesses eking out a life in the Northeast Kingdom. I arrived slightly before the 3 pm opening time, so I took the opportunity to also drive around the city (although its more like a large village) of Newport and take note of some cool shops and restaurants for future visits.
Driving up to the brewery and “beercabin”, you are greeted by horses and Angus cattle out in the pasture, all part of the farm atmosphere. In fact, the proprietors of Kingdom Brewing pride themselves on the use of home-grown ingredients in some of their beers. On this day, there was also a food truck in the parking lot with some interesting offerings.
The beercabin is expansive … the result of a recent expansion … so there is plenty of table and bar seating. There were 15 beers on tap, including a couple of guest beers. I chose a 4-sample flight ($6) and began my tasting. I also did a bonus sample of the Cuvee des Jacobin. Here is what I found:
Out of Bounds DIPA (8.3% ABV) This double IPA is refreshing, and oddly has some coffee undertones.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.2 | Feel: 4.3 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
* Smoked Spruce Pale Ale (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
Black Ale (6.1% ABV) Started off smooth tasting, but ended on a slightly sour note. I think this beer is an acquired taste.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.1 | Feel: 4.1 | Taste: 4.1 | Overall: 4.2
Spruce Saison (7.0% ABV) Beautiful pour and very subtle aromas and flavors … just slightly sour.
Appearance: 4.4 | Aroma: 4.1 | Feel: 4.1 | Taste: 4.3 | Overall: 4.4
Cuvee des Jacobin (5.5% ABV) A Flanders red ale which comes off as very, very, very sour. Not entirely unpleasant, but quite tart!
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.2 | Feel: 4.2 | Taste: 4.3 | Overall: 4.2
The Cicerone says: its a bit out of the way, but if you can make the trip (or if you spot some bottles in your favorite beer store), I recommend the Smoked Spruce Pale Ale … I tool home a growler to impress some dinner guests!
* New feature: added to my Favorites List. I am on the look-out for these beers when at a local restaurant, pub, or craft beer store.
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