Ok, what’s the next best thing to visiting a brewery? Well, in this case, it’s visiting a craft brew shop/seller … and this weekend I stopped in to Stowe Public House located on Main Street in Stowe Village.
The benefits of a retailer like Stowe Public House include: a wide variety of lagers and ales from local and regional brewers and, most importantly, a shop owner who has a taste for beer and is up to the challenge of making a recommendation to suit your palate. In addition to the wide variety, the shop offers tastings so that you can preview some of the more “interesting” choices. On this particular visit I picked up two 4-packs of my new go-to IPA, Lost Nation Mosaic, and then the owner directed me to try two new ones: an American Pale Ale, “3030” from Bent Hill Brewery (5,4% ABV) and another IPA from Burlington Beer Company, “I See the Vision” (with papaya & yuzu) at 7% ABV. I had the “I See the Vision” that evening, and it was good, but a bit funky. Many breweries recommend that you drink straight from the can so you don’t see the sediment or get it mixed into the beer … “I See the Vision” is one of those beers for which you should heed this advice (I learned the hard way).
In addition to the large selection of beers available (and cider and wine), a section of the store is devoted to snacks like local cheeses, hard salami’s, hot sauces, etc.
The Cicerone says: the owner knows his stuff; when you want something new, don’t be shy and ask him for a couple of recommendations.