Did you know that the Hermit Thrush is the Vermont state bird? Neither did I, but one of the goals of the Cicerone is to teach you important trivia that you can spout to impress your beer-swigging friends. Learn all about the little Hermit Thrush here.
Driving up Interstate 91 on my way to Stowe, I decided to stop in at the duly-named Hermit Thrush Brewery in Brattleboro, Vermont. This brewery was founded by two brew-masters who are ardent in their craft … it is renowned for its strict adherence to producing great-tasting sour ales.
It was late afternoon, and I had the place to myself for now. I went ahead and ordered up some 3 oz. pours to try:
Gin Barrel Saison (6.5% ABV) A sour saison aged in gin barrels.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
Fish in a Barrel (8.0% ABV) This is a collaboration with Trout River Brewery, and it is very good! Hermit Thrush takes a double IPA from Trout River and ages it in chardonnay barrels. Simultaneous rush of sour and bitter flavors.
Appearance: 4.4 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.6 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.6
Cassis (5.7% ABV) Sour … sour … ale aged on black currants. Fantastic color in the glass.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.3 | Feel: 4.4 | Taste: 4.4 | Overall: 4.4
Super Phunk #7 (5.9% ABV) Its the seventh iteration of this sour ale … aged in red and white wine barrels with their house-special yeast.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.4 | Taste: 4.4 | Overall: 4.4
The Cicerone says: Hermit Thrush Brewery is another great place to stop over while making your way through Vermont. Be prepared for a sour beer-tasting experience, but if they happen to have Fish in a Barrel, grab yourself a pint or a growler! Another tip: you might be able to find Fish in a Barrel at their collaborateur, Trout River Brewery!