Today, we went to two distilleries, had lunch at two brewpubs, and experienced beer at three breweries. We also did an hour hike at Quechee Gorge to try and balance the booze calories to some extent. The liquor was incredible, the food was amazing, and the beer was surprisingly disappointing.
Both Vermont Distillery Spirits and Silo Distillery offered free tastings, which is classy. At Vermont, the server was very friendly and helpful, and the gin was incredible. It was difficult to decide if it was actually gin, since the typical juniper character was muted, but it was nonetheless a complex, spiced clear liquor containing junipers. Their bourbon is made off-site, but they blend it with maple syrup to achieve a wonderful balanced sweetness to the alcohol bite of the bourbon. We walked away with plenty of their liquor, and they threw in a couple shot glasses, just because they’re awesome. At Silo, a high-maintenance loud group detracted from the experience, and their liquors were fine but not remarkable. Their elderberry vodka was a bit rough but fruity, so we bought some.
The food at Long Trail Brewery and Whetstone Station was incredible. It reminded me that brewpubs are, fundamentally, restaurants, and these both hit their food out of the park. Long Trail’s hummus wrap was flavourful and filling, and Whetstone’s caprese sandwich was so good I plan to replicate it as soon as we get home.
Sadly, the beer at Long Trail, Whetstone, and McNeill’s Brewery was lacking. To be fair, at Long Trail we sat outside, so the beer was skunked. There were no dark, malty beers available, so we had a hard time finding one to enjoy. Whetstone had three high gravity beers which all had a significant flaw. The saison was hoppily bitter, the wheat was also high in hops, and the imperial stout had a distinct burnt bitter character. McNeill’s had a large selection, with nothing to style or even flavor to recommend it.
Overall, we had a nice day in spite of the beer, not because of it. And we enjoy travelling together; even our off days are awesome.