Category Archives: Beers Enjoyed

The Magic School Bus Adventures to Vermont

Alchemist Brewing – Heady Topper – 8/27/16

Wife planned a trip to Vermont with some friends…all the Bro’s that got invited bailed, so it was me and five chicks (some of whom don’t even prefer beer). Sis-in-law was able to rent a discounted mini van, started picking up passengers at 6am – like a batshit crazy bus driver –  and we were on our merry fucking way by 630am to a land of green mountains, aromatic brewskis, and finely spiced meats.

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Form East Brunswick, NJ it was a solid six hour drive to the house we rented in Stowe, VT. Definitely a great location for a pad; located near good breweries, in the middle of no where, and the Ben and Jerrys ice cream factory was down the friken’ road. The road trip there was epic. We sang along with the radio, laughed our ass’ off at the erratic driving of the bus driver (big sis), and I egged stuff from the passenger seat as we drove while laughing like a maniacal fuck! (missed all targets).

We decided to break the drive up by stopping at Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater Corners, VT for a pint and some foods. This is one of my personally favorite breweries. I like the logo with the silhouetted hiker, and the IPA they make. The brewery itself is situated with a creek in the back that has a deck over looking it. I wasn’t aware of this, but when the weathers warm enough they offer patrons a red cup to take whatever beer they’ve purchased into the creek so you can chill. After we got a brew/food we hopped in the car and it was my turn to drive. I gotta tell ya…it wasn’t anything like when Big Sis was driving. As a matter of fact, it was like driving some old people around…all the chicks (including my wife) fell asleep;

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Instead of driving right to the house we drove directly to The Alchemist Brewery. It was like driving up to a shrine. Check it out;

alchemyI actually thought it was a church when we got there. Apparently, this is their brand spakin’ new brew place. I was still driving at this point and parked the car at a hurried rate, hopped out, knelt down, and immediately began praying. I ran inside after realizing it wasn’t a church and jumped in line for a tasting. I nearly soiled myself being that close to that precious, golden pale ale that I’d heard so much about. First words after first sip, “It’s the smoothest IPA I’ve ever had…and it’s a double IPA!”. The guy that poured it stares at me with a big smile, look of glee, and nods his head up and down. Now that I think about it, I must have been doing fucking laps around this place.

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Aside from Heady Topper they also had two other beers you could sample; Focal Banger, and Crusher – both of which were equally if not more delicious than Heady. (especially Focal in my opinion). When I asked if they had any Topper to sell the guy behind the counter let out a chuckle and said, “You’re crazy if you thought you were gonna’ get any on a Saturday @ 2pm”. Apparently, people line up at the door before the place opens to get that ish. They don’t give tours of the brewery, it’s one of those self guided things with pictures on the wall. The visitors area is small as hell. The girls didn’t seem to overly impressed with the beer, as a matter o fact, at least four of them said they didn’t like it – that’s okay more for me. I definitely helped them finish their sample pours…like 12 times. The Focal Banger was pretty bangin’. I may even like it more than the Heady Topper.

Heady Topper is definitely a fine ass beer. The Brew Master is definitely a master of his craft. At 8%ABV and aromatic as fuck, it definitely gets you lifted after just one full can. They should bottle the scent of this and sell it as cologne. I don’t even wear cologne, but I’d buy that shit…and drink it! They only sell this it to select places within a 25 mile radius. On Monday, when we were leaving, one of my wife’s friends woke me up so we could go locate a place that was selling the Topper, so she could bring it back for her boyfriend. We hit a liquor store first (it was 9am and they were open, crazy!) they didn’t have any. Then, of all places, we hit up a food store called – Sunflower Natural Foods. They must have just gotten it that morning because the shelf was fully stocked. She bought a case (24 beers) and it cost her 95 bucks! Too damn rich for my blood. I ended up with two – four packs.

Vermont’s a kick ass place. My wife definitely done good! If you’re going to go definitely hit this brewery up. Not only is it in the vicinity of many other a fine establishment, but the product is definitely worth all the hype. I don’t really feel like typing anymore so here are a couple of places/products of honorable mention;

Prohibition Pig – The most bangin’ wings I’ve ever had. Dry rubbed, and possibly double deep fried? I don’t know, go there and be the judge yourself…I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Ben and Jerry’s – solid 20 minute tour with a free tasting at the end. Relatively inexpensive and informative. I questioned the tour guide as to whether ben and jerry both had quadruple bypass (thought I heard that in some crazy food documentary). She did not know.

Long Trail Brewery – We stopped here on our way to our destination in Waterbury, VT (the house). They serve food, there’s outdoor seating, and if the weathers nice you can get a red cup for your beer and chill in the creek off the deck.

Von Trapp Brewery – So here’s the thing about this place…the brewery actually isn’t open to the public yet. What you gotta do is go to the restaurant and they have a sweet deck over looking a field and some mountains. That’s where you’ll get their unique German styled beers.

Sam Smith…the Brewery…Not the Singer

Sam Smith – Organic Chocolate Stout – 2/21/16

I’ve had mostly all of this breweries beers except; the Wheat Beer and the Yorkshire Stingo (Because I can’t find them anywhere) – oh, and their fruit beers (Because I’m not a fan of fruit drinks). They’re based out of the UK (Home of many a fine Brew). First experience with this brewery was during a beer marathon in DC. They were serving full bottles of it at Science Club (One of the gastropubs listed on the marathon map). My wife and I were impressed with it from the get go, and my love for it (similarly to the love for my wife) grew over time.

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This stout is organic which I think is pretty cool. They brew a couple other organic beers; lager, pale ale, wheat beer, and some fruity varieties – which I don’t really care for. Check out the full list here; Samuel Smith Brewing.  Stouts and Porters are my style of choice when it comes to beer. Sam Smith is definitely my go to regular when I’m having a cold one in the evening. Luckily, because of the craft beer boom, more liquor stores are carrying single bottles which is pretty sweet. It’s pretty damn interesting that I like this beer as much as I do. Now that I think about it (and I’ll have to look in to this), but in some instances I think this is one of the only organic beers that a majority of liquor stores by me carry (aside from the aforementioned organic beers from the same brewery). If you’re looking for a solid stout, flavorful and satisfying; definitely try this, it’s worth it.