A Day of Beer & Cider in Vermont
Vermont is a magical place, especially when it comes to their libations. They don’t take their beer and cider game lightly. Vermont is a mecca for fans of craft beer and cider. I mean, if you are a fan, then you’ve no doubt heard of The Alchemist. The best part about Vermont is that there are MANY amazing establishments churning out fabulous brews in the Green State. I was lucky enough to visit a few of them and even get a behind the scenes tour of a couple one chilly day in January. Don’t worry, if you aren’t into winter activities, Vermont still has plenty to offer in the winter for beer lovers!
Zero Gravity, 716 Pine Street, Burlington, VT
Zero Gravity was established in 2004 at their brewpub in Burlington at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth. Now expanded to a 30 barrel brewhouse in the South End Arts District, they have a full canning line, tasting room, merchandise shop and beer garden. When we arrived on that Friday night it was packed with folks kicking off their weekend right. The taproom had a nice buzz of conversation and a warm feeling to it. We met Jake who grabbed us some brews and took us back to see where all the magic happens.
During the day the back area is hustling with workers brewing and canning, but since it was a Friday after 5pm we had the place to ourselves. Jake took us around, showing us the brewing process and where they do all the canning. Zero Gravity started distributing back in 2012 for offsite sales and within 2 years they were maxed out and had to move to this new facility.
Now distributing to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, their popularity is growing outside their home state of Vermont. If you find yourself in Burlington, I highly recommend stopping by their taproom to try out some beers that you can’t get here locally. If you don’t feel like making the trip, we try to keep in stock Conehead, Little Wolf, and Green State Lager. Also keep an eye out from time to time for special releases that we may only get one to two cases of!
14th Star Brewing, 133 North Main Street, St. Albans City, VT
You’ll have to travel a bit farther north to hit up this taproom, but it’s totally worth it. Nestled about 45 minutes north of Burlington, St. Albans is a quaint little city that has amazing food and an awesome main street drag. The 14th Star taproom is nicely sized and they have beers on tap there that they don’t have distributed, so you can try a variety of beers that you can’t get elsewhere! They also have live music on the weekends and sometimes host movie nights. If you’re hungry, they have food onsite from Grazers, who churns out delicious sandwiches, burgers, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had in quite some time! Cozy up at the bar, which is made from a reclaimed bowling alley, and you’ll have an amazing view of their 30 barrel brew house.
The idea for 14th Star brewery started when Steve Gagner was in Afghanistan and it came to him. After deployment he returned to Vermont. Steve and his best friend/fellow soldier Matt Kehaya worked on making the idea of 14th Star a reality, opening it in 2012. The first location was on Lower Newton Street and it only took 2 years before the demand for their beer had grown, as had their staff, and they needed to move to a new location. In November 2014 they moved to their current location on North Main Street. If you haven’t tried some of the beers from this brewery come down to our store and let one of our associates guide you to their excellent brews!
Burlington Beer Company, 25 Omega Drive #150, Williston, VT
If you don’t know about Burlington Beer Company then you are definitely missing out on some amazing brews. Their brewery is nestled in a little corporate park in Williston, just a little southeast of Burlington. They have plenty of beer on tap and cans to go, plus some great farm to table food options if you are feeling a bit hungry. It’s a great place to hang on a Saturday in the company of good people where you can feel free to play a game or just chill out.
Founder Joe Lemrah started brewing at home in 2006. Between 2006 and 2012 he was brewing beer for places such as Dogfish Head, Evolution, and Olde Saratoga. By the time he started Burlington Beer Co., he had over 10,000 hours of brewing experience. Burlington Beer Co. opened in May of 2014 and they’ve been brewing a wide range of hazy, hoppy pale ales and various IPA’s, as well as fruit ales, and dark beers such as porters and stouts. They love to use local ingredients and put their own unique stamp on their recipes. One certain element that really makes them stand out is their unique can artwork. The white or black can with the fun designs make this easy to pick out of a lineup of beers in a cooler, gently guiding you to make the right choice when looking for a tasty beverage. We’ve been lucky enough to start getting their brews here in the store, so come look for their standout label and trust that the beer will not disappoint!
Citizen Cider, 316 Pine Street, Burlington, VT
Sometimes you just need a beverage other than a beer, and what better choice to make than a fresh, delicious cider. We round out our trip by stopping in at Citizen Cider, located right down the street from Zero Gravity. Citizen’s cider pub is a great place to grab one of their delicious originals, try one of the limited release ciders, or they even have a specialty cocktail menu and some brews for the beer lovers. Did we mention they have a killer food menu too? They were even just featured on the Guy Fieri show, “Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives.” The chef Ryan Hickey, incorporates the cider into all of the dishes he creates, including the hot wings made with The Dirty Mayor, their ginger infused cider.
Citizen Cider was founded in 2010 by Justin Heilenbach, Bryan Holmes, and Kris Nelson. They were all working in different industries and started pressing cider in Kris’ barn and then fermenting the cider in Bryan’s basement. They developed the flagship Unified Press and then leased a place to start production of their business. They sold their first keg on February 3, 2012, and quickly sold out of their product in less than 6 months. Over the next couple of years they just kept growing and in April of 2014 opened their location at 316 Pine Street. Citizen continues to grow and is now distributed here in Massachusetts, including our store! We have the original lineup and also some limited releases from time to time. If you like ginger, definitely check out The Dirty Mayor. It’s one of my favorites!
Available in the store currently:
Brose 750ml $13
The Americran 750ml $11
Unified Press 19.2oz can $4
Unified Press 4pk $11
The Dirty Mayor 4pk $11
Lake Hopper 4pk $11
Conehead 4pk can $11.30
Conehead 12pk can $18.65
Green State Lager 4pk $10.05
Little Wolf 4pk $10.05
Loral Lager 4pk $11.30
Madonna IIPA 4pk $14.05
Maple Breakfast Stout 4pk $14.30
B-72 IPA 4pk – $17.05
Follow Me IPA 4pk – $14.30
Tribute IIPA 4pk – $16.05
Burlington Beer Company:
Ancient Power stout 4pk – $16.30
Barista coffee porter 4pk – $15.30
It’s Complicated Being A Wizard 4pk – $16.30
Orbital Elevator 4pk $16.30
Uncanny Valley 4pk – $15.30