Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Burlington, VT – Day two
Our first evening in Burlington was spent walking from restaurant to restaurant trying to find one that wasn’t completely booked. We settled on a seafood place called on The Shanty which was down by the lake on Battery Street. The crab cake was mostly breading but Doreen’s salad with goat cheese was right on the money. Their house ale is made by Long Trail in Bridgewater Corners near Killington. I found it a little weak and watered down as I have Long Trail’s other offerings.
We got up early on Sunday and took a jog on the Burlington bike trail that runs along Lake Champlain and stretches 7.6 miles to the Winooski River. We only did about half the trail, much of which hugs the rail road tracks and bisects Burlington’s many town parks. After a shower and a light breakfast, we scheduled our pick up by The Burlington Brew Tour which would transport us to four local breweries. Matt Taylor, the owner and operator of the tour, picked us up last and we squeezed into the van with a dozen other beer lovers . He got us introducing ourselves and talking about our favorite beer styles on the short ride to the Vermont Brew Pub. Matt has been brewing his own beer for over 8 years and was the perfect guide to the workings of the brewery’s production line. He explained the ingredients used to make beer, what each piece of equipment was used for and what made each beer unique.
Next, we were taken up to the pub and sampled six of the brewery’s most popular beers. We started with a raspberry beer called Forbidden Fruit that’s made with 500 lbs. of berries per batch. I found it a little too sour for my taste buds, but it was a big hit with the ladies in the group. I was interested to try their brown ale called OSHAnanagans. It tasted much like a Newcastle Brown Ale from England and was missing some of the maltiness I’ve come to love in American Browns. My favorite of the flight was the Lake Champlain Chocolate Stout which is made from cocoa from Madagascar and lactose from a nearby farm. It was creamy, smooth with just a hint of bitterness like the chocolate it’s named after.
More to come . . .