On our drive home after leaving the not so exciting Route 6 and finding no place to get more than just a snack, I turned to Untapped to see what local places I could find. It led me to a gem – North Slope Brewing Company. The owner has hired a talented crew and we got to meet one of the brewers. His passion AND knowledge of beer making combines to brew well crafted beer. We have visited a lot of different small breweries and all were good but this one tops the list. Beer was on par with our favorite places like Ommegang and Weyerbacher. This is amazing well crafted beer that you can tell a lot of thought is going into. He is following old school recipes Mountaineer Beer (German Alt) and his brewer partner is creating the most unusual beer – Booyakasha made with cucumber essence that really tastes like cucumbers unlike other cucumber beers I have tried. We even tasted a Cider and by far was the best I have ever had – perfectly tart. And paired with this is amazing fresh food (best bread) coming from the local area. Delicious!
Although it is a drive from my home, we will return without question! I highly recommend if passing through, or within a sixty mile radius, that you divert your route past North Slope.
We drove up to Bristol Vt for one last place to check out for we had read on Beer Advocate that it had great beer. We had no idea just how good the food was and that to get a table was reservation only! What a great little mountain town! I felt like I was back out West. This would be a great base camp for a future trip to explore North Vermont Breweries. I even had the chance to meet a nice couple who were originally from my hometown state who owned a campground in the area.
I started with Saison De Cassis – mixed into this great beer is Vermont Blackcurrants! It was delicious! And then finished my evening with a Unrepentant Stout. The chocolate and dark coffee definitely come out in this beer and it was perfect ending to a great day!
I’ve been a long time fan of Wolaver’s Wildflower Wheat – for me the perfect summer session beer in the middle of a humid afternoon – and so seeing where it is produced was a must stop on our Brewery tour. The Otter Creek Brewing Company is a great brew pub serving all three of their beers with big windows where you can look out at all the shiny tanks producing beer. Although we are familiar with both Otter Creek and Wolaver’s we had not had The Shed, a small Vermont Brewery acquired by Otter Creek. The Shed Mountain Ale was good. Also tried the Wolaver’s Brown Ale and jumped ahead to the fall season and had a Wolaver’s Pumpkin.
Sometime they even offer special test batch one day of the week (not the day we were there). Regardless – this is a great stop to enjoy a few beers low in ABV, have a nice chat with bartenders who know beer, and enjoy some good local food — but get there early. They shut down in the early evening so that the local bars get the spotlight and can make the money selling their beers.
Deliciousness!! Award for our most favorite beer on today’s brewery tour. And most unobtainable… they do not bottle and so the only option to take with you is to get a growler to go. The Head Brewer’s main focus is teaching the craft of making beer. This would be a wonderful place to go if interested in learning to make your own beer – both beginner and advanced classes. You would certainly be learning from someone who really knows how to make good beer!
What we tasted: Sunshine and Hoppiness / Red Dwarf/ Heart of Lothian / Hazard Belgian / Honey Carry My Bag (love the names)
What we brought to enjoy by the campfire later that evening: Hazard Belgian
This great new brewery (two years) is just off Route 7 in Brandon VT and was a perfect place to begin our Central Vermont Brew Tour.
Award for the best welcoming party at any brewery… Riley how did I miss getting a picture of you? Wonderful dog who greets you with hugs and kisses.
Award for the most scenic and relaxing brewery location.. enjoyed sipping our pint of Old Hob (an AltBier) outside on the property.
What we tried – a tasting of four beers (which comes with a beautiful beer glass): Ginger Wheat / Native Brown / Old Hob / Fair Maiden
They sell either large bottles or growlers. We chose a large bottle of Native Brown (made with Maple Syrup) to bring home and enjoy at a later time.
This won’t come up as the best craft beer place in Bennington. It didn’t show up on any list I saw for a place to have good beer in Vermont (and I seek out as many as I can find on the Internet). It also won’t make the top places to eat in Bennington on TripAdvisor. .. but this place recommended by a local for pizza on our last trip was a must return for exceptional craft beer from New England. Yes. Not just VT. But being from Pennsylvania there is a huge number of beers here that are not available in PA. Oh and pizza is amazing… remember order at counter.. no table service… love it… pizza and a blueberry porter… yum… (and if one is wondering why these are posted days later… it is because posting on a cell in the mountains of Vermont was not working out too well!)
Good local brewery serving decent beer and ok food. Buck’s Honey Wheat beer could have had a little more honey taste for my liking. My husband enjoyed the Witte. However favorite was another Vermont Brewer named Trapp. They had the Dunkel… Deliciousness. Wish I was visiting that brewery this trip…but not this journey…oh so many miles still to go..