This past weekend we took another trip to visit craft breweries and this time we visited Burlington, Vermont. This journey to Burlington has been on the planning stages for a year. It has been one of my top places that I have wanted to visit for a really long time! After doing some research on what breweries I wanted to visit (8 breweries were on the list) and my wife (April) mapped it all out we were set for our Burlington Brewery Tour Day…and needless to say I was excited like a kid on Christmas Day! So after we dropped the kids off with the Grandparents, we were on the road for a quick 2 hour plus journey to Burlington. The drive was great and it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be and by the time I finished my iced coffee we were at our first brewery.
Our first stop of the day was Switchback Brewing Company. I was excited for our first stop of the day. Switchback Brewing Company tap room and gift shop was very nice. The centerpiece of Switchback Brewing Company Tap Room and gift shop is the beer bar. The tap room had 4 beers on tap the day that we were visiting. The bar had about 15-20 stools at the bar, and bar tables around the bar. When we first arrived there were only two other couples at the bar sampling beer. So we had plenty of places to sit at the bar and sample. April and I both got the flight samples of the 4 beers that were available for $5. A single sample was $1.50 and a pint was $4. The tap room also gave out free bags of chips which was nice. I don’t know about you but I get hungry sampling beer. If you wanted something more you could buy a hotdog. But who really wanted to eat hot dog when you had a lot more to sample. So after we finished our flights we walked around the taproom and bought some beer and a tap handle. You could also take a tour of the brewery and that day they were scheduled at 1 and 2. We didn’t take a tour because we were there way too early for a tour and plus we had several more breweries to visit.
Our next stop which was just a few minutes drive from Switchback Brewery was Queen City Brewery. We arrived right as the brewery and taproom was opening up for the day. When you first walk into the brewery you walk into the taproom and the brewery is behind the taproom/bar. The bar was a nice big bar that can hold about 20-25 people. When we arrived at Queen City Brewery two other people were already at the brewery sampling beer. Queen City Brewery offers a lot of beers to sample and to purchase. I think at my count they had 11 beers that you could sample. April and I each got a flight of samples and like Switchback you got 4 beers in your sample. A flight was $4 which was not bad at all. My four beers were City Beer, South End Lager, Oktoberfest and Argument. After our samples were finished we bought two bottles of beer. If you wanted more beer to take home from Queen City you can also buy a growler of any beer of your choice. I wanted to have more beer but we were off to our next brewery visit.
Again, we didn’t have to drive far for our next stop. This time we got in the car and drove 50 yards across the street to Zero Gravity. I have to say one thing if I lived in this neighborhood I would be in heaven, three breweries no more than a mile apart from each other. You couldn’t ask for any more than that. So after our long car ride we were at Zero Gravity! Zero Gravity Brewing Company was by the far the most crowded out of the 3 breweries that we visited to this point. The taproom and brewery was very nice, the bar area was small but they had plenty of sitting area around the bar and outside on the deck area. They also have a retail area with shirts, glasses, hats and also their Conehead and Green State Lager in 6 pack cans. Again, you have the options of getting samples, sample flights and pints. April and I both decided to go with the flights. I went with Conehead, Green State Lager, Sim Shady IPA and Black Cat Porter and April had Green State, Conehead, Sim Shady IPA and Little Wolf. After we fought the crowd at the bar and got our beers we made our way outside to the deck area to find a seat and drink our samples. I thought Zero Gravity had a fantastic selection of beers. April and I could have sat at Zero Gravity for half the day drinking beer. We both slowly sipped and enjoyed our samples. I couldn’t stop talking about the Conehead because it was that delicious. After we completed our samples we went in and got a six pack of Conehead to bring home.
After we got our beer we decided it was time for a break to check into the hotel and get some lunch. So after checking into the hotel we went and got some lunch. After lunch it was time to start checking out some more breweries. Our first stop after lunch was Infinity Brewing Company, but we were surprised when we arrived at Infinity Brewing Company that it was closed. I was a little disappointed with this because I had really wanted to check out Infinity Brewing. I was also disappointed because we hadn’t seen anything on its website or social media pages stating that they were closed.
So we jumped back into the car and headed to the next brewery on the list which was Burlington Beer Company. Like many other craft breweries that we visited, Burlington Beer Company is located in a small industrial park. The front part of the brewery was the taproom area with a small bar area with several taps behind with a big chalk board telling you what was available to sample and purchase. The tap room also had some table and chairs that you could sit in near the bar area and they also had board games that you could play along with some books. Dogs are welcome as well because a few people brought their dogs with them. Burlington Beer Company had five beers that you could sample when we arrived. We shared one flight while we were here. The samples were $5 for 4 samples. The four beers that we got were Chasing Rabbits, Keep This Place, Great Turtle Island and When we left Burlington Beer Company the place was busy of people sampling and buying beer.
Next stop on our brewery tour day was Magic Hat! Magic Hat has a nice standalone Brewery with plenty of parking. If you haven’t been to Magic Hat Brewery before (like myself) you will be taken back when you walk into the taproom/gift shop. The taproom and gift shop looks like a crazy haunted house or ride at Walt Disney World. It was dark with colored lights and interesting decor. I don’t know how to explain it more. The bar area was really big and they offered 4 free samples in a shot glass. You can also take a tour as well but we didn’t take a tour. After our 4 samples we decided to head back to the hotel.
Before heading back to the hotel we wanted to find a liquor store to buy some more local beer. However, we couldn’t find a liquor store anywhere on our journey back to the hotel. We ended up stopping at a gas station that had a store attached to it where I ended buying a Long Trail 6 pack. For dinner we decided to go down to downtown Burlington and the Church Street area. We walked around the Church Street area looking for a place to eat and drink beer and find a liquor store. We ended up eating at dinner at Vermont Pub and Brewery. I had an Ocktoberfest which was pretty good. After dinner we went for a walk around Church Street area. We still didn’t see any liquor or beer stores on our walk but maybe we were looking in the wrong area.
All and all Burlington, Vermont was a great craft beer city to visit! I think if you are a craft beer fan you should take a trip up to Burlington to check out the sites, take in the scenery and sample some great beer. I would love to head back to Burlington again sometime in the future.