Posted: 3:27 pm Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
People said I was crazy to spend a January weekend in Vermont. The possibility of the weather being hard to deal with was inevitable. If I didn’t go then when would I go?
Burlington is a great city. It has a few universities so it has a young vibe with a big focus on small businesses and buying local. There are breweries, farms, local producers and nature to explore.
Obviously my main pull in going anywhere has a lot to do with what kind of ice cream they have. Burlington is home to Ben and Jerry’s. Which in case you aren’t familiar with is actually a fantastic producer of unique flavored ice cream as well as a ethically conscious company. They insist on using local products that come from producers they know as well as paying all of their employee’s fair wages.
For 4$ you can take a 30-minute guided tour which goes over everything they do there and how the product is made. It ends in an ice cream sample!
You can also take a walk down to the flavor graveyard which was the coolest part. It is a literal graveyard with information on flavors that no longer exist. It is clever, fun and possibly depressing if you loved any of these flavors. Perhaps some will rise from the dead!
If you are interested in taking a tour check it out here!
Burlington has a great micro-brew scene. Loads of little breweries and a few well-known ones such as Magic Hat and Long Trail.
The Magic Hat brewery was my first stop. The brewery is large and lively and includes tours. Magic Hat is a monolith in comparison to the other breweries in town. Nationally distributed and well known for its signature beer #9 it is a very different feel then some of the other ones I went to.
I also checked out Foam Brewers which is located right near Lake Champlain. It has a fun, funky feel to it.
Four Quarters Brewery is tucked down a dark side street and is extremely tiny. It is a great place to stop and taste test but there isn’t much room for hanging out. Located just outside Burlington, in Wooniski
Vermont Pub and Brewery is more of a restaurant than a traditional brewery. It serves up burgers and local beers.Located in the middle of downtown it is perfect for lunch. Oh! And it is the oldest brewery in town.
Long Trail is worth a mention. It is a great stop en route to Burlington. A full restaurant and tasting room.
This is a small taste of the breweries that Burlington has to offer.
I know it seems like all I am doing is eating on this trip and you would be right if you think that.
So next up is Cabot Cheese. The place has been around for nearly 100 years starting in 1919. The factory is located right outside of Burlington and you can have unlimited cheese tastings in the shop. Worth going just for that. However if you are interested in the process of making cheese you can see that too. The shop was in the middle of making Monterey Jack when I was there and I got to watch them mix the cheeses.
Information on tours here!
I visited a few farms while I was in Vermont. The production of Maple is huge and there are quite a few farms that specialize in it as well as apples. They flavor everything maple. My personal favorite is a maplee, which is soft serve made with real maple syrup. You can taste test different kinds of maple as well as cider.
There are loads of farms in the area open for tasting.
Don’t let the winter scare you off
I loved going to Vermont in January because it made winter look beautiful. I know winter can be beautiful but as a New Yorker it can be a pain in the ass and the snow sometimes turns black from exhaust fumes. Less pretty, more annoying.
Head to Burlington, VT for the weekend!