Widely regarded among the top craft brewing destinations in the world, the Green Mountain State brims with crisp lagers and full-bodied ales inspired by the outdoor New England lifestyle. Some of its best can be found in and around Stowe, where you can also indulge in world-class skiing each winter and a spectrum of vibrant fall colors when the leaves change.
Here are some of our favorite breweries within 45 minutes of Stowe – all easily accessible when you fly Tradewind aboard regularly scheduled shuttle flights in the Northeast or private charters. In-flight, enjoy a memorable selection of Vermont craft beers.
Lost Nation Brewing
Nine miles north of Stowe and just five minutes from the Morrisville-Stowe Airport, Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville is home to exceptional year-round brews with clean flavor profiles like the smooth and malty Rustic Ale, the Pitch Black Ale with subtle notes of smoke and roast, and the crisp Mosaic IPA. Life in Vermont, combined with lesser-known European styles, is the inspiration for these brewers, who have one guiding mission: producing honest beer.
Read our interview with Lost Nation's co-brewmasters, Allen Van Anda and Jamie Griffith, in Goodspeed Magazine.
Rock Art Brewery
The first solar-powered brewery in Vermont is Rock Art, an environmentally-conscious micro-brewery and tasting room that highlights original flavors on eight rotating taps. Find your seat in the viewing room to watch the brewing process, or take home a few of the signature 22-ounce bottles with the Kokopelli logo. Some local favorites include the Vermonster barleywine, the Ridge Runner double IPA, and the Sun Rocked IPA – a citrus-packed beer with hints of pine and grapefruit that is the brewery’s first to be made entirely with solar power.
Idletyme Brewing Company
Set in an 1830s building that has been home to classic Stowe establishments like a cider mill and a beloved local restaurant, Idletyme Brewing Company is a European-inspired brewery led by Brewmaster Will Gilson. Acclaimed creations like the English Brown Ale, Danube Blueberry Hefeweizen, and Idletyme Double IPA combine classic brewing techniques with Vermont hop culture, and they pair beautifully with refined comfort food like the Truffle Mac-N-Cheese.
Fresh, unfiltered IPAs have built a cult-like following around The Alchemist, located just around the corner from Idletyme. The family-run brewery first opened in Waterbury in 2003 (where they still brew the nationally renowned IPA Heady Topper, an American double) and added a second, low-impact location in Stowe last year. Try the brewed-on-site Focal Banger American IPA or one of an array of rotating seasonal beers.
von Trapp Brewing
After two decades of dreaming about an Austrian-style brewery, Johannes von Trapp opened von Trapp Brewing at the Trapp Family Lodge in 2010. A passion for clean Austrian lagers and a love of Vermont contribute to brews like the Vienna Style Lager (amber), Kölsch Style German (hoppy summer session ale), and Dunkel Lager (roasted brown with a creamy, toffee aroma). Sip your beer of choice with kebabs or chicken schnitzel from von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant, where many of the Austrian entrées are prepared on the wood-fired Parrilla grill.
Burlington Beer Company
Located on the edge of Burlington, Vermont’s vibrant lakeside city, Burlington Beer Company finds the balance between tradition and innovation with new takes on classic styles. Owner Joe Lemnah brewed more than 200 batches of home brew – while working in acclaimed breweries like Dogfish Head Brewing Co. – before opening the locals’ favorite in 2014. The menu features standouts like the Peasant Bread dry-hopped brown ale made with wild rice and the Barista coffee porter.
Magic Hat Brewing Company
There’s more to Magic Hat Brewing Company than its ever-popular #9 ale, renowned nationwide for its dry, crisp, and refreshing flavor. Also try one of 15 brews on draft like the Circus Boy hefeweizen or the Low Key session IPA, along with an ever-changing lineup of small-batch and seasonal selections. Ingredients from local purveyors are highlighted on the casual-but-singular menu, which includes artisanal cheese plates and one-of-a-kind grilled sandwiches.
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
A sun-drenched beer garden is the design highlight of Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, where you can sip balanced beers like the Green State Lager pilsner, Conehead IPA, and Leipzig-style Gose outdoors. The South End Arts District brewery actually got its start in 2004 inside American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, today known as Flatbread Brewpub (where 18 Zero Gravity beers are on tap and flatbreads are baked with local ingredients in a wood-fired, clay-domed oven built by the owners of both establishments). The new location opened in 2015 and is home to the brewery’s barrel-aging program led by talented Brewmaster Paul Sayler.
Still can’t get enough? Continue your brewery tour of the Stowe area at up-and-coming breweries like Foam Brewers and Hill Farmstead Brewery, each of which offer one-of-a-kind, craft experiences to round out your taste of Vermont.
*Featured Image: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery