You wouldn’t imagine a great brewery sitting in the middle of Vermont in what looks to be a house or souvenir shop.
Rock Art is one of the most underrated breweries that I’ve ever been to. It’s what you’d expect when you think of a Vermont brewery: a little hippie mixed with great beer.
What I liked most about Rock Art was the different types of beers they offered. The Jasmine Pale Ale was one of their most unique beers. With an herbaly tea taste, this beer felt like I was drinking healthy, or at least that’s what I told myself. The Bohemian Pilsner was a smooth, caramel tasting pilsner. The Maple Wheat. Oh, the Maple Wheat. If you’re a breakfast fiend like me this would be heaven for you. I just pictured pancakes and syrup all mixing in my mouth. The bartender said that this was breakfast in a glass and she was not joking. So good that I ended up buying Maple Wheat jelly.
The Session IPA was refreshing with a light, fresh citrus taste. The Sunrocked, on the hand, bursted with tropical flavors and had a light crisp taste. This beer was brewed in celebration of the brewery becoming 100% solar powered which is absolutely incredible. Finally Limited Access, the DIPA, took Session and Sunrocked to the next level with citrus aromas and deeper tropical hints.
Rock Art is definitely one of my new favorite places in Vermont. This country store meets brewery has a different feel from every other brewery I’ve been to. It just feels homier. Definitely hit this place up if you’re in the Morrisville area or on your way to Hill Farmstead.
By the crowd that Turtle Swamps draws, you’d think this brewery’s been around for years. Opened just a couple of months ago, Turtle Swamp has taken off fast. Legitly tapping their beers in actual household fridges, you’d think this was a brewery in your buddy’s garage.
Smack in the middle of Jamaica Plains, this place is right in an alley way. Drive passed and you might miss it. But really, how could you with the crazy crowd out there?
The beers are starting off pretty good and of course I had to try the Toll Gate IPA because that was the name of my high school (minus the IPA). On a marketing standpoint the names of beers really do draw people. Or it could have been that, that was the only IPA. Either way, this IPA was smooth with a light grapefruit flavor but missing that normal hazy coloring. Instead, there was a darker colored IPA.
The All Ears Golden stayed true to the name as you got a mouthful of a corn flavor with every sip. Not what you really expect from a Golden Ale but made it different. The barley and corn flavor made for a natural farm taste. Yes, I know it sounds weird.
I’m very excited to see where Turtle Swamp goes from here. It has the support and it definitely has the space. Look for this place to explode over the next year. Especially with the college kids coming back and giving them even more business.
Turtle Swamp Brewing 3377 Washington St Jamaica Plain, MA
If you need a break from the IPAs of Burlington, Queen City Brewery gives the traditional styles from Europe a run for their Euros.
Located directly across the street from Zero Gravity Brewery, Queen City takes you on a tour of Europe all in one flight. First stop is Germany. The German beer lover that I am, needed to try a couple, of course. The South End Lager, or Helles, was a light bodied smooth lager with a crisp finish. My favorite, though, had to be the Hefeweizen. A traditional banana-clove taste with a hazy body. Traditional flavor done right.
Now I did say if you wanted a break from IPAs to try out Queen City, but Argument IPA isn't your typical American IPA, it's English. The best way to describe it would be an IPA for the non-IPA drinker. The caramel color lends to more of a malt and bitter taste than an IPA. Finally, the Bushwick Lager takes it all back to America. This smooth lager gives a nice nutty finish.
I absolutely loved the open U-shape bar concept allowing people to talk across the bar as well as to the people next to them. If you're not a social butterfly, they have smaller tables outside and on the side of the bar but Europeans love to make new friends while they down their beers, which is exactly how I am. Beer friends are the best friends.
I'm telling you, make some time to check out Queen City Brewery if you're in the Burlington area.
I have seen Medusa Brewing Company at various brew fests and had been planning to visit the brewery for at least a year now. Finally I made it down to the motherland to see where it all happens and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Just the feel of this place feels cool. Dimmed lights and chill vibe, but the beers are where it’s at.
The Mesmerit definitely had me under it’s spell. This IPL burst with so much citrus flavor that I could drink this for days. The Solo Galaxy, a Single Hopped Pale Ale, was made with Australian Galaxy hops which gives this beer a nice passionfruit flavor. Citra Legacy, as the name suggests, was a citrus-filled Rye IPA, which was very light bodied and full of flavor. Finally, Ruction was a slight change in the citrus filled flight. With a more piney and darker color, this IPA was the perfect finishing piece with just the right amount of bitter taste.
The only disappointment was that they didn’t have Lazer Cats on tap, which is my favorite. The taproom itself is much larger than I was expecting. There’s a huge bar that runs down the inside with tables upon tables throughout it. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to stay all day. It’s BYOF so stop around town and grab some food to bring before you head in. Time it right and you’ll catch some live music as well. I definitely can’t wait to visit again!
Zero Gravity Brewing, in Burlington, VT, is just as beautiful as the rest of Burlington. The taproom opens up to a large, gorgeous wooden deck out front. Inside, the taproom is very spacious and polished and even had a shuffleboard to play, which you don’t find in many breweries.
I have to say, I loved every single beer that I had here. Wilson’s Plover, the Saison, was full of orange peel flavor and and a light-straw haze look. This has to be one of the best Saisons I’ve ever had. Little Wolf, the Pale Ale, had a mixture of Mosaic and Citra hops giving it a citrus flavor and aroma. Very light and smooth beer making for a solid Pale Ale.
I’m not normally a fan of sour beers, but the Strawberry Moon was actually really good. The sour taste wasn’t too strong but it had a great strawberry flavor to it. Finally, Cone Head, which made me automatically picture Dan Aykroyd’s Conehead sipping on a beer, was a tame, hoppy IPA. This light, citrus-y IPA is perfect for the non-IPA drinker as well.
If you’re in the Burlington area or looking for a fun trip, make sure to stop by Zero Gravity Brewery. It’s located on the best beer street in Vermont as there’s 4 breweries (Zero Gravity, Queen City, Switchback, and Citizen Cider) within walking distance of each other.
I’ve heard about Foam Brewers being the next big thing since they opened a year ago. So when I was planning my trip to Vermont, I knew this had to be one of my first stops. It absolutely exceeded all of my expectations.
Located right along Lake Champlain, just the location alone is perfect. With a decent size taproom and an outside area out front, this place is perfect to grab a couple beers with some friends.
The best part, though, is the beer. Ka-Bloom, like the name suggests, is bursting with flavor. The passion fruit and citrus of this Session IPA was so light, sweet and refreshing. Perfect beer for the summer. With a tap list mostly of DIPAs, of course I had to try all of them. My favorite had to be Rated R. Very appropriate name as it makes you say “fuck, that’s good”. The mango and pineapple make this beer so juicy and smooth. Experimental Jet Set, like the Rated R, was full of tropical flavor. Ugly Casanova was more like a creamsicle while Manteca had that bitter pineapple taste. Needless to say, these juice bombs are some of the best.
If that doesn’t make you believe that these beers are killer, the line for growlers will make you believe. Especially the guy getting 15 growlers to bring home. Yes, it’s THAT good. So excited that they’ll start canning in a couple weeks just in time for my next trip.
Ever since Castle Island opened up their new taproom, I’ve been dying to head down to visit it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
First thing I noticed when I walked in was the big projector screen on the wall playing the Mighty Ducks. Did someone tip them off that I was coming or something? One of my favorite movies of all time.
Castle Island has some of the best beers around, in my opinion. Ever since having Big Ern at a beer fest, I’ve been dying for more. This DIPA is full of body and flavor.
My favorite though had to be the Mosaic Hopped Candlepin. This session Ale is taken to the next level of the original with this dry hop. It gives it a more citrus taste. Perfect beer that I could drink forever or until my liver gave out. Swipe Ripe, another DIPA had more of an apricot and melon taste to it that mellowed out the strong DIPA taste. Not quite Big Ern, but good nonetheless.
The beertender we had was amazing. Anything I wanted to try he was there. Though they do not offer flights, you can sample anything and everything before grabbing your beers. The open space overlooks the brewhouse so you can sit and actually see the brewery process in action.
Castle Island Brewing Company 31 Astor Ave Norwood, MA