(April 26, 2011 - Vermont) Although Vermont may be known for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and its enormous population of somehow growing Grateful Dead and Phish followers, the most overlooked attribute has to be the diverse selection of local craft brews. During my stay last weekend, I was lucky enough to indulge in possibly the best luxury craft beer has to offer: Switchback.
What makes Switchback so unique is that the Burlington-brewed nectar can only be found on tap in Vermont restaurants (or of course by the keg form the brewery, open only on Saturdays). The company has brewed only enough styles to count on your thumbs but all are award-winning recipes. The taste isn't overly hoppy for a pale ale but the malts provide a very full-bodied taste reminiscent of caramel. The intoxicating flavor (pun intended) distracts from an ABV north of 5%. As an up-and-coming beer enthusiast, this is one of my favorite beers. I may endure a few sleepless nights wondering why I can't find it in bottles.
Although I was sure no brew could touch the spot that Switchback has reserved in my liver, while at The Hub I decided to try a Rock Art Blackmoon IPA, which is brewed less than 10 miles away. I'm not normally a fan of heavier beers and my sinuses just weren't made for IPA's but combining the two? No sir. The coffee porter had some rich flavors - if my pallet were more seasoned, and possibly if I hadn't just consumed an entire pizza, I might've enjoyed the Blackmoon IPA. If you're in the area, I recommend trying it, as well as any other brews that husband-and-wife owned Rock Art Brewery has to offer. (Did you know they beat Energy drink giant Monster in a law suit over a beer called the Vermonster?)
- Contributing Editor: Quin Turner (Vermont Local, Aspiring Musician & Once-Magic Hat Tour Guide)
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