April 7th, 1933 was a crucial day in our history. It was the first day that allowed United States citizens to buy, sell, and drink beer! Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 22, 1933, April 7th was the first day it was enacted and has since beer dubbed National Beer Day.
In honor of the upcoming holiday, which pleasantly falls on a Friday this year, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most craft-beer-obsessed destinations in our great nation. A destination most well-known for its maple syrup offerings and invigorating natural landscape – Vermont.
If you crave delicious, unique, small-batch brews, then you should definitely plan a road trip in and around Burlington, Vermont, where many of the best breweries can be found. But keep in mind – Vermont breweries are spread throughout the entire state, many residing in rural towns off the beaten track. Point being, it doesn’t matter much where you land in Vermont, there will be brewery nearby.
Brewing in Vermont isn’t new or even “trending.” Generations of craft beer pioneers have been creating brews for decades. In fact, Vermonters deeply respect what’s genuine and refuse to dumb down beer to please the mass market.
No need to take our word that Vermont’s beer is delish, just read the awards. Vermont’s very own Hill Farmstead Brewery was named the best brewery in the world for 2016.
Vermont’s love affair with beer is evident anywhere you go, and the best way to learn more about it is by asking Vermonters themselves!
You could spend hours visiting the various Vermont’s brewery websites, or you can read this list of Vermonters favorite Vermont beers, all from the talented team at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa.
Brews We Enjoy in Celebration of National Beer Day
Lewis H, Accounts Receivable
Monk of Underhill, ABV 9.3% Tripel
Queen City Brewery, Burlington VT
This is my favorite seasonal beer, they don’t brew this beer often, but when they do I always rush down to get some. It’s easy to drink and incredibly smooth.
Shana F, Wedding & Sales Manager
Green State Lager, ABV 4.9% Pilsner
Zero Gravity, Burlington VT
Crisp, light and refreshing for a hot summer day, but still full of flavor.
Suzanne L, Front Office Manager
The Dirty Mayor, ABV 5.2% Hard Cider
Citizen Cider, Burlington VT
I really enjoy Citizen Cider because it’s not too hoppy and has just enough cider kick to it and it’s delicious.
Emily E, Wedding Coordinator
Unified Press, ABV 5.2% Hard Cider
Citizen Cider, Burlington, VT
The cider from Citizen Cider (particularly Unified Press) has a clean, crisp, refreshing taste. Every sip brings back memories of enjoying Citizen Cider on a hot summer day spent reading a book at Oakledge Park overlooking Lake Champlain or kayaking on one of Vermont’s many rivers.
Kaliche H, Tavern Supervisor
Munich Dunkel, ABV 5.2% Lager
Queen City Brewery, Burlington VT
One of my favorite beers because of its soft malty flavor and its nice medium body. It’s a very enjoyable dark amber that pairs well with just about anything.
Brandy A, Executive Sous Chef
Hodad Porter, ABV 5.5% Porter
Fiddlehead Brewing Co, Shelburne VT
Hodad is my jam! Unlike other porters, it’s crisp, refreshing and not too sweet. It’s flavored with chocolate, toasted coconut, and vanilla bean. Hodad is a great brew for any season.
Hodad (noun): a nonsurfer who spends time at beaches masquerading as a surfer.
Henry W, Director of Food & Beverage
Rookie’s Root Beer (non-alcoholic)
Rookies, Burlington VT
I really enjoy Rookie’s Root Beer, the flavors are slightly complex with deep tones of sassafras and vanilla. They have a root beer stand at the weekly Farmer’s Market, it’s one of the places I always need to stop.
Hannah R, Director 0f Conference Services
Little Umbrellas, ABV 3.5% Wild Ale
Four Quarters Brewing, Winooski VT
Any opportunity to feel as though I’m sitting on a tropical island is taken. This is a delicious sour ale with notes of toasted coconut and pineapple.
Amanda B, Banquets
Zogs Pale Ale, ABV 5.5% Pale Ale
Idletyme Brewing, Stowe VT
I love almost anything from Idletyme but especially the Pale Ale! It is hoppy and crisp, super refreshing and flavorful!
Anthony P, Chef de Cuisine
Cranberry Gose, ABV 5.2% Gose
Long Trail Brewing Co, Bridgewater Corners, VT
This has a great crisp + tart flavor. I never really got into hoppy beer – so this was a great alternative for me, as there is still a really great flavor but none of that bitterness that is usually associated with craft beer. I was really sad because this started out as a limited edition – but I guess I must have drunk enough because it’s on their full-time roster! I prefer bottles to draft.
Keith M, Sales Manager
Focal Banger, ABV 7.0% IPA
The Alchemist, Stowe Vermont
If you are over the hype of Heady Topper – try Focal Banger. Focal Banger still has great flavor but not all the extra hops + bitterness that Heady Topper offers up. Definitely the underrated alternative.
John M, Sales Manager
Maple Breakfast Stout, ABV 5.5% Stout
14th Star Brewing, Saint Albans VT
This is my go-to drink while I’m at trivia or out to dinner with friends. I enjoy dark beers and being able to sip on them. The Maple flavor is incredible in this beer, not too strong or overpowering – but adds to the smoothness of this stout. Like the name states – I have been known for drinking these at breakfast!
Lauren B – Marketing Coordinator
Gose, ABV 4.5% Gose
Lost Nation Brewing, Morrisville VT
I have never classified myself as a ‘beer’ drinker – but living in Vermont, truly has opened my eyes (and taste buds) to incredible craft beer. Gose is crisp and fresh with a bit of salt – I call it a breakfast beer (but that might just be to justify cracking open a can early) because it has the citrus notes that I enjoy with a mimosa without the acidity. I found this beer during winter and it was amazing and I can’t wait until a hot summer day to crack open an ice cold can.
It’s safe to say the team at The Essex is a fan of Vermont’s beer! Enjoy a weekend getaway or summer vacation in Vermont at The Essex, and try many of these beers for yourself at The Tavern, which features a whopping 32 drafts on tap! You might just need a few vacations at The Essex to make your way through all of them (oh, and they change them seasonally!). Also, if you decide to treat yourself at The Essex’s spa, you can opt for the Body Brew spa treatment. Choose your favorite beer, which will then be integrated into the house scrub, which will get rid of rough and tired skin. The full bodied aroma of the house-infused, local hop massage oil will entice the mind, while the many benefits of hops will help to heal and balance the skin.
What better way to celebrate National Beer Day than by booking yourself a stay at The Essex?! We are offering $5 Vermont Craft Beer Drafts on Friday, National Beer Day at The Tavern. If you can’t pick just one, don’t worry – we offer flights as well! Whether you choose to celebrate on actual National Beer Day or save your celebrating for another occasion, you can learn all about The Essex’s offerings and accommodations here.