Local watering holes for the hungry
I have always thought it might be fun to do a beer tour through Vermont but the consequences on the road post-sampling, be it biking or driving, would be catastrophic. So, what better way to soak up some of the alcohol than to pair it with some food? Instead of focusing on simply breweries, which will be the subject of an upcoming article, I have decided to point out the local breweries that also serve tasty fare: Brew Pubs.
New England's reputation as a stellar beer producer is well-known. In Vermont, the epicenter might be middle Vermont near Waterbury, but here in the Upper Valley, there are certainly mighty tasty choices. In no particular order, we might begin in Bridgewater Corners at 5520 Route 4. Long Trail Brewing Company sits proudly between Killington and Woodstock. The first time we went the parking lot was packed with a post-ski scene, but we managed to bundle ourselves into a slot and get in. A loud, noisy crowd is somehow good accompaniment to a cold glass of Limbo IPA and three pork shanks with some sweet potato fries or some smoked bratwurst with house maple beer mustard. Here is the link to their 'Family of Ales'. Click here
As the crow flies, wind your way to 325 South Main street in Norwich. The Norwich Inn sits elegantly on its corner and once inside, Jasper Murdoch's Alehouse awaits. Its menu may be enjoyed in their pub or outdoor patio on a first-come-first-served basis or with a reservation in the dining room or terrace. Jeremy Hebert is the on-site brewmaster and the Jasper Murdoch repertoire now encompasses about fifty different craft brews. Some of the hops are grown, according to their site, in their own hop garden at the inn.
Before I continue, I must say that brew names in general can be so creative: Whistling Pigs, Old Pewts, Jabberwokys, Zero Gravities...In the cozy Norwich Inn bar, you might have a Whistling Pig beer with the same musical cheddar burger or perhaps a roast vegetable panini with herb aioli. Click here
Down 91 South and off toward Windsor, it's the Harpoon Brewery at 336 Ruth Carney Drive. We've had some fun lunches here with very friendly staff. There is a varied panini selection, the requisite burgers, spinach and caesar salads, nachos and even a local take on that Quebec poutine, evermore procurable. This is Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden with many a Hoppy Adventure and Sweet Spot from which to choose. Click here
In New London, New Hampshire, the Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille also features their own beer. Click here. There are lamb kebabs and vegetarian pasta with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and spinach , a Thai shrimp wrap or a Sriracha chicken on basil focaccia. The menu is extensive.
Last, but so not least, we must travel north again. Forgive me for leaving the upper valley for the acclaimed Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville at 87 B Old Creamery Road. Apart from their 'Honest Beer' prowess, their tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday and their menu is staggering: Gouda and Gose Fondue, a chorizo burger with pepper relish, cheddar and remoulade served on a challah roll and then their Lost Nation burger whose cooking options are 'bloody or burnt.' That in itself is so creative. I feel a giant magnet propelling me north and I must again succumb. Click here
Always follow the food! Cheers
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