Craft beer is a way of life for so many Vermonters, especially for those who reside near Stowe, the birthplace of the New England-style IPA. Picturesque Edson Hill, a quintessential, four-season haven north of downtown Stowe, is minutes away from three iconic craft breweries, most notably The Alchemist. Thus, we thought it sensible to craft a comprehensive Stowe brewery guide, complete with some of our favorite pours and underrated aspects about each taproom. And, as always, the perfect place to start and finish your self-guided brewery tour is Edson Hill, a 38-acre retreat that’s tailor-made for romance-starved New Englanders.
A Self-Guided Stowe Brewery Tour
Before you set sail on this three-stop Stowe brewery tour, it’s important to note Edson Hill’s “locally-guided brew tour,” complete with an overnight accommodation, gourmet breakfast, three-course dinner (with a local craft beer pairing), and a branded trucker hat. Oh, and don’t forget about the multi-hour guided tour, which makes several stops at the region’s most beloved taprooms. Prost!
By now, it’s no secret that The Alchemist is the birthplace of the New England-style IPA, often regarded merely as the “hazy IPA.” The Alchemist’s flagship beer is Heady Topper, a showstopping, 100-IBU imperial IPA that’s smooth, strong, and subtly sweet. Its complexity is only outmatched by its surprising drinkability (it sits at 8% ABV). Heady Topper remains one of the world’s highest-ranked beers on Untappd. And, not surprisingly, The Alchemist itself ranks among the top 30 breweries on the globe. The Alchemist team always stays ahead of the trends and isn’t afraid to plunge into new territories. Lately, we’re jiving with the piney Focal Banger IPA, roasty Luscious Belgian-style imperial stout, and the world-class Light German-inspired pilsner.
It’s impossible for Idletyme Brewing to match The Alchemist’s prestige. But the Idletyme team gracefully plays a niche role in the Stowe brewery scene. It’s a dual-threat brewpub with casual ales, elegant indoor dining, and a spacious outdoor area, ideal for social distancing. Idletyme’s brew crew isn’t afraid of crafting gulp-able lagers that hit the spot after a canoe trip, during a Patriots game, or on the Fourth of July. We appreciate these refreshing, undeniably drinkable delights, including the Munich-style Helles, German pilsner, and Bavarian hefeweizen. Lately, however, we’ve been digging the Weizen Sour and the classic Oktoberfest festbier. Welcome to easy-drinkin’ heaven!
The Austrian-rooted von Trapp family visited the Stowe area during a musical tour in the 1940s. And the rest is history. They eventually put down roots in Stowe and started to carve their name into the Green Mountains’ history book. However, approximately 10 years ago, the long-standing family took things to the next level when they opened an Austrian-style brewery on the west side of town. Today, you cannot slip into a liquor store without spotting that iconic green and gold logo, highlighted by a regal wild mountain goat. The expansive, 36,000-square-foot facility boasts a sizable outdoor area that overlooks the rolling, mountainous region. Many folks cannot resist the allure to purchase an oversized Bavarian pretzel and knackwurst platter for the table.
Before we close out this comprehensive Stowe brewery guide, we want to shine a light on Stowe Cider, the area’s finest beer alternative.
Edson Hill, the Ultimate Four-Season Vermont Getaway
After stopping at the three best breweries in Stowe, return to Edson Hill for a memorable evening in the startlingly-beautiful Green Mountain backcountry. Edson Hill’s 38-acre property boasts a picturesque mirror pond, private hiking trails, and old-world farmstead charm. The inn itself is home to the area’s premier fine dining experience, as well as a fleet of uniquely-designed guest rooms. Returning guests will be pleased to read that we’ve added a Swedish massage studio, the perfect place to rejuvenate after 18 holes of golf, a waterfall hike, or a mountain bike ride. To book a well-deserved autumnal or mid-winter escape to Stowe, please give us a call at 802-253-7371.