vermontheader

There’s no doubt that some of the best ideas are hatched over a few cold ones. And so it happened, one day in the office after a few beers, that an idea was hatched—a company retreat of sorts. But it couldn’t be the same old trip to talk about synergies and lean six sigma or whatever they call it. Nope, our journey was to be focused on two things: getting outside and our love of good beer. The choice: Vermont. Here’s what we did:



Getting there and back

A special thanks goes out to Lexus. Rather than roll in just any old jalopy, Lexus hooked us up with two shiny new luxury SUVs—a NX 200t F-Sport and RX 350 F Sport. The NX comes with a 2.0 liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder putting out 235 hp, while the RX features 3.5 liter V-6 with 270 hp. Both models came complete with Lexus Enform Entertainment System that paired nicely with F-Sport agility and handling, which made for a spirited journey in signature Lexus style and luxury. Roadtrip approved. Link



Sunset Grille and Tap Room

The Sunset Grille and Tap Room, on Cottage Club Road in Stowe, was our first stop. Founded 27 years ago by Nancy and Rich Haab, the Sunset Grille has plenty of “northern style” southern BBQ and an impressive list of local craft beer. But even more welcoming than the Heady Topper and Focal Banger was the most friendly bartender Rex and the killer backyard complete with horseshoes and badminton court. Link



Stowe Mountain Ranch

Okay, calling this home “large” is the understatement of the year. Situated on the picturesque Stowe Mountain, the Ranch has no less than 10 bedrooms and is capable of sleeping 16 in complete comfort. There are horses, a waterfall, even a teepee. It’s also used as a yoga retreat center. With mountains in every direction (just about) and the fantastic Vermont night sky from the deck, there is almost no reason to leave. Well, except to do everything else we did. Link




Smuggler’s Notch Hiking

Being the Green Mountain State, Vermont is home to some of the finest hiking in the USA. Included is Smuggler’s Notch resort, with no less than 12 hiking trails. If the sight of a body of water set against the green mountains is your thing, than the Sterling Pond Trail is where you want to be. As part of the “Long Trail” that traverses the entire state of Vermont, the hike to Sterling Pond is approximately two and a half miles long and rises nearly 900 feet. Reaching the top you’ll find the highest elevation trout pond in the entire state. Link



Hill Farmstead

Not too far from Stowe in Greensboro Bend is one of the best breweries in the country. Hill Farmstead is a small brewery making extremely limited offerings with names either derived from Shaun Hill’s ancestors (the Hill Family has been a fixture in Vermont for over 220 years) or philosophical works. It will take some effort to obtain IPAs and saisons of this quality, however, as Hill Farmstead’s beers are only available at the brewery or very select establishments. With an expanded retail shop, there’s never been a better time to get up to America’s best brewery. Link



Blackback Pub

Located in the heart of downtown Waterbury is everything you could possibly wish for in a bar. Crafted of wood and stone and featuring exactly 20 stools, the Blackback welcomes you to come in and stay awhile. Assisting in that endeavor are the taps and one of the largest selections of Hill Farmstead beers in the area. You can also get your Lawson’s Finest Liquids fix when you saddle up. Couple that with tasty menu creations by Chef Jamie Nelson, and it’s hard to leave. Link



Craft Beer Cellar

For those on a mission to take home Vermont’s best brews, get to Craft Beer Cellars in Waterbury. While the co-ops used to be the places to go for a trunk full of refreshments, the Craft Beer Cellar is one to add to the list. In addition to selling home brewing equipment, Craft Beer Cellars has all the finest breweries represented on their shelves. That means The Alchemist, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, as well as many more. Possibly more impressive than their beer list is the fact that all staff are either Cicerone Certified Beer Servers or BJCP Recognized Judges. Link




Prohibition Pig

With its awesome BBQ menu and beer list, making a visit to Prohibition Pig is a no-brainer. Situated across the street from Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, Prohibition Pig is best avoided if you are dieting. Menu items include Duck Fat Fries, Pork Cracklins, and 12-hour smoked Brisket. And their BBQ sauce! However, if your diet is restricted and you find yourself at the Pro Pig, rest assured there are several gluten free/vegan options. Of course, local beer is a highlight of the draft and bottle list including their own brewed beers. And for a little bit of history, Prohibition Pig inhabits the space formerly occupied by The Alchemist. Link

 

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