Sometimes in the Kingdom it rains. Yes, We know that is a horrible thought considering we are surrounded by over 100 miles of plush, flowy singletrack, but it happens. What do you do when you wake up to a rainy day during your stay at Burke View? Drink! Well, we don’t mean drink non-stop the entire day, but go try some of the amazing breweries, wineries, distilleries and even a meadery and cidery all within a couple of hours of East Burke.
Some of these places offer tours, some offer tastings, but all offer a great way to meet local Vermonters following their passion to produce the best wine, beer and spirits in the world. Below we have listed 17 of our favorites, but more are popping up each month. Please don’t try to do these all in one day and if you do, hire a driver.
Now, to the list…..
Mike’s Tiki Bar – (less than a minute away) – Ok, we know this isn’t a brewery, but if you want to sample some of the best beers in the area, just pull up a stool to the Tiki Bar and have one of the amazing and knowledgeable bartenders tell you about the different beers they have on tap. While you are there, grab a burrito or burger from the Vermont Food Truck Company. You will be happy you did. www.mikestikibar.com
Next Trick Brewing – (8 minutes away) – This new brewery will be opening Summer of 2016 in West Burke, VT. Check out their Facebook page for up-to-date info on when they will be serving their first brew. https://www.facebook.com/NextTrickBrewing/
St. J Brewery – (19 minutes away) – Being inside of an old mall is not the typical place for a brewery, but if you are looking for a good sandwich and a few good beers, check out St. J Brewery. http://saintjbrewery.com/
Kingdom Taproom – (23 minutes away) – Wander over to downtown St. Johnsbury for some of the best beer selections in the Kingdom. The Kingdom Taproom features great food, amazing beers and some good live music. They even have Hill Farmstead on tap most of the time. For an up-to-date list of what they are pouring, check out – http://www.kingdomtaproom.com/ontap/
Hill Farmstead – (43 minutes away) – When Shaun Hill bought his family’s farm in the hills of Greensboro, VT and opened a brewery, people probably thought he was a bit crazy. But after being named best beer in the world two times and having people wait in line for hours to get a few bottles of his mastery, nobody is laughing now. Hill farmstead offers a variety of small batch beers that offer complex flavors and artisanal ingredients. Check their website for what is pouring during your stay. www.hillfarmstead.com
Red Barn Brewing – (43 minutes away) – This new brewery in Danville, VT is opening in summer of 2016, but are already pouring some of their beers at local events. Check out http://www.redbarnbrewingvt.com/ for info on when they plan to open.
Kingdom Brewing -(45 minutes away) – Another newcomer to the Vermont beer scene, Kingdom Brewing is making some tasty beers from their farm in Newport, VT. Stop by for a tasting or a growler filling. www.kingdombrewingvt.com
Alchemist (1 hour and 25 minutes away) – If you are into beer, you know about Heady Topper as it has been named one of the best beers in the world a few times. This ultra-hop beer has become the flagship of the Alchemist Brewery who is in the process of opening a new brewery and visitors center in Stowe this July. This new facility will sell Heady Topper and Focal Banger directly out of their facility. www. http://alchemistbeer.com/
North Branch Vineyards – (1 hour and 9 minutes away) – Yes, we can make some amazing wines here in Vermont and John McCann of North Branch Vineyards proves that with the right grapes, the right land and right amount of luck these wines can be on par with some of the best in the country. Our favorite is their St. Croix which go with just about anything. Check them out at – http://www.northbranchvineyards.com/index.php.
Fresh Tracks Farm – (1 hour and 12 minutes away) – Working with six cold-hardy varieties of grapes, wine maker and proprietor, Christina Castegren, makes up to 15 different wines which can be sampled at their tasting room in Berlin, VT. Be sure to try the maple wine! www.freshtracksfarm.com
Boyden Valley Vineyards – (1 hour and 27 minutes away) – With a tasting room in a big red barn (which happens to be the name of their flagship red wine), Boyden Valley Vineyards is a great place to sample some amazing wine, spirits and cider. http://www.boydenvalley.com/
Brook Farm Vineyard – (1 hour and 55 minutes away) – The stunning setting of this vineyard will take your breath away and the wines might do the same. The owners, Doug and Jennifer, purchased the Brook Farm Vineyard in 2008 and are now producing some amazing wines and host tastings in a giant white tent. http://www.brookfarmvineyards.com/
Eden – (42 minutes away) – One of the best hard ciders in the world (and they have the awards to prove it), the Eden Cidery is in the basement of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in Newport, VT. This downtown storefront has some of the best and tastiest treats from northern Vermont all in one location. Don’t fill up on the tasting plates though as the restaurant inside the Tasting Center has some of the finest food and beers/ciders in the Kingdom. www.edenicedcider.com/
Artesano Mead – (45 minutes away) – Many people are not familiar with mead or how it is made, but Artesano Mead in the tiny town of Groton is making some delicious beverages from honey. Set up in a small storefront in the downtown area of Groton, Artesano mead maker and owner, Mark Simakaski is pioneering new flavors of traditional mead. http://www.artesanomead.com/
Dunc’s Mill – (30 minutes away) – Though they don’t offer tastings or tours (we are keeping our fingers crossed for the future though), they make some amazing rum in the hills of St. Johnsbury, VT. With unique ingredients like maple and elderflower Dunc’s flavors are truly special. Check them out at a local farmer’s market or fair. http://www.duncsmill.com/
Caledonia Spirits / Barr Hill – (50 minutes away) – Like gin? Like vodka? Well, a quick stop at Caledonia Spirits will have you loving their take on the two. Home of Barr Hill which is making unique spirits out of honey combined with traditional ingredients like juniper. Barr Hill will soon be your favorite brand of gin and vodka. http://caledoniaspirits.com/
Green Mountain Distillers – (1 hour and 13 minutes away) – Since 2002 Green Mountain Distillers has been crafting some fine (and organic) gin, vodka and liqueurs in Northern Vermont. Make sure to check out the lemon vodka and the Green Mountain Organic Maple Liqueur. http://greendistillers.com/