Main photo credit: Von Trapp Brewing
“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.”William Shakespeare and Otter Creek Brewing (Middlebury, VT)
Brad Ring, Publisher of Brew Your Own Magazine, personally invites you to join him on this epic beer adventure.
Vermont has the highest number of breweries per capita of any US state. It also regularly ranks as the top state for bicycle touring and is a fantastic hiking destination due to its lush Green Mountains. To top it off, we are visiting during the peak of fall foliage.
Beer, hiking, biking, and beauty – what more could you ask?
For beer lovers, Vermont has become an international beer destination thanks to being the birthplace of the New England IPA. It is also famous for having so many of its sought-after beers available only in state.
The breweries and beer are an important part of the tour and Brad, who lives in Vermont, will be working with his local friends to give us inside access to some of the breweries we visit. Our list includes:
• Alchemist Brewing
• Lawson’s Finest Liquids
• Queen City Brewing
• Von Trapp Brewery
• Prohibition Pig Brewing
• Otter Creek Brewery
• Drop In Brewing (home of the American Brewers Guild)
In addition to the incredible beer scene, we love Vermont for the following:
- The second lowest population of any state in the country with only 625,000 residents
- Over 500 hiking trails, including the 272-mile Long Trail, inspiration for the Appalachian Trail which coincides with 100 miles of its route
- The beautiful Champlain Valley, a flat-to-rolling agricultural landscape perfect for biking
- The cosmopolitan and hip city of Burlington, the mountain town of Stowe, and the college town of Middlebury – our three overnight destinations
- Incredible colors that come out during the peak foliage days of October
Our biking and hiking routes are designed with maximum flexibility, giving you the option to do short or long rides and hikes each day. No advanced fitness level is needed but we’ll have enough distance for you if you want it.
Whether you come for the biking, the hiking, the beer, or just the loveliness of the state of Vermont, you will have a great time on this tour!
This adventure is brought to you by:
- Dates: October 14 - 19, 2021
- Cost Per Person: $3,100
- Optional Single Supplement: $800
- Activities: Biking, Hiking, Beer Tasting, and Fall Foliage
- Difficulty: All Abilities
- Guides: Aaron Rothfolk
Other Info: Bicycle rental includedBook this Tour
- Visit up to 15 Vermont breweries with Vermont-based Brew Your Own Magazine Publisher, Brad Ring
- Bicycle along the scenic Lake Champlain shoreline and in the rolling Champlain Valley
- Mountain bike and hike on the beautiful trails of the Von Trapp Family Lodge in the ski town of Stowe
- Sample beers only available in Vermont from The Alchemist, Lawson’s Finest Liquids and smaller, local breweries
- Hike through the Middlebury woods to the American Brewers Guild for a craft beer education session
- Overnight stays in three great Vermont beer-kissed locations: Burlington, Stowe, and Middlebury
We meet as a group after lunch in Burlington, Vermont. After introductions, we'll walk down the hill towards the Lake Champlain shore to visit Foam Brewers in the city’s lakefront park. After sampling their beers we’ll walk about two miles along the city’s lakefront trail before connecting with “Pint Street” (actually Pine Street) to visit tasting rooms for Queen City Brewing and Zero Gravity Brewing. On the walk back to the hotel we’ll also stop at Citizen Cider. You can settle in to your room at our downtown hotel before we meet again for a short walk to dinner at Vermont Pub & Brewery. After dinner, we’ll meet up with some members of the Green Mountain Mashers, the local Burlington homebrew club, for anyone who wants to keep talking brewing over a final pint.
Walking Distance: 2.2 or 3.3 Miles
After breakfast, we will get you fitted for a bicycle and go over a few safety precautions. Then, we are off pedaling on the Burlington Greenway, continuing on the Island Line Trail. In addition to the water and mountain views, the highlight is the old railroad bed jutting out into Lake Champlain that leads to a small passenger (and bike) ferry to South Hero Island. We'll continue biking on the small, rural roads of the island and continue to the town of South Hero for lunch and a visit to Two Heroes Brewing. You can ride back to Burlington or catch a shuttle. In the afternoon, we'll shuttle 45 minutes to the small mountain town of Stowe. This evening we'll walk to Idletyme Brewing for dinner. Check out this video of the amazing Island Line Trail and bike ferry.
Biking Distances: 21 or 35 Miles
Stowe is famous for its mountain scenery capped by Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont and the only place in the state with a true alpine environment. We will shuttle to the mountain where you have four basic options today. You can choose to hike up and back down the mountain on the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance footpath in the US and 273 miles long. (Your portion is much smaller.) You can choose to hike up and take the gondola down, take the gondola up and hike down, or take the gondola both ways and enjoy a superb 4.6-mile round trip walk at the top. Note the terrain this day can be challenging, depending on your choice, but the gondola assist is certainly nice! In the evening we'll shuttle to famous Alchemist Brewing and then to the Von Trapp Brewery for dinner. The Trapp Family Lodge is the original home in the United States of the famous Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame.
Walking Distances: Distances: 2.5, 5, or 10 miles
We'll start the day with the option to hike or mountain bike on the Von Trapp property to get our last up-close experience with the Vermont mountains. We'll do a morning hike (or optional mountain bike ride) on the beautiful Trapp Family Lodge property. After that, it is a roving travel day with plenty of tasting stops en route. We depart Stowe for nearby Waterbury and a tasting at Cold Hollow Cider Mill before heading to Prohibition Pig Brewing & BBQ for lunch on your own. In the afternoon, we stop at the flagship Ben & Jerry's (a must while in Vermont) for a tour and ice cream tasting before heading to Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Waitsfield. We eventually make our way to Middlebury, Vermont's most famous college town, for a relaxing evening at our inn.
Walking Distance: 3 or 5 Miles (or optional mountain biking)
Today we switch gears, literally, by jumping back on bicycles. Middlebury is located in the Champlain Valley, which is the best biking terrain in what is considered the best biking state in the country. With rolling hills, flat agricultural plains, small villages, and mountain views, the biking is excellent. Our destination is the Hired Hand Brewing Company in Vergennes for a tasting and lunch on your own, with an optional return by a different route. Heading back into Middlebury, we'll stop at Woodchuck Cider, Appalachian Gap Distillery, and Otter Creek Brewery - all members of the Middlebury Tasting Trail. This evening we'll walk to dinner at Two Brothers Tavern.
Biking Distances: 15 or 30 miles
On our final morning, we'll walk from our inn through the Battell Woods to Drop In Brewing, home of the American Brewers Guild for an education session with Steve Parkes. Steve is a Brit who owns and runs the Guild, which trains brewers across the country. You can optionally walk back to the inn, where we'll say our goodbyes. You can catch a shuttle with us back to Burlington and the airport or if you have driven your car en route, be on your way.
Walking Distances: 2 or 4 milesBook this Tour
NIGHT 1 >> HILTON GARDEN INN DOWNTOWN / BURLINGTON, VT
The Hilton Harden Inn is Burlington's newest downtown hotel. It is located in the heart of the city, within walking distance of the waterfront and multiple breweries. It was refurbished in 2015 from the old Armory building. The hotel is the third-ranked hotel in the city on TripAdvisor.
NIGHTS 2 & 3 >> SUN & SKI INN / STOWE, VT
The Sun & Ski Inn is located in the heart of Stowe, considered Vermont's mountain town. Rated #3 in Stowe on Trip Advisory (which is filled with high-end properties), this contemporary and casual option is full of amenities including miniature golf, an indoor pool and hot tub, and even a bowling alley onsite! With plenty of restaurants and shops, a river that runs right through town, and mountains (including Vermont's highest peak) above, Stowe has something for everyone.
NIGHTS 4 & 5 >> SWIFT HOUSE INN / MIDDLEBURY, VT
Claiming to be "Vermont's only full-service inn", the Swift House is composed of three historic buildings on four acres just a short walk from the city center. The inn's 21 rooms are updated to contemporary styles and with modern amenities. Middlebury is considered Vermont's college town and is a great place for beer.Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
We will meet you just after lunch at our hotel in Burlington, Vermont. If you are driving to the tour, you can leave your car there as you will not need it during the tour. Alternatively, you can choose to drive your car to our subsequent destinations of Stowe and Middlebury. On the last day of the tour, we will provide a shuttle back to Burlington.
- One Zephyr guide will accompany the trip and additional guides are added as necessary.
- Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
- All of your dinners and breakfasts are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. In general, we leave lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
- Brewery tours are included. Your first beer is included during officially brewery visits.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
- NOT INCLUDED Beverages during meals, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
The biking and hiking seasons in Vermont run from about mid-May through mid-October. In late June and early July, average highs during the day are in the upper 70s, perfect for outdoor activities. It does rain or snow in Vermont pretty much year-round (that is why it is so green) so be prepared and we'll adjust as needed. Nights should be pleasant as we are before the hottest part of the season.
Extending Your Stay
You will need a car if you wish to extend your stay in the area. There are dozens more breweries worth visiting in Vermont. We visit three of the nicest towns in the area but the state is full of small nice towns. It is also a short drive to New Hampshire to the east or to the Adirondack Mountains in New York to the west.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a brewery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
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