Brewery hopping in Burlington, Vermont

Written about Travel
5th February 2019


Adventures from overseas are some of my favourite to share on here. My quick jaunt to New England has gone largely undocumented for a reason unknown, remaining on my to-write list for months now. If you haven't already, have a peep into my weekend travel guide for Boston, from there? Onto Vermont.

If you get the chance to road trip through New England in the fall, I would highly recommend it. The different states have peaks in changing colours at different times, but it's largely through the mid to end of October each year. We planned our trip around this and were treated to some dreamy vistas, making the nearly four-hour drive fly by.

I definitely wanted to tick Vermont off while we were in the area, but what I didn't know until I started researching the trip was how populated with breweries this slice of America was. When looking at what to do in Burlington for two days, I have to say that most of our time was dedicated to brewery hopping - it's a small town and definitely worth the drive, but if you're a beer drinker, you'll have no problem filling your time.

Here are the breweries in Burlington we made time for.

Foam Brewery

foam-brewery-burlington

An easy option if you're staying in Burlington or close by, Foam Brewery is on the water front which makes it easy to get to on foot. We spent the morning exploring the town centre, then headed for cover at Foam once the rain hit. There are a couple of other bars nearby that you can kill on the same afternoon.

foam-brewery-taproom

Foam is a cute tap room with some unique flavours on tap, probably the most creative flavours in the area of the bars we tried. Get a tab set up and go for small serves to work through the menu. We started here on our brewery hop, but given the location, it's in easy reach for you to either set-up for the afternoon or just go for one to sample New England beer while you're in the area.

Magic Hat Brewery

Magic Hat is the furthest out from Burlington centre, but it's a quick 15 minute bus ride if all of your group is drinking. This place gave me serious Bikini Bottom vibes when we walked up to it. With a little buzz on from Foam, this was an exciting discovery to unravel as we rounded the corner.

magic-hat-taproom

We opted for a flight of beer here to give us easy tries of the menu. Most tap rooms in Burlington have flights available, I'd definitely recommend working with these - particularly if you're only going to get the one visit in while in the area.

magic-rock-flight

magic-hat-burlington

The great thing about Magic Hat is the self-guided tour that's also available. Weaving away behind the main bar is the story of the brewery, plus a sneak peek of their production line, I always love to see the behind the scenes stuff. The service here was great, as well as having a good pub grub menu on offer to sandwich - no pun intended - between your bar hopping.

magichat-brewery

This was my favourite brewery of the day - some good experimental flavours and the core range for easy drinkers to mix into your flight.

Switchback Brewery

We finished up our Burlington brewery hob with a trip to Switchback, a bus ride back towards town or a quick Uber from Magic Hat. There's also Zero Gravity brewery around 15 minutes walk away - a walk past the world's tallest filing cabinet, no less - if you have the time, we got there too late so didn't get to tick it off.

switchback-taproom-burlington

 

Switchback was a great place to end the brewery hop, though. Another flight down, served up on a Vermont shaped tray. There's a massive bar at Switchback which would have been dreamy to get set-up on for the afternoon had we not arrived close to closing.

switchback-brewery-burlington

Another New England classic when it comes to beer, with a lot of session options on the taps. We also happened to visit when their Flynn on Fire series was on, smoky flavours to switch up the flight and get some different flavours of New England under your belt.

We headed back to Winooski for the evening - FYI, a great location to base yourself if you're in Burlington. A tiny city that has more of a suburb vibe, but with a great strip of bars and restaurants. My favourite was Waterworks, looking out over Winooski Falls with a delicious fall special of a pizza - who knew sprouts and pumpkin would taste so good as pizza toppings?

We ended the night at Mule Bar, which came highly recommended from our Uber driver, delicious tacos and a final craft beer night cap to prop up the bar with. This, complete with plenty of recommendations from the bar tender to take with us to our next location, Portland, Maine. I'll see you there!