Vermont products are made by craftspeople who take pride in their work. From coffee roasters and sugar makers, to carpenters, dairy farmers, and potters – the focus and patience in seeing a product through the entire process is one of many reasons why Vermont products are in such high demand. Visit a sugar house in the spring, or enjoy ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s after their tour in the summer. For a perfect autumn day, stop in at Cold Hollow Cider taste some fresh cider and donuts. In the winter, enjoy comfort food accompanied by an award-winning Vermont draft beer at one of our many breweries.
This itinerary is compliments of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.
Vermonters are proud of their sugarmakers and the products they make. Maple syrup is all-natural and made by a very simple process, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Next time you’re in Vermont, especially in the spring, visit a sugar house and buy some maple syrup. Not only are you bringing a small piece of Vermont home with you, but you’re supporting the agricultural heritage and the sugarmakers who work so hard to sustain the productivity of their land.
Vermont’s craft beer industry has grown from a few early start-ups to more than 40 today, and Vermont is first in the nation for breweries and brew pubs per capita. Local Vermont craft brews are featured on most menus throughout the state. Labels include Otter Creek, Long Trail, Harpoon, Magic Hat, Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Switchback, Lawson’s Finest, Wolaver’s and Rock Art, with more arriving every month.
Can’t decide on just one? The Vermont Brewery Challenge Passport provides beer lovers with a “passport” to get stamped during visits to dozens of local breweries and brewpubs for prizes. In Addison County, the Middlebury Tasting Trail offers a tour of some of Vermont’s finest breweries.
Vermont is home to more than 45 cheesemakers using milk from sheep, goats and several cow breeds, ranging from Dutch Belted to Brown Swiss and Jerseys. The variety of cheeses seems almost endless – cheddars, alpine and blues, and all their iterations. Whether the unique flavor – a hint of fresh grass or fresh basil – is due to what the cows have eaten or the inherent creativity among cheesemakers, more than 150 varieties are available. Conduct your own taste test and visit farms and shops on the Vermont Cheese Trail.
Wine in the Green Mountain State is a growing industry. Flavorful, cold hardy grapes like Frontenac, Marquette, and La Crescent are key ingredients to Vermont’s delectable wines. Hand-crafted varieties of reds, whites, and dessert wines offer a wide range of styles, as do fruit wines made with blueberries, rhubarb, apples and raspberries. Also, dessert ice wines are not to be missed. These are made from grapes harvested after the arrival of winter, when the juice of the grapes is highly concentrated and super sweet. To sample Vermont’s delicious wines, plan to visit wineries around the state for tastings and tours.
We know Vermont’s apple orchards play a huge role in providing us with fresh apples, apple pies, apple cider doughnuts, and apple cider! But there’s more. Woodchuck Hard Cider, a winery-turned-cidery, has been producing award-winning ciders for more than 20 years. In 2007, it was the first cider to sell over a million cases in America. They welcome visitors to their newly constructed Woodchuck cider house in Middlebury.
When the temperatures start to rise in spring, we head to our favorite ice cream stand. Did you know it takes around 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream? That’s a lot of milk, but Vermont farmers and their dairy cows are up to the task.
Since 1978, Vermont has been home to one of the most influential ice cream brands ever scooped from a carton. Ben & Jerry’s started in a renovated gas station in Burlington, VT. An ice cream company with a heart and soul, Ben & Jerry’s has been playing a positive role in the community since day one. If it’s your first time visiting the state, you must block off time to tour the factory in Waterbury.
But Ben & Jerry’s isn’t the only place to spoil your taste buds. Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock offers visitors the chance to sample the ice cream they make themselves! In Quechee, stop by Frozen Memories ice cream shop to enjoy over 20 flavors of homemade ice cream. If you’re in the state capital of Montpelier, Birchgrove Baking offers seasonal flavors, made from scratch.
To find out more about Vermont’s hand-crafted food and drink, visit www.vermontvacation.com, the official website of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.