Passport Stop #5: Vermont Pub and Brewery

Ah, VPB. The oldest craft brewery in Vermont, and one of my favorite places in downtown Burlington. It’s been the setting for so many casual dinners with friends, bar crawl beginnings, and birthdays. It’s where I celebrated with Ian the day we graduated college, for God’s sake. But it wouldn’t be what it is without the beer.

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The night we visited was frigid, so the dark, inviting pub felt even cozier than usual. That night I chose to forsake my one true love, the Forbidden Fruit raspberry beer, in favor of some I had never tried (although I did find it slightly hilarious that our waiter automatically assumed that was what I wanted because I was a girl. But I don’t care–my friend Jared, one of the manliest men I know, thoroughly enjoys Forbidden Fruit). Each Monday, VPB releases a new experimental beer, so you can have something different every time you go if you choose. Ian and I each got some of the Nitrogen Dispensed Burly Irish Ale, one of VPB’s most popular brews served with a unique method. To get a little sciency, the nitrogen displaces some of the carbon dioxide in the beer, adding creaminess and creating a smoother mouthfeel. We also got a sampler of six beers:

What the Helles!?!? Light, refreshing Helles lager–I really liked this one, and I’m all about the lighter beers.

High Seas: American Pale Ale with 80 IBUs. When I was drinking this one I felt like one of those mermaids on the prow of a ship getting hit in the face with salty sea spray. Too bitter for me.

Blackwatch IPA: Roasty, bitter. According to the VPB website, the Brewers Association created a Black IPA category for this type of beer, which was brought to modern brewing by VPB founder Greg Noonan.

Euro Dunk: Dunkel with rich malts and undertones of caramel

Silk Ale: We took a growler of this home! Highly drinkable and, well, silky.

Gluten Free Winter Warmer: Aged with mulling spices, coriander, and apple brandy. My first reaction was that this was delicious, but I made the mistake of trying the others and circling back around to this and it took on a burning, alcoholic quality. But it would be good on its own after walking around downtown in the cold!

2013-02-04 19.35.13I already knew VPB wouldn’t let me down. It has what I consider the best pub food in Burlington, extremely reasonable prices, and the best selection of incredible craft brews around. If I ever move away from Burlington, this will be one of the places I miss the most. Guess I’ll have to stock up on growlers of Forbidden Fruit before I go!

P.S. We wanted to take a picture in front of the prominent crow sign out front, but it was so cold out that it slipped our minds. Instead, we went and did the next logical thing: got ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s.

Brewery Tip: Experimental beers are released every Monday! The newest as of this post is the Mint Porter.

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