It is hard to believe that our adventure in Vermont this year is already past. What a great time with wonderful friends. As a small group we rode and drank big. Over the course of 7 days we rode through amazing scenery and sampled beer from a number of great places.
The adventure began, as most of them do, with a cruise about the town of Burlington to sample some of the great local craft beer. While visiting the likes of Magic Hat, Switchback, Queen City, Zero Gravity and the Vermont Pub and Brewery we began to get a taste for what makes Vermont beer and culture special. With attention to local ingredients and a desire to keep it local Vermont breweries have a special place for both myself and Noah.
From Burlington we cycled along the coast of Lake Champlaign to the small town of St Albans. Instead of visiting the 14th Star Brewery we decided to check them and many other out at the Jay Peak Bean and Brew Fest. For a small fee you get a pint glass and a whole lot of samples. If you thought the West Coast was IPA crazy you should check out what Vermont has. Holy cow were hops on display.
From St Albans we rode along the Missisquoi Valley Rail-Trail on our way to Canada. After crossing the border we took a break and had a beer at a small park before riding back into the states and a visit to the Kingdom Brewing Company. What a great stop. Brian and Jenn were great hosts. Not only does Kingdom brew great beer they are amazingly efficient and have a neat Geo Thermal cooling system.
After our visit to Kingdom we set out for a ride to the Kingdom Trails area in Burke, VT. The color was beginning to really pop off the trees at this point of the ride and we were very guilty of becoming leaf peepers, at least we did it by bike. We spent the evening at the Stepping Stone Spa and had a feast of beer from both Vermont and our favorites from back home.
While at the spa a few of us got a much needed massage. The masseuse recommended a change to our route because a brand new bike trail that followed our route. The Lamoille Valley Rail trail opened in the middle of September and was a delight to ride. At the end of the ride we finished into Montpelier, Vt by way of a hill that kicked my butt. Nothing is better than a cold beer to celebrate a great ride and for this we went to the Three Penny Tap room.
Starting our second to last day we had a great tour at Ben & Jerry's before cycling our way over the Middlebury gap. Along the way we came upon The Naked Potter and learned a bit about the different techniques and style of work. We even bought some to bring home! Not only is the studio wonderful we are going to look into adding a night on one of our tours to the B&B run by the same wonderful folks.
For those who do not know the Gap rides in Vermont are long steep and a whole lot of fun to tackle. The satisfaction on all of our guests was great to see. You finish the gap with a 12% section that is really challenging. Oh but the downhill is wonderful!
After a night out in Middlebury we finished our ride cycling back to Burlington and finishing at the Fiddlehead Brewery. Fiddlehead is one of my favorites of this trip and they had a delightful porter for our enjoyment and celebration.
Thanks to all who came along and a special thanks to David for helping drive back so we could do our big tour in Denver.