This season, 2021-22, Vermont Ski + Ride took a page from our sister publication, Vermont Sports, and sent out the Black Diamond Reader Survey. The survey asked readers to rate the best ski areas in Vermont in 14 categories, including Best Overall, Best to Avoid Crowds, Best Snowmaking/Grooming, Toughest Trail, Best Ski Bar, Best Ski Town and more. (Scroll down for links to all categories.)
Here’s what our readers said were Vermont ski towns’ BEST BREWERIES:
Vermont’s skiers and riders love their local brews. And with good reason: Vermont has some of the top-rated beers in the world.
Take Lawson’s Finest Liquids, which was first in our survey. You may know the story by now: Sean Lawson started homebrewing when he was a student at University of Vermont. A naturalist, he met his wife Karen while guiding a full-moon snowshoe hike at Mad River Glen. Today, the two have one of the most successful breweries in New England. Lawson’s Finest Liquids has a tasting room in Waitsfield and delivers its flagship brew, Sip of Sunshine, as well as many seasonal and specialty brews, around New England.
The Alchemist of Stowe, brewers of the famous Heady Topper, and the eclectic Hill Farmstead of Greensboro finished second and third in the rankings. Hill Farmstead, which closed earlier this winter, planned to reopen mid-February. They, along with Lawson’s Finest Liquids, have produced many of the beers that are perennially rated among the best in the world by Beer Advocate and other media.
Long Trail, founded in 1989 and one of Vermont’s oldest craft breweries, finished fourth and has a long tie to skiing, thanks to its tasting room in Bridgewater Corners, between Killington and Suicide Six and its specialty beers such as Sick Day.
The von Trapp Bierhall may be the only brewpub that has ski trails right out its front door. Located just off the Trapp Family Lodge trails, the enormous brewery and adjacent Austrian-inspired Bierhall restaurant are a destination unto themselves. But if you can’t make it there, don’t worry, von Trapp’s brews – like those from Lawson’s, The Alchemist, and Long Trail are now widely distributed.
1. Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Waitsfield. 2. The Alchemist, Stowe, 3. Hill Farmstead, 4. Long Trail, 5. Von Trapp Brewing
See the other VT Ski + Ride Reader Survey Winners:
Opening photo: Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Waitsfield, Vt. Courtesy photo.