Something’s brewing in Vermont’s ski towns. Visitation is up. The exploding beer tourism scene is filling rooms and selling cases as hops- driven tourists travel from far and wide to combine their annual ski trips with their quest for 16-ounce cans of anything expensive.
What seemed like a win-win for brewers and ski area operators is now under a closer microscope. Recent data suggests that while visitation is strong, the influx of guests are less active than in prior years.
The culprit is now coming into greater focus: Over-ambitious out-of-staters cracking their Double IPAs too early in the day.
“They show up in Vermont, check in to their lodging, then go out to these breweries and get cases of Double IPA thinking they can drink them like Bud Light,” said Holly Hahar, President of Vermont Winter Association. “When folks open one of these in the morning they end up taking a nap instead of buying lift tickets.”
On a recent afternoon outside the Teddy Hopper factory in Stowe, a constant flow of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey license-plated SUVs streamed in and out.
“I’m on vacation. It’s go time,” commented Joey Rentalman of Yonkers, NY who had tentative plans to ski a half day that afternoon. “We’ll see how I feel after we get settled at our condo.”
Vermont retailers have also noticed an uptick in accidentally inebriated shoppers at 2 p.m. who tend to be discussing the appeal of napping.
As the impacts are now being felt across all economic sectors, a task force of state tourism officials has been convened, initiating a statewide campaign to educate visitors about the risks of early Double IPA consumption and corresponding day napping.
Zander Basedepth moonlights as a podcaster for Wintry Mix