Ben Franklin once wisely said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Sage wisdom that the people of Vermont have clearly taken to hear. Why Vermont? It's a craft beer paradise! Aside from brewing more beer per capita than any state in the U.S., some of their beers and breweries are routinely rated at the top of most lists. From the almost mythical Heady Topper to the widely acclaimed Hill Farmstead brewery Vermont over delivers when it comes to our favorite sudsy libation. With over 66 breweries currently operating and more on the way, it can be tough to actually get to them all, but that doesn't mean you can't nor should not try. However, in the meantime, two ski resorts are making your tribulations just a bit easier this weekend, bringing breweries from Vermont and beyond to two of the larger craft beer festivals in the state, the Stowe Brewers Festival and Okemo's 10th annual Hops in the Hills.
Stowe Brewers Festival
Photo courtesy of Stowe Brewers Festival
With 40 plus craft brewers and cider makers plus a slew of wine and craft spirits on the docket totaling over 120, you will no doubt get your fill of beverages this weekend at Stowe. Don't worry though, it's not like you have to try to knock all of them back in one day. With three tasting sessions, one a day from Friday to Sunday you'll have ample time to taste the flavors of the region in adult beverage form.
Tickets are $39 in advance or $45 at the gate and includes a commemorative glass and 15 (3 oz) tasting tickets. While your drinking, you will also have the opportunity to chow down on some of the delicious food truck fare available for purchase and peruse the wide variety of vendors in attendance. There's even live music each day for your listening delight. Food, brews and live tunes makes this a tough event to pass up so for more information and to purchase tickets visit Stowe Brewers Festival.
Okemo's 10th Annual Hops in the Hills
For the 10th consecutive year, Okemo's Jackson Gore Courtyard will transform into the festival that is Hops in the Hills. From Friday to Sunday, this weekend, you can enjoy the beautiful backdrop of Okemo mountain while sampling a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits. Live music will accompany the tasting all three days and an on-site marketplace will feature food trucks and craft vendors. On Saturday, festival attendees will determine the Peoples’ Choice Award, as local restaurants vie for the title of 2018 Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion.
Having been before, I quickly came to realize that Hops in the Hills is very family friendly. In fact, my three little girls may have had as much fun as I did, no small feat since I do love me some craft beer. Admission to the venue is free for all ages and the adults aren't the only ones who can sample beverages. There's a soda sampling for kids with popular fruity flavors and more that will have them all hopped up and ready for Okemo’s Adventure Zone which is just on the other side of the courtyard.
Pricing for tasting varies according to the size and style of drinkware purchased and tickets along with more information can be found at Hops in the Hills.