Arriving in Burlington
Once in Montreal it just made sense to visit Vermont – State number 44 on a road trip. Luckily I had my mom as co-pilot and friends from Boston to meet for Thanksgiving (USA dates) to make the trip a special one!
Mom and I made the trip from downtown Montreal to Burlington, Vermont in just under 3 hours with a 30 minute border stop (Mom does not have Nexus) and arrived at Green Mountain Suites in Burlington in time for an amazing home cooked Thanksgiving Dinner.
Visiting Stowe, Vermont
We spent Black Friday with a drive through the Vermont countryside from Burlington to Stowe. Stowe is a cute, little Vermont town that looks exactly how you would expect when decorated for the holidays. What we did not expect is the von Trapp Family Brewing Bierhall just outside of town.
Von Trapp Brewing (yes the sound of music von Trapps)
After fleeing Austria in 1938 the von Trapp family toured as the Trapp Family Singers. In 1942 they purchased a hilltop farm in an area that reminded them of Austria. In the 1950s they began hosting skiers and by 1968 had created the first cross-country ski resort in the US. The lodge has 2,600 acres that provide world-class cross country skiing.
In 2010 the brewing began. After initial successes the von Trapps built an innovative brewery with a Rolec brewhouse from Bavaria. The beers have won multiple awards and the bierhall is truly an experience. It feels like walking into a European beerhall. The atmosphere is what I would expect during Oktoberfest, and not the North American beer tent kind. 😉
We drank Kolsch, Pilsner and Helles (bright) Lager, ate Bavarian pretzels with house mustard and Trapp Family Farm grass-fed beef burgers. The whole experience was terrific! The perfect Black Friday with family and friends.
Mad River Distillers
We spent the next day in Burlington visiting the Christmas market, the largest filing cabinet in the world (yup) and Mad River Distillers. Mad River has a store and a tasting bar, which is dog friendly, and cocktail lover friendly.
The cocktail menu is worthy of any downtown bar and the bartenders (owners) were a pleasure to chat with. Mad River makes bourbon, rum and rye. Both the bourbon and rum were so tasty that our friends took some back to Boston for me to have on my summer visit. The store also had a great selection of interesting bar accessories. With only a traveling bar I could only get some small bitters but was surprised with a special gift from my friends. My new pillow cover is now part of my traveling home.
State # 44 did not disappoint! I am lookinf forward to the other six and Washington, DC this coming summer.