One thing that Stowe, VT certainly does not short on is food options. In fact, we wound up making a full day of eating based almost entirely around the samples at various famous eating places.
Our first stop was at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. They weren’t pressing cider, but we got to sample some as we walked around their fun gift shop. And we got a “legendary” cider donut on the way out, which was very tasty.
And we picked up some fudge for later, which was also quite tasty.
Our next stop was at the Cabot Annex Store where you could drown in cheese samples (and I pretty much tried to). They had some artisanal aged cheddar that was incredible and we also enjoyed samples of syrups and cheese dips.
From there… it was dessert time. So off to Ben & Jerry’s factory we went.
It was beyond cold that weekend, and the ice made an absolutely beautiful casing around the very red berries on this tree.
And we were there just in time for some Scotchy Scotch Scotch, which had signs everywhere.
It was a solid 45 minutes before the next tour, so we stopped in the scoop shop and got some sundaes.
My waffle cone bowl was super good, and I really loved the Scotchy Scotch Scotch flavor.
We toured the factory, which was informative, however, they weren’t producing anything since they were upgrading, so there wasn’t a ton to see. You can’t take pictures during the tour, until you get to the tasting room.
We also tried a special flavor, which had frozen bing cherries and cherry filled chocolate cups in it. I loved the cups but the cherries were a bit to tart.
One of my favorite parts of the tour last time I went (which was probably about 15 years ago!), they had a really cool part where they told us about the flavor testers who would chop the cartons in half to check that the mix-ins were thoroughly mixed in and do random quality checks for flavor. This was the most memorable part of the tour for me, but it was missing this time! I was bummed about that and then as we left, we tried to go to the Flavor Graveyard but it was too icy so it was closed. Damn.
But we sure got a nice snowy walk under the beautiful trees.
As food nerds, we had done all of the food things we could find, but we were still lacking in one department: beer.
Apparently, the only place to get the beer ranked Best Beer in the World was in this area of Vermont. We went to two different stores to find it, but they were entirely out. Apparently, people line up behind the delivery truck to buy these coveted beers. We called around and finally found a store halfway between Burlington and Stowe that had it in stock, but they told us to “come fast.” So we got there as fast as we (safely) could and there, before our very eyes, were a dozen Heady Toppers.
We very excitedly bought a few to try.
And you know what? They were really that good. I don’t know if it’s the best beer I’ve ever had, but they were just the right balance of everything. Bitter like an IPA but without any of the aftertaste and the bitterness was only on the front. It was ever so delicately sweet and you just can’t help but want more. It actually reminds me of one of my favorite NYC local beers, Sweet Action (from Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn), but it was certainly just a wee bit more interesting and delicious.
Maybe it really is the fact that it’s hard to get and has so much lore that made it taste a little bit better, but I really enjoyed the beer (and brought back a few to have at home).
And you can’t help but love the instructions to ONLY drink it out of the can (apparently, that’s how the flavor is best) and I really did love their note “DON’T BE A D-BAG, RECYCLE THIS CAN.”
A great nomming adventure through Stowe!