Belly Up: Discovering the Best Beers Near Here

Belly Up: Discovering the Best Beers Near Here

Craft beer has exploded in popularity in recent years and for good reason. The taste and quality of craft beers are unmatched by the mass-produced beers we’re used to buying at the grocery store. Not to mention, exploring the world of craft beer is just plain fun. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you discover the best beers near you. Get ready to belly up!

What Makes a Good Beer?

Before we dive into the best beers near here, let’s talk about what makes a good beer. A good beer should have balance, meaning the ingredients should compliment each other and no single flavor should overpower the others. It should also be fresh and flavorful, with no off-putting aromas or flavors. The quality of the ingredients and the brewing process, including yeast, water, hops, and grain, are also important factors in beer quality.

Types of Beers

There are many different types of beers, ranging from light and refreshing to dark and heavy. Here are a few types you should know:

  • Pale Ale: This type of beer has a hoppy flavor and ranges from light to dark in color.
  • IPA: IPA stands for India Pale Ale and is known for its hoppy flavor. It’s typically medium to dark in color.
  • Pilsner: Pilsners are a lighter beer that are crisp and refreshing. They’re perfect for warm weather.
  • Stout: Stouts are a darker beer with a roasted flavor. They’re typically heavy and filling.

Tasting Notes

When you’re trying a new beer, it’s helpful to take notes on the taste, aroma, and appearance. Here are some common tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Note the color and clarity of the beer. Is it cloudy or clear? Light or dark in color?
  • Aroma: Take a sniff of the beer. What do you smell? Is the aroma hoppy, malty, or fruity?
  • Taste: Take a sip of the beer and note the flavor. Is it hoppy, malty, or fruity? Is it sweet or bitter?

Where to Find the Best Beers Near You

Now that you know what makes a good beer and the different types of beer, it’s time to explore the best beers near you. Here are some places to check out:


Breweries are the best place to try new beers and get a taste of what’s popular in the local area. Many breweries offer a flight of beer, which is a small sample of their different beers. This is a great way to try new beers and discover what you like. Some popular breweries in the area include:

  • The Alchemist: The Alchemist is known for their Heady Topper IPA, which is a must-try for any IPA lover.
  • Hill Farmstead Brewery: Hill Farmstead Brewery is located in Greensboro Bend, Vermont and is known for their fresh and flavorful beers.
  • Von Trapp Brewing: Von Trapp Brewing is located in Stowe, Vermont and offers a variety of beers, including their popular Bohemian Pilsner.

Bars and Restaurants

Many bars and restaurants now offer a wide variety of craft beers on tap. This is a great way to try new beers without committing to a full pint. Some popular bars and restaurants in the area that offer a great beer selection include:

  • The Farmhouse Tap & Grill: The Farmhouse Tap & Grill is located in Burlington, Vermont and offers a rotating selection of local and regional beers on tap.
  • One Caroline: One Caroline is located in Saratoga Springs, New York and offers a variety of craft beers and cocktails.
  • McCarthy’s Pub: McCarthy’s Pub is located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and offers a variety of local beers on tap, as well as Irish classics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between ale and lager?

Ale and lager are two different types of beer, differentiated by the type of yeast used in the brewing process. Ale uses a top-fermenting yeast and is brewed at warmer temperatures, while lager uses a bottom-fermenting yeast and is brewed at cooler temperatures.

How long does beer stay fresh?

Beer is best consumed fresh and should be consumed within 3-4 months of brewing. However, some beers, such as stouts, can be aged for several years.

Is craft beer more expensive than mass-produced beer?

Yes, craft beer is typically more expensive than mass-produced beer. This is due to the higher quality ingredients used in craft beer and the smaller batches produced by craft breweries. However, the taste and quality of craft beer is worth the extra cost.

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