We checked out a little before 11 am, filled up the car and then hit the road. Our first stop of the day was at Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury, VT, where we sampled their famous (and only) beer, the Heady Topper. Their beer always comes in a can and they even call their space a “cannery.” When we asked about distribution, they said that their hope was to be able to produce enough for all of Vermont – right now the demand is so high that they only have enough resources to supply the 20 mile radius around Waterbury. Other cool things at the cannery included “hop art” or images of hops stenciled onto various things and this awesome piece of information: Brewing beer was traditionally a woman’s art, something she did to help support her family. Just one more skill to add to my list. E had hoped to bring some Heady Topper back as a gift, or at the very least buy a four-pack for us on the road, but unfortunately they were all sold out. The upside to all this was that we received our taste for free.
From there we skipped down the road a bit and took a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s factory. It’s kind of like Disneyland, but for ice cream and even the tour guide had a sense of humor reminiscent of some of those ride operators at Disneyland. His best joke? “This is the flavor infuser – so in a vanilla based ice cream this is where we add the vanilla, in a cinnamon based ice cream, this is where we add the cinnamon. For Chunky Monkey, this is where we add the pureed monkey. Free range monkeys of course.” At the end of the tour we were rewarded with a generous sample of Cherry Garcia. Delicious.
After Ben & Jerry’s, we had lunch at Reservoir in Waterbury, where the selection of Vermont beers was incredible and the cuisine was like something out of Man vs. Food. When our food arrived, we were almost a little hurt that our server hadn’t warned us about portions. After the Rez, it was a disappointing trip to the Farmer’s market (more about crafts than food), followed by a pleasant drive through rural Vermont to the Sterling Ridge Resort, which is apparently a ski resort in the winter. We stopped off in town to buy some groceries and settled into our cabin.
E and I have been in a silly mood all day. At one point we playfully argued over which ice cream to buy, but the best was during our game of Scattergories, played on the porch as a thunder storm rolled in. The letter we rolled was “B:”
Me: Thing you’re allergic to
E: ::makes a defeated face and gestures in my direction::
Me: Yeah, me too. ::crosses my word off::
E (who is allergic to bananas): Wait, we are talking about bees, right?
Me (who is allergic to bees): I put bananas!