Magic Hat

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23771_545711008923_2802908_nMark and I have been to Magic Hat a few times, the most recent being this past Friday, in 2013. It is located in South Burlington, Vermont. If you haven’t been to Magic Hat before, it is a sight to be seen outside. Magic Hat considers the brewery to be an “Artifactory.” When you enter, you can take a tour if you wish (we haven’t in all the time we have gone), shop through their merchandise, or go to their Growler Bar. Their Growler Bar is changing all the time, featuring year round beers, as well as seasonal beers, experimental tastings and some that are only available in that area.

Recently, they have started to limit how many samples people have by placing a card in front of each consumer. You are allowed four stamps/check marks/beers. BUT- it is free!

Like other free stuff? Check in on four square. First check in will earn you a free bumper sticker. Ten check ins will earn you a free pint glass.

Free Pint Glass with $30 purchase

Artifactory Hours:

SUMMER (Memorial Day to Columbus Day):

Monday – Saturday: 10am to 7pm

Sunday: Noon to 5pm

WINTER (Columbus Day to Memorial Day):

Monday – Thursday: 10am to 6pm

Friday – Saturday: 10am to 7pm

Sunday: Noon to 5pm

Holiday Hours:

Thanksgiving: Closed Christmas Eve: Close at 4pm Christmas Day: Closed New Year’s Eve: Close at 5pm  New Year’s Day: Closed Easter: Closed 4th of July: Close at 4pm

 Free Guided Tours:

The tour ramp is open for free guided and self-guided tours, and you are invited and encouraged to come by and take one! No reservations needed, although if you have a giant group (15-20), please call ahead so we can accommodate everyone. Self-guided tours may be taken anytime during normal Artifactory hours.

SUMMER TOURS:

Tuesday and Wednesday: 3, 4pm

Thursday-Friday: 2, 3, 4, 5pm

Saturday: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5pm

Sunday: 2:00, 3:00pm

WINTER TOURS:

Thursday – Friday: 3, 4, 5pm

Saturday: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5pm

Sunday: 1:30pm

486132_747763045023_1440651520_n tasting glasses & my free bumper sticker!

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Sam Adams

Please forgive me, as the first few entries on this won’t be as detailed about the specific beers and wine as they will later. I am currently recalling the ones we have been to in the past.

The tour tickets

For my birthday a few years ago, a few friends and I went into Boston to go to Sam Adams.

How it works at Sam Adams

  • The tour & tasting are “free,” but you are asked to make a donation, which they in turn send to a charity. Win-WIn!
  • You walk through their brewery, stopping in different areas to hear about how the beer is made,  how Sam Adams was started and how they choose their hops, barley, etc. During this, you have an opportunity to try the hops.
  • One the tour is (almost) over, you enter the tasting room. It is set up like a bar. You find yourself a table, they pass out tasting glasses. They start with Boston Lager, and explain how to tell if you have a good glass while out (that the bars lines are clean, etc). They then continue to pass around pitchers of the beers they currently have on tap for everyone to try.
  • Before the end of your tasting, you typically try a “tester” beer, which they are looking to find out what we, the consumer, thinks before they brew big batches of it.

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Recommendation if you go: take the trolley from the brewery to Doyle’s Cafe. Nice, quick trolley ride there. If you get a beer while there, you get to keep the Sam Adam’s glass! 
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Tour and Gift Shop Hours

tour video
  • Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pmLast tour starts at 3pm.
  • Fridays: 10:00am – 5:30pmLast tour starts at 5:30pm (gift shop and tour center closes at 6:30)
  • Saturdays: 10:00am – 3:00pmLast tour starts at 3pm (gift shop & tour center close at 4:00)

Breweries and Wineries…

Mark (my boyfriend) and I both love to try new beer and wine. Really, he will drink everything. I don’t drink a lot, but enjoy trying new beers, wines and ciders. We have been going to different breweries and wineries for a few years now, but recently decided to (attempt) to go to all the breweries and wineries in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. We find it fun, and something different to do.

Every brewery does something different with their beer. Every beer is slightly different, even if it you are trying similar style beers. I tend to like stouts, porters and wheat beers, but will try others.

Every winery creates differently. Some use only grapes, others use the resources around them and  make wonderful fruit wines. I’m more of a white wine drinker, but I love going to a winery and finding a red wine that I can enjoy with friends who love red wine.

A lot of people have said to me “I don’t like beer,” or “I don’t like (red/white) wine.” Try them. If you try enough, you are bound to find one that you not only like, but appreciate. Add a few friends into the mix, and it will be a fun time as well.

Megan’s first brewery: was in Canada, while on a ski trip (to Mont Orford) with friends in college. It was actually a brewpub, and I tried a flight of beer first, so I could really try what the brewpub had. I recall that the brewpub was a very comfy-cozy place to be, with couches and fire places everywhere. Only negative about this place was that other consumers were upset that my friends and I didn’t speak French. My first brewery was most likely Mayflower Brewery in Plymouth, MA

Mark’s first brewery: Guinness, IrelandGrowing Collection of Beer and Wine Glasses