Brewery Name: von Trapp Brewing
Type of Brewery: Brewpub
Location: 1333 Luce Hill Rd, Stowe, VT. It’s a little off the beaten path (although if you’re in Stowe, chances are you’re already off the beaten path) up a winding mountain road, but the view from the top is more than worth it.
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Background: A little off the beaten path for me, von Trapp is a brewery in northern Vermont that specializes primarily in lagers. They have pretty solid distribution, and you can find bottles of their beer in stores throughout the region. I wasn’t sure if I would ever have the chance to make it up to the brewery itself, but when I found myself in Stowe, Vermont for my birthday, I couldn’t resist the temptation to stop by. And I have to say, I am incredibly happy that I did.
Growlers: Yes. Von Trapp bottles most of their beers for distribution, but there were also growlers clearly visible around the taproom.
The Beers: I’ve had many of von Trapp’s beers before, as they are pretty readily available in New Hampshire, so I took the opportunity to try the items on the tap list that I hadn’t seen before. German/Austrian beer isn’t usually my forte (although some local places like Liars Bench have turned me around on that lately), so I was interested to see what von Trapp’s take on some classic styles might be.
Vibe: Wow. That’s all I can really say about von Trapp. Wow. This place is absolutely incredible. I wish I had planned my trip a little more carefully, because I would have loved to linger a little longer and sample some food from the menu. But if we’re going off straight aesthetics, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a brewery as gorgeous as this one.
As you can see from the very first picture, the building itself is like something out of a postcard. It’s a massive facility located (basically) on top of a mountain, featuring a breathtaking view of the town of Stowe on one side and a clear look at the ski slopes in the distance on the other. There are tables and cornhole boards set up outside, along with a ton of green space for children and dogs to run around and have fun.
The restaurant and taproom itself is equally gorgeous. The floors are hardwood. The ceiling beams are wood. The bartop is solid wood. Every inch of the brewery feels like it was built by hand, and it really nails the rustic feel they were clearly going for. The brewing area itself is a bit more sterile, but it’s also kept separate from the public-facing side of the operation. That said, if you're curious, von Trapp has a viewing area set up overlooking the brewing floor. While they don’t work on weekends, you can find the brewers hard at work beneath you if you pop in during the week.
I didn’t sample any of the food, but the menu makes it clear that von Trapp is hitting that bierhall vibe hard. The menu is filled with cheese plates, sausages, schnitzel, spaetzle, and other traditional Austrian dishes--a perfect complement to the style of beer that von Trapp serves. The atmosphere, menu, and tap list are all in perfect harmony, which might not seem like a huge deal on its own, but it makes a big difference when you experience it.
There are so many nice things to say about the vibe here, but I just keep coming back to the fact that I couldn’t stop looking around. Every window in the place features a view more stunning than the last. Everywhere you look, the mountains of Vermont wow you with their grandeur. I can only imagine what this place looks like in the fall, when the leaves change. It must be one of the most beautiful places to drink on the planet earth.
Dogs: Since the bierhall is a restaurant as well, I don’t think so. That said, there is a ton of space for your dog to run around outside the brewery if you want to stretch your legs.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$. I was actually surprised at how affordable von Trapp was. Flights and pints are both affordable, and even the items in their gift shop didn’t appear to be particularly overpriced.
Food: Yep. The von Trapp brewery features a full menu, although I regret that I didn’t have the chance to sample any of it.
Final Thoughts: I can’t say enough great things about von Trapp, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t have any particular affinity for German/Austrian beer. I would have happily spent the entire day hanging out at von Trapp, and I really hope I have a chance to get back to the brewery soon.
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