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Tour de Brew – Part IV

My last post talked about our awesome ride up the Appalachian Gap on Saturday. You can read that here, and earlier posts here.

Post Appalachian Gap, we headed to the ‘big city’ for a tour of the Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington. Right away, we noticed that the place was jammed. We could barely find a parking spot, and there was a BBQ going on outside the door! We finally got parked, and made our way into the ‘gift shop’ portion of the brewery. The place was packed with people! There’s a long bar across one whole side of the room, and all of the beers they brew at Magic Hat are on tap for free sample. Amazing! Trent commented that he’s never seen a brewery so busy, and he’s been on tours of breweries and distilleries all around the world! Magic Hat is definitely doing something right in the marketing and ‘company culture’ department!

Because the place was so busy, we decided to make our way to the front of the line for the next free tour (they go hourly) and avoid the rush at the bar. The tour was interesting, although we didn’t get to check out the actual production floor–we only saw it from above, where the tour concluded on a balcony overlooking the floor. It’s not quite what I would expect from a ‘micro’ brewery–their line puts out 400 bottles/minute, and 50-60 kegs/hour. That’s a lot of beer! Obviously not on the same level as a Molson or Labatt, but still more than a ‘micro’ in my opinion.

Post-tour, we headed back to the bar to test, taste and sample. #9, Circus Boy, Single Chair, Hi.P.A., Blind Faith, Humble Patience; oh my! I don’t recall specifics on any of the beers, except for #9 which I stocked up on before we left the state. It’s a beautiful, slightly apricot-tinted ‘not-quite-pale’ ale that I quite enjoyed! The rest of the beers were good, but none really made much of an impression on me. Of course, without more time to sit and enjoy each (in a larger than sample size quantity…) it’s hard to say for sure! I’d be more than willing to give any of them another try of course :)

Post-tour, we headed to box-mall hell to grab some Thai take out, and then back to the cabin for dinner and more beer. A selection of the nights samplings:

The selection for the night

The selection for the night

The Blackbeary Wheat from Long Trail was one of my favourites of the trip. The Peak Organics was popular all around, and we tried several different varieties. I still think that their Maple Oat was the best of the trip, although the Double Bag is a very close second (possibly first, depending on my mood at the time…)

The beer, hot tub, games and sleep wrapped up another successful, busy day, both on the bike and off. The morning would bring a ‘north of Jeffersonville’ route to mix things up, and to give the legs a rest from the big hills. The story of that ride will be coming up next!


Comment from David
Time October 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

what a great post, I really enjoyed it! Lets all raise our a bottle and toast good , friends, good times, and magic hat wooly

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