Also, I have been buying Cow Tipper white from Boyden Vineyards in Cambridge. Do you have a favorite VT wine you like and would recommend? I have to buy a few gifts and would appreciate some advice. I want to support the Vermont economy so only Vermont products would be on the list to take home. I'm overstocked on maple syrup so won't be bringing that back for gifts!
Of course, chocolates would also be a nice gift. These are my favorites.
Lake Champlain Chocolates
The state’s largest chocolate producer, based in Burlington, started small. In 1983, restaurant owner Jim Lampman began making hand-rolled truffles for his staff and select patrons. Demand was so great he soon turned to chocolate full time.
The company now owns three shops and cafés in Vermont, and sells its wares – truffles; raspberry, orange and cherry creams; hazelnut pralines; peanut butter cups; and Chocolates of Vermont (Belgian chocolate combined with rich local ingredients) – in over 1,200 independent specialty stores across the country.
The selection is diverse and delicious, but don’t take our word for it. Watch their chocolates being made, and enjoy discounts on factory “seconds” – slightly imperfect chocolates – at their factory store in Burlington.
In winter, the cozy, sweet-smelling café is THE place to sample the company’s four varieties of hot chocolate. And don’t worry, there’s a comparable summer ritual: locals and visitors welcome warm weather with a scoop of their sublime chocolate ice cream.
Laughing Moon Chocolates, Stowe
Owner and chocolate maker Leigh Williams has been creating artisan chocolates and old fashioned sweets in Stowe for over fourteen years, with an increasing commitment to local ingredients and the environment.
Hand-rolled truffles incorporate all kinds of rich liquor: Boyden Valley Wines, Green Mountain Distillers Sunshine Vodka and Maple Liquor, Flag Hill Farm Pear and Apple Brandys, and Rock Art Vermonster Beer. Their popular chocolate cookies, covered with milk, dark and white chocolate, come from the Sweet Crunch Bake Shop in Hyde Park.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
We usually pick some up for a few friends and it requires really good timing as many of the stores that get Heady sell out very quickly and most limit the amount you can buy (2 four packs). I have never before made "beer runs" until tying to get my hands on this stuff for IPA loving friends!
Maybe one of our VT friends can help us get some
So on Heady Topper, it's still very hard to get though it seems to have gotten a little easier since school has begun. Your best bet is showing up at 10:00 am at the brewery in Stowe, whose doors open at 11:00. It not worth getting there early as the parking lot is gated and everyone is trying to not harass the neighbors with bad parking behavior. If you're in line at 11, you should have no problem walking out with HT.
The problem is the brewery is in Stowe and you're in the NEK and Woodstock. So let me give you two alternative plans to take care of the beerlovers in your life. The first is to go to Hill Farmstead in Greensboro, Vermont. Hill Farmstead was the top rated brewery in the world last year and they have a beautiful complex on top of a mountain looking out in all directions. If the beer wasn't so good, you'd be looking at the scenery, more. Couldn't be nicer folks working there, the beer is outrageous and as hard to get as HT (maybe harder, given so much is only on tap) and the atmosphere is magic. If you take I91 to Sheffield or Barton, and travel over to 16 and then use the directions at the brewery's website you'll have a beautiful drive with ample reward. If you're in search of Vermont's best pizza, stop in West Glover at Parker Pie for some amazing salads and pizzas. For the real VT experience, get the Green Mountain with Apple, Spinach, Chedder, Sausage and Maple Syrup or the NEK Garden Delight if you're a vegetarian.
Another option, though much less adventurous, is to go to Woodstock Hops and Barley if you happen to be in Woodstock on Monday at noon. You ask, why at this time? Well, that is the distribution day and time for Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, another Varmont treasure that is hard to get and oh so tasty. It's a lot smoother than Heady Topper, as the name might suggest, and would be perfect on a fall afternoon admiring foliage, but I forget, these are supposed to go home! Good luck on Foliage '16 and PM me if I can be of any further help.
Thank you again for this excellent information. Unfortunately, I am leaving Woodstock after breakfast on the first Monday before I head to Barton.
I have to get the HT at the very end of my trip to put in my cooler (per bm) which I hadn't even thought about. Today I brought down all my luggage and cooler to begin the packing. I start in bits and pieces so I don't forget anything! I love getting ready for my VT trip!
Glad you found it helpful. And you must have a stronger constitution than I do. Two Heady Toppers and I'm singing karaoke! And not well...
Two other quick things. First, Hill Farmstead is only open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 5 so I hope that might fit with your schedule, but perhaps not. Second, if it does fit, and you have any bourbon fans in your shopping list, HF does a bourbon barrel aged maple syrup from their local sugarbush. It's super tasty, and good on just about anything you can imagine, but it is pricey. Completely Vermont and one of a kind!
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I have to divide up the four pack for my Heady wantabees in CT. This may be difficult. I do want at least one for myself!
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