The Vermont Brewers Festival


This weekend on the shore of Lake Champlain, in Burlington Vermont there is an event being held that I hold near and dear to my heart. The Vermont Brewers Festival, this two-day, three session brewfest is the longest running outdoor festival in America and is entering its 21st year.

The Vermont Brewers Festival is an important one to me personally as it was my first brewfest; it was the first brewfest I brought my wife to, it was the first brewfest we brought our son to, he might have slept in the stroller the whole time but I remember it, the first brewfest I brought my parents to. It has been a pilgrimage I’ve made every year since I turned 21, the place I meet up with old friends and new ones.

This is the first year in 10 years I won’t be able to attend the Vermont Brewers Festival, it pains me to have to sacrifice an event I love attending and a trip home for the weekend but I can’t be on the road every weekend and family comes first.

Now it’s not all sad news for me I’m actually really happy to see that the festival sold out in record time this year. Not that it hasn’t happened in the past but this year was quick, like 36 hours quick. I’ve been to the festival when they sold out sessions but had a few hundred tickets available for walk up purchase, in those years I’ve seen people in the line get turned away. It use to be I could wait a couple of months and get my ticket whenever or have a friend in VT pick it up somewhere along the way but not this year. It’s nice to see this festival is getting the respect it deserves, I’ll remember to be ready to order the day they go on sale for next year.

This festival is often found on people’s “Top Ten” festivals to attend lists, they always have excellent food vendors, are well-organized, laid out in a large park with plenty of space to roam around, plenty of facilities and of course top-notch beer. Vermont is home to The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead and Lawson’s Finest Liquids and the lines at these three brewers prove their popularity and probably play a heavy hand in how quickly this year’s festival sold out.
Since I won’t be there this year I ask my readers who were lucky enough to get a ticket to do me a favor, swing by the Drop-In brewing company and see if they are pouring their “Heart of Lothian” if they are get a sample, I’m pretty sure they named that one after me (they didn’t) and Fiddlehead brewing company and sample their IPA. When you check them into Untappd put ” @Chaddah Sent Me” in the description and send it off to Twitter so I know you’re drinking the beer I won’t be able to have this weekend.

2012 tasting glass


I was just recently on the Seacoast Beverage Lab podcast talking about the Vermont Brewers Festival. Check it out here.

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Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.