Sampling Vermont beers in the middle of Lake Champlain

This past weekend I packed up the family and headed to Vermont to attend my Cousin’s wedding. The wedding was Saturday afternoon so we had to some time in the morning to do something around Burlington.

August First Bakery, Burlington, VT

August First Bakery, Burlington, VT

We headed to August First in Burlington for breakfast, a great little bakery with locally sourced ingredients. We fueled up with breakfast sandwiches and coffee, the boys split a raspberry muffin and chocolate milk. We’ve been to August First before, it’s been a few years but we knew it was within walking distance of Waterfront Park where the boys could run around for a while.


The weather was perfect, the boys got to walk around the boardwalk and run through the park and check out all the sailboats that were docked. Boys being boys though, they got a little bored hanging out in the park so we decided to find another activity and we didn’t have to go far.

The Spirit of Ethan Allen III docks down by the park and my wife and I have been talking about take a scenic tour for years, since we had time and the boys love boats we purchased tickets and set off on 90 minute cruise around Lake Champlain.

Spirit of Ethan Allen III

Spirit of Ethan Allen III

Seated at the stern of the boat you could feel the vibrations from the propeller and see the water churning below, the boys loved it and kept comparing it to their Papa’s party boat, there were plenty of differences. During the tour there is an audio track playing over the speakers with information about the history of Lake Champlain and its surroundings and of course a couple mentions of Champ.


Great views from the Spirit of Ethan Allen III but no Champ sightings.

This is a beer blog so I’d be doing it wrong if I didn’t mention there was beer on board. They offer a small snack menu for the trip, we picked a Vermont Cheese plate and Vermont Beer Sampler. The beer sampler was almost a true Vermont sampler, Woalver’s Oatmeal Stout, Otter Creek Backseat Berner, Switchback Ale and Sam Adams Boston Lager. I didn’t get the impression they were beer knowledgeable so I let the Sam Adams slide.


My youngest was not impressed that my beer came out before the cheese plate.

The tour was fun and I learned a few things about Lake Champlain that I didn’t know before, my kids had a great time, the cheese and beer samplers were a nice touch. Tickets ended up being around $60. I think next time I’ll leave the boys with my parents and take my wife on one of the evening dinner cruises they offer.



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.