Found my way to Burlington Vermont last weekend (didn’t know it was THAT hot in Vermont – ever) and had to wander over to the Magic Hat Brewery (easily accessible 15 minutes from the airport). They call their tasting/merchandise area at the brewery the “Artifactory” and it’s one part tasting room, one part Magic Hat specialties for sale and one part… Disco?
Dimly lit by orange lights (kind of like Halloween Christmas) in a large circular hut, you can browse t-shirts and glassware or belly up to the tasting bar for 2 oz pours of at least eight different MH brews. I must admit not being a big fan of #9, but I do like the Roxy Rolls – hoppy amber, with some real flavor.
There’s a circular ramp out the back of the room that takes you past looping videos of frothing fermenters up to a gallery view of the brewery itself. From your perch you can watch the bottles roll along into the filler, smell the beer, watch them set up the case boxes… all very nice (with funny signs hanging over the different areas of the brewery).
Skipping the more formal brewery tour, you can get your fill of “The Hat” in about 30 minutes and be on your way to Vermont cheese and the like. Made better if you nab a growler of Roxy Rolls before you leave the Artifactory.