Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Fast Friends and Hermit Thrush Brewery - Vermont

I used to joke "I have enough friends"

At the end of the day, I thought I did.  I'm lucky to have so many amazing humans I can call on in an instant - childhood friends, scuba diving friends, horse friends, running friends, family friends.  You name em, I've got em.  I wasn't really looking for more companions as my schedule spiraled with book clubs, girls nights, scuba Wednesdays, family dinners and post work happy hours.  But sometimes, you meet someone in the strangest of circumstances and an awesome individual strolls into your life.

Sometimes you don't know you needed this type of friend until they show up and take up much-needed space.  Someone you can truly be yourself around, talking about the hard shit and the good times, the struggles with family, the perils of dating and the dangers of falling in love.   Turns out, I didn't have enough friends after all or at least not the type of friend I needed at that point in time. 

Hiking Katahdin with friends 

I met R in the funniest of circumstances.  We actually went on a few to be exact.  But let me rewind a bit.  Before we went on these seven dates, before we had even met face to face we really didn't
 hit it off.  I thought R was a jerk and his pickup lines were stupid and well, he thought I seemed like a pretentious bitch (my words, not his).  First impressions were not good and it just wasn't the start of something good, don't you agree?  

Fast forward to a month after that first correspondence, to one summer Saturday night.  To set the scene, I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas elbow deep in a bag of potato chips and chocolate bar wrappers are littering the coffee table.  I am wallowing over a failed relationship when R messages me again (somewhat reluctantly).  We talk a bit and we both agreed we should meet for the sheer fact that we had nothing better to do on this Saturday night.  So I decided this might be an event worth showering for and agreed to meet R for a drink because hell, what did we have to lose? 

Turns out, we hit it off from the start with a shared love of good food, better booze, witty banter, the outdoors, and troublesome hound mixes.  We drank a few too many beers and after virtually closing out the bar, decided to meet again. Over the course of the next few weeks we ate pizza at Otto and sang Sea Chanteys at the Griswold Inn.  We drank beers at the beach while the dogs ran around in the surf and sand.  We spent an evening watching movies and days cooking and setting up an in-house scotch tasting (at 2pm, on a Sunday).  We even traveled up to the Catskills to hike Overlook Mountain and stopped at a few (too many) breweries along the way home.  In all these adventures we had a b-l-a-s-t and R soon became one of the most fun humans I had met.  

Turns out, I still had a few lessons to learn in dating and at the end of the day, something was missing and there was just a lack of chemistry - plain and simple.  So we did what people say they will do, and we actually did it.  We decided to be friends.  We started calling in a monthly meeting where we would meet at a restaurant, eat some food, drink some drinks, and hash out whatever was going on in life.  It quickly became a much-needed ritual, a chance to vent to someone who understood where you were coming from.  The conversation usually revolved around dating because as any single person knows, misery loves company there is a certain camaraderie around single 30-somethings in the world of dating.  It was a chance to be open and honest, a sounding board for dating, a male perspective and a first impressions evaluator if-you-will.   I've had some highs and lows in the last few months and sometimes I just needed someone to talk me out of my funk and to give me some different advice, even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear.  It proved to be a valuable friendship and one that I hope continues for a long time to come, even after we've either quit dating altogether or found someones crazy we are willing to love. 

This friendship is partly the reason I have maintained some sanity through the latter part of 2018, and probably the reason for a few extra pounds as this friendship has taken us to many barstools and has opened many beer cans.  After a day of skiing, our monthly meeting planned on the slopes in Vermont on an overcast Sunday before Christmas, this unusual friendship landed us on two barstools at Hermit Thrush Brewery.  

Hermit Thrush Brewery

Driving sleet rolled into the mountains after we finished lunch on the slopes and we decided to unclip our skis and head to the bar.  
R suggested we stop at the brewery on our way back from Okemo.  We pulled into quaint Brattleboro, Vermont and quickly found our way to Hermit Thrush, a well-known brewery in southern Vermont.  From the second I walked in, I loved the homey Vermont feel, the brick and hardwood around us and the atmosphere of the brewery.  What you have to know about Hermit Thrush is they aren't your typical brewery.  They aren't giving you a "beer for everyone" and they aren't behind the double IPA or New England Hazy IPA craze that is taking over New England.  They are all about the sours and while sours aren't for everyone, they are certainly for me.  

A Sour Flight 

We sat on our stools and quickly made fast friends with the bartender.  He was friendly and knowledgeable, happy to help us select a few beers to taste.  Between the two of us, we tried nearly every beer on the menu from the Gin Barrel Saison aged in Vermont gin barrels to the 14.5 % Rowdy Monk, a sour quadruple aged in wine barrels for 12 months.  The Gin Barrel Saison was a favorite, and the 14.5% beer was quite delicious and did not taste like a 14.5% beer (read: danger).  Dark 4:30 was good and different, but something you only needed a small taster of.  Stickney Kriek aged in cherries and Supah Peach- a barrel aged sour saison with peaches added also received high marks on my review.  Fou D'or, an unblended foudre aged golden ale with a champagney quality was something I could sip on all day.  

Tasting Room Menu 

I loved some more than others but there wasn't a bad beer in the bunch, an impressive fete when you have 12 beers on your board.  We spent a good hour and Hermit Thrush and overall really enjoyed the beer, the venue, and the people behind the brewery.  

Pros: Environmentally friendly responsible brewery, fun name and logo (Vermont State Bird) large variety of sours, high quality beer, inviting tasting room, friendly staff, flights, growler fills and cans for sale.

Cons: No pints available, just flights and samples. Not for everyone as they only offer sours. High quality but a bit expensive.

Monday-Thursday: 3pm - 8pm
Friday-Saturday: Noon - 9pm
Sunday: 11AM - 6pm

29 High Street Suite 101C, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Every Friday and Saturday at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm! Limited to 15 customers at a time

Cans for sale

To wrap it all up, an unexpected friendship has kept me sane and has taken me to many great places from bar stools to ski slopes.   Turns out, you can never have enough friends and the ones that bring you to breweries like this are certainly worth keeping.  We drove home with our cans of Vermont Sours next to our skis, sharing stories of funny first dates, failed romances, family drama, and friendship.  There's that corny saying that good things fall apart so better things can fall together and isn't that true.  Cheers to a fantastic friendship, a place that makes top notch sours, a trip to Vermont, and many more brewery stops to come.  

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!