The drink becomes locked in your mental-GPS cache. You might remember the taste of a pint from the Sleeping Lady Brewery in Anchorage, sipping away just when Denali became visible for a moment and just as quickly vanished. Or you might remember the Saranac Pale Ale in Lake Placid after running out of safe drinking water and hiking ten miles back to your car after three days in the Adirondack High Peaks.
While we in Peaklessburg can find many of the microbrews we look fondly upon nearby in the big box-like pubs, nothing compares to the journey of finding it at its source or in its native region. Even better if you find it in a great destination and love it for on its own merits of texture, flavor, color and aroma. During my recent outdoors road trip covering the northeast Maritimes and states, I tried a number of new beers in a couple of wonderful settings, including coastal Maine, Prince Edward Island and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Gahan, PEI’s only brewery, did a fine job and produced some drafts that Charlottetown and the Island could be proud of. But this trip’s prize came from a very new brewery that hasn’t even started bottling – not yet anyway.
Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont recently started brewing beer. This is the same resort owned by the von Trapps of the Sound of Music-fame. Their brewery produces four drinks: Helles or “bright” beer, an amber beer called Vienna, a dark beer with a malty complexion called Dunkel, and their darkest beer, Bock, which is aged in bourbon casks. They are all special, but Trapp Lager Vienna was my personal favorite. Named for the City of Music, it sounds a horn of malty flavors and surprised me with a substantive yet enjoyable encore of aftertaste. If it was perfect as a beer to finish a ten-hour drive, I can imagine it must be just the thing for a long hike or climb!
Trapp Lager is now recorded in my mental-geo-cache for the eastern side of Mount Mansfield on Luce and Trapp Hills in Vermont. It’s worthy of the mountains. While it is far better to go to its source to try, I look forward to bringing a few bottles home to enjoy when city gets to be too much and I need to pull the hills a little closer for comfort. Go try it for yourself and let me know what you think.
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