The industrial food system has enabled us to disconnect from how our foods are made and what they are made with. Little by little flavor has been leached out of what we eat while chemicals and additives have been snuck in.
But, we aren't here to preach the virtues of local, artisan food. We want you to see and taste the difference for yourself. That is what the Taste Place is all about!
An educated eater is our best customer!
Meeting the makers, tasting their food and hearing their stories is the best way to appreciate what these craftspeople are creating with their own hands. Learning about what compelled Erika Lynch to travel to Gascony, France to learn old-world charcuterie skills or the many years Sean Lawson honed his skills home brewing before turning his passion into a business makes their food and drink taste even better.
At the Taste Place, you can learn about the makers from stories with photos displayed throughout our space or you can attend special tastings and meet the artisans in person or participate in expert guided tastings of cheeses, beer, hard cider and distilled spirits that we offer wherever we are open.
Mad River Food Hub
The Mad River Food Hub is an incubator space for food and drink producers in Central Vermont. Small start-up food businesses often never get off the ground because outfitting a home kitchen to meet state and federal regulations is a barrier to entry and dedicated commercial kitchens are cost-prohibitive. The Mad River Food Hub has been enabling food entrepreneurs to test the market for their products and scale-up to meet demand with substantially less risk.
Makers and Growers
The Mad River Valley has a rich farming heritage that has grown in the past decade as demand for local food has expanded. Our working landscape is rich with dairy farms, meat producing operations and organic and hydroponic vegetable production.
Value-added products are a natural outgrowth of all of these great raw materials and in recent years cheese makers, bread bakers, butchers and brewers have settled here to hone their craft and create great food.
We are home to the Vermont Cheese Council, an organization dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont cheese with over fifty-member cheesemakers in the state. Year after year, Vermont cheeses win top honors in national and international cheese competitions.
Vermont Craft Brewers
Vermont is home to some of the most sought after craft beer in the world and one of the most popular brewers, Lawson's Finest Liquids, is brewed right here in the Mad River Valley. With over 30 craft brewers in the state, Vermont could very well have more brewers per capita than any other state in the nation.
Vermont Craft Distillers
Distilled Spirits was a natural follow-on thirst quencher as the Vermont beer, hard cider and wines industries grew. There are now well over a dozen distillers in the state producing everything from gin and vodka to whiskey and rye. Many distillers make and extra effort to incorporate local ingredients into their elixirs.
Hard Cider is one of the earliest beverages of the American colonies. It has earned its rightful place next to beers and other adult beverages thanks in large part to the enthusiastic hard cider renaissance with roots in Vermont. Early pioneers such as Woodchuck Cider and Harpoon Brewery paved the way for smaller hard cider makers to get into the market.