The Vermont Beverage Scene
Vermont craft brews are known around the world, often showing up at the top of the "best of" lists. But beer isn't all that we make to drink. Back in the early 1980's, in the shopping center just across the street from the Mad River Taste Place, Green Mountain Coffee was born. Like Vermont cheesemakers who turn the highest quality raw materials into exceptional cheeses, those in the beverage industry in Vermont are doing the same whether their raw materials are Vermont grown grapes or apples, fair trade and organic coffee beans from family farms in the world's coffee belt or distilled spirits that began with a locally brewed ale. Good food always tastes better with a good beverage. Good beverages always taste better with good food.
Beverages You Will Find at the Taste Place
Vermont Craft Brews
We stock some of the hardest to get Vermont Craft beers. Lawson's Sip of Sunshine is usually on tap and you can also purchase it in four-packs. But, Vermont has dozens of small breweries, each with unique characteristics and stories. So we encourage visitors to try different options, especially the seasonal offerings often sold in the larger glass bottle format.
Locally Roasted Coffee
There are many small coffee roasters throughout the state who are focused on sourcing sustainable, fair trade and organic beans from small, family farms located in the world's coffee belt. In the Mad River Valley we are lucky to have Awake Coffee that is roasted right in historic Waitsfield Village. We offer the coffee in a French press to enjoy at the Taste Place or you can take home vacuum packed bags of beans.
Hard Cider and Ice Cider
A hundred years ago apples provided libations to help Vermonters get through the freezing winters. This traditional beverage is being revived thanks to dozens of hard cider and ice cider producers in throughout the state. Tin Hat Cider, one of our favorites, is made from apples and pears grown in an heirloom orchard right in Waitsfield.
The wine industry in Vermont is over 25 years old. Thanks to extensive research and hybridization of cold-hardy grapes, varieties such as the Marquette, Frontenac and Lacrescent are now thriving throughout the state and exceptional wines are now being produced. Here in the Mad River Valley we have two vineyards, one which is the largest vineyard in the state.
Caledonia Spirits gins and vodka are also available to the Taste Place to taste and to purchase.
We have an ever-changing selection of non-alcoholic beverages from Vermont Makers. Several use maple syrup or honey for the sweetener and incorporate other local ingredients into the beverage. All Times Sparkling Cider is a great option for kids and adults.