Inside Chittenden County
- 160 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT, 05401
GETTING A HEAD
If a Vermont bar has local beers on draft, you can bet one of them will be Burlington’s Switchback Ale. The well-balanced, unfiltered brew — which hit the market in 2002 — is wildly popular. This year, Switchback Brewing Company swiped the Best Vermont Microbrewery award from longstanding winner Magic Hat Brewing Company. Perhaps a soupçon of mystery is part of Switchback’s charm: The stuff doesn’t come in bottles, so bars are the only place to get a mug, and most marketing is done by word of mouth. The company’s Facebook page quickly racked up thousands of fans when it went live this April, but Switchback lacks a traditional website. While its classic ale is best known, Switchback released a second offering — toasty, malty Roasted Red — in 2007. Porter came along two years later, and, this month, Slow-Fermented Brown Ale hit the taps. Drink up!
- Suzanne Podhaizer
2010 Runner-up: Magic Hat Brewing Company