Best Bets: Tap Quest
LONG TRAIL BREWING CO., BRIDGEWATER CORNERS
Best known for its eponymous ale, a German-style altbier, Long Trail’s massive headquarters near Quechee is on the country’s oldest long-distance hiking trail. No wonder, then, that an eclectic mix of tourists, hikers, and suds lovers stop in frequently for pints and pub fare. Junction of Rtes. 4 and 100A, Bridgewater Corners, 802-672-5011, longtrail.com.
MAGIC HAT BREWING COMPANY, SOUTH BURLINGTON
After last year’s overhaul, beer is flowing again at the Magic Hat brewery and its "Artifactory" visitor center. Guests can take guided tours on Thursday through Saturday afternoons, weigh in on test varieties (garlic beer was a dud), and cart home growlers of fresh apricot-tinged No. 9 ale. 5 Bartlett Bay Rd., South Burlington, 802-658-2739, magichat.net.
HARPOON BREWERY, WINDSOR
The northern outpost of Boston-based Harpoon produces up to 55,000 barrels of IPA, UFO, and other blends a year. Grab a burger or a plate of wings at the Beer Garden and sample the limited-edition 100 Barrel Series drafts. 336 Ruth Carney Dr., Windsor, 888-427-7666, harpoonbrewery.com.
OTTER CREEK BREWING, MIDDLEBURY
Tree-huggers love Otter Creek’s planet-friendly approach to making beer: The company uses recycled and local resources to make its Copper Ale, Stovepipe Porter, and certified organic Wolaver’s line. Every Friday, brewers break out cask ales and other specialty brews for thirsty visitors. 793 Exchange St., Middlebury, 802-388-0727, ottercreekbrewing.com.