For better beer – Words and images by Mike V. Sardina
It’s a Trapp
Nowadays, Stowe, Vermont is the home to a few breweries. Although a decent majority of the folks who journey to Stowe for beer might be doing so for the beers that you are meant to drink out of the can, there is another brewery in town who focuses quite exclusively on beers that are meant to be bright and brilliant in the glass. That is von Trapp Brewing, and their immaculate Bierhall and brewery is located up Luce Hill Road just up from Stowe itself.
The brewery was started in the lower level of the deli at the world famous von Trapp Family Lodge in 2010 by none other than Johannes von Trapp, himself. Quickly outgrowing that space, the brewery opened a substantial 30,000 square-foot expansion in 2015, opening a Bierhall on the grounds of the Lodge in 2015. The Bierhall features a bar and restaurant serving the brewery’s lager beers alongside traditional Austrian food in a traditional German-inspired setting, it’s a Hell(es) of an atmosphere to sip a Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Dunkel, Märzen, Bock, Kölsch, Oktoberfest, and other traditional (and some not so traditional) lager beers.
The facility also houses one large and shiny Rolec Brew House. Manufactured in Bavaria, it was a 15-week project to install in Vermont. The Brew House puts von Trapp’s capacity at about 50,000 bbls/year, giving the operation capacity to spare. Other lager brewers, perhaps most notably Chris Lohring and the brew team at Notch Brewing in Salem, Massachusetts, are able to use that capacity to brew technically challenging lager beers on the engineered lager-house of a system there under contract.
The brewing operation is just as impressive as the Lodge itself, just a little piece of Austria in the hills of Stowe, Vermont.