Known as the Ski Capital of The East, Stowe, Vermont is hard to beat in the winter if you’re looking for a quaint ski town vibe and great outdoor adventures. But the little town also boasts ample outdoor adventures in the summertime. Even better? It’s a veritable hub for good post-adventure beer. If you find yourself heading to the Green Mountain state this summer, here are some recommendations for things to do and beers to pair with the fun.

Hiking Around Stowe

The ultimate hike around Stowe is Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak at 4,393 feet. There are several routes up the mountain, most for those with experience hiking as the trails are steep and exposed. The Long Trail, the oldest continuous footpath in the U.S. that runs the length of the state , can be combined with other trails for a loop hike. If you’re with kids, you can drive up the toll road for a shorter day.

A perfect pairing for a day on Vermont’s most popular peak it a beer from Alchemist Brewery. Try Focal Banger (7% ABV) after a day burning calories on the trail. It’s a tart IPA with citrus flavors.

The Stowe area also boasts some great waterfalls, perfect for heading to on a hot day. Moss Glen Falls is five minutes outside of town and is Vermont’s tallest waterfall. Bingham Falls, part of Smuggler’s Notch State Park, is reached after a short, but steep hike down into the gorge. It’s a geologic beauty.

Heady Topper (8% ABV), Alchemist’s best known double IPA, would be just the thing to drink while dipping your feet in a cool stream. Our household taster says it’s a well-balanced, consistent beer. The brewmaster recommends drinking this cold and from the can. If you do like to pour your beers, they recommend taking care to leave the hop resin in the can.

Courtesy: The Alchemist Brewery

Mountain Biking

The Trapp Family Lodge features a network of snowshoe trails in the winter that convert to hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer. Visitors can purchase a day or season pass to explore eight miles of expert or intermediate single track trails or over twenty miles of double track.

One trail leads to the doors of the Von Trapp Brewery. Our reviewer recommends the Dunkel (5.7% ABV), which looks like a heavy beer but is medium-bodied. This Munich-style dark lager has a foamy head and a smooth finish. It’s one of our reviewer’s favorites.

The Trapp trails connect to the Adams Camp trail pod. Accessed at the northern end of Stowe’s mountain road, the Adams Camp also connects to a larger network of trails in the Mount Mansfield State Forest. The Cady Hill Forest trail network is easily accessible from town. Part of the Stowe Trails Partnership, it’s popularity is due to the diverse terrain and accessibility for any riding level.

If you’re looking for a scenic ride in town, check out the Stowe Recreation Path. The 5.3-mile paved path follows the West Branch of the Little River from the village to the Top Notch Resort. Along the way are shops and attractions, including the Alchemist and Idletyme Breweries.

Von Trapp’s Golden Helles (4.9% ABV) is a traditional pilsner lager. Our reviewer found it dry, but with a herbal taste. It’s easy to drink and would be perfect to accompany a picnic or after you’ve finished your ride around town.

Credit: Doug Martland


There are 7 rivers near Stowe and many more lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Sterling Pond is a popular spot in Smuggler’s Notch and reached after short hike up the Long Trail. Fishing is permitted, of course, with a license.

While the fly fishing is best in spring and fall, there’s nothing like wading in the quiet waters in early morning on a summer day. Before you head out, check in with The Fly Rod Shop for equipment or advice. They publish a river report with updates on water temperatures, what fish are biting, and what’s hatching.

Ten Bends Beer is what to drink after a day of fishing. Named for the Lemoille River’s pattern, the brewery is located between bends five and six. The brewers deep commitment to their community and their craft is evident. Our reviewer recommends Northern Heights (8% ABV), a Vermont-style double IPA. It has a sweet hop taste, with fruity impressions. It’s a good summertime drink with a little bit of summer in every sip.

Finally, our reviewer recommends two beers for those memorable days of perfect weather and views. The first is Lawson’s famous Sip of Sunshine (8% ABV) IPA. Even though you no longer have to go to Warren on Thursday morning to hope for a delivery, it’s still a beer you’ll want to drink in Vermont. Light and crisp, it’s aroma is tropical and hoppy. Lawson’s was there at the beginning of Vermont’s craft beer movement. But an all-time favorite in our house is The Shed’s Mountain Ale (7.4% ABV). Brewed in Middlebury, The Shed has its roots in Stowe. The ale is an unfiltered English Strong that’s full-bodied. While it may be best enjoyed in the winter, our reviewer says it’s sweet and hits just right.