Burlington Beer Company

This weekend’s adventure: Celebrate the unofficial start to summer by enjoying locally-brewed beer and Vermont’s landscape on the patio, deck or Biergarten of one of these nearby breweries.

What to know: This is by no means a comprehensive list. Instead, it focuses on breweries in northwest Vermont currently offering outdoor seating.

Though state COVID-19 guidance no longer requires restaurants to take reservations, some still prefer you to call ahead or to book online. Making a reservation might also ensure you get a table during what could be one of the busiest weekends of the last year.

As of Thursday, Vermont restaurants and bars must still cease service at 10 p.m. each night according to an executive order by Gov. Phil Scott. As soon as 80% of Vermont’s eligible population is vaccinated, the governor will lift this restriction.

Though masks at the state-level are not required for those who are fully vaccinated, most restaurants and bars are asking folks to “mask up” when entering and exiting or using the restroom.

As someone who has worked in food service for the last four years, I ask you on behalf of all hospitality workers to follow the rules and to be respectful.

My experience: Memorial Day weekend is often thought of as the unofficial start to summer, but this year, it might also feel like the first “normal” weekend in over a year.

That’s a thrilling thought, and what better way to celebrate than with two of Vermont’s great loves: beer and the outdoors.

Vermont is rich with breweries offering different styles, flavors and brewing methods. As a Maitre D at a restaurant in Burlington for the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to taste many of them — to learn what I like and the subtle differences between each.

As a reporter for this newspaper, I’ve had the opportunity to tour breweries and to speak with brewers about their craft. Those stories, the ones for which I get to listen to experts speak passionately about what they love to do, are the best. I feel very lucky.

This weekend though, I’ll take time to enjoy a beer or two off the clock, and I hope you do too — outdoors, in the late May sunshine, by the shores of Lake Champlain or nestled in the mountains.

Find a brewery with outdoor seating near you: 

Four Quarters Brewing, Winooski

Foam Brewers, Burlington

Zero Gravity, Burlington

Switchback, Burlington

Citizen Cider, Burlington

Burlington Beer Company, Williston

Black Flannel Brewing, Essex

1st Republic Brewing, Essex

Stone Corral, Richmond

Red Leaf Gluten-Free Brewing, Jeffersonville

Rock Art Brewery, Morrisville

14th Star Brewing Company, St. Albans

Mill River Brewing Barbeque and Smokehouse, St. Albans

This Weekend with Bridget is a recurring column. Every week she recommends a place to visit or a way to have fun at home. Where should she go next weekend? Tell her at bhigdon@orourkemediagroup.com

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