I had only planned on taking a couple days off to visit my sister in Cape Cod. The boyfriend, however, had a family Dodge Power Wagon Rally to attend in Vermont that weekend. On our last night he decided to take a detour en route to Vermont and visit our friends, the Brothers Badger. The next morning I decided ditch work and join. Dan and Dylan Badger used to live with my boyfriend when he was a farmer in Vermont. The boyfriend and Dylan farmed together, while Dan was a Brewmaster at a well known but not worthy of a link brewery. I used to love visiting the boys up in their little home in Woodstock, VT. They brewed their own (delicious) beer, killed their own meat and always had a plethora of farm fresh or home grown vegetables that they were all more than willing to cook up. They introduced me to fun that is the game Careers and the “Heart Attack Roll” (cream cheese wrapped in steak, wrapped in bacon). Dan and Dylan had moved to upstate New York over a year ago and had just finished building their Ausable Brewing Company, and we had never visited them.
Keesville is on the base of the Adirondacks on the New York/ Canada border, just 45 minutes away from Montreal. Their brewery is just 5 minutes off 87 (if you’re ever driving to Montreal you should probably stop and pick up a growler)(Though they’re still waiting on their liquor license, they do sell ginger beer at farmer’s markets). The boys have renovated an old barn, complete with a giant slab of oak they treated themselves and built into a bar. As a bar owner, I have to admit I was jealous of their set up. They decided to move up to Keesville to join a few other friends who were starting/ working at farms up there. Across the street their friends have a cattle farm/butchery and up the road Dylan’s girlfriend runs a little cafe on the local Dairy farm. Close by other friends have a vegetable CSA and they were preparing for their annual summer festival, Crow Fest, which apparently attracts thousands of people each year! All these young people work and trade together, and are starting a pretty cool little community up there. The town itself, while a little sleepy, was gorgeous, amazing architecture, right on a river off the Ausable Chasm (a little tourist attraction where you can swim and raft by waterfalls). There’s definitely not that much going on there now but I can see this area coming to life in the next few years, especially with so many young people doing cool things up there.
During the 24 or so hours were were there, we drank and ate too much . I used some local sausage (that yes, their friend made) to make Papa’s famous Chicken, Sausage, Rosemary Potatoes One Pot Dish (recipe to be posted in the near future), while Dylan made food blogger’s favorite Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Crumble (even farmers read food blogs!). The following day while the boys were being interviewed for a documentary on the local food movement (blowing up), the boyfriend and I checked out the town, snagged some raw milk from the dairy and had outrageously good tomato-pesto-grilled cheese for lunch (made by Dylan with local veggies, cheese and fresh baked bread), then hit the road and drove round Lake Champlain.
I did a somewhat lackluster job of documenting (which may or may not have to do with the amount of beer I drank) but we had the loveliest time checking out their brewery and little town. Not officially a party party, but seeing good friends is always a reason to celebrate.