Beer is a big deal in Vermont. Our proud, humble state (yes, it really can be both simultaneously) is home to more breweries per capita than any other in the United States. Having a small population throws many such distinctions our way. I believe we have the most tennis courts per capita, too. Getting back to beer, there were already loads of independent breweries when we first moved here 15 years ago and the industry has only grown since. Brewpubs are everywhere and in light of the high level of competition, the products are usually pretty darn good.
Part of Stone Corral's prix fixe was a four-glass beer flight. My wife and I have different beer preferences. I'm an IPA man, the hoppier, the better. She tends more toward a floral or fruity flavor. A gose is usually a safe choice for her. She likes Belgian whites, too. And Guinness. I'll drink hers and she mine but we tend to our comfort zones given the choice. As such, getting two flights between us is fun because overlap is unlikely. The most interesting variety for me at Stone Corral was their bourbon porter. I love both beer and whiskey and there's really no reason why they can't go together since they're made from the same stuff. It was like a rich, dark boilermaker.
Mussels are a favorite with us. In fact, whenever I see mussels on a menu, I just assume my wife will want to order them. At Stone Corral, they were served with a Thai chile sauce, actually sweeter than what I expected and indeed what one normally sees with mussels. It was different - not bad, just different.
Dinner was the prelude to a concert, this time the VSO String Quartet's performance at the Shelburne Museum. The concert was planned in conjunction with the museum's recent exhibition, Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography. Included in the musical program were works by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and the Talking Heads. The photos were marvelous, too: the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, just about everybody. I think my favorite had Eric Clapton sitting by a hotel swimming pool with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
A most enjoyable evening.