Visited in the fall of 2009. Took the tour, which was pretty informative and allowed us to see most of the brewery. The decor is fun and trippy. Our guide seemed to really know her stuff and she, too, was rather fun and trippy. The tasting room cum gift shop proved to be a highlight. I got to try every different beer they had on tap, which was around eight I believe. All the standards plus some seasonals. Perhaps the best part about the visit was that everything was free. I would definitely visit again.
Iíve never really been a huge fan of Magic Hat, but stopped by anyway. Itís a quirky joint, with a haunted house vibe going on, even without the smattering of Halloween decor. The staff seemed like they could care less about our presence, but did offer the free round of four samples. I only had two because I didnít want any more than that, and you canít get a pint anyway. Gotta pay for anything else, including 25 cents per coaster, so more of a schwag shop than anything else. (Brewery #671)
Very dark and cool (not in the temperature sense) inside. Large selection of merchandise and large selection of beers available for sample. Brewery tour is rich on info about the companyís history, but poor on the process (but, you get that almost everywhere else, so itís not a huge loss).
Finally visited in May of this year and was perhaps not too surprisingly not all that conquered. The tour itself is not devoid of interest for seeing the sheer size and crazy artefacts (and is fairly quick anyway), but in the end, the beers (4 samplers with your visit) are not all that distinguishable and I ended up leaving empty-handed. Has grown into quite a touristic spot, on a very rainy Saturday, it was filled with dozens of curious people of various origins.
2013-04-29. Overall impression is just a little over the top. The self guided tour was worth the two minutes, but if you have seen a brewery before it was not that different. 8 beers on tap, you are allowed to sample up to 4 based on state law apparently. Most beer geeks will have tried the bigger brands, they had some more obscure ones available, including some ltd release and VT only beers. All the beers were decent, none particularly wowed me. The "Humdinger" series Belgo Sutra was my favorite of the ones on today. Large gift shop. Worth a stop, but its definitely a sampling area and not a bar.
The eclectic decor in the gift shop/tasting room and the dark lighting translate well the companyís image. The free tap samples are always fun, even though I canít say their beer ever transcends into masterpiece territory. Everything they brew is crisp and clean, but never memorable to me. You can get growlers here at the tasting room, and you can also get decent info on the 9-10 beers offered because the waitresses are usually well trained and knowledgeable. If you do not want to wait for the mezzanine-level tour of the brewery, you can walk it yourself.
Large, campy warehouse store and tap room up front, that looks like it was designed by Tim Burton - lots of merchandise for sale - a fairly large selection of beer, with quite a few brews that are only available there (the Kerouac and Thumbsucker were on when I was there, as well as a belgian dubbel that is supposedly going to be the mystery beer in the fall 12 packs) - the girl working the taps was friendly and helpful - we viewed the brewery, but didnít take the tour - they have the largest operation Iíve seen for a microbrewery - large automated bottling line, giant fermenters, etc. - itís kind of cheesy inside, but itís worth a stop for the rare brews (which you can sample for free).