If you look at the state of Vermont as a glass, the region covered by the 4393 Awards is certainly more than half full. We’re lucky to live right on the perfect fill line for some of the country’s best — and best known — craft beers. While others outside the Green Mountain State beg their visiting friends to bring them silvery cans of liquid gold, or make shady trades with strangers on the internet, we can stroll right into a local brewery or shop to find the best selection right at our fingertips. This year, readers chose the Stowe Public House & Bottle Shop as their top place to purchase brews to go. With dozens, hundreds of different cans and bottles, the knowledgeable staff can guide you to — or far away from, depending on your palate — hoppy heaven. The shop also has a good selection of wines, ciders, accessories (we recommend the dual-duty sunglasses with bottle-opener sides) and Vermont-made cheesy, meaty and crunchy snacks to round out a picnic. They’ll even roll out a plaid blanket for you to sit and sip on their lawn, and enjoy some people-watching on Main Street. Stowe Public House is owned by John Decker, who this year took silver as Stowe Entrepreneur of the Year. A former manager at the Public House, Decker bought the business in 2017; this year, he and his wife, Jenna, renovated a building in the village of Hyde Park and opened Fork & Gavel, serving breakfast and lunch just down the street from the county courthouse. Oh, and Decker was also named Mountain League Coach of the Year after guiding the Stowe High basketball team to one of their more successful seasons in recent memory. Buy that man a beer!
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