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A Sunny Hopscotch Collaboration

Have you heard of our Hopscotch collaboration project? It’s an annual tradition of ours, where we partner with one of Vermont’s amazing breweries to produce a unique, local and craft-made spirit. It’s a distinctive single malt whiskey made using local craft beer. Since we use a different beer each year, as you might imagine, each year’s Hopscotch has a flavor all its own. 

This year, we partnered with Lawson’s Finest Liquids, a business neighbor of ours, located in Waitsfield, Vermont.

A Little Background on Hopscotch

Single malt whiskey and beer are both made from a base of barley. Years ago, we had the idea to distill some beer from our neighbors in Warren (Lawson’s Finest Liquids) and create a Vermont Single Malt Whiskey. Since Vermont has become known as a beer mecca, we thought it would be fun to experiment with different local producers and styles of beer. Sometimes we distill finished beer, and other years we ferment wort in house. Every batch of Hopscotch has a distinct and unique flavor even though the ingredient—100% barley—remains the same.

Hopscotch Version 8 Released March 2023

This year’s Hopscotch was distilled at our location in Warren from Lawson’s Finest Liquids “Triple Sunshine” IPA. Made with 100% barley and aged for three years in a #3 Char New American Oak, this single malt whiskey has notes of lychee, pineapple, cedar and sweet oak on the nose. It boasts a hoppy acidity on the back palate with a long finish of bitter grapefruit.  At 92 proof, this is a true beer whiskey!

Our Previous Hopscotch Collaborations

This year marks our 8th release of Hopscotch. Below is an overview of our previous collaborations.

  • Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Our very first batch of Hopscotch was made with wort from owner Sean Lawson, that we fermented. This is the only Hopscotch that was not produced with a pre-existing beer recipe. The resulting spirit tasted very much like a traditional Scotch.
  • 14th Star Brewing Co. Our second batch of Hopscotch was distilled from 14th Star’s Tribute Double IPA. This is a very hop-forward beer, and resulted in a very hop-forward whiskey.     
  • Stone Corral. Our third batch was distilled from the wort of Stone Corral's Scotch Ale, which is a very dark, malty ale brewed with additions of peated malted barley, which absolutely came through in the finished spirit.
  • von Trapp Brewing. The fourth batch of Hopscotch was distilled from Trapp’s Helles Lager, which is a classic German style lager that has a nice balance of malt and hops. The distinctive flavor of this beer came through in the whiskey.  
  • Upper Pass Beer. The fifth batch was distilled from Upper Pass’s First Drop American Pale ale. With a slightly lower ABV than many of the Double India Pale Ales you’d find, but still full of flavor, this made for a full flavored and fairly hop-forward whiskey.
  • Otter Creek Brewing Co. Our sixth batch of Hopscotch was distilled from Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest beer, which is a malty, sweet, almost amber colored ale. This malt-forward beer made for a more traditional whiskey flavor.  
  • Zero Gravity. Our seventh batch of Hopscotch was distilled from the wort of a brown ale fermented with Brettanomyces. It was made without any hops, but the Brettanomyces added a unique flavor profile to the whiskey.

Available For A Limited Time

This year’s Hopscotch collaboration is all bottled up and available right now, for a limited time (in both the 375 ML and 750 ML sizes), at our Burlington Tasting Room and at the Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield. We’ll be celebrating the release of this special batch soon, so stay tuned for more details. 

Stop in and pick up a bottle of our local and craft-made Hopscotch, while supplies last. To hear more about our upcoming events, and to hear about the other happenings at Mad River Distillers, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by Brianne Lucas and published on March 28, 2023

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