Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Squid Eats: Black Flannel

When we first moved to Vermont 20 years ago, the Essex Outlets and Cinema was an outdoor mall arrangement of brand name clothing stores.  In particular, it was a popular destination for the Quebecois just to our north.  The world has changed quite a lot in the time since.  Retail has been in decline for ages and, of course, COVID changed the playing field for everyone.  The transformation in Essex, already underway, was greatly accelerated.  Most of the stores are gone.  Restaurants have been moving in to take their place - nice restaurants, too.  The landlords have re-branded as an evening destination with the movie theater still the cornerstone.  The area is now called The Essex Experience.

One of the relatively new tenants is Black Flannel, a microbrew pub and distillery.  We've been twice now, both times when my parents were here to visit.  The space is nice: high ceilings and lots of windows, both of which help to make the place feel bigger.  Not too noisy - always an important consideration for my parents.  Friendly service.  Food is good, too.  I got the steak on our most recent visit while everyone else ordered fish.  All were satisfied.  We didn't get dessert this time though we have before and it's also good.

It's a microbrewery so the beer is an important consideration - even more so than usual.  I'm happy with the IPA and it's a little floral, too, which would make my wife happy.  It's also hoppy enough for my mother.  They have a decent range on flavors.  Wife favors the more sour beers and got a gose, I believe.  We haven't tried the spirits yet.  As is often the case with such local products, they are a bit pricey.

Overall, a positive experience.  We'll be back.


  1. Life is so much better with micro-breweries and mini-distilleries! Sounds like you found a nice one.