Lost Nation Brewing (Morrisville, VT)

In the years since I moved to Northern New England, the area has really embraced the craft beer revolution, moving from a relatively small handful of breweries (Long Trail, Harpoon, Magic Hat, Smuttynose, and a few others) to having literally dozens of high-quality smaller breweries throughout the area. One that has gotten more than a little bit of following since they opened in 2013 is Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville, VT. Located in a fairly quiet industrial park on the west side of town (not far from Rock Art, another well-regarded brewery), Lost Nation has primarily focused on European-style, lower-alcohol beers to differentiate themselves from the rest of the “Cloudy Hop-bomb Vermont IPA” style (which I like as well). And while I like their beer (especially their Gose), there’s another secret to Lost Nation: they’ve got some really good food.

Our first time visiting Lost Nation, as we sat at the bar enjoying a beer mid-afternoon, we’d see plate after plate emerge from the kitchen holding one of the best-looking, and best-smelling, pork chops that Ive ever seen. We didn’t get one that day (we were, literally, on the way to dinner already), and I have yet to get a pork chop there (it’s only an occasional special), but the sight of that chop has brought me back here more than a few times, usually resulting in my getting a soup or sandwich.

This visit, we were in the middle of a long weekend of Vermont beer sampling and dining, so we wanted a lighter lunch, and Lost Nation was the perfect place to achieve that. The menu is small, usually with a small number of appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers. Looking at the special board, the soup of the day was a tomato herb soup, and coupling that with their house grilled-cheese sandwich was the perfect light lunch (one tavern I used to go to back in Minnesota always called this combination the “Catholic Grade School Lunch”). But this was definitely a heavyweight combo: first of all, this was no shabby condensed soup (indeed, Campbell’s Tomato is possibly the worst exemplar of “tomato soup”), instead, tasting primarily of tomato with some rich basil notes. The sandwich was no mild grilled cheese, either, but a substantial foccacia sandwich with cheddar (the classic Cabot), blue cheese, apples, and a hint of horseradish, all grilled on the panini press. To that I added two slices of thick-cut local bacon. The resulting sandwich was a nice, perfect combination of grilled bread, bacon, and oozy cheese, especially when dipped into the soup. Lunch perfection.

So no, I haven’t yet had the pork chop. But every time I go, it’s great food and great beer. I can’t wait for another visit.

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