Trapp Lager Brewery
More than a decade ago Johannes von Trapp started thinking about brewing his own beer, for guests of the resort. His dream was to produce an American version of the tasty Lager he has enjoyed over the years on his trips to the countryside near his ancestral Austrian home.
Johannes' dream became reality in the Spring of 2010, with the opening of the Trapp Lager Brewery. The modest facility (60,000 or so gallons a year) is located in the lower level of the DeliBakery (formerly the Austrian Tea Room), where draughts of the heavenly concoction will be available year round.
Golden Helles, Bohemian Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Dunkel Lager and a rotating Seasonal Lager.
Year Round Lagers
Our lightest offering, “Helles” is German for “bright.” It is golden in color, and is a crisp, easy drinking beer for all occasions, a true session lager. The spicy hop characters are a bit more subdued and in balance with hops. It is our only lager that is filtered. 5.0ABV
The Bohemian Pilsner is light straw to golden in color. A touch of Munich malt is added to give the beer a sweet caramel finish. It is smooth and crisp with a clean malty aroma. We use Saaze and Perle hops: providing a predominant peppery bitterness and spicy floral aroma. Bitterness is on the high end, but balanced out well. We lager in cold storage for 30 days to help produce a smooth finish for this complex lager. 5.5ABV
Named after the city in which it originated, our Vienna lager is brewed using a decoction boiling process. Munich, Pilsner and Vienna malts are used, which add depth to its amber color. Subtle hops, crisp, with residual sweetness. 5.3ABV
Our darkest year round beer; however, looks can be deceiving. Dunkel boasts brilliant crimson hues from the large amounts of Munich malts used, which creates a fuller-bodied beer. The decoction brewing process also adds depth and richness. Bitterness is moderate, with just enough to balance out any sweetness from the malt. Dunkel is smooth, rich and complex, but does not finish heavy. 5.5ABV
Trösten Bier, translates to “comforting beer.” It is a black lager with notes of roasted and smoked malts, balanced well with noble hops. Rich and robust flavor up front that finishes smooth and clean. A true winter warmer on those cold New England nights. 6.2ABV
A Pilsner style with a hint of wheat, gives it a great haze on those long hot summer days. Pilsner and Munich malts add to the depth of its body. It is dry hopped with Hallertau hops to give it a great floral aroma and a nice clean finish. 5.0ABV
Our version of a true Oktoberfest! It is full-bodied, rich, toasty and dark copper in color. Bready malts with a slight caramel finish are balanced well with German hops. Not aggressively bitter, but just enough. Prost! 5.6ABV
Enjoy Our Lagers Throughout Vermont
List of bars and restaurants where you can find Trapp Lagers. Note that some establishments may offer Trapp Lager seasonally or as part of a rotating beer selection.
West Mountain Inn
Mary’s Baldwin Creek
Farmhouse Tap and Grill
The Scuffer Steak and Ale House
The Skinny Pancake
Three Needs Brewery and Taproom
Parker Pie Wings
Dover Bar and Grill
Browns Market Bistro
Hinesburgh Public House
Rabbit Hill Inn
Two Brothers Tavern
The Club House at Tater Hill
Keepers Country Cafe
Whiskey Dick’s Saloon
Jeff's Maine Seafood
Cactus Cafe of Stowe
Mountain Road Inn
Mr. Pickwick's at Ye Olde England Inne
O' Grady's Restaurant
Rotary Club of Stowe – Jackson Arena
Spruce Base Lodge
The Bistro at Ten Acres
The Whip Bar and Grill at the Green Mountain Inn
Topnotch at Stowe
Town and Country Resort
Trattoria La Festa
Vermont Ale House
White River Junction
Vermont Tap House
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Microbrewery?
A: A microbrewery is a small operation (less than 480,000 gallons of beer a year) with emphasis on quality and diversity, and with much of the product consumed on or very near the brewery itself.
Q: Does a brewery need a lot of complicated equipment?
A: The Trapp microbrewery has been retrofitted into a small space on the lower level of the DeliBakery. The equipment is not very complicated. The vats were either imported from Europe or custom made in the U.S.. The skill of the brewer is as important as the ingredients and the equipment
Q: Do all microbreweries make lager?
A: Almost all of the American microbreweries produce ale, mainly because the process is at least twice as fast, and therefore the output more than double that of lager breweries. Lager requires lower temperatures, and longer fermentation.
Q: What is lager made from?
A: Most beer (the term includes both lagers and ales) is made of four essential ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. The hops and barley for Trapp Lager are imported from Europe. An effort is underway to revive their cultivation in New England, with new strains adapted to the local climate.
Q: What's the difference between lager and ale?
A: Technically the difference is in the yeasts used for fermentation, speed and temperature of fermentation, aging, and strength of the hops. Lager is more difficult, time consuming and expensive to produce than ale. Generally speaking, most lager is lighter, in body and alcoholic content, than ale. Some find it crispier, cleaner and more angular.
Q: What makes Trapp Lager special?
A: The source of pure spring water for Trapp Lager is an artesian well on the near the brewery. That spring water has chemical qualities similar to Austrian spring water, and is considered perfect for the brewing of European style lager.
Q: What makes our process different from others?
A: There are many things we do differently. We use high quality German barley and whole flower German hops. Common brewing process is called infusion mashing, which is hydrating the malt at one temperature to convert starch to sugar. We employ a process called decoction. This is where the malt is hydrated at a certain temperature, then slowly raised during a series of temp rises and rests. We then transfer 3/4 of the mash to the Lauter tun and boil the remaining portion of mash. Then mix this boiled portion with the rest of the mash. This creates flavor compounds that are not able to be replicated in the single infusion method. This is very difficult, time consuming, and present a wide array of variables which most brewers would rather avoid.
Q: Will I be able to buy Trapp Lager in my local store?
A: Plans are to eventually sell bottled Trapp Lager in small quantities, at selected outlets in New England.
Meet Our Brewmaster
JP Williams joined the Trapp Lager Brewery in October of 2012. His experience as a brewmaster and passion for his craft are a valuable addition to our expanding operation.
Williams grew up in New Jersey and attended college in New Hampshire. It was during his college years that he took a trip to Dublin, Ireland and visited the historic Guinness Brewery. There, he became fascinated with ales and lagers. Upon his return to the states, he traded in some of his old textbooks for homebrew equipment. He even changed his major to bring in more of a chemistry background. Making test brews in college was easy because he always had research subjects—a.k.a roommates—to try each of his concoctions.
As the love for alchemy quickly spread, Williams and his wife packed their cars and made the pilgrimage to the great beer state of Vermont. His start in the industry was as a brewer for Magic Hat in South Burlington. Four years later he became their General Manager, heading up the 6th biggest craft brewery in America. He oversaw all operations from grain to glass in that time.
The city life started to become a bit of a bore for the Williams family. So, they bought a house in Waterbury and moved out to “the country.” Unfortunately, Mother Nature had her own plans as Tropical Storm Irene decided to drop a couple feet of water in the couple’s new living room. As they patched up the house and moved on with life, Williams realized that the “super-giant” brewery life was not for him. He missed the small artisan breweries, which drove his interest from the beginning.
Williams started the next chapter of his life at the Trapp Lager Brewery and his love affair with lagers continues. Williams is thrilled with his new role: “My quality of life is up tenfold, the people are outstanding and the scenic views are breathtaking. Waking up every day and seeing the Worcester Range while brewing the state’s best lagers is just heaven.”