After several days in the car with my parents, viewing lighthouses and covered bridges and other such antiquated infrastructure throughout those areas of New England that are invariably described as ‘quaint’, I was able to put forth a sight-seeing suggestion of my own.
Just a few miles north of the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge – built in 1866, at 449 feet the longest covered wooden bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world (be still, my heart) – sits the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vermont, the rural twin of the Boston-based beermaker that helped kick off the American craft-beer revolution back in the 80s.
I ordered a pretzel started things off with a Leviathan IPA, an old favorite that packs an insane level of bitterness without sacrificing refreshment or depth of flavor; it also carries a mule-strength kick. It’s an excellent choice with which to start things off as it calms one immediately, much like mindful breathing or Grand Theft Auto. The Leviathan was half-gone by the time my pretzel came out and I was salivating. But why?
You see, I hate pretzels. Their sickly-caramel carapace doesn’t add anything to these over-chewy abominations that are a spot upon the good name of carbohydrates. I’m of the firm belief that those lye-washed coils should have been left behind in the old country along with rickets and the band ‘Europe’.
Harpoon’s pretzels, however – these golden beauties are glorious. Dough that has substance but isn’t too dense, the perfect amount of salt, generous little bowls of spicy mustard or cheese concoctions for dipping, it’s all what pretzels should strive to be. Those made by Harpoon are the only I will eat, one of the reasons I’m pushing for a chain of Harpoon bakery/beer cafes. Why sit at a cramped table typing away on your laptop with a croissant and iced coffee when you could be coating your computer’s keys with pretzel oil and drops of stout?
Cornish-Windsor Bridge New Hampshire Department of Transportation – accessed Oct. 20, 2015