If Vermont didn’t get so gosh darn cold, I would be packing my bags and heading there for good. In one short weekend we managed to experience fine dining, one of a kind shops, farm-to-table meals, locally made hard cider, a Cabot cheese tasting, and a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour.
When I realized we were minutes from a Ben & Jerry’s factory, I nearly convinced myself that we were never going to leave…
…then I stepped outside of the car.
I have told you nearly a dozen times that it was colder than the inside of a freezer during our weekend in Stowe, Vermont. You would think that would discourage people from heading to Ben & Jerry’s where they would learn about and then eat ice cream, you know, the best frozen treat known to mankind.
But the place was absolutely, positively packed tighter than the inside of my suitcase.*
Half hour tours are given from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm everyday, however, on the weekends ice cream is not being made during the tour. It is the same tour, only without live humans making ice cream.
As we stood beside of the wall of Ben & Jerry’s Euphoric Flavors, waiting for the tour to begin, we watched many giddy, unashamed guests taking selfies in front of the empty pints of ice cream.*
*I use as much resistance as possible to never, ever take selfies. I do occasionally face moments of weakness.**
After a short video about how Ben and Jerry started Ben & Jerry’s, we were taken to a catwalk that looked over where the magic happens in the factory. This was the only place we couldn’t take pictures. Even though this was a non-production day, it was still fascinating to look at how many working pieces go into creating my favorite little pints of ice cream. I felt as if I had been dropped into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and wanted desperately to stay longer than a half hour.
Instead of live humans making real ice cream, a video explaining the production process was played as we stared at the ice cream making machinery below us.
The final step of our tour was a visit to the Flavor Lab.
Here we were able to see the newest flavors that are currently being released. We were also given a sample of a flavor that is not available to the public, nor will be available to the public in the future.
“Sweet Sassafras” is a root beer ice cream with caramel swirls. Though I’m not a big fan of root beer, any root beer lover should flood Ben & Jerry’s with fan mail begging that this be made into a flavor able to be purchased. The flavor of root beer was as present as if I was drinking a root beer float. The caramel was a sweet surprise twirled throughout.
After spending a ridiculous amount of time and money in the gift shop*, I asked Lance if he wanted to visit the Scoop Shop. To which I received a look that said, “Duh, Jessica” accompanied by a, “How could we come to Ben & Jerry’s factory and not buy ice cream?”
We decided to give something other than our usual flavors* a try. I ordered a cup of Salted Caramel Blondie topped with whipped cream and hot fudge (oh yes!) and Lance ordered Chocolate Therapy. Ladies, Chocolate Therapy is most certainly the answer for that time of the month.
Aside from my local Jersey favorite, Halo Farm, Ben & Jerry’s is hands down the best ice cream on earth. Who would’ve known that two buddies from junior high could be responsible for something so beautiful, so divine, so satisfying?
I may or may not have researched jobs with Ben & Jerry’s when we returned home.
Unfortunately, my dream job of Professional Taster was not listed.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory
1281 Waterbury Stowe Road
Open 10 am- 6 pm daily