Some Favorite Things
How Trapp Family Lodge’s history inspires their innovations and operations.
Visitors to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, immediately feel a connection to both the von Trapp’s Austrian heritage and the lodge’s New England locale. Baron Georg von Trapp and Maria von Trapp of the venerable Trapp Family Singers and the inspirations behind the Sound of Music founded the resort in 1950. Everything from the pine wood décor in the Salzburg Suite to the maple syrup harvested on-property exemplifies their mantra: “A little of Austria, a lot of Vermont.”
In keeping with this ethos, they opened an on-site brewery, Von Trapp Brewing, in 2010, an idea of the youngest von Trapp, Johannes. Built by Vermont-based artisans and builders like the rest of the 2,500-acre resort, the brewery creates more than five kinds of lager and a pilsner. The beers are Austrian-inspired, using Munich, Pilsner and Vienna malts and brewed with Vermont spring water sourced from the von Trapp property in Stowe.
Following its family heritage, the brewery incorporates “Reinheitsgebot,” the German Beer Purity Law, while crafting its lagers, which means that only hops, barley, water and yeast are used. Demand quickly exceeded the original 2,000-barrel-per-year capacity in 2010; as a result, the brewery expanded to produce more than 50,000 barrels on-site in 2015 and hired a brewmaster familiar with German and Austrian brewing. In September 2016, the 150-plus-seat Bierhall opened. It serves Austrian-American fare and a selection of brews on tap, such as Vienna Style Lager, Golden Helles (German for “bright”; a session lager) and Dunkel Lager.
The von Trapps now distribute from New England to New York to more than 2,000 locations, including restaurants, bars and grocery stores. According to Sam von Trapp, executive vice president of Trapp Family Lodge, the plan is to use the brewery to help draw in prospective owners and new guests who are interested in craft brewing and artisan-made beer.
Read more about Trapp Family Lodge in “Family Affair,” published in the Q1 2017 issue of RCI Ventures® magazine.
Photo credit: Courtesy Trapp Family Lodge