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Any good food factory tours in the NE area?

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violet heather Feb 27, 2007 04:27 AM

I have been to Cape Cod Potato Chips, King Author Flour, Cabot Creamery, and Ben and Jerry’s.

Does anyone know of any others in the New England area that are worth a visit?

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  1. Infomaniac RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 04:50 AM

    These might be on a smaller scale than what you have already visited, but a tour of some of the sugarhouses in New England is fun.
    Also, not really a food tour, but Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT gives an excellent tour, as does the Nashoba Valley Winery in Mass.
    You mentioned you have visited Cabot Creamery however I found a lot of the smaller cheese farm tours in Vermont a lot more enjoyable.
    http://vtcheese.com/vtcheese/2006Chee...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Infomaniac
      vicki_vale RE: Infomaniac Feb 28, 2007 02:23 PM

      Excellent cheese map, thank you! Which of the cheese farms in particular did you enjoy visiting? This is a great idea for a weekend road trip.

      1. re: vicki_vale
        Infomaniac RE: vicki_vale Mar 1, 2007 04:21 AM

        Some of the places I've visited didn't have organized tours, but if you show up and someone has some free time to show you around they can give you a little education.
        As Gio mentioned, Crowley Chees is a good tour, Woodstock Water Buffalo Cheese Co. was good & educational, Lakes End Cheese, Willow Hill Farm, Green Mountain Blue Cheese, Champlain Valley Creamery, Three Sheperds of Mad River, Three Owls Sheep Dairy, actually I've visited most of the farms listed on the map. Some of the farms though just can't handle visitors so you should check first depending on the time of year and their schedule as they make have time to talk and show you around.
        Plymouth Cheese Factory is close to Calvin Coolidge's birthplace which is a State Historic Site and a great take too.
        It does makes a great weekend road trip.

        1. re: Infomaniac
          Chris VR RE: Infomaniac Mar 1, 2007 11:59 AM

          Here's a very good map of cheesemakers all around New England, with info on tours:

          http://www.newenglandcheese.com/compa...

          1. re: Chris VR
            Infomaniac RE: Chris VR Mar 1, 2007 12:31 PM

            Thanks....thats an excellent map, and website. Much more user friendly.

      2. re: Infomaniac
        Msample RE: Infomaniac Feb 28, 2007 05:23 PM

        For the best bang for your buck, visit the VT Harpoon Brewery in mid/late July during the New England BBQ Championships . You can make a whole day out of it. They have strongest man / woman contests, brewery tours, and all the competing BBQ teams sell BBQ from their booths . There are also cooking demos and live music. I think it's on July 21st/22nd this year. The Budweiser brewery in Merrimack NH does the same thing in mid June ; haven't been to that one.

        1. re: Msample
          Chris VR RE: Msample Mar 1, 2007 04:12 AM

          I've been to the one at the Bud brewery. It's on the factory grounds but as far as I can remember the factory wasn't involved. (It was a million degrees and I was with kids so I wasn't really looking.) Lots of BBQ though- not cheap but about a dozen vendors.

      3. Gio RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 04:56 AM

        Crowley Cheese, just outside of Ludlow on the road to Rutland, has a tour. They have been making cheese in the same location for more than 100 years.
        http://www.crowleycheese-vermont.com/...

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          finewineserver RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 05:45 AM

          I don't if this counts, but a tour of the Anheiser Busch brewery in either Nashua or Merrimack, NH is fun. And you get a sample!

          1. kittychow RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 06:28 AM

            I second the Nashoba Valley Winery and the Harpoon Brewery tour (in both Boston and Windsor, VT). The Anheiser Busch tour is actually pretty fun and even kid friendly.

            In the fall you can find a handful of places in VT and NH where you can see how pressed cider is made and you can make them yourself as well. I can't recall precisly where at this moment but I know there is one near Portsmouth, NH. It's a fantastic time and bringing cider home is great. It's worth researching.

            1. Harp00n RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 10:22 AM

              I was hoping to give all you Baby-Boomers one from out of left field, Marshmallow Fluff.
              I just called Durkee-Mower in Lynn and sadly, they don't offer tours :-(

              4 Replies
              1. re: Harp00n
                Infomaniac RE: Harp00n Feb 27, 2007 10:42 AM

                A Marshmallow Fluff Tour would be an awesome tour....to bad.
                What I'm hearing from people I know at some large facilities is that a lot of FDA regulated food plants, and due to insurance constraints, factory tours are becoming a thing of the past at a lot of places that used to offer them.

                1. re: Infomaniac
                  Harp00n RE: Infomaniac Feb 27, 2007 11:55 AM

                  Yup, that's exactly what the receptionist said :-(

                  1. re: Infomaniac
                    l
                    lexpatti RE: Infomaniac Feb 27, 2007 06:42 PM

                    Wow, Marshmallow Fluff tour - how kewl would that be! Wonder if Necco doesn't tour either - they are in Cambridge right?

                    BTW - New Hampshire ToDo Magazine puts out some pretty neat events in the state and I remember reading about maple sugaring events or tours. They might have a website

                    1. re: lexpatti
                      Chris VR RE: lexpatti Feb 28, 2007 02:43 PM

                      NECCO is in Revere now. Not sure but I don't think they do factory tours although they do have a factory outlet store.

                2. Lilibet RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 10:36 AM

                  Am surprised that no one has mentioned the Wachusett Brewery out in Westminster.
                  http://www.wachusettbrew.com/

                  Full tours on Saturday with terrific beer... sorry kiddies!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lilibet
                    puppymomma RE: Lilibet Feb 27, 2007 03:00 PM

                    Geeze, I live right near there and I never knew!

                  2. trufflehound RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 12:56 PM

                    Westport Rivers winery, and I'm sure the brewery too.
                    Penechuck ale in Milford NH, to get the taste of a real micro brewery.

                    1. natureboy RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 01:52 PM

                      I've done the Bud tour and it is nice, if you get to see the clydesdales (pick a nice day and/or call ahead). I liked the beer and the tour at the Redhook brewery in Portsmouth, NH (http://www.redhook.com/). They do have a nice pub there, too, but if you're in Portsmouth and a chowhound, you should really head downtown.

                      1. greenmtnjenny RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 02:31 PM

                        I think Infomaniac has a great suggestion to visit some sugerhouses in Vermont. On March 24 from 11-3 is the 13th annual Huntington Sugarmakers Open House. Several maple syrup producers in Huntington will be boiling that day and you can visit their facilities, learn about the process, and sample some syrup. Many hand out free maple frosted donuts, maple cookbooks, and maple sugar candy. It's a great time. I like to see if I can taste the difference between operations that use reverse osmosis filtration before boiling vs the old fashioned way (all the water is removed via boiling). (If I can, it's probably in my head). Huntington has over 30,000 taps with operations ranging from 120 to 12,000 taps.

                        1. k
                          keysdax RE: violet heather Feb 27, 2007 04:41 PM

                          Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry, NH gave tours at one point. According to their site they have been put on hold temporarily due to heavy construction.
                          http://www.stonyfield.com/tours/

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                            touringvt RE: violet heather Mar 1, 2007 10:57 AM

                            Majic Hat Brewery and Otter Creek Brewery are great! Also Lake Champlain Chocolates are upgrading/building their tour site....not sure when that is due to be done. It is also great to hang out at the longtrail brewery - not sure of tours but it is right on a little river and nice to sit and eat in the spring and summer months.

                            Good luck

                            1. s
                              Sean RE: violet heather Mar 2, 2007 09:30 AM

                              Newport Storm Micro-brewery in Newport, RI; Tours every Friday evening:

                              http://www.newportstorm.com/

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