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Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Plant

1 rating: 5.0
An ice cream factory and tourist attraction in Waterbury, Vermont.
1 review about Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Plant

The Ultimate Gastronomical Tour for Ice Cream Lovers

  • Apr 1, 2011
Rating:
+5
As a non-skier tagging along on a ski trip to Stowe, Vermont, I had imagined that I'd be cozying up with a book by the fireplace or nursing a cocktail in a hot tub for most of the weekend while the rest of the crew hit the slopes.  When I got there though, I was surprised to find that about half the group were non-skiers as well.  Not only that, but it was sprinkling that weekend anyways, making for unsavory skiing conditions.  So what do we do instead?  Hit up Vermont's finest -- the Ben & Jerry's factory.

We made the short drive from Stowe to Waterbury, merrily on our way to ice cream bliss, with a bit of a historical and gastronomical twist to it.  For a group of 10+ people, it's recommended that you make a reservation, but we showed up on a Sunday afternoon and we were totally fine.  Tours seem to start every few minutes or so, so there's plenty of time to accommodate for everyone.

Our tour started off with what they stylize as "moo-vie".  We were led to a small room, their Cow Over the Moon Theater, to watch a short documentary about the founding of the company.  Right after the moo-vie, we were led to the top floor overlooking the factory.  There weren't as many machines as I had expected, but it was still impressive that it churns out tens of thousands of pints of ice cream a day and apparently produces a large percentage of the Ben & Jerry's ice cream distributed around the States.

Unfortunately, since it was a weekend, the machines weren't on, but a video was played describing what each machine did.  Our guide also talked about food scientist ice cream tasters (where and how do I apply?!) as well as the perks of working for Ben & Jerry's (free ice cream!).  Too cool.  I should note that our guide was exuberant and super awesome.

Right after the viewing of the factory, we were led to.... the Flavoroom!  As expected, we talked flavor there, but what I was really waiting for was a sample of the ice cream of the day... :D  That day, it happened to be mint chocolate chip.  And that concluded our tour.  Short, and sweet.  Literally.

Naturally, we ended up at the factory gift shop.  Our bite-sized flavor sample didn't cut it, and my crew was feeling extra adventurous anyways, so we ended up ordering a Vermonster from their full service Scoop Shop, a 20 scoop monstrosity of ice cream goodness (check out my post of the Vermonster).  Now onto the pics!

Entrance to the tour
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5069/5577616339_dc1227b88c_z.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5060/5578205940_71630700aa_z.jpg

Flavors
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5291/5577621509_45cbca23d9_z.jpg

Top 10 flavors
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5296/5577620943_79cff0b214_z.jpg

Flavoroom fun!
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5021/5578204552_3257ab5444_z.jpg

This makes us look thinner after eating ice cream, no?
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5226/5578205000_de9934681a_z.jpg

Gift shop goodies
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5059/5578207400_e7b029ba03_z.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5134/5577616095_814a6c3e50_z.jpg

Scoop Shop
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5252/5577622089_2b6ee7b208_z.jpg

The construction of our Vermonster
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5043/5372435862_65a27442dd_z.jpg

Posin' with the Vermonster
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/167343_528374268803_223201296_1179523_8184698_n.jpg

Hello, Vermonster
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5186/5577624135_9e097f06a5_z.jpg

The devouring of the Vermonster
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5228/5578203302_f205bf68b6_z.jpg

Our awesome guide who came to partake in the devouring of the Vermonster with us
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5201/5372453488_b37b527cc4_z.jpg

Goodbye, Vermonster :D

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5005/5371846121_a31d289a34_z.jpg

Ah, good times :)

A few tips for visiting the Ben & Jerry's factory:
  • Last I checked, if you check in on foursquare upon your arrival, a foursquare deal will pop up giving you free admission to the factory.  Otherwise it's just $3 a person.
  • Try to go on a weekday when the machines are actually running.
  • Make sure you go with enough people to be able to finish a Vermonster.
  • Wear stretchy pants!
A Tasty Factory Tour with a Historical & Gastronomical Twist

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May 24, 2011
Fun stuff Debbie and great photos.
May 24, 2011
Thanks, Kort! :)
 
April 03, 2011
Great write-up, Debbie! This looks like you had fun and I'm glad that you were able to go with a group and enjoy the Vermonster ;p That looked like quite a feat!
April 06, 2011
Thanks! You've gotta try it!
 
April 03, 2011
The Ben and Jerry's ice cream is delicious . I have to be careful with the sugar or face a pr-diabetic crisis. Actually, Breyer's makes a sugarless ice cream which is excellent. Few people know this; however, Ben and Jerry's shares more of the profits with employees up and down the organizational hierarchy. The CEO and senior management take much lower salaries so that more of the profits can be shared with the employees. We need to import more of this generosity to Wall Street and other capitalist bastions. This change would make employees happier and repair the image of capitalism which took a real shellacking in the 2008 stock market crash.
April 06, 2011
It is! And I have to be careful as well as diabetes runs in my family, and I don't like eating artificial sugars. That's awesome to know that they are so good to their employees. I love hearing that about my favorite companies! I know that Costco is another one. Thanks for reading and for your comment, J!
April 07, 2011
You are very welcome.
 
April 02, 2011
Deliciious! What a treat!
April 03, 2011
I know! :P
 
April 01, 2011
Ultimate coolness! I've never been much of a Ben & Jerry's fan, but this place looks massively cool. I love ice cream; I've just never been that much of a fan of the wacky flavors. I tend to stick to just vanilla or chocolate, depending upon my moods. Thanks for sharing!
April 01, 2011
I'm typically a simple vanilla girl as well (check out my vanilla ice cream review and recipe post!), but in the past few years, I've gotten a little more adventurous with my ice creams and have grown to crave random flavors and chunks of deliciousness in my ice cream!  Take the tour if you ever get the chance.  You'd dig it :D
 
April 01, 2011
aawwweeeesssommmmee! and last week was their 30th anniversary or something....such a timely review!! I want a Vermonster!! Thanks for this, now I have to get me some # 1, 4 and 6!!
April 01, 2011
Oh, I didn't realize! And I bet you can find a Vermonster in SF. Maybe you can call up the Scoop Shop that's downstairs of Macy's? Mmmmm :)
April 01, 2011
That's an idea! Now, Debbie, have you had the huge Glass boot in one of the Irish pubs in SF?
April 01, 2011
Nope, but I've seen them at a German wirtshaus! :P
April 05, 2011
btw, you've inspired me to do a Vermonster badge in Movie Hype!
 
April 01, 2011
This tour reminded me of my Coca-Cola pavilion tour last year at the Expo. We each received miniature coke and a demo of how to drink Coke the right way, LOL... It was pretty cool! Miss your food reviews, I want more! :D
April 01, 2011
Oooooh, there's a right way to drink Coke? I had no idea! And more food reviews on the way ;)
 
April 01, 2011
Glad you had such a great time. My wife and I went there maybe 20 years ago. Lots of fun. How did you like Vermont in general?
April 01, 2011
Oh, I had forgotten that the plant had been there for that long! That was my first time in Vermont and I thought it was so gorgeous in January. I took so many pictures of the snow! I'd love to visit in the spring and summer sometime :)
 
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