Vermont December 17, 2016
The Neighborhood Brewery In Vermont That’s Hard To Get In But Totally Worth The Wait
Oh, Heady Topper, if only you weren’t so hard to find! That’s right, the hunt for Heady Topper beer is on as beer enthusiasts from all over try to track down this elusive brew. In fact, someone was clever enough to design a website called
Heady Spotter which is dedicated to finding all retail locations, bars, restaurants and resellers of Heady Topper and other beers brewed by The Alchemist. But keep in mind – even if you find it, your purchase will be limited. Let’s take a closer look at this Vermont beer that is topping the charts worldwide.
Heady Topper, commonly referred to as simply “Heady,” is a double India Pale Ale brewed by The Alchemist in Stowe.
This unfiltered brew contains 8% alcohol by volume and has hints of citrus flavors.
More valuable than gold?
Some would certainly say so. It's definitely a standard which others are measured by.
Beer Advocate, Heady Topper is the 8th best beer in the world.
That’s right – IN THE WORLD!!!! It is described as "a complex web of genius."
Canning is important. Because the beer is unfiltered, the beer is canned to protect the delicate hops from sunlight and other elements.
The opening is narrow, which enhances the delicious aroma. This is why, with each can opening, there is a bold, capital letter message that is hard to ignore. DRINK FROM THE CAN.
There is such a demand for Heady Topper that it often sells out within minutes.
Local followers know when and where Heady deliveries are made and often wait for the truck to arrive at their local shops.
It’s common for people to travel long distances in an attempt to obtain the beer from retail establishments in Vermont.
But don’t get any ideas about stocking up. Even at the brewery in Stowe, there are strict limits. As of the date of this article the following are available for sale: Crusher – limit 1 four pack, Heady Topper – limit 2 four packs, El Jefe - limit 2 four packs, and Focal Banger – limit 6 four packs.
Even the cows want in on a little Heady action.
I can't say we blame them!
When the deliveries are made, be prepared to wait.
See these lines?
People brave all the elements for hours at a time for a few of these delicious beers brewed and canned by the Alchemist. In fact, more often than not there is a line to get into the parking lot. And that’s before the line to purchase!
Their website urges you to come prepared.
It says: “We regulate the number of people we let into the retail space at one time. On hot days we recommend an umbrella, sunscreen and water.” As you can see from the line at the Hunger Mountain Co-Op – they’re not kidding!
Heady Topper fans are hard core.
Hey, it's The Alchemist guy!
Jen and John Kimmich first opened The Alchemist as a brew pub in Waterbury in November of 2003.
Heady Topper was an occasional offering on the beer menu. They knew they were onto something when customers began bringing in their own receptacles and illegally taking Heady offsite.
In August of 2011, the Kimmichs started a production brewery.
Just two days after the first cans rolled off the production line,
Tropical Storm Irene
devastated much of Vermont and destroyed The Alchemist.
Today you’ll find the ever popular Prohibition Pig in its place.
Naturally, they serve Alchemist brews.
Today The Alchemist currently runs two breweries – the original cannery in Waterbury and a new state of the art facility in Stowe which opened its doors in July, 2016.
Waterbury brewery is not open to the public. However, they distribute a portion of Heady Topper to the Stowe brewery and Visitor’s Center for retail sales and tasting.
Heady Topper is brewed only at the Waterbury facility and is distributed within a 25 mile radius.
Follow that truck!
Despite not marketing outside of Vermont, see for yourself why The Alchemist continues to gain notoriety and popularity...
If you can find it, that is!
Like this if you love Heady Topper and share with all your Focal Banger friends! Let us know – what is your favorite Alchemist brew?