Even though Vermont is a small state, it has the most craft breweries per capita within the USA. From beloved establishments that have been in business for more than 20 years to newer up-and-coming breweries, and from well-known styles to lesser-known brews, there is something for every craft beer lover. Here is a list of some of the top craft breweries found throughout ‘The Green Mountain State’.
A small, family-run operation located in Waterbury, The Alchemist began brewing in 2003. This craft brewery specializes in fresh, unfiltered IPA and is currently focusing its efforts on producing its flagship beer, Heady Topper—the number one rated beer on BeerAdvocate. A double India pale ale, the craft brew is extremely popular, enticing people from hundreds of miles away, queuing up to get their hands on some of it. Unfortunately, the brewery is not open to the public, but they do have plans to open a new place — check their Facebook page for updates. To find out where to purchase Heady Topper, visit their website, on which is a list of eateries and stores selling the product.
Various stores and eateries in Vermont—find out more here
The Bobcat Café & Brewery
Established in 2003 and owned by Erin and Sanderson Wheeler, The Bobcat Café and Brewery is a great neighborhood-gathering place where a variety of handcrafted brews are served alongside tasty edibles. Located in Bristol, which is in the heart of the Green Mountains, the brew team procures top quality ingredients for their craft beers, all of which can be sampled within a warm and inviting space seven nights a week. Great options include the Easy Rider, which is a Belgian pale ale, and the Kölsch. As for cuisine, the café serves comfort fare with a contemporary twist that will tickle many taste buds from carnivorous eaters to vegetarians.
The Bobcat Café & Brewery, 5 Main St., Bristol, VT, USA, +1 802 453 3311
Drop-In Brewing Company
Drop-In Brewing Company is a Middlebury-based craft brewery that opened in 2012. Owned by Steve Parkes and Christine Mckeever-Parkes, this venue is a kegging-only brewery whose brews are featured on taps throughout the state as well as their own tasting room, which is open daily. Within an inviting space adorned with brewing memorabilia, beer lovers can try great choices such as the Fetchez La Vache, which is a milk stout, Sunshine and Hoppiness, a Belgian-style golden ale that is also their flagship brew, and the Chicharito, a pale ale with notes of chocolate and vanilla. The brewery is also the home of the American Brewers Guild, a craft brewing school.
Drop-In Brewing Company, 610 Route 7 S., Middlebury, VT, USA, +1 802 989 7414
Foley Brothers Brewing
Part of the Neshobe River Winery, a family-run boutique winery, Foley Brothers Brewing is a small craft brewery located in Brandon. Situated in the foothills of the Green Mountains, this venue produces approximately 15-21 barrels each week and uses both old and new techniques when creating their craft brews. Placing an emphasis on hoppy pale ales, some must-try beers include the Fair Maiden Double IPA, the Double Maple Brown, an imperial American brown ale that is brewed with maple syrup, and Pieces of Eight, an imperial IPA. Established in 2012, the tasting room is currently open Wednesday through Saturday.
Foley Brothers Brewing, 79 Stone Mill Dam Rd., Brandon, VT, USA, +1 802 247 8002
Four Quarters Brewing
Opened to the public for the first time in 2014, Four Quarters Brewing is a small (only four barrel) brewery, featuring farmhouse, barrel-aged, and American and Belgian-style brews. Located in Winooski, outside of Burlington, this cozy place has a tasting room that guests may visit Friday through to Saturday. Some of the tasty brews beer lovers will find here include The Great Bear; Ursa Major, which is a lightly smoked oatmeal brown ale; Siren’s Song, a chocolate and sea salted Baltic porter; and the Anniversary Sour Ale, a brew soured with house funk cocktail mix and aged in red wine barrels. Visitors will also find a line-up of local products for sale, including honey and maple syrup.
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Located in Greensboro, Hill Farmstead Brewery specializes in farmhouse ales, hoppy American ales, and barrel-aged varieties. Owned by Shaun Hill, this small-batch brewery places an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Honoring his ancestors, Hill operates his business on land that used to be his grandfather’s dairy farm and names many brews after family members. Open Wednesday through to Saturday, the establishment features six draft lines plus limited release bottles. Favored choices include Everett, a porter with notes of chocolate, coffee and malty sweetness; Abner, which is an IPA with notes of citrus and pine, named after the owner’s great grandfather; and Society & Solitude #4, an experimental double IPA.
Hill Farmstead Brewery, 403 Hill Rd., Greensboro, VT, USA, +1 802 533 7450
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Founded by Andy Pherson, Long Trail Brewing Co. has been a part of Vermont’s craft brewing scene for many years. Established in 1989, this Bridgewater Corners brewery is set along the banks of the Ottauquechee River and features a brewpub where guests can sample a variety of craft brews, including small-batch farmhouse ales that can only be found at the brewery, alongside locally inspired cuisine. Must-try brews include the year-round Limbo IPA, which features a blend of Australian and Pacific Northwest hops; the Double Bag, a double altbier; and the eponymous and flagship brew, Long Trail Ale. Open daily, guests can also take self-guided tours of the brewery.
Lost Nation Brewing
Founded by Allen Van Anda and James Griffith, Lost Nation Brewing is a brewery based in Morrisville. Looking to ‘produce honest beers’, the brew team focuses on creating small batches, which are inspired by lesser known European-style lagers and ales along with Vermont living. Beer lovers can visit the brewery’s cozy tap room Wednesday through Saturday and sample a variety of beers, including Gose, which is a German-style beer brewed with coriander and sea salt, and Lost Galaxy, a wheat-based IPA. There is also a rotating menu with delectable, locally sourced food options, which will suit many tastes from omnivores to vegetarians.
Lost Nation Brewing, 87B Old Creamery Rd., Morrisville, VT, USA, +1 802 851 8041
Located in the southeastern community of Brattleboro, Whetstone Station is an experimental brewery and restaurant. The brainchild of Tim and Amy Brady and David Hiler, this downtown venue creates unique brews with an added non-traditional element, plus they post their recipes online. Guests visiting this spacious establishment, complete with lofty ceilings and two outdoor decks that provide breathtaking views, will always have something new to try as Whetstone Station never brews the same beer twice. One current highlight is Batch #94 Figlet, which is a porter brewed with smoke, puréed figs. As for food, the culinary team creates a delicious array of seasonal dishes inspired by local ingredients.
Whetstone Station, 36 Bridge St., Brattleboro, VT, USA, +1 802 490 2354
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
Founded in 2004 within the American Flatbread restaurant in the heart of downtown Burlington, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery offers beer lovers 16 brews on tap. Tucked inside a renovated historical brick building, the welcoming space is a relaxing place to enjoy craft beers that will complement the artisan flatbreads offered. Enticing brews to note are the Belgian Blond, a strong ale with hints of spice and fruit; the Conehead, which is a wheat IPA; and the Whole Lotta Lov, a cream stout with coffee and chocolate notes. Zero Gravity also hosts events, including ‘Special Keg Night’ where a limited edition/vintage keg is pulled from the cellar for customers to sample.