Before our impressions, we want to fill you in on a little backstory on the beer and the brewery it calls home. Heady Topper has been around for roughly ten years, but it’s only been distributed—in cans—to local areas around the brewery for the last two years or so. The brew was originally made and shared right from The Alchemist Brewpub in Waterbury, but unfortunately Hurricane Irene wasn’t too friendly to the operation. The place has since closed, and that’s in part why they’ve turned to cans.
Just recently the popularity of the beer and the brewery became a bit overwhelming for the neighborhood. The traffic in and out the brewery was too much for the locals to handle and, just a couple weeks ago, the place shut down once again. They’re still distributing the unpasteurized ale as quickly as possible, but for now it’s only an option at bars, restaurants, and the liquor store—assuming it hasn’t already sold out.
We’ve always been fans of the hoppier stuff when it comes to beers, so we were right at home testing this one out. It’s not overly hopped in that the flavors aren’t overwhelming, but there’s certainly plenty of citrus notes, maybe a little pine, and a beneficial bitterness. Knowing everything we do now, there's no way we won't go for Heady Topper the instant we spot it on a beer list...as rare as that is right now.
We're exploring Burlington as guests of Hotel Vermont, but all thoughts, opinions, and attempts at humor are our own.