Eat & Drink, Go Explore, Stay Local

First Draft: Best Vermont Breweries to Visit

03/28/2017

Vermont is known for many things: beautiful barns, maple syrup, foliage, cheese, and…let’s not forget, beer. Over the past few years, the state’s beer culture has exploded! Creativity is flowing and the world is noticing. Brewers today are taking chances, unafraid of some really funky results. We celebrate these risk-takers! Vermont, in particular, houses a group of brewers eager to participate in the farm-to-bottle (or can!) movement. In addition to working with local producers, these breweries are openly experimenting with different techniques and flavors.

Many breweries now reside in our state of Vermont, from nationwide producers to dedicated microbrewers. We admit that this can feel overwhelming for someone looking to narrow down their brewski destinations. No worries. We’ve given some major thought to our brewery suggestions. Below, you’ll find our top picks for breweries to visit, not only to fill your growler, but to also sit and enjoy your tasting experience!

1. Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro VT
Hill Farmstead has become an iconic name. Head brewer, Shaun Hill, built the brewery on his family farm, a destination which reflects Shaun’s heritage and humbleness perfectly. Believe us, he has a lot to brag about. Ratebeer dubbed Hill Farmstead Best New Brewery in 2010, and awarded them World’s Best Brewery three times since. Visitors travel from all over the world to pay homage to Shaun’s beer genius. What’s more enticing – a recent renovation to the brewery resulted in the expansion of a top-notch tasting room and brewing facility. We suggest grabbing a growler of their rotating Society & Solitude while in the Northeast Kingdom.

2. The Alchemist, Stowe VT
Cans are this brewery’s jam. Heady Topper cans, to be exact. We practically covet this brewery’s goods, making sure to share only with those we know to appreciate it. The Alchemist draws crowds who willingly gather hours before opening, just to stock up on their delicious beer. Visit the brewery for a tasting, take-home beer, or even some Alchemist swag (the mad scientist graphic is one of our favorites). Focal Banger is another top-notch brew we suggest picking up while visiting the brewery!

3. Foley Brothers Brewing, Brandon VT
A short distance off of scenic Route 7 lies Foley Brothers Brewing, a producer of whom we remain big fans! The obsession began with their Ginger Wheat and grew to include many of their other libations, including Mutiny and Citrennial! The humble, yet bustling brewery offers a variety of tasting and nibbles! Take a beautiful drive and visit this tasty destination.

4. Fiddlehead Brewing CompanyShelburne VT
Another stop along the beautiful drive down Route 7 should include Fiddlehead Brewing Company. Amongst the top-ranking breweries mentioned above, Fiddlehead holds their own on the BeerAdvocate Rating List. Seasonal selections are always available on tap at the brewery, in addition to their flagship brew, Fiddlehead IPA. Fiddlehead’s tasting room can fill your growler while pouring free samples of their current brews. We particularly like Second Fiddle and Mastermind. Be warned – their specialty cans sell out quickly!

We can’t wrap this up without mentioning a few breweries worth keeping your eye on. After all, the beer world is constantly growing and evolving here in Vermont. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite up-and-coming breweries below.

River Roost Brewery, White River Junction VT
We’re so happy to have some quality brew practically in our backyard. River Roost has been gaining some major attention. They were named to BeerAdvocate’s Class of 2016 for Best New Breweries!  Well-deserved attention, for sure. Stop in to taste one of a few brews they have on tap each week, and take home a growler of your favorite! We’re partial to Más Verde.

Foam Brewers, Burlington VT
We’ve been hearing big things about this Burlington brewery. Foam Brewers has accumulated a rapid and enthusiastic following, all vying to taste the next funky mixture being served. We’re looking forward to visiting ourselves!  And, they are also a BeerAdvocate Class of 2016 Best New Brewery!

Frost Beer Works, Hinesburg VT
Our friends over at Hops N’ Barley rave about this beer, and we couldn’t agree more with their sentiment. Frost is producing some really fantastic beer as of late, including Lush Double IPA and Junior IPA. Sip a pint, grab a few bottles, or fill a growler while visiting this tasting room!

Upper Pass Beer Company, Tunbridge VT
Conceived by true Vermonters, Upper Pass resides in the hills of Tunbridge. This craft brewery is small, yet mighty. We truly enjoy tasting their brews and can’t wait to see how they evolve! As a side note, Upper Pass also roasts their own coffee beans to add to their beer, as well as for non-alcoholic cold brew. This coffee is sold under the name, First Branch Coffee.

 

Have any other brewery suggestions? Feel free to reach out via social media or email. We’d love to hear your favorites!

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