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8 reasons you need to visit Vermont right now

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CATEGORIES: Beer   Feature   Travel  

Magic Hat's Artifactory

Vermont is exploding with buzz, boasting ownership of the best brewery and the best beer in the world. The catch? You have to make the trek to the Green Mountain state to experience the glory.

1. Not since Pliny the Elder has an imperial IPA made beer geeks so giddy. Meet The Alchemist Heady Topper, BeerAdvocate.com’s highest rated beer. Even with limited distribution throughout the state, cans of Heady still sell out within days of its release. Your best bet: Visit the Cannery in Waterbury on Mondays and Wednesdays (when fresh cans are packaged), and stick around for a few nips of the piney masterpiece in the tasting room.

2. This spring, RateBeer.com named Hill Farmstead Brewery the “Best Brewery in the World” based on consistently stellar user reviews (it currently has 28 beers ranked at 100 points). Not surprisingly, the bucolic farmhouse brewery in Greensboro is a bucket-list pilgrimage for scoring growlers of Edward, Abner and Ephraim (a pale ale and two imperial IPAs named after founder Shaun Hill’s ancestors), and devotees will be there for this year’s Festival of Farmhouse Ales on Aug. 10.

3. Sample some of the crazier creations at Magic Hat’s Artifactory, a 48-tap growler bar in Burlington. Don’t miss current seasonals like HiCü, a session ale brewed with cucumber and hibiscus, and Honey Wheat IPA, a hoppy wheat beer brewed with fresh Vermont honey.

Heady Topper

4. Tucked away deep in the woods of the Green Mountains is a little red barn—the headquarters of the state’s most elusive brewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Inside, brewer Sean Lawson crafts an ever-changing lineup on his tiny 7-barrel system. Don’t waste your time trying to visit; he doesn’t disclose the location. Instead, hit up one of a few spots where his beers make flash appearances (like downtown Montpelier’s Capital City Farmers Market) and try to score a bottle of the acclaimed Double Sunshine IPA.

5. Vermont Pub & Brewery, the state’s oldest brewpub, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Head to the Burlington pub and pair a pint of Burly Irish Ale with a wedge of Mt. Mansfield Creamery Inspiration cheese washed in the beer.

6. Beers from Fiddlehead Brewing (helmed by Magic Hat alum Matt Cohen) pour throughout the state, but the best place to sip them is the brewery’s Shelburne tasting room, which overlooks the brewhouse. Go straight for a pint of Ryezome, a dry-hopped, rye-wheat session ale.

7. Can’t swing a Vermont road trip? Sip the state’s beer treasures (plus a few out-of-staters) at the Vermont Brewers Festival, held annually at Burlington’s Waterfront Park.

8. Get a stamp at all of the breweries on the Vermont Brewers Association’s Passport and mail it in to receive a free T-shirt, glassware and other Vermont brewing memorabilia.


Brewery Travels

Brewery Travels: My Favorite Brewery/Beer from Each State

In my ongoing quest to visit breweries all across this great land, I have now surpassed the 400 mark, and they’ve been spread across 37 states and 175+ cities. To celebrate this landmark, I’ve put together a ‘Special Edition’ of Brewery Travels: A rundown of my favorites in each of the states visited so far.

CATEGORIES: Beer   Feature   Midwest Breweries   Midwest Feature   Northeast Breweries   South Breweries   Travel   West Breweries  


Why a Miller Lite Was the Best Beer I’ve Ever Had

I’ve worked in craft beer for nearly five years now. I’ve had the fortune to try some truly amazing brews: Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition Stout. Supplication? I’ve got one in my mini-fridge. The reason I’m telling you this is because I want to frame my statements here properly. I’ve had good beer, trust me. The best beer I’ve ever had, though, was a Miller Lite.

CATEGORIES: Beer   Feature   MIDWEST   Midwest Feature  

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