Best Burlington Breweries, Brewpubs & Taprooms (VT)
Burlington is to Vermont's craft beer presence as Vermont is to the United States as a whole.
Some of the very best beers in the world are produced in the Green Mountain state, beers such as The Alchemist's Heady Topper and Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. In many ways, New England IPAs were born in the state. And though Burlington doesn't call The Alchemist, Lawson's Finest Liquids, or Hill Farmstead Brewery home, they do have an exceptional lineup of small brewpubs and microbreweries at the ready.
So what are you waiting for? Gas up the Peugeot and take the (seemingly) endless drive up I-89 to Burlington to score some excellent craft brews.
Hint: the drive isn't as long if you're starting from Brattleboro.
Like Maple Syrup, what's fresher than a Vermont apple? Not much. That's what makes Citizen Cider so tantalizing. CC heaps tons of fresh, locally-sourced apples onto their presses, squeezing out the very best juice and fermenting it for your enjoyment. With a lineup of Core and Specialty ciders that you'll never tire of, not to mention their Rosé series, Citizen Cider should be top of mind when it comes to picking a cider off the shelf. To note, their beverages are never from concentrate and always gluten-free.
Foam Brewers inhabit the grounds just up from the shores of Waterfront Park. The taproom plays host to live music and comedy shows on the regular, as if you needed an excuse to visit beyond the delicious beer. If you're looking for food, Foam Brewers serves a small plate menu that consists of almonds, olives, dips, and charcuterie boards. For the non-drinkers in your party, they offer a variety of non-alcholic options, including coffee, soda, and even sparkling cider from Citizens Cider, NA of course.
Ok, their beer. Foam Brewers really focuses on hoppy beers, brewing a ton of IPAs, both single and double. What's more, we're enamored with their beer names, including Undead Disco, Multitude of Drops, and personal fave, In Awe Of A Painting.
Last, one of the easiest ways to get to Foam Brewers is by utilizing the Burlington Greenway Bike Path. This is double true if you're staying at the North Beach Campground a few miles up the road. We highly recommend taking this approach if you're a VT Brew Fest patron, having done it several times.
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
We were introduced to Zero Gravity by way of their [Green State Lager]. An all day drinker, Green State Lager is the perfect craft brew replacement for the [popular mass-market beer] you used to drink.
The Fiddlehead IPA is one of our favorite Vermont beers. Brewed with 3 types of hops, the IPA balances earthy pine aromas against tropical fruit.
Vermont Pub & Brewery
Located within the city center, just down from Church Street, the Vermont Pub & Brewery has been a Burlington mainstay for years. The founder of the Vermont Pub & Brewery, Greg Noonan,
We make sure to stop in for a pint every single year we attend the Vermont Brewers Festival.
The Vermont Pub & Brewery is also where John Kimmich of The Alchemist Brewery (Stowe) got his start. Plying his brewing trade for years at the pub, John moved South to Waterbury to bring The Alchemist to life, turning water into gold with his Heady Topper. Truly a team effort, John credits not only his wife, but his long-time dedicated staff to crafting a beer that is often debated as the best in the world.
Burlington Beer Company
Burlington Beer Company feels like it just exploded onto the scene one day. Either that or they really know how to work a deal with the local beer distributors, as their craft brews occupy more and more shelf space at craft beer stores around New England.
Switchback Brewing Company
160 Flynn Ave, Burlington, VT 05401
Queen City Brewery
703 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401
Simple Roots Brewing
1127 North Ave #8, Burlington, VT 05408
Burlington Hearth & Brewery (American Flatbread)
Magic Hat Brewing Company (Former Burlington Brewery)
We wanted to take a moment to recognize Burlington/South Burlington's Magic Hat Brewing. Magic Hat was sold off to FIFCO in 2012. Then, in 2020, it was marched out of South Burlington and moved to the Genesee Brewing headquarters in Rochester, NY. You know Genesee as they make some of the best cheap beer on the market.
Anyway, prior to the unloading, Magic Hat had become one of the Top 10 largest craft breweries in the United States. Its flagship, Magic Hat #9, was amazingly approachable and popular, even if apricots weren't high on the list of added brewing ingredients at the time. And then there was the out-of-the-box thinking that MAgic Hat was known for, having brewed a garlic ale that had an actual clove in the bottle.
It's hard to make a list of Burlington breweries without acknowleding Magic Hat's history.
Breweries just outside of Burlington, VT
Four Quarters Brewing
70 Main St, Winooski, VT 05404
Burlington Craft Beer Events
Given the city's relationship with the craft beer industry, it should be no surprise that Burlington plays host to some of the very best craft beer events in the nation.
Burlington Brewers Festival
The annual Vermont Brewers Festival @ Waterfront Park in Burlington is a craft beer event that should never be missed. We started attending the beer fest back in the mid 2000s, sampling many of the Vermont year-round production beers when they were just being piloted. We're not here to celebrate excessive partying, but the event is heavily attended, so always buy your tickets as soon as possible.
The festival went on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, but should be back in 2022, stronger than ever.