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Brewery: The Alchemist Brewery

Heady Topper

Drink from the can! Drink from the can! Drink from the can!

Type of Beer: Double IPA

ABV: 8%

Heady Topper, a Double IPA brewed by The Alchemist Brewery

As for the unfiltered Heady Topper, what can you say that hasn't been said? It is Beer Advocate's #1 NEIPA. It appears in RateBeer's top 50 craft beers - though the Stowe brewery does not.

Forget Massachusetts or New York, Alchemist beers are the type of beer that beer geeks will drive from Wyoming to acquire, and Heady Topper takes center stage. This (now) year-round American Double IPA is the flagship of flagship beers. For years, it was hard to find it around New England, almost impossible. Some retailers around Vermont had it, but which, and when?

Your best bet toward enjoying this hazy IPA was to visit the Vermont pub and brewery in Waterbury. The Alchemist Pub and Brewery was where the first cans of Heady Topper were produced in 2003. Clearly this was prior to The Alchemist opening up shop in Stowe. For fun, should you make it up to Stowe for a few pints of Heady Topper and Focal Bangers, COVID allowing, you should take a brewery tour. The Alchemist offers brewery tours at 5pm daily, so keep that in mind.

Back to the beer. It was, and by some, is, considered the best beer in the world. Not a high IBU, bitter DIPA, Heady Topper displays some tropical fruit and possesses quite the mouthfeel. You'll remember the first time you had it, and how you cannot possibly understand your youthful preference for mass-produced pilsners from the Big Beverage folks (hint: targeted advertising).

With regard to the beer itself, Kimmich has stated that his brewing mentor, Greg Noonan, gave him permission to use special yeast. We'd like to imagine that it's the combination of that yeast, along with a proprietary blend of hops and just enough malt, as well as the dedicated labor (and sweat) involved in the brewing process that give Heady Topper its own unique flavor.

Yeti Rambler 16oz Colster

When your Heady Topper needs a hug, it's going to desire only warm, plush Yeti fur (aka stainless steel) beside its cool, aluminum can.

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The Alchemist Brewery Beer Description (on can)

Heady Topper® is an American Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of American hops will creep up on you, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth.

So drinkable, it's scary.

Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the can.

Freshness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience.

Why do I recommend that you drink it from the can?

Quite simply, to ensure a delightful hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain.

If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom - leave them in the can while pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy.

Keep it cold, but not ice cold.

Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more.

  • John Kimmich

Hops & Malts used in the Heady Topper brewing recipe

A draft pour of The Alchemist's Heady Topper at their Stowe brewery
A fantastic beer

Final thoughts on Heady Topper

Dude John could write. Wow. The Heady Topper description is intense. He also goes on to advise you recycle the can when you are done, lest you be a d-bag.

We're for sure sippin' on a Heady Topper again, whether that's from a can in a four pack or at the brewery's tasting room itself.

To conclude with a quote from a friend, "Heady Topper is a helluva pour"

Heady Topper FAQs

Where can I find/buy Heady Topper in Vermont?

You can find Heady Topper in restaurants and craft beer stores in and around Barre, Burlington, Essex, Jericho, Middlesex, Montpelier, Morrisville, Richmond, S Burlington, Shelburne, South Burlington, Stowe, Waitsfield, Warren, Waterbury, Williston, Winooski and more.

And of course, at the Alchemist Brewery itself.

How much does Heady Topper cost?

According to online beer delivery service, Drizly, a four pack of Heady Topper costs $19.99. A single 16oz can costs $6.89.