Thriving in today’s beer business requires you to bring your heart, brains, and brawn to your industry. Years ago, it was easy to rattle off the name of each brewery in Vermont because there were so few of them. Today, the story has changed because there are over 40 breweries operating in Vermont – mirroring the growth of breweries nationwide. According to some sources, Vermont boasts of the highest number of breweries per capita in the United States.
The great thing about the Vermont breweries is that many of them are situated in some beautiful, classic Northeast settings, so the beer is only part of the allure.
While it would be great to visit every single brewery in Vermont, we realize that might not be feasible (or good for your liver). If you are limited by time to explore all the breweries in Vermont, there is a shortcut. We have compiled 5 great breweries in Vermont for you to visit this year from the standpoint of a local drinker. If you are ready, let us begin by unveiling these 5 great breweries to visit.
You can’t talk about breweries in Vermont without mentioning Hill Farmstead. If you are a beer geek, Hill Farmstead is one to visit. It is located in Greensboro Bend in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont.
Many people call Hill Farmstead the “pilgrimage site for beer geeks.” You have the opportunity of scoring limited release bottles of high-quality beers such as Juicy, Everett, Anna and Flora. The beer is legitimate, as is the incredible view of the Green Mountains rolling in the distance.
Because of how popular Hill Farmstead has been, it is sometimes easier to get your hands on some of its liquid gold in beer bars throughout the state. Your brewery itinerary isn’t complete without visiting or experiencing the Hill Farmstead experience.
Hill Farmstead actually is considering to be a top brewery in the entire world, based on RateBeer’s crowdsources rankings.
Operating since 2010, Hill Farmstead has been around long enough to refine many of their recipes, many of which are based on very old family recipes. One of our favorites has to be the the Ephraim IPA, a great New England-style IPA.
Four Quarters Brewing
It is situated a few miles northeast o downtown Burlington, within the suburb of Winooski, just a quick jaunt from the University of Vermont campus. The Brewery was opened by beer enthusiast Brian Eckert in 2014 while working as a web developer, and quickly became a popular destination for both beer and an enjoyable time out. The reputation of this brewery has upsurged ever since the door was open to the public. FWx (a food and wine website) regarded it as “one of the best little breweries you’ve never heard of” in 2015.
The tasting room isn’t large but has a wooden bar, which is close to the brewing setup for you to take a sample. Remarkably, Four Quarters has done a great job with such a small space, and gets an A+ for ambience. It is worth visiting if you want to have a unique beer experience like never before.
Four quarters Phaze, an IPA at 6.5% ABV, is considered a favorite by many. The brewery itself features knowledgeable, friendly staff and occasional events like crawfish boils. Outside of events, there isn’t a regular menu, but there are plenty of restaurants to be found just a few blocks away on Main St.
Burlington Beer Company
Located at Williston, Vermont, BBC is one of our favorite Vermont breweries. Their slogan is “Where Fermentation Meets Imagination!” It is housed in a Williston warehouse with expensive rooms. The brewery dates back to 2006 when Joe Lemnah started it before going to work for the Dogfish Head and Evolution – making it relatively established by brewery standards. With different new brews such as Future Glow and Chunky, you won’t go wrong enjoying your time.
Burlington Beer is one loaded brewery, with creativity from its founder, who at one time home-brewed a pumpkin beer inside a pumpkin. It is a place worth visiting to taste some of their seasonal favorites such as Barista and Beekeeper.
BBC also gets rave reviews for its food menu, including the tacos and Korean nachos.
This brewery is a well-known outfit, located in Waterbury, Vermont. It is one of the best places to enjoy beer if you find yourself in the North part of the state. The brewery began 4 years ago, but their product seems like that of a much longer period of refinement. Prohibition Pig has its own brewery with tasting room, located behind the main restaurant.
ProPig allows both full and hall pours giving you options to try some of their beers. You couldn’t resist ordering “Bantam”, an Imperial IPA, WakaWaka Lime or the Downtown Piggy Brown. When in doubt, go for one of these and you won’t be disappointed. Additionally, their stainless-steel mini kegs and crowlers are filled with their own brews for your take away. More interestingly is the fact that the brewery is open every day even when most restaurants are closed.
One thing we love about Prohibition Pig is its food menu. The menu is more of a real restaurant menu vs. a bar food menu, with large plates in addition to excellent sandwiches and burgers. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Hermit Thrush Brewery
Hermit Thrust Brewery is a flat-out cool place to have a beer or two, and on the “must-try” list for anyone doing a beer tour of Vermont. Located in Brattleboro, just off the Main Street! If you strongly believe that sours are the IPA of the future, you will not resist going to the Hermit Thrust Brewery coupled with the fact that it is the best in southern Vermont. It is easy to find the Party Guy and Brattlebeeer in beer stores around the states; however, why not head directly to the Hermit Thrust Brewery to taste their unique brews such as Deep Woods, Gin-Barrel Saison, and Dizzy Vicar.
If you can only try one, The Supah Phunk Farmhouse Ale is highly-rated and popular with nearly everyone who tries it.
Hermit Thrush was started by two friends who originally met in college, and sits just a stone’s throw from the Connecticut River in Southeast Vermont. Brattleboro is a neat, old village, originally founded in the 1750s.