We embarked on a road trip in early July with a mission to visit as many craft breweries in Vermont as possible. Along with some beautiful scenery and nature. According to the Brewers Association, Vermont is one of the states with the greatest number of breweries per capita. Even more, it hosts some world-famous breweries which we had a chance to visit. Thus ensuring there was no shortage of great craft beer during our trip. Land of the New England IPA, here we come!

FIRST STOP. White River Junction - Hartford

After a flat tire adventure, we finally arrived at the Green Mountain state with a slight delay on our schedule. We skipped our walk at Quechee State Park and headed straight for beer. 

Harpoon Brewery – Taps and Beer Garden

Originally from Boston, Harpoon Brewery opened up its location in Vermont in 2000. The space is divided between the brewery, taproom, retail shop and beer garden. They had about 15 beers on tap from their own brewery, UFO and other guests. The beer garden is quite cozy for the colder days too as they have a large bonfire place out. The taproom is spacious with warm lightning and a wall dressed with logs. The brewery is located in the middle of Artisans Park where you can find other local companies such as cheese shop, a glass maker and an artisan distillery.

SECOND STOP. Montpelier - Mt. Mansfield

On our second day we hiked the Sunset Ridge Trail at Mount Mansfield. The views are just amazing! On our way down we pictured the fresh beer waiting for us. In turn, we accelerated our pace and arrived downhill in no time.

Alchemist Brewery

En route through touristic Stowe you will find the unfamous Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center. Their new site, opened in June 2016, is a modern state-of-the-art brewery. Stop by for some tasters, cans to take home or swag. They don’t actually sell beers to drink on site, but they do offer free tasters on draft. We tried the Alena (American IPA, 7.7%), Focal Banger (American IPA, 7%) and of course the acclaimed Heady Topper (American DIPA, 8%) rated as one of the best beers in the world on both Beer Advocate and RateBeer.

Hill Farmstead Brewery

A pilgrimage to Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro is a must for any serious craft beer drinker. We arrived around 1pm (they open at 12) and there were already more than 75 cars parked and more arriving, with plates from so many different US states as well as Quebec. The site actually feels like you are on a farm, more than a brewery. The taproom has a rustic-modern touch, all wood inside. Queuing was necessary for pretty much anything. In general, we waited about 25min to get our beers and bottles. Growlers to go were filled with a number system. 

At the bar you could choose from 9 beers on draft or bottles. You could order a maximum of 2 glasses of beer per person at the same time. We tasted Arthur (Farmstead ale, 6%), Citra Single Hop IPA (American IPA brewed exclusively with Citra hops, 6%) and Of First & Last Things (American IPA brewed with Motueka, Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe hops, 6.5%)

The bottle shop is located in a separate building from the taproom. Most bottles were available without any limit per person. We got a bottle of Brother Soigné (Farmstead ale brewed with hibiscus, blood orange and lime, 5%) and Florence (Belgian-inspired Farmstead wheat ale, 5%).  

On a side note, there are three famous craft breweries in Vermont. One which we could not visit this time. The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, and Lawson’s Finest Liquids have become so popular that the route that leads between the three breweries is called the IPA Highway and is a popular destination for beer enthusiasts. We will need to come back to complete the journey!

Lost Nation Brewing

In the late afternoon, we stopped by Lost Nation Brewing for an early dinner and more beer. The brewery is located in a renovated warehouse just off an industrial corner of Morrisville. They have an outdoor terrace with wooden picnic tables for sharing and a smaller taproom bar inside. They offer more than 10 beers on draft, mostly their own and a couple guest beers. Their mission is simple: produce honest beer. They take inspiration from lesser known European beer styles along with local Vermont life to guide their brews. They also have a simple BBQ-style restaurant on the terrace, opened in spring, summer and fall. We tried the smoked chicken on the grill with Citra Hop vinaigrette. It was delicious!

Prohibition Pig

Another great place for food is at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. They are renowned for their smoked BBQ meats, made in southern style, with Vermont ingredients. They also brew their own beers to pair with the food. The main restaurant and the Pro Pig Brewery are located just around the corner from each other. The brewery is a relaxed space with a long remarkable bar. There is also a terrace for outdoor dining. 

LAST STOP. Burlington

We spent our last two days in Burlington. A charming small town with pleasant waterfront. Take a stroll on Church street for some shopping. Attend Burlington’s farmers market on saturday. Walk around the residential neighborhoods and admire the brightly colored houses. And of course, drink some beer, as this is where you will find the highest concentration of craft breweries in Vermont. 

Zero Gravity Brewery

Visit their original brewpub location at American Flatbread or – as we did – their more recent brewery and tasting room located in Burlington’s South End Arts District. The Zero Gravity Brewery includes a 30-barrel brew house, full canning line, tasting room, retail shop and a sun-drenched beer garden. They offer 10 beers on draft, plus one cask, with beers ranging from Belgian saisons, English bitters, American pilsners, hoppy IPAs, porters and stout.

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

A perfect pit stop after walking the city centre. The Farmhouse Beer Garden is a warm-weather destination featuring communal seating and 30 draft lines. One of Burlington’s top outdoor spaces. Ideal to taste many beers from different craft breweries in Vermont in one same place.

Foam Brewers

Foam Brewers is one of the new breweries around. Started in 2016, they’ve now built a reputation for themselves. They brew in small batches and rarely repeat, brewing only about a quarter of their beer more than once. They had some hoppy and sour beers on tap during our visit. Their lively terrace boasts great views of Burlington’s Waterfront Park and a laid back atmosphere. The taproom is beautifully decorated, with a funky touch. It can get quite crowded at night and on the week-ends.

If you are planning a trip to Vermont, this map from Vermont Brewers came in quite handy. Check it out!