It’s no secret that the Green Mountain State is a big fan of the brewery. In fact, Vermont has more craft breweries per capita than any other state in America. So, whether you’ve got a taste for invigorating IPs, hearty stouts, or classic golden ales, these 10 breweries in Vermont are going to serve you only the best!
Opened in 2012 by long-time Otter Creek brewmaster, Steve Parkes, Drop-In is currently a kegging-only brewery, but their tasting room features great beer, like Fetchez La Vache, a milk stout, Sunshine and Hoppiness, their flagship Belgian-style golden ale, and Chicharito, a pale ale subtle notes of vanilla and chocolate. But the brewer is also focused on beer education, and it is the current home of the American Brewers Guild, a school focused on the art of craft brewing.
Specializing in farmhouse ales, session ales, and barrel-aged beer varieties, Farmstead is owned by world-renowned brewmaster, Shaun Hill, who operates on the same land that was once his grandfather’s dairy farm. Open Wednesday through to Saturday, the tasting room features six draft lines, plus limited release bottles. Selections include Everett, a porter with chocolate, coffee, and a malty sweetness, Abner, an IPA with notes of citrus and pine, and the newly released Society & Solitude #4, an experimental double IPA.
Founded by Andy Pherson, Long Trail has been part of the Vermont craft brew scene since 1989. Their flagship Altbier, Long Trail Ale, is an easy drinking, copper ale that has been around for almost three decades. Its big brother is named Double Bag and is an Altbier double. The tasting room features a restaurant and treats such as seasonals, session ales, and other hard-to-find selections.
Founded in 2004 inside the American Flatbread restaurant, Zero Gravity offers 16 brews. While enjoying a fabulous flatbread pizza, you can sip suds like their Belgian Blond, a strong ale with hints of spice and fruit, Conehead, a wheat IPA, and Whole Lotta Lov, a cream stout with coffee and chocolate.
Hermit Thrush is owned by Christopher Gagné and Avery Schwenk. By using historical brewing processes, oak casks, and new environmentally-friendly technology, it boasts new American sour ales like Brattlebeer and Party Guy. Although their sours are available locally, you have got to head to their cozy brick and mortar tasting room to try more eclectic offerings like Gin-Barrel Saison, Deep Woods, a session black ale, and Dizzy Vicar, a Belgian dubbel.
Four Quarters is new to the beer scene, and it is possibly the best brewery you have never heard of. Brewer Brian Eckert offers innovative beers like the Christollen, rum barrel-aged Opus Dei conditioned on red and black currants, Herbie, a watermelon wheat beer, and La Noche Oscura del Alma, Imperial Stout aged in apple brandy barrels, is creating some complex and delicious offerings.
Owner Matthew Cohen wanted something simple: An easy-drinking, draft-only IPA. So, after a decade as brewmaster at Magic Hat Brewing, he opened Fiddlehead in 2011. Three classic and elegant IPA’s quickly emerged: Fiddlehead IPA, Second Fiddle, and Mastermind. You can find free samples and growler fills at their tasting room, though it can be a crowded affair.
Pro Pig is well-known as one of the best beer bars in Vermont, but only in late 2014 did it open its own brewery and tasting room. Admittedly, it is a little hard to sit there and not remember a time when John Kimmish (the Alchemist) was pushing the envelope of innovative beer, but Nate Johnson reportedly used the same one-barrel system that Kimmich did to begin brewing for Pro Pig.
How could we not go there, to the place that started the UFO craze in 1998? Although Harpoon began in Boston with Dan Kenary, Rich Doyle, and George Ligeti, in 2000 it opened a brewery in Windsor. Try beers at their tasting room like Sweet Spot, Harpoon Barleywine (aged six months on bourbon barrels), or Leviathan IPA.
Brian and Jenn Cook provide authentic craft beers from ingredients grown on their farm and in their greenhouse, like maple sap, spruce tips, and berries. The upshot is innovative beers like Bear Mountain Blackberry Chocolate Milk Stout, Out of Bounds IIPA – 2017, Captain Black’s Farmhouse Spruce, and Maple Nut Brown Ale. But the Cooks are also farmers, which means they are stewards of the land and operate sustainably.