True to New England form Vermont has an amazing beer culture, and Waterbury is currently host to the most sought-after beer in the region – Alchemist’s Heady Topper. It is a terrific beer, cloudy and thick from the combination of unfiltered hops and mystery.
Alchemist produces less than 200 barrels of the stuff each week, and distributes it directly to stores across Vermont according to a public schedule. What results is hysteria. Some stores, such as the pictured Craft Beer Cellar, post signs in the window with the stock status (out of stock). Many are known to guard the identity of their most reliable locations like mama bears.
We walked into one store, and before we could even ask the clerk how he was this sunny Vermonty day, he spastically blurted out: “We’re outta topper.” When asked what tipped him off to our quest, he glanced us up and down before informing us that we were smiling more than his usual customer.
These four beautiful cans were not found at a fancy beer store, or even an un-fancy beer store. They were found at a gas station, on the top shelf, in the back of the cooler. Behind some Budweiser. That’s just how lucky (or determined) you have to be to find this stuff. and it is hella worth it.