Where To Get Vermont’s Rarest Beers in the Hudson Valley
Believe it or not, Heady Topper and Focal Banger are available in the Hudson Valley. That is, if you know where to look.
If you've ever taken a trip to Vermont you've most likely been asked at some point to smuggle back some beer. As someone who takes frequent trips to Burlington, I can't count how many times I've received a text or instant message asking me to "bring back some Heady Topper."
If you're not familiar with the Alchemist, the small brewery started in 2003 in the Village of Waterbury, Vermont. I remember visiting them back in the day and thinking to myself, "well, this place isn't all that special." Then, I got a taste of Heady Topper, their flagship beer. The Double-IPA is packed with hops, sending beer lovers into fits of ecstasy with every sip. Heady Topper, along with an IPA named Focal Banger (which many beer lovers believe is actually superior to Heady Topper) are two of the most sought after beers in Vermont.
Since the Alchemist's humble beginnings, other world-class breweries have popped up all over Vermont. Lawson's Finest Liquids, Hill Farmstead Brewery, Zero Gravity, Fiddlehead and others are cranking out beer just as good, if not better than The Alchemist, but for some reason, Heady Topper remains the "must have" for craft beer fans.
Perhaps it has something to do with The Alchemist's brilliant marketing. Heady Topper is advertised as being almost impossible to buy. A schedule of dates that stores will be receiving shipments is posted on the brewery's website every week. Limits are put on the amount of four-packs that can be purchased, special stickers are put on the windows of bars and restaurants as "authorized Heady Topper sellers." And the legend of this impossible-to-find beer just continues to grow.
In reality, Practically every restaurant has cans to sell and a visit to any beer store will uncover cases upon cases of Heady Topper sitting in the cooler. There is more Heady Topper available than most any other beer in Vermont. In fact, The Alchemist has so much to distribute that it's also available for sale in the Hudson Valley.
That's right, the rare beer from Vermont can be purchased right here in our area. But, you need to know where to find it.
Right now you won't find Heady Topper in your local beer store. It is, however, frequently for sale at select restaurants and bars throughout the Hudson Valley. I've seen it on the menu every couple of months or so at County Fare and The Vinyl Room in the Village of Wappingers Falls. Usually, restaurants and bars will alert their customers if they've received a shipment of Heady Topper or Focal Banger through social media. So, if you want to be in the know, make sure you're following your favorite craft beer bar on Facebook.
Of course, cans aren't usually available to go from bars and restaurants, so you'll have to enjoy your can of Heady Topper on site. But it's still easier than driving all the way to Vermont.
Have you spotted Heady Topper in the Hudson Valley? Let us know where you were able to get a can in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
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