This blog is now receiving a great deal of its traffic from Google inquiries from beer lovers searching for Vermont beer from Hill Farmstead, Lawson’s Finest Liquids and The Alchemist’s Heady Topper. The majority of the beer I buy is from these three breweries. I buy their beer every 2 weeks and, while I’m not an expert on beer, I am rather informed on where to get the beer from these 3 world famous breweries. There are a lot of threads on beer forums about these breweries and I get messages and comments from beer seekers asking for advice on where to find them. Let’s break it down.
Before i start, you are always better off using existing resources that are managed by the breweries. There are social media accounts you can follow and up-to-date websites that have all of the info you’ll need to track down what’s in stock and where to find it.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids:
Hill Farmstead Brewery:
The majority of what you need to know will be available through those pages. There are a few tips that I like to share to those driving up to Vermont specifically for beer from these three breweries.
- Canned Monday & Thursday (even some holidays) and the cannery is open 7 days a week 11AM-7PM. It’s $12 for a 4-Pack and $72 for a case (don’t forget about tax)
- The cannery is the only place in Vermont that has no limit on how many you are allowed to buy and guaranteed to be the lowest price and the freshest.
- You can buy Heady Topper all around Vermont. Most commonly, I buy it at Hunger Mountain Co-Op in Montpelier and Warren Store in warren. Each of those places place a limit on how much you can buy and charge about $1-$2 more per 4-pack.
- Your best bet for Heady is to visit the cannery right of I-89 in Waterbury on Monday or Thursday afternoon before 7PM to get the freshest batch and best price.
- There are local establishments that have Heady. Places like Prohibition Pig, Skinny Pancake, Three Penny Tap room and others have it.
- Alchemist’s Wear to Buy list is great but call the place ahead of time to see if they have it in stock.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids:
- Sean Lawson, his wife and others sell their beer at Farmer’s markets. Summer-time, you can find them at the Waitsfield Market. In the winter, it’s at the Montpelier Market. The latest Waitsfield Market (October 6th) was the last at that location until next year. The next will be in Montpelier. You should always check Lawson’s blog linked above for when they are selling.
- The direct from Lawson’s approach for buying beer is best. The reason is that this is the best selection of what is available AND you can buy 4 of each beer. This is the highest limit you’ll get of Lawson’s beer anywhere else. Most places allow 2 bottles per person and this is the best price.
- An example of prices is Sean will sell IPAs for $7-$9 at the market. Local Co-Ops will sell for a 99 cent markup. It’s not a lot but it adds up when buying multiple bottles.
- Double Sunshine is a summer IPA. The Fayston stouts arrive in the fall and are sold through the winter while supplies last. Farmhouse Rye and Maple Tripple are summer beers.
- You can expect to pay $7-$9 for IPAs, $15 for stouts and $25+ for barrel aged / long term aging beers.
- Lawson’s delivers fresh beer every Friday between 11AM – 2PM to local places that carry their beer. Hunger Mountain Co-Op and Warren Store are common stops on this delivery route. If you want Lawson’s on a week to week basis, hit one of those two spots Friday afternoon and you can grab something but you’ll never know what it’s going to be.
Hill Farmstead Brewery:
- Hill Farmstead’s Retail Page says it best, “The Hill Farmstead Retail Shop is the only place that our beers may regularly be available and purchased in bottles. We feature at least 6 of our beers on draft, available in 2 liter and 750ml, refillable bottles, as well as a selection of merchandise and some of the finest bottled beers available from close friends that we’ve met along our way.”
- When looking for Hill Farmstead, the trek to Greensboro is not only worth it but is the best use of your time. Tracking down Hill Farmstead beer in Vermont is challenging and time consuming. At the brewery, there are alway 6 beers on draft. Hill Farmstead will fill non-branded growlers but they will NOT fill clear glass growlers. Their growlers are exceptional and worth the price so just fill HFS beer in HFS growlers. Trust me on this.
- If you want to chat with the HFS team and Shaun, you’re better off going on Wednesday or Thursday. There are less crowds but remember that the shop closes at 5PM so get there at around 4:30 at the latest.
- Hunger Mountain Co-Op and some bottle shops in Greensboro can occasionally get HFS beers but it’s sporadic, with limits and you’ll never get the selection available at the brewery.
- Follow the HFS social media accounts and retail pages and always check those as often as possible to never miss out on a new beer being tapped or an upcoming event.
- There’s not much more to say. Go to the brewery, for places that serve HFS beers, this page is perfect!
The key thing to keep in mind is that all three of these breweries are growing, changing, evolving and moving forward at a very fast pace. Anything I write here will be out of date in 6 months. So, I’m trying to link to the right resources as much as possible.
The road trip to Vermont is a worthwhile adventure. Load up the car with some buddies, make sure the trunk is empty and drive up to Vermont. Stop at our many awesome restaurants that serve quality craft on tap and buy some locally made goods at our Co-Ops and Farmers Markets. Take in the scenery, hit parks and go for a hike and take some beer back to enjoy. I’m glad there’s so much interest in Vermont beer and I hope this guide was helpful.