You could spend weeks exploring and tasting Vermont's 50 (and counting) breweries. But if you just have a weekend or a day, here's how to make the most of the Napa Valley of beer.
Two of the state's premier breweries, The Alchemist and Lawson's Finest Liquids, are closed to the public, so we included your best bets to find their beers on tap and on shelves. To hit all these spots in one day, we recommend starting early at Hill Farmstead and working your way back to Burlington.
403 Hill Road, Greensboro, VT
The wildly acclaimed brewery opens at noon Wednesday through Saturday, but arrive early and expect a long line. Hill Farmstead typically offers six taps for growler fills (limit three) and large bottles of the brewery's saisons (limit four). The four-beer sampler (2oz each) for $5 offers a glimpse of brewmaster Shaun Hill's brilliance before you fill up. Optional brewery stop on the way to Prohibition Pig: The Lost Nation in Morrisville creates a diverse tap list led by the sour, German-style Gose.
23 South Main Street, Waterbury VT
The former home to the Alchemist and it's Heady Topper, Prohibition Pig restarted beer making at the brewpub, but the tap list of guest beers is still the reason to visit. Stop in after Hill Farmstead for lunch and expect to find more beers from Shaun Hill as well as Lawson's Finest Liquids and smaller local breweries. Open daily.
1 East Street, Winooski, VT
Just north of Burlington lies your best bet to load your trunk with hard to find bottles and cans. Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, stocks about 900 beers including every Vermont beer it can get its hands on. Cases of Heady Topper are delivered on Tuesday and Thursday, andut the store is open daily. Optional nearby brewery stop: Winooski's Four Quarters Brewing offers samples of its Belgian-inspired ales Friday through Sunday.
6305 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT
Of the ten breweries in and around Burlington, Fiddlehead stands out for its inventive one-off batches and imperial IPAs — Mastermind and Second Fiddle —that stand up to Vermont's best. The tasting room is open daily.
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
160 Bank Street, Burlington, VT
With arguably the best tap list in Vermont, the Farmhouse offers New England's top beers along with local ales, lagers, and ciders. The kitchen won't disappoint for dinner and the bar's optional 6-ounce pours allow you to taste your way through the state without leaving your seat. Open daily.