Post-ride Beer: The Alchemist – Heady Topper

Is this the best post-ride beer I have ever had? I do believe so.

The Alchemist, in Waterbury Vermont, makes one beer—The Heady Topper. And they brew very limited quantities. And they only put it in a can. And you can only get it in Vermont. And it sells out very fast. All of those statements make me kind of sad; I am admitidly hoarding the small stash I brought back.

The Heady Topper is #1 in the top 250 Beers list. With 4,218 ratings, a BA score of 100 and a ‘world-class’ designation, it would be hard to argue that it’s not the best.

The Alchemist describes the beer as an ‘unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience’. I think ‘hop experience’ says it all. This beer is not a huge beer, even though it’s an imperial IPA. The first experience I had with the Heady Topper was after an awesome ride in the Kingdom Trails, which may have modified it somewhat. Fresh from the tap, the 2 ounce sample smelled slightly of pine with big citrus notes. The color is a beautiful hazy gold, unlike the typical Imperial IPA. The taste is a perfect balance of citrus, grapefruit peel mixed with resiny pine and grass. The refreshing and ridiculously drinkable beer explodes with waves of flavor and raw hops that stimulate the tastebuds.

Before tasting the Heady Topper, I was talking to a guy I met in East Burke. He warned me that the stuff is highly addictive. I couldn’t agree more. Is this the best beer I have ever had? Yes, I think so. The only bad thing I could say about it is that I don’t want to drink it. My small stash won’t last long, and woe will be me when that day comes. On the other hand, I guess it will give me a good excuse to make the pilgrimage again.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer
The sign outside the brewery.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer
Fresh from the source. I could bathe in this stuff.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer
Watching this fine liquid being canned was mesmerizing.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer

Good times.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Taproom

Welcome to heaven.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Post-ride Beer
I poured one later, even though they encourage you to drink it from the can.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Post-ride Beer
A very inviting hazy gold color.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer

Couldn’t say it better.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - Bikes and Beer
Nice lacing.

Served: In Pint Can
ABV: 8%
IBUs: ‘Plenty’



bikes-and-beer  vermont  beer  the-alchemist  

Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.

Bikepacking Collective

We're independent
and member-supported.
Join the Bikepacking Collective to make our work possible:

Join Now