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 BeerAdvocate.com 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.
Served: In Pint Can