We were asked by VT Beer to come up with our Vermont beer Dream Team 6 Pack. We chose 6 beers that we felt were representative of the landscape of Vermont beer today, were fairly easy acquire, and would realistically be able to fit into a real 6-pack. See if you would have made the same choices!
1. The Alchemist: Heady Topper
It’s impossible to talk about Vermont craft beer and not mention Heady Topper. This hoppy double IPA is the state’s most sought after beer; Heady Topper continuously flies off the shelves as soon as it gets stocked. People wait in line for it and most stores put a limit on how many cases an individual can buy. The brewery even needed to shut its doors to the public because they were generating too much traffic in their Waterbury neighborhood. Heady Topper is the ‘92 Dream Team Michael Jordan of bottled/canned Vermont beers.
2. Long Trail: Blackbeary Wheat
Blackbeary Wheat is Long Trail Brewing’s always popular, easy-drinking wheat beer. This beer has a very light color but does not skimp on the flavor. Coming in effervescent and finishing with a nice note of blackberries, this beer is made for easy drinking days at the beach, on the slopes, or at home. Unfortunately, Blackbeary Wheat is going into hibernation soon and will not be widely available after June of this year.
3. Magic Hat: #9
Magic Hat #9 may be the most widely available beer that is brewed in Vermont. This is the rock that holds the team together. Dependable, consistent, and tasty, this beer highlights what craft beer can become with enough time, passion, and a bit of quirk. The name may be debated but the flavor is not. This beer literally stretches coast to coast.
4. Wolaver’s: Wildflower Wheat
A major desire for many Vermonters is for things to be organic. Wolaver’s, a division of Otter Creek, brews organic beers year round. Wildflower Wheat may only be available in the spring and summer, but its sweet finish and crisp flavor leave you wanting more year round. Although Wolaver’s did not start in Vermont, all of its beers are now brewed only in Vermont and the company has really adopted the Vermont way of life.
5. Trout River: Rainbow Red
The Northeast Kingdom is a less represented area of Vermont when it comes to beer. There are only a few in the area and Trout River has been open the longest. Brewing since 1996, Trout River has been producing beer for close to twenty years. Their Rainbow Red is an American Red ale that is fruity, slightly malty, and refreshing. Brewed year round, this beer is readily available in most parts of Vermont.
6. Lawson’s Finest Liquids: Double Sunshine IPA
Another double IPA from one of Vermont’s most desired brewers rounds off the dream team six pack. Double Sunshine IPA is a hoppy, fruity beer that leaves you always wanting more. Lawson’s is a very small operation but they make big beer. It is also a little difficult to find in some parts of the state, but I feel like that helps to make it a good candidate for the last beer in this six pack.
We can’t talk about a Vermont Beer Dream 6-Pack for 2014 without mentioning 14th Star and their Honey IPA. The brewery beat out Heady Topper, Lawson’s, and Hill Farmstead to emerge as the champion of the Seven Days Vermont Brew Bracket this year! The only reason they didn’t make our list? The Honey IPA is only available in growlers.
So, what did we miss? What would you include in your dream 6-pack? Tell us below!
Totally agree with your lists and your honorable mention. I hope 14th Star bottles (and distributes!) more of their offerings once they upgrade their brewing equipment.