The Green Mountain State might have been late to the craft beer scene, but the delay sure came with its advantages. It’s the only state whose beer has received a specific distinction from the rest of America’s beers: Vermont Beer, a beer defined and distinguished by its state. Moreover, Vermont continues to have the highest number of craft breweries per capita in America and is a must-visit for any true beer lover.
Vermont is home to beautiful and unique breweries that pump out award-winning brews. Famous names include Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, The Alchemist, Foam Brewers, Hill Farmstead, Burlington Beer Company, and Lawson’s Finest Liquids.
If you’re looking for something more local, you can check out our other Vermont brewery articles below.
You can also look at our best breweries in America article if you are looking for something in a different city or state.
Here’s our list of the best breweries in Vermont that you need to try at least once!
- Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
- Foam Brewers
- Four Quarters
- Lawson’s Finest Liquids
- Hill Farmstead
- Lost Nation
- The Alchemist
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery is one of the best breweries in Vermont and opened in Burlington in 2004. The brewery was successfully upscaled to open a 30-barrel brewhouse in another location. Zero Gravity regularly pumps out quality beer ranging from pilsners and pale ales, has the best patio in Vermont, and sits beside The Great Northern, a fantastic restaurant that we will talk about later.
The Conehead IPA is the undisputed winner for Zero Gravity’s must-try beer. It’s a single-hop wheat IPA, lighter in color than a classic American IPA, and is brewed using Citra hops. The beer is well-rounded, has a pleasant citrusy aroma and flavor, and a nice crisp finish!
Foam Brewers is another Burlington-based brewhouse that has become one of the most popular breweries in Vermont. Located in a historic old brick building next to Lake Champlain, it is the best spot to watch the sunset while downing exquisite berry sours and creamy-textured double IPAS. Foam Brewery is also the only place in Vermont to get House of Fermentology brews focused on aging and wild fermentation techniques. That’s because Todd Haire, owner of Foam Brewers, is a co-founder of the famous House of Fermentology.
The Quasi, American Wild Ale, is a good option, but the more popular beer is the Built to Spill, imperial double IPA. It’s a hazy drink with a straw yellow color and a sharp citrusy aroma. IT has a refreshing taste with melon, pineapple, and grassy notes, which round to a tangy yet slightly bitter finish.
If you still can’t find a reason to visit Burlington in Vermont, here’s one in the shape of a compact small-batch specialist brewery. Four Quarters offer the best stouts, sours, and hoppy ales in the state, and its compact taproom has an authentic craft beer vibe.
Four Quarters is one of the most popular breweries in Vermont, so you need to try something of an equal caliber. How about a glowing pour of the acclaimed Spectra, a frothy double IPA. The deliciously dank beer is brewed using Eldorado and Simcoe hops and tastes of apricots and toasted pines.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Lawson’s Finest Liquids is one of the best breweries in Vermont, mainly because of their Sip of Sunshine – a floral and clear IPA that became a national hit. Americans would scour every inch of America to get their hands on one of these babies; that’s how rare they were. The brewery upscaled in 2018, opening a bar-equipped taproom in Vermont’s lodge-style fashion. It’s the perfect place to try the trademark Vermont IPAs or maple brews.
Of course, we were going to name the Sip of Sunshine. This imperial IPA is the perfect summer drink, with a juicy tropical character, complex hoppy layers, and vibrant floral aromas.
Practically in the middle of nowhere, Hill Farmstead was started by brewmaster Shaun Hill after he learned brewing in Denmark. Set in a barn in the heart of North Eastern Vermont, this quiet sanctuary has served as a home for eight generations of the Hill Family. Think of the Shire from Lord of the Rings, but bigger. Hill Farmstead has been named the best brewery in the world by Ratebeer for seven consecutive years!
We suggest you order the Edward – an American Pale Ale crafted in memory of Shaun Hill’s grandfather. The award-winning drink is brewed using malted barley, American hops, ale yeast, and water. It has a beautiful floral aroma, with impressions of citrus and pine! The hop varieties that contribute to the flavor of Edward are Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, and Warrior hops.
Lost Nation is one of the most popular breweries in Vermont and regularly pumps out year-round beer varieties of every nameable style. It specializes in a local interpretation of European-style lagers and ales, such as crisp pilsners and Belgian-style saisons.
However, the reason for their immense fame is the Gose, a traditional German sour. It’s a very old German-style brewing method using coriander in combination with sea salt. The resulting drink is tart, citrusy, salty, and has a nice dry finish that leaves you addicted!
If you’ve heard of the Heady Topper, you know about The Alchemist. It is one of the most popular breweries in Vermont that started the New England IPA craze. Much like the Sip of Sunshine, the Heady Topper led to a massive influx of people moving into the state. The new Stowe brewery is famous for pumping out local favorites and award-winning beers.
The world-famous Heady Topper has been brewed consistently since 2003. Try this flagship double IPA to become a part of the movement. It has a subtle malt backbone that does not remove the hoppy flavor. A blend of six hops is used to give you wave after wave of hop flavor without any bitterness. The most familiar notes include pines, grapes, pink grapefruit, tropical fruit, orange, and spice!
Best Breweries With Food in Vermont
Okay, so we got you covered if you are just looking for a drink but what if you want a killer meal too. Here are our favorite breweries in Vermont with food:
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
The best breweries in Vermont with food options will be Burlington-based, and you’ll understand why. Zero Gravity makes a comeback with its excellent quality food menu and outdoor seating. But, here’s something that’ll leave you drooling: the brewery is located next to one of the unique restaurants in Vermont – The Great Northern.
Pair the Conehead IPA with a beef burger and kale salad from the brewery’s in-house menu, or make use of the restaurant’s bold takes on Vermont cuisine and get a side of dirty fries with greasy braised pork and pickles.
Burlington Beer Company
Burlington Beer Company’s creative genius is owned by Joe Lemnah, whose creative genius has led it to be one of the most popular breweries in Vermont. The establishment pumps out experimental beers throughout the year. Thrillist even named it in their list of the best new breweries in 2016. In addition to funky new beers, the brewery also boasts an extensive food menu of mouthwatering pub grub.
Try the Barista to blow your mind. It’s a silky, velvety black porter aged with locally sourced coffee beans. The roast malts, caramel, and intense coffee aromas result in a robust and full-bodied drink with a sickly sweet aftertaste and notes of toasted wood, molasses, and rich sweet malts. The perfect food to pair with this drink is the birria bowl. The acidity of the spicy braised brisket will cut through the drink’s sweetness and bring you back to life – a match made in heaven!