An internship sidetrip… the search for Heady Topper

So while interning in Vermont this summer one of my Charlotte friends asked if I would try to pick up some Heady Topper beer for him. I said sure without realizing what that entailed. For those of you who don’t know, Heady Topper is an IPA that Beer Advocate rated one of the best beers in the world. The problem is that it is only distributed within a 100 mile radius of the brewery in Waterbury, VT. After doing a bit of research and realizing I would more than likely have to try a few places, I planned a route out that included Barre, Montpelier, Waitsfield, and Warren, and left on a beautiful Thursday afternoon (I know most of you are already shaking your heads). My first two stops in Barre were a no go, SOLD OUT.

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Off to Montpelier, 4 stops and SOLD OUT at every place. After a discussion with an employee at one of the co-ops who had received delivery that morning it all became clear. She told me that at 5:30am this morning the line started to develop. The store opened at 8am, beer delivery at 9ish and all the beer was spoken for before it was even unloaded. This was a recurring story. Sold out in every place I went in all 4 towns. Now you realize my error: I didn’t start my journey until the afternoon. To acquire Heady you’ve got to be up before the crack of dawn and on the road or in line. So what to do if your life doesn’t revolve around buying a 4 pack of beer? Look at the distribution list of restaurants that receive deliveries too! You won’t be able to bring any home to your friends but at least you’ll be able to try it. I found my can at Mad Taco in Montpelier and it was delicious. Sorry Tim, I tried!

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As a side note, even though the journey was only partly successful the part of Vermont where Topper exists is just gorgeous. After driving around for 5 hours in my search I really got the meaning of the phrase, “focus on the journey, not the destination!”

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