There is a lot to love about visiting Vermont. All year long you can enjoy endless mountain views, beautiful landscapes, and colorful trees. Whether you like to relax on the lake, hit the slopes, or kick back in a cabin, there is something for everyone. Nestled in all of this is one of the best craft beverage scenes in the country. We had the luxury of visiting some of Vermont's brewers on our trip to Vermont and recommend adding these stops to your itinerary on your next trip to the Green Mountain State.
Not only do all of these featured locations make the best brews and ciders, but many of them also make great places to visit. Be sure to bring a big cooler with you because you are going to want to bring your trip home with you. Keep reading to hear about some of our favorite places in Vermont and the delicious drinks that they have to offer!
Hill Farmstead Brewery - Greensboro Bend, VT
We can’t have a list of the best breweries in Vermont without including Hill Farmstead Brewery. If you look up any list of the best breweries in the state, country, or even the world there is a good chance Hill Farmstead cracks the list. This is especially impressive due to its secluded location in Greensboro Bend, VT. On our trip from Portland, Maine to Stowe, Vermont, I made sure to schedule a big detour to pick up some beers here. If you’re lucky, you might even find some of their beer on tap at a local restaurant. The ride up to Hill Farmstead is sure to please with some beautiful farms and quintessential views of the New England countryside. Once you reach the brewery to pick up the beers that you ordered ahead or to try some beers in the taproom the joy can continue. I was able to try a few different beers from Hill Farmstead during and after my trip. I will go so far as to claim that their Mosaic IPA is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Although it may be a bit off of your route, this is definitely a must-visit brewery.
The Alchemist - Stowe, VT
The next brewery on our list might be the best known brewery in Vermont. Located right in Stowe, VT, The Alchemist is home to some of the highest rated IPAs you can find. Their two staples are Heady Topper and Focal Banger. We didn’t get a chance to visit the tasting room but you can find this beer at restaurants and liquor stores throughout Vermont. We stocked up our fridge with a few varieties from The Alchemist and none let us down. They hit the nail on the head for every style we tried including the Dark Schwarzbier, the Light Pilsner, and the Farmer’s Daughter Saison. This is another iconic Vermont brewery and another must-visit on your next trip.
von Trapp - Stowe, VT
The von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall is another unique stop on your Vermont Itinerary. The name may sound familiar from its roots in the classic movie “The Sound of Music”. The von Trapp family moved from their Austrian home and settled in Vermont. This spawned the Trapp Family Lodge, a cross country ski area, and the brewery. Unlike the previous two breweries, von Trapp’s beer can be found outside of Vermont but there is nothing like experiencing the beer straight from the taps and eating the delicious food in their casual bierhall. Make sure you reserve a spot because this is a popular destination for Vermont tourists in the Stowe area. Picking up a variety pack or a flight at the bierhall will give you the chance to try the Golden Helles, Vienna, Bohemian Pilsner, and Dunkel Lager.
Idletyme Brewing - Stowe, VT
Idletyme Brewing was one of our favorite stops during our Vermont trips. The brewery and restaurant has evolved over the years from a small brewery and pub to a chique restaurant with a wide variety of beer styles to offer. This is another restaurant that is in high demand due to the great food options (don’t miss the giant pretzel) and the ample beer selection. You can sit outside where there is a fire pit, tables galore, and an outdoor bar or head inside for the classy vibes and comfortable seating. They also still have the original pub for rent or overflow which was one of my favorite parts of the restaurant. Brewmaster Will Gilson is always putting out tasty new beers like The Mastermind Imperial Stout aged in Smuggler’s Notch barrels so add Idletyme to your list of breweries to hit during your Stowe trip.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company - Shelburne, VT
Now heading to the edges of Lake Champlain, Fiddlehead Brewing Company is another great stop if you are in the Burlington area. A small building on Shelburne Road right outside the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory is brewing up some great beer with some great views. Keep an eye out on your drive because you can catch beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack mountains in the distance. Grab some Mastermind DIPA and some Folino’s Wood Fired Pizza and enjoy the views. My only regret is that I didn’t grab more beer to go.
Foam - Burlington, VT
Another craft beer destination along the shores of Lake Champlain is Foam Brewers. Foam is located right on the waterfront of Burlington, VT, only steps away from the water. This is a bustling location with a lot going on so when you want to relax and have a beer after exploring everything there is to do in Burlington, this is your spot. They offer a variety of hoppy beers as well as some stouts and sours. They have a rotating selection of beers and food and the beers are as highly rated as the views across Waterfront Park.
Woodchuck Cider - Middlebury, VT
The first cidery that we will list here produces more cider than any other company in the country. The Vermont Cider Company is known for their flagship brand Woodchuck Hard Cider but is also the producer of some other great brands including Wyder’s Hard Cider and Magner’s Irish Cider. The state of the art brewery is quite impressive but don’t let the volume fool you, the Vermont Cider Company produces some of our favorite ciders. We love the Magner’s Irish Cider and the Wyder’s Reposado but don’t overlook their core Woodchuck line-up that you can find in stores near you. On your next trip to Vermont, head to Middlebury and visit the cidery and enjoy some of their offerings straight from the source.
Listen to our podcast with Woodchuck Cider HERE.
Stowe Cider - Stowe, VT
Another great spot in Stowe, VT is Stowe Cider. Mark Ray had an idea to produce cider’s that can be enjoyed any time with friends and family. These ciders lean toward the dry side of the scale vs. sweet and are absolutely crushable. Stowe has a few lines of cider to offer that all have a music theme behind them. These are the Headliners, Rotating Tracks, Hit Singles, and Brainwaves. The Headliners which are Stowe’s core line-up include High & Dry, Tips Up, and Safety Meeting.
These are all delicious ciders with no unwanted additives. One cider not to overlook is the Safety Meeting cyder that features Citra & Galaxy hops. This one surprised us in the best ways possible when we tried it for the first time. You can definitely taste the hops but the fruity and citrus flavors from the hops add a complexity that turns up the flavor. The Rotating Tracks line-up is also a must-try. It is seasonal ciders when they are actually in season. No marketing gimmicks here, just the freshest of ingredients available used to make some delicious and unique ciders.
Listen to our podcast with Stowe Cider HERE.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill - Waterbury Center, VT
If you are heading from Stowe to the Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury (you know you’re going to visit) you will pass a few gems along the way. One of these is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. At this stop, you will find a quaint cider shop and country store that is serving up fresh food, cider, and of course cider donuts. You will also find a variety of local Vermont gifts and foods available for sale here. They offer a variety of ciders from hard cider to freshly made hot apple cider. Their cider donuts are rated some of the best donuts in the country by Gourmet Magazine. Stop by and grab yourself a donut and some cider if you are in the area.
Citizen Cider - Burlington, VT
Another one of Vermont’s premier cideries is located in Burlington, VT. Citizen Cider is the brainchild of a wine salesman, a chemist, and a farmer. They have been making their high quality ciders since 2012 and have developed a variety or core ciders. They also have their Origin Series and Rose series which include some uncommon takes on cider that are sure to hit the spot. We didn’t have the chance to visit Citizen Cider in person but luckily, their ciders can be found in stores throughout New England.