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Presented by Consumer Beverages

The Alchemist Brewery
Heady Topper IPA
ABV: 8%

Heady Topper is a double IPA made by The Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury VT. In recent years it has become a cult beer that has caused quite a stir in beer circles. When the gates open on the first day of the Vermont Brewers Festivals Heady devotees literally sprint to be the first ones to line up for Heady and a few others. I am sorry, but this is stupid. Don’t get me wrong, as a double IPA it’s a very very good one—it’s all hop aroma and flavor with the minimal hop bitterness balanced perfectly with pillows of malt and fruity yeast flavors. It might even be all its hype says it is—“the best IPA in the world” along with being the perfection of trend toward 100 percent hop forward beer. BUT, the United States is now literally awash in excellent IPAs. So why run to Heady? Especially when it’s nearly impossible to get (even in Vermont). Clearly there is something more going on than objective beer quality. Buffalo has some excellent ones—the recent Flying Bison Buffalo IPA, CBW’s Yuza IPA (among others), and OFW’s Streaker IPA are truly excellent. Yet local beer peeps still go Heady chasing (or fill in the blank chasing)—why do that when right here in our own backyards we are already well stocked. It may say more about marketing and the aspect of human nature that drives us to want to belong to something bigger than our individuality which also simultaneously conveys coolness and exceptionalism. The author is no different—one of the first beers I sought out on arrival in Vermont was a Heady. I was able to find it easily in a can at a cafe near our cabin. It was very enjoyable—but so were the other brews here in Morrisville. Lost Nation and Rock Art—no need to chase or sprint—just take a four pack back to the cabin and enjoy the moment. Of course I will also be in line at the Friday Heady drop on my way to the Vermont Brewers Festival on Friday. Wouldn’t you be?

Omegang | Hopstate NY
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6%

When Brewery Ommegang makes an American Pale Ale, you know it’s going to be a solid beer. When Brewery Ommegang makes an American Pale Ale with all New York State grown becomes a thing of beauty. The packaging, the beer and the story combined are a true testament to the revival of the NY hop farming industry which dominated the US market until the late 1800’s. Yay history! Chinook, Nugget and Cascade hops live inside a deep golden colored beer under a stark white head. Bright citrus, pepper and pine work with a lightly sweet malt body to finish clean and refreshing. The beer’s good. If you have never been to the brewery, it comes highly recommended...probably by anyone who’s ever been. Nestled in the rolling hills of Central New York just outside of Cooperstown, the brewery is a shiny diamond set against a backdrop of old growth, farm spirit and warmth. Ommegang also happens to throw one of the best beer festivals in the country every summer; Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. It is a pilgrimage for some...a right of passage into the land of geeks, freaks and bottleheads. Sharing a camping weekend with some of my closest friends is something I’d do anyway. Throw a beer festival around it and it’s pure gold. Hopstate is available for a limited time and only in New York. Grab a 4-pack before they’re no more. #thinknydrinkny

The Alchemist Brewery Heady Topper IPA & Omegang | Hopstate NY American Pale Ale
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