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Heady Topper: The beer you’ve been missing
If you’re a fan of beer, specifically IPAs, then you know about the legend of Heady Topper; the elusive beer that has most people jumping hurdles and through flaming hoops to acquire. A beer so tasty and so mysterious that it is no wonder it is well known in world of brews.
Legend has it that “The Heady” as most regulars who follow The Alchemist Brewery (originator of the beer) call it, has been auctioned off for more than a Picasso (not really but people have done some strange things to get their hands on a can). What makes this beer so good? Why such a large following? Here is a little history on the brew and how it came to be so legendary.
The Alchemist Brewery is a family run brewery that originated in the village of Waterbury, Vermont by husband and wife duo John and Jen Kimmich. The brewery opened as a 60 seat brew pub in 2003 and has grown successful throughout the years. By 2011, the duo had built a new, state of the art facility to start canning their flagship IPA, the one and only, Heady Topper. August 28, 2011 tropical storm Irene settled over Vermont, resulting in the state’s worst natural disaster in almost 100 years. It is this storm that demolished The Alchemist Pub and Brewery, but oddly enough, 2 days after the destruction the first cans of The Heady rolled off the line out of the newly constructed cannery.
John Kimmich was the head brewer at the Vermont Pub & Brewery, owned by American brewing expert Greg Noonan. Working directly under and receiving expert knowledge from Noonan proves to have been a component to The Alchemist’s success. It’s even said that Noonan gave Kimmich a rare yeast that is used in the brewing of Heady Topper however sources could not confirm the authenticity of that fact.
The Heady is instructed to be enjoyed in the can while young and fresh off the line, cold but not too cold. Pouring The Heady into a can releases the carbonation (which carries the aroma and body of the brew) at a quicker rate, leaving the time allotted to enjoy the beer at its peak severely shortened. The bold, hoppy taste of this beer has a subtle nuance of citrus fruit that overall mask the alcohol content. At 8%, this beer packs a sneaky punch that is most definitely appreciated by most IPA lovers.
Do yourself a favor, find a local craft beer store and stay on top of the delivery of this legendary beer if you haven’t tried it yet. You won’t regret it.