This was a tough one here at “Meeting Expectations.” The Alchemist is well known to me, and I fondly remember it as a brewpub in Waterbury, VT.

This can of Heady Topper was purchased at the massive new facility north of Waterbury proper.

The message on the can is typical of the Alchemist culture

“Heady Topper is an American double India pale ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palette. Tremendous amounts of American hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the can. Freshness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience.”

“The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom. Leave them in the can when pouring. This beer is perishable and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately we are always making more.”

Jim Kimmich

For additional information on this subject:

The Word from The Brewery:

The Alchemist Brewery & Visitor Center in Stowe, Vermont

The Word on the Web:


“Had this several times, straight from the can. So the look rating comes from one time two years ago I poured into a glass. What can be said about this beer that hasn’t been said. It is a very balanced beer, despite the overwhelming aroma that is first experienced. That balance goes almost unmatched by any other beer since this beer came to me. A truly unique beer!”

Heady Topper – Wikipedia

“Heady Topper is a double India Pale Ale brewed by The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont. It is unfiltered and contains 8% ABV, with hints of citrus flavors. Unpasteurized, it is kept refrigerated by authorized retailers until the point of sale.”