Heady Topper 20th Anniversary

Heady Topper 20th Anniversary

In the world of craft beer, certain brews hold a legendary status, transcending the boundaries of mere beverages to become icons of a subculture. Among these hallowed brews, Heady Topper stands tall, revered by enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. As it marks its 20th anniversary, the journey of Heady Topper is not just a tale of a beer but a testament to the craft brewing revolution and the passion of its creators.

The Genesis of Heady Topper:

Heady Topper was born in the small town of Waterbury, Vermont, in 2004, the brainchild of Jen and John Kimmich. The Alchemist, their brewery, initially started as a brewpub focusing on traditional English-style ales. However, it was Heady Topper that would catapult them to international fame.

A Revolution in a Can:

What sets Heady Topper apart is its revolutionary approach to brewing and packaging. It was one of the first beers to embrace the concept of the “haze craze,” characterized by its cloudy appearance, intense hop flavor, and aroma. Heady Topper is a double IPA bursting with tropical fruit and citrus notes, balanced by a subtle malt backbone, creating a sensory experience like no other.

But what truly revolutionized the industry was Heady Topper’s packaging: the humble aluminum can. While craft beer was traditionally associated with bottles, the decision to can Heady Topper was a game-changer. Cans offer superior protection against light and oxygen, preserving the beer’s freshness and flavor, making it ideal for hop-forward brews like Heady Topper.

Cult Following and Scarcity:

As word of mouth spread, fueled by enthusiastic reviews and accolades from beer enthusiasts, Heady Topper developed a cult following. Beer aficionados would travel far and wide, braving long lines and limited availability just to get their hands on a can of this elusive elixir.

Part of Heady Topper’s allure is its scarcity. The Alchemist deliberately limits production to maintain quality, refusing to compromise on its brewing standards. This scarcity only adds to the beer’s mystique, elevating it from a mere beverage to a sought-after treasure.

Community and Collaboration:

Heady Topper’s success is not just attributed to its creators but also to the community that has grown around it. Beer enthusiasts, affectionately known as “Heads,” form a passionate and tight-knit community, bonded by their love for this iconic brew. Social media platforms and online forums buzz with discussions about Heady Topper, from tasting notes to trade negotiations, further fueling its legend.

Moreover, The Alchemist has collaborated with other breweries, further cementing its place in the craft beer pantheon. Collaborations like Focal Banger with Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Heady Topper with Cloudwater Brew Co. have not only created unique brews but also fostered camaraderie within the craft beer community.

Sustainability and Stewardship:

Beyond crafting exceptional beer, The Alchemist is committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship. They’ve implemented eco-friendly practices, such as using solar panels to power their brewery and donating a percentage of their profits to local environmental organizations. This commitment to sustainability resonates with consumers, who appreciate the brewery’s efforts to minimize its environmental footprint.

Looking Ahead:

As Heady Topper celebrates its 20th anniversary, it stands as a beacon of the craft brewing movement—a symbol of innovation, quality, and community. Its journey from a small-town brewery to an international sensation mirrors the evolution of the craft beer industry itself.

Looking ahead, the future of Heady Topper seems bright. While its popularity continues to soar, The Alchemist remains true to its roots, focusing on quality over quantity and maintaining its commitment to craft brewing excellence. As long as there are beer enthusiasts craving bold flavors and unique experiences, Heady Topper will remain a shining star in the constellation of craft beer.


Heady Topper’s 20th anniversary is not just a milestone for a beer; it’s a celebration of passion, innovation, and community. Here’s to another two decades of brewing brilliance and the continued legacy of Heady Topper—a beer that has truly earned its place in the pantheon of craft brewing. Cheers!


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