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Oct 3, 2013 04:38 AM

Local Heady Topper Source

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I was wondering if there might be a local source for this? I'm not sure I can wait for ski season to tote it back from Waterbury and could go for some now with the leaves turning.

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    1. re: cambridgeMike

      Ha! Yeah, overpaying on Craigslist or a BeerAdvocate trading forum are really your only Massachusetts sources.

      More seriously: There are no Massachusetts distributors of Heady Topper. You can only buy it in Vermont, and the most reliable source is straight from the brewery in Waterbury. They often sell out of their entire supply on a given week, so it's best to get there before Friday. You can follow their Twitter feed for regular updates.

      Other retail outlets and bars that carry it in Vermont:

      On *rare* occasions, I've seen Heady Topper sold in a few Boston-area bars (Eastern Standard, Lord Hobo, and, eons ago, Atwood's Tavern), but that's always a short-time affair (a supply lasting a few days or hours at best). No area liquor stores sell it.

      1. re: cambridgeMike

        I didn't even look there as it was going for $10+ a can on CL in the spring, which I won't do out of principle. However, $25/4 pack is doable for a taste to hold me over. Thanks for the suggestion.

        1. re: Gabatta

          People pay how much for great bottles of wine? And going out to a bar it's common to pay 7 dollars for a bottle of normal beer. Hype or not, Heady Topper is an amazing beer and at 10 dollars a can isn't really a big deal. When I was living in DC I would always pay 25 dollars for a six pack of Bell's Hopslam when it came out once a year. It's a great beer.

      2. Seiyo in the South End across the street from Toro usually has it, but good idea to call to see if they''ve re-upped since I drank their last can a coupla weeks ago.

        Seiyo, along with its 'South End sushi' and retail wine store, curiously has an exceptional collection of high craft beers. They often have the other highly sought after east coast IPA, Lunch, as well as west coast Pliny seasonally (should be coming soon), but the 40+ list of beers (no taps) goes far beyond and includes an excellent selection of sours, Belgians, saisons, Japanese beers, and limited release collaborations. With Parish Cafe, Estelle's, and Five Horsies, that part of the hood has become a good stompin ground for the beer geeks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nab

          I'm assuming you mean they have it to order at the restaurant, and not to buy at the wine shop? Either way, thanks for the useful lead.

          1. re: Gabatta

            I'm not sure, I've only drunk HT on site. But they do sell most of what is on the menu in the retail store. Along with a small but thoughtful collection of whiskies (eg, Black Maple, Col EH Taylor).

        2. IF I had one, I don't think I would be posting it here. ;-)

          1. I think I read somewhere (here, probably) that the bartender at Sichuan Garden II in Woburn has a customer that will bring him a case occaisionally, so that it's catch as catch can there, but they'll serve it when they have it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: justbeingpolite

              I think that's the way that most Boston bars are getting it -- somebody goes up and buys a supply to sell here. However, I've gotta think that just can't be legal, because you're skirting state alcohol distribution laws and taxes. (I'm no expert in this area; just assuming.)

              1. re: huuvola

                Definitely NOT legal.

                I read awhile back that when they expanded the brewery, they were planning to start sending some product in limited quantities down to Boston for distribution but since they have been at capacity without the need to expand the market beyond VT, they put the Boston expansion on hold indefinitely and perhaps forever.

            2. I'm sure they are smart enough not to compromise quality if they expand sufficiently to satisfy the thirsty Boston market. Until then, Heady Topper will become an expensive cult item similar to Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.