Burlington, Vermont, is the state’s largest city, but it is still relatively small, with over 40,000 residents. Burlington is one of the most important cities in the craft beer scene in the United States and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular spots for opening new breweries.
The term “Vermont beer” was explicitly created to refer to the crafted renowned beers in Vermont, so it’s safe to say that craft beer is huge in Vermont. With over 70 craft breweries, Burlington is a paradise for beer enthusiasts.
Vermont is commonly considered the birthplace of the New England India Pale Ale (IPA), a citrus-forward beer style that was once an offshoot of the East Coast IPA but is now a distinct beer category. The Brewers Association even concluded that Vermont has the most breweries per capita!
Whether you’re looking for a brewery specializing in experimental brews or want a classic, cold beer on a hot day, these Burlington-area establishments are the best for you.
Thirsty in Vermont? This guide to the top breweries in Burlington, Vermont, will help you sip your way around the city.
11. Foam Brewers
LOCATION: 112 Lake Street Burlington, VT 05401 | PHONE: (802) 399-2511
Foam Brewers is a relatively new brewery in Burlington VT, situated in an old brick building within walking distance of Waterfront Park and the Burlington Bike Trail. It was founded in 2016 by a trio of brewers with prior experience at Magic Hat and Switchback with the simple mission “to create imaginative beers for enlightened palates resourcefully.”
This brewery specializes in artisanal small-batch beers, cheese, and charcuterie slates of world-class quality, an enjoyable and laid-back atmosphere, and breathtaking views of Lake Champlain.
The choices at Foam Brewers are constantly changing, but you can always count on some incredible sour beers and tasty experimental flavors; the IPAs are particularly noteworthy. Foam is also the only location to serve innovatively aged and blended beers from the nearby House of Fermentology, which Foam partner Todd Haire founded.
Foam Brewers has a spacious venue as well. They provide outdoor seating in the front and back of the brewery and indoor seating with high tops, bar service, and many more.
Food is also available at Foam Brewers, with offerings that vary throughout the week and include food trucks. Foam Brewer is definitely the center for breweries in Burlington Vermont. It hosts various events, and features live music that makes it popular that people need to make reservations well in advance.
MUST-TRY BEER: Quasi- American Wild Ale- ABV 5.5%
10. Switchback Brewery
LOCATION: 160 Flynn Avenue Burlington, VT 05401 | PHONE: (802) 651-4114
Switchback Brewery is one of Burlington’s oldest and finest breweries. Despite being one of the more popular (and crowded) breweries in Burlington Vermont, it is still worth visiting!
This Burlington brewery in the Old North End is close to various businesses, including shops, restaurants, and other establishments.
Switchback has won numerous awards and distinctions, including CraftBeer.com’s Best New Brewery and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Place For Beer & Food. Men’s Journal has also named it one of the best breweries in America, so it’s definitely one of the best breweries in Burlington VT and is a must-visit.
Bill Cherry, a master brewer, and Jeff Neiblum, a longtime acquaintance, founded Switchback Brewing Company in 2002. The vision was to concentrate limited resources on making beers of the highest possible quality.
The most renowned beers produced by Switchback Brewery are unfiltered and naturally carbonated.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and wood paneling, the building’s design also conveys a sense of warmth. It’s really gorgeous inside and is an awesome place to hang out!
Citr-Pils is a traditional Kellerbier or pilsener lager brewed with a combination of Citra and Saaz hops. The hops add a citrusy aroma, pilsner and IPA sensibilities, and a crisp flavor. It is a clean and refreshing beverage with a base of Light Pils that accentuates the lemony citrus notes.
So why is Switchback so popular? It is nearly impossible not to enjoy their beer, mainly because they offer three different year-round brews and six rotating seasonals. They are also known for their delicious food, including smoked paprika bratwurst served with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, and cheddar cheese curds on the side!
If you can only visit one of the top Burlington VT breweries, we definitely recommend Switchback.
MUST-TRY BEER: Switchback Ale- American Amber/Ale- ABV 5%
9. Zero Gravity Craft Brewery
LOCATION: 115 St. Paul Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (American Flatbread) and 716 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (Beer Hall) | PHONE: (802) 497-0054
Zero Gravity is one of the must-visit breweries in Burlington, Vermont. One of the most “drinkable” IPA, Conehead, is brewed at Zero Gravity. Zero Gravity is a great place to hang out due to its excellent beer and one of Vermont’s finest outdoor patios.
Since 2005, Zero Gravity, a Burlington Vermont-based brewery, has been producing exquisitely balanced beers. Modern, one-of-a-kind originals brewed following the world’s classic styles and techniques.
This 2004-founded Burlington Vermont brewery specializes in experimental beers. They use traditional techniques to produce their alcohol, and it does not use any common synthetic ingredients found in modern beer. This technique contributes to creating a pure and natural flavor that people worldwide can appreciate.
The building looks stunning, but the brewery also offers a seasonal menu that is extremely cool. It means you will be able to taste unique dishes paired with special beers for a memorable and enjoyable experience in Burlington.
In addition to being one of Vermont’s best breweries, they also have one of Burlington’s coolest taprooms. The taproom is open every day, with karaoke on Fridays and live music on Saturdays. Board games are available inside the brewery so that customers can enjoy themselves while trying some new brews.
Additionally, Trivia Night, a popular event, is conducted every Wednesday! If you’re looking for an excellent brewery to go to after work or during your lunch break, the atmosphere here is perfect!
We love Zero Gravity and think it’s one of the most fun and social breweries in Burlington VT.
MUST-TRY BEER: Conehead- IPA- ABV 5.7%
8. Vermont Pub and Brewery
LOCATION: 144 College Street Burlington, VT 05401 | PHONE: (802) 865-0500
Vermont Pub and Brewery, also known as VPB to locals, is located in downtown Burlington’s “quieter” area. It is an excellent spot to grab drinks with friends or enjoy a first date.
It was founded in 1988 by the late renowned craft-brewing pioneer and author Greg Noonan, who campaigned to make brewpubs legal in Vermont. The small 14-barrel brewhouse is supplemented by a half-barrel experimental system, allowing for the production of over 80 styles of beer annually.
VPB is the longest-running microbrewery in Vermont. This brewery is renowned for its superior quality and extensive history. This brewery is also well-known for continually developing improved beer formulas, which they have done repeatedly.
Currently (at the time of writing this article), VPB adheres to all Vermont Department of Health, OSHA, and CDC regulations. Six feet is the minimum spacing between tables and chairs, and workers and visitors must always wear face coverings. Everyone entering the building is necessary to call ahead to prevent crowding. All surfaces are disinfected in the establishment regularly, and hand sanitizer is available on each table and in the staff area. It’s definitely more of a “on the safe side” brewery compared to the other atmospheres.
The next time you are in Burlington, Vermont, do not miss the opportunity to visit The Vermont Pub and Brewery and try the local beers that are available for you to enjoy. It’s one of the cute, quaint breweries in Burlington VT that locals love for a reason!
7. Burlington Beer Company
LOCATION: 180 Flynn Ave Burlington, VT 05401 | PHONE: (802) 863-2337
Burlington Beer Co. is one of the more popular breweries in Burlington VT. It opened in 2013, and the brewery is known as one of Vermont’s first breweries. It is also known for its inventive beers and is part of the rapid growth of the New England IPA scene.
Thrillist named Burlington Beer Co. 2016’s best new brewery. Joe Lemnah created the company with his pumpkin beer. Burlington Beer is one of the most popular breweries in Burlington Vermont (and in the state in general) because its rotating brews employ local, seasonal ingredients.
This Burlington brewery brews an IPA with Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado, Simcoe hops, and an Imperial Stout with coffee from the nearby NoCo Coffee Roasters. In addition to Pale Ale (5% percent ABV), Rye IPA (7% ABV), and Brown Ale (6 % ABV), they also offer a variety of other beers on tap.
The brewery also offers seasonal beers, such as pumpkin hibiscus pale ale and Hoppy Wheat Ale, a popular summer wheat beer.
Do not miss the opportunity to try the Abracadabra Coffee Company’s popular Barista, a silky, jet-black coffee porter aged with roasted beans that exemplifies the company’s creative prowess. This drink has a strong aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, roasted malts, and caramel and is robust and full-bodied. The flavor comprises toasted wood, rich sweet malts, molasses, and sugary sweetness. This is one of the only breweries in Burlington VT to offer this type of coffee beer!
This Burlington brewery is an excellent location to visit if you wish to taste a variety of styles. When visiting this location, you will enjoy a variety of traditional and rare beers. Plus, the brewery always has a variety of awesome games available.
MUST-TRY BEER: You Can’t Get There From Here (Any fruit version)- Wild Ale- ABV 4.5%
6. Queen City Brewery
LOCATION: 703 Pine Street Burlington, VT 05401| PHONE: (802) 540-0280
Located across the street from Zero Gravity is another excellent brewery, the Queen City Brewery. They specialize in German and English beers, including hefeweizens, saisons, and scotch ales.
Queen City is one of the best-known breweries in Burlington Vermont. Since its opening in 1997, the Queen City Brewery on College Street has been one of the most popular destinations.
This brewery’s central Burlington location is that visitors can easily reach it on foot from any part of the city. Come during the week, if possible, or early arrive if you want a seat on the weekends. This is a popular spot!
Queen City is best known for its low ABV and easy-drinking beers inspired by German and Irish pub styles. It is one of the best breweries in Burlington, with 16 taps and a rotating beer list that includes English ales, German lagers, and American-style beers, among others. People adore the unusual pickup truck parked on top of the bar!
The best-selling beers at Queen City Brewery are two of their six varieties: their flagship Porter and IPA. In addition, their seasonal pumpkin ale is delicious and a must-try! The Yorkshire Porter is also a great choice.
Queen City’s take on the traditional English ale produces a rich, full-bodied, and extremely well-balanced beer. Hops and a malt profile with chocolate and coffee flavors contribute to the beverage’s subdued bitterness.
So if you’re into local brews, you won’t want to miss this one! Queen City Brewery, located in a renovated warehouse, is one of the most popular breweries in Burlington Vermont for a reason.
MUST-TRY BEER: Oktoberfest- Marzen style Lager- ABV 5.5%
5. Simple Roots Brewing
LOCATION: 1127 North Ave Burlington, VT 05408| PHONE: (802) 399-2658
Since its 2014 founding as a nano brewery in a garage, Kara Pawlusiak and Dan Ukolowicz have grown this brewery. Simple Roots has had simple beginnings since the brewery has grown to include a brewery and taproom within walking distance of that garage, half-hidden near a Hannaford Supermarket shopping complex and Leddy Park’s sprawling waterfront greenspace.
Since then, this brewery has become one of Burlington’s most famous breweries. The small but powerful brewery focuses on simple styles such as pilsners, pale ales, and stouts, experimenting with new hops, coffee, sour, and wild yeast varieties.
This establishment serves extremely high-quality beer with numerous options, and guess what? They are in a New North End strip mall with good parking, so it’s super easy to get here. It’s a great place to stop in for a beer right after a hike.
You may find their beers on tap at some of the finest bars and restaurants in Northern Vermont.
These days, their Tmave Pivo is on tap. The Czech-style lager brewed with Saaz hops, which features rich and malty notes, and a clean, dry finish is a must-try! In addition, the mitigation of the bitterness of the roasted malts and the beer has a pleasant nuttiness, rendering it creamy, sweet, and easy to drink.
MUST-TRY BEER: Czech-style lager brewed with Saaz hops
4. Halyard Brewery
LOCATION: 80 Ethan Allen Drive, Suite 2 South Burlington, VT 05403| PHONE: (802) 497-1858
Halyard Brewing Company, another Burlington Vermont brewery that you shouldn’t miss, is only a couple of blocks away from Zero Gravity.
The founding of Halyard Brewery was in 2016 in South Burlington, Vermont. This brewery is known for its organic and fair-trade ingredients and naturally gluten-free alcoholic ginger beer.
The brewing of ginger beer is in a tiny facility near the Burlington Airport and next door to Farnham Ale.
Their most popular beer is most likely the Blonde Ale, but don’t worry – it’s not overly hoppy or bitter! The hops are in no way overpowering, and the beer is perfectly balanced, making this one of the best breweries in Burlington VT for people who don’t love beer (the flavors appeal to everyone).
Halyard’s crafted ginger beers are well-known. Their Moscow Mule is ideal for summer, while their spicy ginger beer pairs well with burgers and sandwiches.
Their taproom opened in October 2016, and they currently offer three ginger beers, two full-time varieties, and one seasonal variety. The brewery’s menu includes ginger-infused mixed drinks, a few regular beers, craft cocktails, and locally made dumplings.
Add this microbrewery to your increasing list of local Burlington Vermont breweries if you enjoy ginger-flavored beers.
MUST-TRY BEER: Blonde Ale
3. Magic Hat Brewing Company
LOCATION: 5 Bartlett Bay Rd, South Burlington, VT 05403| PHONE: (802) 658-2739
The Magic Hat is a Burlington icon. It is one of the most notable and famous breweries in Burlington Vermont, though it’s popular throughout Vermont today. This brewery began in Burlington, Vermont, in 1994, and is still located in the same spot today!
This Burlington VT brewery is close to Waterfront Park and the Burlington Bike Trail, where you can enjoy a beverage before or after your tour. It is an excellent place to tour a brewery and drink some beer. Even if you do not take one of their free tours, you can still visit the South Burlington brewery and sample some of their brews.
The bar at Magic Hat serves a variety of alcoholic beverages, including cocktails, at a discount on Sundays. There are several dozen beers on tap, including a “not quite IPA” for those who aren’t particularly fond of IPA.
Since there is something for everyone, this is one of the best Burlington Vermont breweries to visit with non-beer-loving friends.
Special events occur throughout the year, so if you’re looking for something entertaining to do, keep an eye out for them.
2. Citizen Cider
LOCATION: 316 Pine St #114, Burlington, VT 05401| PHONE: (802) 497-1987
Citizen Cider is a small-batch, Vermont-based producer of hard cider. It utilizes ingredients from Vermont farms, making it beneficial to the community.
This Burlington VT brewery is located in South Burlington’s South End Arts District. It has many art galleries and studios, and other breweries and restaurants.
Citizen Cider is held in a small warehouse/garage-style structure with a large deck, creating a unique and enjoyable atmosphere. It is a great place to enjoy drinks in the sun or hang out with friends indoors.
The best feature of this Burlington Vermont brewery is that it is family-run, so they are constantly experimenting with new beers and get really excited about these products. The owners are highly involved, and this is evident.
These brews have some unique flavor combinations. On top of that, there is always something new to try. Who knew that cider could be so intriguing?
Their ciders frequently contain ingredients such as ginger or real fruit purées, which may sound disgusting to some but are delicious in small quantities. It also imparts an exciting and distinct flavor to these ciders!
All ciders are exceptional, but The Dirty Mayor, a pale golden cider with a ginger kick, is a must-try.
Citizen Cider is one of the finest breweries in Burlington Vermont, for working or studying. Food is allowed with beverages and there are plenty of tables to get some tasks done. Sundays and tours are off-limits. Saturday afternoons, however, include live music and other activities, so this isn’t the quietest time.
If you want to try new flavors while still enjoying traditional hard apple cider, this is one of the best Burlington VT breweries to check out!
MUST-TRY CIDER: The Dirty Mayor- hard cider- ABV 5.2%
1. Three Needs Taproom Brewery
LOCATION: 185 Pearl St Burlington, VT 05401 | PHONE: (802) 497-0119
If these Burlington Vermont breweries do not quench your thirst, there are plenty of bars in the Burlington area. But our top brewery is the Three Needs Taproom Brewery. The laid-back atmosphere of this place is what makes it so great.
If you’re searching for a college dive bar, Three Needs Taproom Brewery is perfect! This brewery has a college bar atmosphere, attracting a young crowd.
When the weather is favorable, the brewery’s outdoor space is open. The music is excellent, but the crowd can get a bit rowdy. Most Champlain College and University of Vermont students regularly attend this bar for a drink or two. Two pool tables are available for challenging games with friends or strangers.
Their food is delicious, mainly their pizzas. Their buffalo chicken pizza is a classic because their buffalo sauce is homemade.
Although the beer selection is not a beer bar, it is pretty good. They offer primarily local microbrews from the larger area breweries at very reasonable prices. Reggae and pool are the primary non-alcoholic activities.
Burlington is a beautiful city, and this place is a popular hangout for its residents.
Burlington, Vermont’s Neighboring Breweries
Here are more breweries, just a few hops, skips, and jumps outside of Burlington, Vermont:
Four Quarters Brewing
LOCATION: 150 W. Canal Street, Winooski Burlington, VT 05404| PHONE: (802) 391-9120
Whether you like it or not, true craft beer fans understand the importance of small-batch specialists, and Four Quarters Brewing is one of them. It is one of Burlington’s best breweries, with a small taproom serving some of the best stouts, sours, and hoppy ales.
Four Quarters is a labor of love located a few miles northeast of downtown Burlington in the Winooski suburb. Brian Eckert, a beer enthusiast, opened the small-batch specialist in 2014 while working full-time as a web developer at Ben & Jerry’s.
Since then, the brewery’s reputation steadily rose when FWx called it “one of the best little breweries you’ve never heard of” in 2015.
Eckert’s inventive cocktails, including the much-buzzed-about tart Saison Fleur de Lis and a Belgian patersbier Opus Dei, can be sampled in the tiny wooden tasting room bar next to the brewing setup.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
LOCATION: 6305 Shelburne Road Shelburne, VT 05482 | PHONE: (802) 399-2994
Fiddlehead is a Vermont beer staple. This beer is a popular local IPA found on draft at almost any restaurant or bar.
The Fiddlehead Brewing Company’s tasting room is relatively small. Folino’s, a wood-fired pizza joint, is right next door. You are welcome to bring in growlers of Fiddlehead beer to drink while eating pizza to your heart’s content. What could be better than that?
Prohibition Pig Brewery
LOCATION: 2 Elm Street Waterbury, VT 05676| PHONE: (802) 244-4120
Come to Prohibition Pig for specialty cocktails, beer, and barbecue! You can also purchase bottles of their barbecue sauce to take home.
If you cannot try Amarillo Dream, they also offer other unique and flavorful dark beers, such as Toasted Coconut Porter.
You should also see the Craft Beer Cellar across the street if you’re looking for additional Vermont beers to take home. This Craft Beer Cellar offers an excellent selection!
The Alchemist – Stowe
LOCATION: 100 Cottage Club Road Stowe, VT 05672| PHONE: (802) 253-6708
The Alchemist is a small, family-operated brewery specializing in unfiltered, fresh IPA. The current focus of their brewing efforts is Heady Topper, an American Double IPA.
Since 2003, The Alchemist has brewed Heady Topper. This Double IPA is neither the strongest nor most bitter. The beer is brewed to deliver waves of hop flavor without being bitter. Each hop imparts a distinct flavor and aroma to Heady Topper.
In 2013, The Alchemists brewed their most popular beer, which only produces 1200 cases a week. Because the brewery made beer in limited quantities, hundreds of people flocked to the state to obtain it.
In 2016, they opened a new location in Stowe and began brewing numerous other beers, including Focal Banger, one of the new local favorites.
Hill Farmstead Brewery
LOCATION: 403 Hill Rd, Greensboro Bend, VT 05842| PHONE: (802) 533-7450
Even though this brewery is in the middle of nowhere, the trip is well worth it. Hill Farmstead is a small craft brewery that produces some of the most sought-after beers globally. It is at the top of most beer bucket lists. RateBeer ranked it the best brewery in the world for five consecutive years.
Shaun Hill founded Hill Farmstead Brewery in 2010 in Greensboro Bend, Vermont, United States, a town with fewer than one thousand residents. It is in the “Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont, about 70 miles from Burlington, the biggest city in the state.
Shaun Hill and his wife founded the brewery intending to produce beer that was “fermented to its fullest potential.” As a direct consequence of their unwavering commitment to the quality of their beers, Hill Farmstead Brewery has rapidly become one of its most renowned breweries.
Check Hill Farmstead’s website before your visit to determine which beers are available and their hours. Remember that there will typically be a line before the doors even open!
14th Star Brewing Company
LOCATION: 133 N Main St #7, St. Albans City, VT 05478| PHONE: (802) 528-5988
14th Star is a Vermont craft brewery founded by veterans with a mission to brew world-class beer while enriching our community.
14th star, known for its hoppy IPAs and darker stouts, is a year-round destination with its outdoor beer garden and indoor taproom. Two veterans who brought into existence the brewery while serving in Afghanistan pledge to donate to veteran organizations.
Rock Art Brewery
LOCATION: 632 Laporte Rd, Morrisville, VT 05661| PHONE: 802-888-9400
The Rock Art Brewery is a family-owned and operated company. It has a small tasting room with an indoor observation deck for beer production. Currently distributed exclusively in Vermont, Rock Art beers are frequently available in 22-ounce bombers with seasonal specialties.
This brewery welcomes pets. On the porch or in the downstairs area, leashed dogs are more than welcome to accompany you while you enjoy a beer.
Burlington Brew Tours by City Brew Tours
If you are making plans for a trip to Burlington, Vermont, City Brew Tours offers a guided, all-inclusive tour of our favorite Vermont breweries, complete with food pairings.
Burlington Brew Tours LLC was founded in 2009 by owner Chad Brodsky as a newly formed tour company that teaches and samples handcrafted beers to visitors and residents of Burlington.
Burlington Brew Tours is Vermont’s first all-inclusive beer and brewery adventure. Whether you’re a light beer drinker or a connoisseur, it offers a fun and convenient way to visit the region’s top breweries. Their beer geeks will introduce you to award-winning beers of all styles, from Pilsners to Stouts.
This tour company does an excellent job of coordinating events and providing excellent customer service, but they were also quick to respond!
Each tour includes a beer tasting, lunch at the Folinos, and round-trip transportation. Burlington Brew Tours is the ideal choice for a birthday party, bachelor’s or bachelorette party, or to learn more about beer!
These breweries were among the most popular in Burlington, Vermont, including well-known and lesser-known beers worldwide.
First, it is essential to note that all Burlington breweries produce seasonal specialty beers. Since each brewery’s specialty distinguishes it and makes it worth seeking out when available, it is always worthwhile.
Now that you’re familiar with the best Vermont breweries, you’re well on your way to drinking your way through Vermont. If you cannot visit all of these breweries in one trip, stop by a local beer store and purchase some. Many Vermont breweries prefer to remain in-state, and some of their beers can be difficult to find outside the state.
So when you visit the beautiful state of Vermont, be sure to try some of them out.