You know as I was telling my tale of scoring the Heady Topper I realized that this is better in a book format than a blog post. There are so many details that need to be filled in and I still haven't gotten to the point where I chased Zombie Dust all over Schaumburg, IL for a day. I hope you enjoyed the tale of getting the Heady Topper.
Please feel free to share your story of how you went all over the country or the world to find your favorite beer. Better yet how you traveled to some far off place to try a beer not knowing if you would like it or not.
Day 1 Still Going On: On my way out the door I was extremely excited about my score that I forgot my phone inside. A guy came running out and said I think you might want this. I laughed and said definitely. How else was I going to find the rest of the beer. I proudly put my beer in the trunk of my economy car and headed to the next brewery.
I thought this story was going to be a simple blog post. As it turns it out it is turning into quite the story. I am still writing about day 1 and I haven't' even gotten to Chicago where I was chasing Zombie Dust. That was a shit show in a half but I did finally meet my beer buddy while I was there. As long as this is taking I hope you're enjoying the story. Work is drawing me away from me completing this in a timely fashion but I will continue to give you snippets as the week goes by.
Day 1 continued: I headed towards the freeway thinking of what Vermont would be like once I arrived. The drive went by fairly quickly and I was in awe at how beautiful Vermont was. I was pissed that I had to fill up my economy rental car. I guess a car that only holds 9 gallons isn't going to get you very far. Visiting Vermont in the fall is still on my bucket list. It didn't disappoint in the winter either.
A debate raged in my head about where to go first. Should I visit Fiddlehead Brewery knowing I couldn't get Second Fiddle because they were sold out. I still wanted to visit the brewery, though, to try Fiddlehead IPA and Beer and Pizza Ale. The thought was immedatiely dismissed when I realized I needed to acquire the Heady Topper first and then go and visit the brewery. You may be asking yourself why I didn't go to Waterbury where the brewery is located to get my beer. The Alchemist Brewery became too popular and the locals weren't happy about all the traffic. The brewery is now closed to the public. I had to study their "where to find our beer" page to map out where it was sold.
First stop on my list to acquire the Heady Topper was Route 7 liquor store. Excited about finally trying the top rated beer on Beer Advocate and knowing how popular it is on Untappd I was all smiles. I smiled at the guy at the counter and headed to the cooler. Looking at all the beers that I had tried and not tried. No Heady Topper. My gleeful search turned into panic. I scowered the coolers for a few more minutes. I finally headed to the counter to ask the guy. He said they had sold out yesterday, Monday being President's Day, and the sign behind me said they were sold out. Asshole! I thanked him and left. I still had the Shelburne Meat Market on my list. It was a minute down the road. As I drove I noticed a familiar sign on my right hand side. Did I really just see Magic Hat Brewery? I knew it was close but not this close. Stay focused Wells! Up on my left I saw the Shelburne Meat Market. Once again excitement flooded my body. Two guys were working the counter. I had no time to waste in looking myself. I asked for the Heady Topper. They apologized for being sold out. Their delivery normally last all week but because of the President's Day holiday they sold out earlier than usual. As the guy behind the counter finished talking I checked my phone. Maine Brewing was on my list of beers to get. I asked if they carried anything from them. He said they did. I was only interested in two beers. Lunch and Dinner. They had neither. I thanked him for his time and went to my car. My go to stores had come up short. I had checked the Alchemist website again for more stores. Bingo! Another store down the road had gotten their delivery. I rushed down the road about ten minutes from where I was.
The towns were small so it was easy to get around without having to deal with a lot of traffic. After parking I tried to coolly walk into the store. Each person that entered before me was a potential Heady Topper customer. Like most stores I headed towards the back and worked my way from there. The beer aisle ended being in a back corner on the right hand side of the store. The beer aisle wasn't very big so I became extremely nervous. After several attempts at finding the beer on my own I asked the young guy stocking the shelves where was the beer? He apologized as he explained to me that they had sold out five minutes ago. Trying to hide my disappoint I thanked him and walked on the store again. Back to the drawing board. I sat in the car and went back to the Alchemist website. Pearl St. Beverage was around the corner. Google maps said it was one minute away. Excitement once again surged through my body. What should have been two minutes took me ten minutes. Google maps was on some bullshit. I screamed in the car and yelled fuck a lot. Finally, I defied her and decided to go left instead of right when she commanded. As I drove down Pearl Street a great feeling came over me. I knew this place would have it. I quickly parked the car and got out. Once again I tried to walk coolly up to the store. I entered and walked immediately towards the back. I was greeted by a young college kid who asked if he could help me. I explained that I had flown 3000 miles on a redeye, drove 3.5 hours to get the Heady Topper. He smiled and said that they did have some in stock. They usually limit the take to two per customer but he made an exception for me. He directed me towards the cooler where they sat stacked in all its glory. I felt like Indiana Jones when they found the holy grail. It was glorious! As I stood in awe of the Heady Topper the college asked if I had heard of Tribute double ipa. All I could think of how dare he interrupt this moment of glory. I looked up at him and replied no. He went on to explain that it was right on par with Heady Topper. I highly doubt it I thought. But, I had my beer so why the hell not. I had 16 Heady Toppers and four Tributes. He was nice enough to carry my beer to the counter and introduce me to some other Vermont beers. I asked for Lunch and Dinner by Maine Brewing Co. but they didn't carry it. I finally tapped out with Foley Brothers Fair Maiden. We went to the counter and I smiled. I didn't care that I had spent close to $80. It was well worth it. I thanked the college kid and headed out the door.
Avid fan of awesome beer and awesome people. Anyone who has good taste in beer is all right in my book.