Hi Stewie 55,
In Windsor you have the Harpoon Brewery and on route 4 in Bridgewater you have the LongTrail brewery. If you look at the Vermont Breweries site you will find heaps of information. http://brewersvt.com
Stewie...Norwich/Long Trail/Harpoon are just okay. If you're truly looking for the state's best beers, they are as follows:
1) The Alchemist -- brewpub in Waterbury, Vermont (this is at the same exit off of I-89 as Stowe, just go about 1-2 miles west instead of east). In my humble opinion the very finest brew Vermont has to offer. Hoppy, original, and good eats too.
3) Lawson's finest liquids. This one's a little harder to come by as it is brewed by one guy and he supplies to the Warren/Waitsfield area only. You can buy bottles at the Warren Store in Warren, Vermont.
The Shed in Stowe has good on-site brews.
IMHO, the best local beer (ever, anywhere) is Switchback Ale. Only sold in kegs (alas!), but available at many pubs in BTV and presumably Stowe and elsewhere.
I have a feeling The Alchemist got severely damaged by the flooding this summer. It may be back up and running - hope so!
(Edited to add:) Alas. Sounds like it is closed:
all the above is quite true...........but the best of all is a local Scottish Pub in Chester called; MacLaomains Scottish Pub. Although the beer is not a microbrew...it is most definitely an authentic, on tap Belhaven. A Scottish Ale imported in kegs and can't be found anywhere else in VT.
Enjoy your travels
Unfortunately both The Shed and The Alchemist restaurant/pubs are closed.
The Alchemist still does brew beer at the Cannery off 100.
Otter Creek bought the name/recipes of The Shed and will begin brewing it.
Thanks VTer - Sorry to hear that the Shed's not doing their signature Mtn. Ale... but good that Otter Creek will pick it up. OK - So the Shed is OFF the list now.... (never was impressed with their food).
Happy new year all!
Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington has some nice brews as does Zero Gravity which operates out of American Flatbreads Burlington Hearth. If you can find any Hill Farmstead brews, they are quite good. The brewery is located in the Northeast Kingdom..look them up as they have a retail outlet on sight. Also if you are in the Mad River Valley stop in at The Warren Store or eat at Flatbread, The Common Man or the Mad Taco for some of Lawsons Finest Liquids. Sean is a great brewery with a very small facility in Warren. And Def. hit up the Alchemist Cannery for some Heady Topper. We are soo sad they will not be reopening. John is the best brewer in VT hands down!
Thank you all for your advice. I tried many of the above listed beers, Lawson's Finest Liquids, several types of Long Trail and Harpoon, Switchback, and the Scottish import Belhaven. I was frequently pleased by the quality of beer in the state. Off to get another!
Glad you enjoyed! If any places/beers stood out, do let us know your thoughts. :)