Everything you need to know about Heady Topper (and how to get it)


Heady Topper, “Heady”  or "The Alchemist's Heady Topper," is an infamous double IPA  from Stowe, VT, brewed by The Alchemist brewery. It’s an American Double India Pale Ale (DIPA) and has a robust, hop-forward flavor profile with citrus, pine, and floral notes. It also packs a punch coming in around 8%.

It gained popularity when initially released and is consistently ranked as one of the highest rated IPAs in the world. This reputation combined with limited production batches ensures demand is pretty much always outpacing supply. Heady is highly sought-after among craft beer enthusiasts and continues to be a “whale” on a lot of drinkers bucket list. 

The Alchemist was founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, the brewery has gained immense popularity for its exceptional craft beers and dedication to quality. Heady Topper is one of their most celebrated beers along with Focal Banger. 


Want a nice glass to enjoy your Heady Topper in? Use the code HEADY to get 10% off your first order. 


Due to its limited production, The Alchemist has become synonymous with exclusivity, leading to high demand for their beers, even beyond Heady Topper. Their taproom is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts. 

Heady Topper Beer

Why is Heady Topper So Rare?

The Alchemist only produces a limited amount of Heady Topper, and it's also very highly sought after, so demand is always outpacing supply. This limited production is partly intentional to keep demand high, but it's also a function of the relatively small size of the brewery. The limited supply allows The Alchemist to maintain quality control while also keeping demand high. 

People always want what they can’t have. 

heady topper and focal banger

Is Heady Topper still good?

Absolutely, and if someone tells you otherwise they’re probably full of it (or may just not like that style of beer). It’s amazingly consistent and is continually ranked as one of the best (if not the best) double IPA in the world. 

Remember, always drink Heady fresh and never age it. 

Is Heady Topper the best beer in the world?

Heady Topper is the number one ranked Imperial IPA in the world according to a number of well-respected beer ranking websites, including Beer Advocate. It’s maintained that ranking for years, but remember, beer is subjective.

In addition to consistently ranking among the highest-rated beers, and garnering near-perfect scores and glowing reviews on websites such as RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, Heady Topper remains a highly sought-after beer with a devoted fan base. Trying Heady Topper is still a right of passage for a lot of craft beer drinkers. 

heady topper can

Why drink Heady Topper out of a can?

You don’t need to, this is mainly a marketing play. There's no actual magic in it, and in fact, if you want to get the full flavor experience, pouring Heady Topper into a glass is the way to go. This is a proven fact for every beer (and in fact, pretty much any type of alcohol). The beer gets to breathe, and its flavors open up.

But hey, at the end of the day, whether you sip it straight from the can or pour it into a glass, the magic of Heady Topper is real. It's all about enjoying a legendary beer. 

Why does Heady Topper come in a can instead of a bottle?

Canning craft beer has become pretty common these days, and that's because it's better than bottling.

Craft breweries initially bottled beer because bottled beer was perceived as "better" than macro-produced beer that came in cans (think Coors or Bud Light). Also, getting bottling equipment used to be easier and cheaper than canning equipment.

Much of that has changed now, and for good reason. Canning is better in just about every way. 

  • Cans are better at preserving freshness. They keep nasty light out which can “skunk” a beer.
  • Cans help beer get cold faster and stay cold longer than bottles.
  • They are less likely to break or leak compared to bottles.
  • It’s actually cheaper to can beer than bottle beer.
  • Cans are easier to pack and ship compared to bottles.

buy heady topper beer

How much does a 4-pack of Heady Topper cost?

Heady Topper costs $13.00 USD for a 4-pack directly from The Alchemist ($3.25 per 16 oz. can). From a retailer, you can expect to pay between $15 to $20 USD for a 4-pack.

What does Heady Topper taste like?

Heady Topper has a malty sweetness at the front followed by a grassy, hop profile that balances it out. It's not a "hop bomb" but you still get plenty of that resiny hop flavor, and it finishes crisp and clean. There are subtle but clear hints of citrus and fruit notes - mainly pineapple and tangerine. It finishes with a slight tinge of alcohol, but you won't notice you're drinking an 8% beer.

If you want to learn more, check out my full Heady Topper beer review.

What percent alcohol is Heady Topper?

Heady Topper  is 8% ABV (alcohol by volume), but drinks much more easily than that. 

How hard is it to get Heady Topper?

It’s pretty difficult to get Heady Topper. This is because The Alchemist purposely keeps production relatively limited for quality control (and to keep demand high), and they also have a relatively small distribution footprint. Those factors combined with not shipping directly to consumers means it’s hard to get Heady Topper unless you visit the brewery or live near it.

Over time, The Alchemist has expanded distribution to a few select regions, but it remains a challenge to find outside these areas.

The brewery typically produces Heady Topper in weekly batches. However, that doesn't mean it's always easy to find on store shelves. With such a devoted following, cans of Heady Topper tend to fly off the shelves soon after they hit the stores. Being in the right place at the right time becomes a crucial part of the quest. 

heady topper the alchemist

How can I get Heady Topper?

The easiest way to get Heady Topper is to visit the brewery. They have it on tap and in cans in the taproom, and you can also order online for curbside pickup. Outside of that, check out nearby craft beer retailers, taprooms, and bars in areas where Heady Topper is distributed.

Keep an eye on the brewery's social media profiles and website. Do the same for retailers that carry Heady to see when they get fresh shipments. 

If that’s not in the cards for you, you can turn to beer trading. Trading enables people from different regions to exchange their local craft beers, giving everyone a chance to experience unique or hard to find beers like Heady Topper.

Can I buy Heady Topper online?

Yes and no. You can order for curbside pickup directly from The Alchemist's website, but they do not ship Heady Topper directly to consumers. Some small, local retailers may have online stores that ship Heady Topper directly to consumers, but shipping restrictions (and the fast that it’s in such high demand) mean it’s rare to find it. 

Where is Heady Topper distributed?

Heady Topper is primarily available around the brewery in Stowe and throughout Vermont. They have slowly entered some new markets, but the distribution footprint remains small. 

heady and focal cans

Why is Heady Topper so popular?

Heady Topper’s consistently high rankings (often sitting at the number one ranked double IPA in the world) combined with its general exclusivity and reputation in the craft beer community make it one of the most popular beers in the world. 


Heady Topper is one of the most popular beers in the world, and for good reason. It's amazingly consistent, delicious, highly-rated, and hard to find. Is it a bit over-hyped? Maybe. But it’s still on most beer drinkers’ bucket list, and is a right of passage for craft beer enthusiasts.