- Courtesy of the Alchemist
- Eric Greenberg oversees assembly of the Alchemist's new beer pavilion
Heady Topper fans, rejoice! The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors' Center at 100 Cottage Club Road in Stowe will open its first-ever beer garden on July 1, serving full cans of its popular brews for on-site, outdoor consumption.
The beer garden's large roped-off area will accommodate about 100 people at a time at a dozen picnic tables spread across the lawn under sail shades, Alchemist cofounder and CEO Jen Kimmich said. Cans of beer, wine and soft drinks will be sold from a new pavilion, along with light snacks.
The brewery will also invite customers to "pack in, pack out" picnics from local businesses. "We want to ease into it," Kimmich said. "And we don't want to compete with our local restaurants, delis and stores right now."
A two-drink-per-person limit will encourage responsible consumption. Curbside pickup of cans to-go — the brewery's only mode of operation during the pandemic — will continue through the summer. Twice-daily brewery tours will resume in July, with reservations and proof of vaccination required.
The brewery will continue to sell full cans for on-premises consumption when it reopens indoors in the fall, rather than offer free samples. Next spring, it will add a four-season awning space as part of a small expansion.
"When we first opened here in 2016, we were so busy that we decided we would just pour free samples and keep the traffic going," Kimmich said. "Since then, we've had so many people ask for a space where they can enjoy the brewery and have a full beer. We want to be inviting to our visitors, but our goal is to create a space where locals want to come."