Magic Hat Brews Up a Locals-Only Line

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VT-Only Series Beacons a New Generation of Magic Hat Beers

Magic Hat Brewing Company is Vermont born and bred, dreaming up small-batch, exceptional elixirs to delight residents and keep flatlanders longing for the Green Mountain lifestyle since the early days of craft beer. And while the cast and crew of Magic Hat have always happily shared their beers far and wide, this year they are keeping a little something special behind the curtain for local enjoyment only. The Vermont-Only Pilot Batch Series, new for 2017, is unveiling some of the brewery’s most exciting concoctions exclusively in its home state.

Magic Hat has partnered with 20 of Vermont’s top beer bars to introduce a limited quantity of these unique and innovative new brews, and thirsty locals can only get a taste of the beers at one of the partner locations or at the Magic Hat Artifactory. Each bar receives just one keg each, the result of a five-barrel brew system located in the center of the Magic Hat brewery and designed specifically for innovation.

“When it comes down to it, we wanted to have some fun with our pilot brew system and share the result with our home community,” said Chris Rockwood, head brewer at Magic Hat. “Magic Hat has released more than one hundred unique recipes since opening its doors in 1994 and it’s incredibly gratifying to know that the beers released in this series sit atop the list of our most highly rated beers.”

As part of the program, a new beer will be introduced each month, with three already tapped: Taken for Granite, an American IPA; Laughing Stock, a double IPA; and the Local Rocker, a saison. Pouring now is the new Fancy Grade, a maple doppelbock that gives a nod to the state’s spring ritual, maple sugaring.

The VT-Only program started as an in-house pet project, with the Magic Hat brewing team crafting up off-the-wall beers for a friendly, internal competition. When the results led to a whole slew of new favorites, they knew it was too good not to share. And while graduates of the program (aka, the best of the best) may make it to national distribution at some point, the testing grounds will remain at home.

Up next, Rockwood and the rest of the team will continue to up the ante on Vermont’s favorite new beer program, including such delicious eccentricities as a switchel-inspired brew, a smoked lager, and more to be unveiled soon.

For more information on the VT-Only Pilot Batch program and a list of tap locations, visit

Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center®

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Ben Gilbert
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