Good beer starts with clean water, according to the producers of the world`s greatest beer

The Alchemist Brewery in Vermont has 3 of the top 250 beers in the world, according to

Heady Topper sits at the number 2 spot and the beer brand’s website sales sprouted after the brewery was forced to stop on-premise sales because crowds were blocking roadways to the brewery. The website’s stated goal was “democratizing the hunt for the most elusive beer in the world.” It listed delivery routes for each day of the week.

The brand became so popular that it was reported that one family flew their private jet from South Africa just for some Heady Topper beers.

I understand now, why Vermonters take their water quality issues so seriously. It’s all about the beer.

Good beer starts with clean water

Vermont’s agriculture is under the “water quality” microscope. Agriculture needs to implement reductions in nutrient loading as outlined in TMDLs for Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, and Long Island Sound. There’s almost no part of the state that’s not covered by a TMDL.

According to, the Clean Water Act, passed in 2015 by the Vermont Legislature, provides funding to make water quality improvements on farms, while also requiring management practices to reduce agricultural runoff. The bill tasked the Agency of Agriculture to revise the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), which require farms of all sizes to maintain perennial vegetated buffers adjacent to surface waters and ditches in annually cropped fields. In addition, all field-borne gully erosion will have to be addressed with grassed waterways, strip and contour cropping, filter strips, or other agronomic practices. Both of these regulatory changes require an increase in filter strips, grassed waterways and other conservation practice implementation on all farms in Vermont. The Vermont Seeding and Filter Strip Program (6 V.S.A. § 4900) established the financial assistance to incentivize and compensate farmers for establishing and maintaining harvestable perennial vegetated grassed waterways and filter strips on cropland where it is perpendicular and adjacent to surface waters.