Originally posted on 01/10/13 on the now defunct wearevt.com
Looking for something to do this weekend? One of my favorite things to do as a lover of all things craft beer is visit breweries. In Vermont we are lucky to have nearly 30 at last count, according to the Vermont Brewers Association. You don’t have to travel far to find one, no matter where you live in the 802. One of my 2013 resolutions is to visit the ones I haven’t been to as yet, might be a tall order since new breweries are opening up in the Green Mountain State all the time. I have been to about half of them thus far.
One of my favorites is Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, VT, a great day trip if heading from the Burlington area. It’s a little over an hour away from my home in Essex, and totally worth the trip. Hill Farmstead has taken the brewery world by storm, and is recognized by Ratebeer.com as the 6th best brewery in the world, and it is in our back yard. If you haven’t tried any of their beer, you are truly missing out. I keep waiting for them to make a “bad” or “just OK” beer and it has not happened. Everything Shaun touches is gold. He is a gifted brewer.
The brewery itself is located way off the beaten path, on a dirt road a couple miles off the main road (RT16). It is not hard to find, just look for the parade of out of state cars (especially if you head up on a Saturday where it can be quite busy as beer geeks make the pilgrimage north). They are open Wednesday through Saturday at noon. This is great place to visit, chat with staff and see the whole operation. Haven’t tried any of their beers? No problem, usually they offer samples. Generous pours 4 for $5 last time I was up. I recommend Twilight of the Idols if you visit during the winter. Also Edward, Susan, and Double Galaxy are favorites but the list changes often and all of his beers are quite good. They fill 2 different size growlers, prices usually range from $7 to $18 plus glassware. Often he has some of his beers bottled as well. Cash only, so don’t make the mistake of bringing plastic. You are miles away from an ATM. The staff is super friendly, relaxed, and happy to chat beer or answer any questions. If looking for a more personal experience hit them up on a weekday an avoid major bottle releases by keeping an eye on his website. The lines can get long from time to time so so early, and go often.
After the visit, head north on 16 towards Canada to West Glover and get lunch (or dinner) at Parker Pie Company, another hidden gem with a great draft list, and super tasty food. A very unique place, I highly recommend it.