403 Hill Rd, Greensboro Bend, VT 05842
Retail shop, special events
Hill Farmstead brews superior beer and has been a major factor in establishing northern Vermont as a top beer destination. Innovation, contribution to the craft and overall international leadership place Hill Farmstead at the top of the brewing community.
Most of the beer is named for a family “ancestor” who scratched out a living in Greensboro, Vermont. Let me assure you, NONE of them could have imagined the kind of money the family scion is rolling in here at the end of the known world. Ancestors such as Abner, an Imperial pale ale; ABV 8.0 / IBU 170 (theoretical), Edith, a Dark saison; ABV 6.0, or Edward, an American pale ale; ABV 5.2 / IBU 85 top the list.
Let me assure you, were Edith alive today she would probably have a spell of the vapors if she saw people lined up with fist fulls of cash at this otherwise cold and dreary corner of New England.
That fact alone should tell you how good this beer is.
Hill Farmstead is nowhere near anything else, yet people drive in circles to find it. There aren’t too many craft beers that are good enough to warrant such enthusiasm and dedication, but this stuff is.
Owned and operated by Shaun Hill, a Vermont native and apparent individualist who just happens to be regarded as perhaps the finest brewer on the planet.
The beer is available at regional pubs and restaurants on draft only; bottles and growlers are offered exclusively at the brewery. The Farmstead is miles from nowhere, with no signs to point the thirsty. Quality is second to none — demand is high. Locals serve as beer mules for moneyed buyers in distant cities.
Add it all up, and you’ve got a recipe for just about the quirkiest beer buying experience imaginable.
Wild stories of Bostonians lost in Vermont, who finally find their way up a bombed out dirt road where a neglected farmhouse awaits with a two hour line of people waiting to buy beer, are true. This is the place.
You’ve either got to be prepared for it — suck it up, enjoy the experience — or don’t do it. Chances are you’ll meet some wonderful people who will make the time fly by. On the other hand you might be stuck next to someone who is thoroughly cranky and will make the wait seem endless. The growlers clink, the line crawls, and the indescribable goodness of Hill Farmstead awaits.
Make sure they’re open the day you go, and read the growler rules before you head out.
Update: Hill Farmstead has built a new tasting room, so we’re pleased to report that lines are nowhere near as long as they were. It’s a much more pleasurable experience, albeit still quirky and the only way to explain it is that the beer is about the best there is.