Hill Farmstead / Grassroots at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

Just wanted to send a huge shoutout to the folks at Farmhouse Tap and Grill for putting together such a great Hill Farmstead/Grassroots event last week. The crowds were well managed, the tap list was amazing (I’m always looking for an excuse to drink vintage Hill Farmstead, especially on draft, without dipping into my cellar) and the food selection was top notch as always (that lamb burger!!!).

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Guild Fine Meats | Burlington, VT

Got the chance to grab lunch up at Guild Fine Meats on one of my monthly trips up to Vermont. I’ve been very impressed with The Farmhouse Tap & Grill in the past so I was excited to check out another one of The Farmhouse Group’s restaurants.

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Lunch at Lost Nation Brewery | Morristown, VT

After one of my last beer runs up to Hill Farmstead I was looking for someplace new to hit for eats. Lost Nation is located just about halfway in between Greensboro and Waterbury, and after having their Gose several times on tap at many of the local Vermont bars and eateries it was a no brainer to make this one of my stops.

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Vermont Camping: July 2013 Edition

Vermont Balloon and Craft Festival

Just a short couple of days in Vermont on our last trip but we made the most of it while we could. We stayed at Elise’s favorite state park, Mount Philo, again and lucked out with the weather the whole weekend.

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Vermont Beer and Food Day Trip

My buddy Richard (of Fourteen Stone fame) has never really done Vermont before so with Elaborative One and Prolegomena still on shelves and the lottery for the Festival of Farmhouse Ales live at Hill Farmstead I figured it was a great opportunity to give him the grand tour (or as much as we could cover in the day) of the Green Mountain State. Follow us along, won’t you?

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Lunch at Worthy Burger

Worthy Burger

The Worthy Burger topped with egg, caramelized onions, bacon and bleu cheese.

Worthy Burger, located in a old freight house alongside the railroad tracks in South Royalton, VT has been on my radar for awhile now. The premise behind owners Dave Brodrick of Blind Tiger fame (which has a cult-like following in the craft beer community) Jason Merrill and Kurt Lessard’s business is simple: pair wood fire grilled grass fed burgers with locally source Vermont ingredients and homemade condiments, with a side of beef tallow fries all for a reasonable price. Top that off with a great selection of craft beer from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Hill Farmstead and other Vermont and New England breweries and you have a sure winner on your hands.
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Yup, looks like I went to Hill Farmstead this week.

And this is a day later after we got some precipitation today, too.

Another Thursday, another trip up to Greensboro, VT. This time with Pig Destroyer Jon and Mike from Fourteen Stone in tow.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Biere de Norma was released this week.  It’s Hill Farmstead’s Biere de Mars, and something I got to try unfinished back in January when I picked beers for the Gang Bang Beer It Forward #3 packing party. It was tasty as hell back then and I knew I had to come back up to grab it when it went on sale, even if it was only a one bottle limit per person.
Hill Farmstead Biere de Norma
A trip to Hill Farmstead isn’t complete without doing a tasting. It was pretty much a given due to the wait anyway. I’m sure the lines were even worse today with the inevitable running out of Norma. Even still, it’s a good opportunity to sip on something you haven’t had yet to see if you want a growler or not, such as Society and Solitude #6.
Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #6
I’m pretty much floored every time I try one of Hill Farmstead’s DIPAs and S&S6 was no different. The mosaic hops hit you with a ton of citrus and tropical fruits, all while hiding the ABV and like all of their DIPAs, drinkable as hell. I followed that up with some Fear and Trembling, which I’m sure is amazing if you liked smoke beers but is are definitely not my thing, although the barrel aged versions of this are insanely good.
Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling
Shaun came over and poured me a taste of their unnamed Flanders Red, a beer that surely still has a bit of time to mature and is already one best tasting Flanders I’ve ever had; can’t wait for that one. I rounded the rest of the tasters up with Harlan and another shot at S&S6 because it was so damn tasty I just needed another sip, while running into and chatting with some great beer geeks I knew from MA, VT, CT, NH, and even NJ.

Naturally our next stop was to The Alchemist (with a slight detour to go find some Vermont Smoke and Cure pepperoni and real sticks).

Heady Topper Logo

Nothing wrong with seeing this sign…

We did a few tasters and grabbed a couple of cases of beer.
Heady Topper Sample
And I picked up this ridiculously amazing Heady Topper work shirt. Look for the fat Asian wearing this at a beer festival nearest you.
Heady Topper Work Shirt
We grabbed a quick lunch at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Full post on that to come. On our way home, since we were passing it anyway, we stopped at Fiddleheads.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Love this sign. What more does one man need?

Fiddlehead Brewing Coompany
We tried the beers that were on tap, including the lager, biere de mars, and IPA. Pretty stiff competition compared to The Alchemist and Hill Farmstead. The beers were very approachable to someone just getting into craft beer, but definitely needed to be a little over the top for us.

I did check out the new Vermont Brewery Tour cards and as you can see, there are quite a few more breweries since I started mine. Craft beer in Vermont is getting big!

We headed home to split up our spoils. Until next time…

Quick Lunch at Three Penny Taproom

Hill Farmstead Arthur at Three Penny Taproom
Last month Team New England got together to pack our boxes to ship off to our target team, and before we got together I wanted to make a run to grab some great VT beer to include in our box, and also get a few Hill Farmstead growlers filled to treat the guys while we were hard at work wrapping our bottles and packing the boxes for shipping. Now I’ve done a quite a bit on my frequent trips to Vermont over the past year or so, from The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, the Lawson’s Farmer’s Market, and the Bobcat Cafe, to the Blackback Pub, Prohibition Pig, Hen of the Wood, and Farmhouse Tap and Grill. This is a pretty respectable amount of places to go on your quest for VT craft beer, but there has been one place on my radar that has always escaped me: Three Penny Taproom. I have no idea what’s taken me so long to get there. Montpelier is not that far out of the way and I’ve even made a few stops through as I’ve done beer runs to Hunger Mountain Co-op, so I really have no excuse. Three Penny Taproom After walking in and bellying up to the bar, I started my meal with a healthy pour of Hill Farmstead’s Arthur and pork liver pâté, served with sweet onion jam on toast. In the past I wouldn’t normally order liver, but I’ve been getting a little more adventurous with offal ever since the Hill Farmstead Dinner at Armsby Abbey and the Offal Dinner at The Meat House. This was a great starter overall but the onion jam was absolutely decadent. Pate at Three Penny TaproomThe burger is served on a house-made bun and available with a rotating selection of toppings. Both the burger and the thick-cut bacon was cooked to perfection (I prefer bacon to have plenty of flex and a little fat to chew) and the house made pickles killed it, reminding me I need to get off my ass and can some more for Chez Fuj. The bun was a little more dense than I prefer on a burger but there was no doubt there was a lot of thought and effort put into its creation. Burger at Three Penny TaproomMost of the beers I had just seen while doing growler fills at Hill Farmstead were also on tap at Three Penny, along with plenty of other great beer from other breweries in the Northeast including fresh cans from The Alchemist, Smuttynose, Allagash and Mystic Brewery. With this many great beers on tap, and even some ciders and mead available, you should definitely consider this a great place to stop for those of you making the pilgrimage up to The Hill.

Scott Kerner of Three Penny Taproom

One of the three owners of Three Penny Taproom, Scott Kerner.

One of the owners, Scott Kerner, was manning the bar that day and it was great to see him in action. He was attentive, quick with suggestions (although I’m not sure if the guy who ordered a Guinness but received several Old Rasputins through my stay instead knew what was in store for him) and had such positive enthusiasm about his bar and the entire craft beer scene. And he knew the name of just about every person who walked in the door, including my own. The time we had to chat was by far too short, but I walked away completely impressed with Scott’s passion for his craft and the humble way he talked about business. Three Penny Taproom has been on Draft Mag’s Top 100 for several years now, has earned praise from The Boston Globe to many local Vermont publications and has quite the following of beer nerds on both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer, often touted as a must-stop location and one of the best bars in the nation. It deserves this praise. The small amount of time I spent at Three Penny Taproom did not do it justice, as this is the type of place to grab a spot at the bar, chat with the bar staff, split a few snacks, and strike up a conversation with a local sitting on the bar stool next to you while lingering over more than a few great craft beers. Next time.