Andrew: I’ve been taking as many beercations and going to as many beer events as I can this summer before the baby comes (in only a couple months!). It started in mid-June with Savor, then The Festival, a beer share for my birthday and now the BBz conquered the greatest beer state on the East Coast: Vermont. We only had one day, so we had to plan it out with precision, which isn’t always easy to stick to after drinking beer. This post will be dedicated to our first stop: Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, VT.
We left NYC at 9am, avoided a major traffic jam thanks to Beverly (the name Eric has for his many incarnations of his GPS device), and arrived at Hill Farmstead around 3pm. I’ve seen photos of the brewery online, but had no idea how small the operation really is (see photo above). It’s also really isolated—you have to travel on some dirt and gravel roads to get to it and for a few minutes we thought Beverly led us astray. Upon arriving, we walked up to their outside tasting area and had tastes of their amazing brews: Florence, Walden, Edward, and Society & Solitude #5 (4 tasters for $5).
The Florence is a farmhouse saison with great tartness and yeasty funk. The Walden is a hoppy blonde ale that has an unbelievable hoppy aroma, but isn’t bitter at all—so smooth and light, I could drink this all day long. It also turns out (after reading Hill Farmstead’s website) that Walden is a collaboration with John Kimmich, the genius behind The Alchemist’s Heady Topper (which we would visit an hour later on our trip). The Edward is one of Hill Farmstead’s signature pale ales. It’s very hop-forward, with great orange and grapefruit citrus with some bitterness that’s not overpowering. The Society & Solitude #5 Imperial IPA was probably my favorite of the tastings they offered. It is just so complex. Society & Solitude #5 has a much higher ABV than the Edward, but you don’t taste the difference in alcohol content at all. Super citrus—very grapefruity. There is definitely some tartness from the yeast used in this one that isn’t really noticeable at first but then lingers after swallowing.
We then ventured into the store and tank room to make some purchases. I was very excited to find that they had Abner on tap, which I’ve always wanted to try. This is another Imperial IPA and is super grapefruity and smooth like you can’t even taste alcohol at all. We decided to buy a growler of both the Florence and Abner to take home with us (which the BBz enjoyed together in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon). Then we decided to max out (6 bottles each) on the two bottles they had for sale: Clara and Everett. Clara is a farmhouse saison/gristte and Everett is a porter—I haven’t yet tried either of these but will follow up with a report once I do.
We later went to Prohibition Pig and Blackback in Waterbury and had both Edward and Society & Solitude #5 on tap again. It was nice having larger servings to really let the beer open up a little to taste the subtleties.
Eric: The craziest part about the first leg of our journey was how amazing Beverly’s detour was. The second craziest was how remote this brewery is. I figured it would be 10 minutes off the highway, and you know, on a ROAD. And with only four big metal beer making thingees, it was also much smaller than I anticipated.
Because it’s so exclusive, we were anticipating having to wait in line. We’ve heard it gets as bad as 90 minutes. And after a 6 hour drive, we needed a beer injection immedietly. Luckily, there was no line at all, and it was a perfect day in the middle of nowhere.
I did the tastings in numerical order, and going from Florence to Edward really blew my mind. The first sip of Edward after the wheaty and funky Florence was the greatest sip of beer I’ve ever had in my life.
STAY TUNED for PART III of the BBz VT trip!
- The Best Beers and Pairings We Tried at Savor 2013 (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- The 20 Best Beer Towns In America (businessinsider.com)
- Field Trip – Blind Tasting (torontocraftbeer.wordpress.com)
- International Bittering Units (IBU’s) (randysveranda.com)
- A Very BrewBoyz Road Trip – Part I: The Itinerary (wheresthebeerny.wordpress.com)
- Andrew’s THE Festival Portland, ME Trip (wheresthebeerny.wordpress.com)
- Central California Coast Beer-cation 2013 (tobysbeerreviews.com)
- Andrew’s Beercation: THE Festival Portland, ME Trip (Part 2) (wheresthebeerny.wordpress.com)