TRP visited Hill Farmstead Brewery in August of 2012. When visiting the brewery keep in mind that North Greensboro, VT is a bit out the way and the brewery itself is off the beaten path. In fact this was only time we have ever had to take a dirt road to visit a brewery. There is reason however for the location and put simply it is about family tradition. The Hills have inhabited this small plot of Vermont since the 1760′s. Eight generations of Hills worked the land until a 1978 when a fire burned down the farm barn and the family couldn’t maintain the dairy farm anymore.
Enter Shaun Hill, who decided to bring the land back to prominence by setting up a small brewing operation on it in 2010. Shaun had been brewing since his teenage years and spent time working at nearby breweries and even had a stint making beer overseas in Denmark. Hill Farmstead Brewery has quickly made a name for itself by creating some uniquely balanced beers that are highly sought after. To honor the family heritage Shaun names most of his beers after family members. Edward (his grandfather) is their flagship pale ale and Abner (great grand father) is their double IPA. The land is such a part of the brewery that Shaun uses the family well as the water source for his beer.
The brewery and taproom inhabit a small section of the barn like structure Shaun built for the brewery. We visited on a Wednesday not realizing that since they are closed on Monday and Tuesday there would be a big rush of people. In and out they came tasting samples, filling growlers, and exchanging kegs. All the while Shaun was brewing a batch of Edward while taking breaks to manage the music.
This was one of the more unique breweries we have visited and the scenery was beautiful. I loved Edward and Abner and Maria really enjoyed Everett, the house porter. If you ever find yourself driving between Portland, ME and Burlington, VT I would recommend you take the detour to North Greensboro and try what they have on tap, because not much of it gets out of the state.