Hill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro, VT

Hill Farmstead Brewery – Founded 2010

Hill FarmsteadIf you follow my blog, Facebook page or Twitter account you know I am a huge fan of Shaun Hill and Hill Farmstead. I make regular trips to Greensboro and it is truly one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up in a small town in Maine and currently living and raising my   family in an even smaller town in Maine I enjoy the woods far more than the city. This is only one of the reasons I love going to Hill Farmstead.

In addition to being in the middle of no where Vermont Shaun has hired some great people to work at the brewery. During my many visits to Hill Farmstead I have gotten to know Shaun and the rest of the crew at Hill Farmstead quite well and they are some of the nicest people you will meet. Hanging out with all of them at the various events, having growlers filled and chatting at a picnic table while enjoying samples, great times all around.

Getting there – 403 Hill Rd – Greensboro, VT

The drive from my home in Western Maine to Hill Farmstead Hill Farmstead Parkingis three house almost exactly. For me the drive is an enjoyable one with most of it on Routes 2 from Bethel, Maine all the way to Vermont. Views of the White Mountains including Mount Washington and almost no traffic make for a very relaxing three hours. If you need directions on how to get there click the link above or use your GPS. The directions are spot on and will deliver you directly to the brewery, please don’t call the brewery and ask, plan ahead and know where you are going.

The last portion of the trip includes well maintained dirt roads but be prepared if you are going in the winter or spring for some snow or mud covered roads. There is ample parking at the brewery and expect a line. The doors open at 12:00 but I have been there at 10:00 with people already waiting. I have also been there at 3:00 and found no lines at all, you never know so plan on a 60-90 minute wait during the week and 2 hours on the weekend.

The Brewery

Hill Farmstead’s expansion is basically complete and the brewery is entirely different now than it was when I started going. Phase one was complete in the fall of 2013 and phase two Hill Farmstead Retailwas just completed with the new tasting room opening in October 2015. The expansion included a new BrauKon brewhouse which is just beautiful. Hill posted several pictures of the brewery are on their Facebook Page. The expansion increased the overall square footage of the building by about 5 times. The first phase included a new retail area moving it out of the same room that houses the brew house but still in the same structure. The second phase of the expansion will moved the retail area again. There is much more room inside now and less of a chance you will be stuck outside while waiting.

The Retail Area

I often visit the brewery during the week so most of the time I am traveling by myself. While waiting in line I chat with the others that made the trip. People come from all parts of the US to visit Hill Farmstead and because they are less than an hour from Canada you often find people from Quebec waiting in line with you. With the new retail space you most likely will be waiting inside once the doors open at noon. Take some time to look around and appreciate the woodwork that Shaun’s brother Darren did during the construction, amazing work by a talented woodworker.

Prior to the expansion growler fills were limited to 3 or 5 depending on how busy they were but the days of unlimited growler fills have returned. This is good news for those that like to share.

hill orderIt appears they have stopped offering samples of the beer in flights and now allow you to purchase a single full pour of one of the beers they have on tap. In addition to increasing the number of growler fills they have significantly increased the variety of bottles and the bottle limits with most of their “normal” saisons being a 2 case limit. Barrel aged or special beers now have a much smaller limit to help make the bottles last beyond the first couple of days. Their website is always up to date and you can find all of the details here.

Hill Farmstead Retail Website

Hill Farmstead now accepts; Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Vermont allows breweries to fill growlers from other breweries which Hill Farmstead does. They did recently update their growler policy; only amber growlers (no clear or stainless steel) and only the standard 64 ounce, 2L or 750 ml growlers. No German style growlers or funky shaped bottles as they simply do not fit under their taps. You can read the entire growler policy here.

Events

When I started going to Hill Farmstead in 2012 they had 3 events per year at the brewery. Their Anniversary Party on Memorial Day Weekend, Festival of Farmhouse Ales during the summer and their Harvest Festival in the fall. I was fortunate to get tickets to several of these events as they sell out fast. The events were some of the best times ImageI have ever had drinking beer; a couple hundred beer people standing outside under tents drinking world class beer from Hill Farmstead and a slew of other breweries.

Shaun also brings in local food vendors giving you many great options to help soak up the beer. The events also included a bottle release (or several) so you always left with some great beer. In 2013 they decided not to have the Harvest Festival and in 2014 the Anniversary Event was moved to three bars in Waterbury due to construction. If there is another event at Hill Farmstead after the construction is complete do yourself a favor and try to get tickets.

The Beer

While there are a lot of breweries that do one thing well Hill Farmstead seems to do everything well. They are best known for their hoppy beers (growlers only) but they also make amazing saisons and have an extensive barrel aging program producing some excellent beers and occasional releases of brett fermented beers.

All of their hoppy beer; pale ales, IPAs and DIPAs are only available in growlers to ensure freshness. You may also see some beers under the Grassroots Brewing name. This is the name used for collaboration beers brewed with Shaun. The label art is usually very similar to Hill Farmstead bottles and you will still get the same quality beer.

At this point I have reviewed 50 different beers from Hill Farmstead/Grassroots Brewing and that does not include the 50+ beers I have in my cellar and the many one offs I have enjoyed at their events.

Reviews of beer can be found here;

Hill Farmstead Abner

Abner

Double IPA

★★★★
Hill Farmstead Amarillo

Amarillo Single Hop Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Anna

Anna

Honey Saison

hill-farmstead-art

Art

Wine Barrel Aged Saison

Hill Farmstead Arthur

Arthur

Saison

hill-farmstead-vic-secret-dh-arthur

Arthur Dry Hopped Segal Ranch Cascade

Saison

Hill Famstead Biere de Norma

Biere De Norma

Bier de Garde

Grassroots Brother Soigne

Brother Soigne
(Grassroots Brewing)

Saison

Hill Farmstead Cascade Pale Ale

Cascade Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Citra

Citra Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience 15

Civil Disobedience #15

 
Hill Farmstead Conduct of Life #1

Conduct of Life #1

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Dorothy

Dorothy

Farmhouse Pale Ale

hill-farmstead-barrel-aged-dorothy

Dorothy (Barrel Aged)

Wine Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Double Citra

Double Citra

Double IPA

★★★★
Hiill Farmstead Double Galaxy

Double Galaxy

Double IPA

★★★★
Hill Farmstead E

E.

Saison

 

Hill Farmstead Earl

Earl

Oatmeal Coffee Stout

Hill Farmstead Edith

Edith

Black Saison

Edward

Edward

Pale Ale

★★★★
Hill Farmstead Elaborative

Elaborative One

Wild Ale

hill-farmstead-elaborative-four

Elaborative Four

Saison

Hill Farmstead Ephraim

Ephraim

Double IPA

★★★★★
Everett

Everett

Porter

Hill Farmstead Excursions 1

Excursions #1

IPA

 
Hill Farmstead Excursions #3

Excursions #3

IPA

Hill Farmstead Excursions #5

Excursions #5

IPA

Hill Farmstead Flora

Flora

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison

hill-farmstead-flora-blueberry

Flora Blue / Black

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Blueberries & Black Currants

hill-farmstead-flora-blue-black-raspberry

Flora Blue / Black / Raspberry

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Blueberries, Black Currants & Raspberries

hill-farmstead-flora-blue-black

Flora Blueberry

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Blueberries

hill-farmstead-flora-cherry

Flora Cherry

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Cherries

hill-farmstead-flora-cuvee

Flora Cuvee

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison

hill-farmstead-flora-peaches-pears

Flora Peach / Pear

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Peaches & Pears

hill-farmstead-flora-satsuma

Flora Plum

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Plums

hill-farmstead-flora-satsuma

Flora Satsuma

Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Saison Aged on Satsuma Mandarins

Florence

Florence

Wheat Saison

Hill Farmstead Foster

Foster

Black Wheat IPA

Hill Farmstead Galaxy

Galaxy Pale Ale

Pale Ale

★★★★☆
Hill Farmstead George

George

Brown Ale

★★★☆
Harlan

Harlan

IPA

Hill Farmstead Holger Danske

Holger Danske

Smoked Beer

★★★☆
hill-farmstead-hygge

Hygge

Hoppy Red Ale

★★★☆
Hill Farmstead James

James

Black Ale

★★★★☆
Hill Farmstead Juicy

Juicy

Saison

hill-farmstead-karma-emulsion

Karma Emulsion

Pale Ale

Grassroots Legitamacy

Legitimacy IPA
(Grassroots Brewing)

IPA

Life Without Principle 3

Life without Principle #3

Blonde Ale

Hill Farmstead Madness & Solitude

Madness & Solitude

Barrel Aged Imperial IPA

Hill Farmstead Mary

Mary

German Style Pilsener

Hill Farmstead Mosaic Pale Ale

Mosaic Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Motueka Pale Ale

Motueka Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Nelson Sauvin

Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale

Pale Ale

hill-farmstead-of-first-last-things

Of First and Last Things

IPA

Hill Farmstead Riwaka

Riwaka Pale Ale

Pale Ale

★★★☆
hill-farmstead-self-reliance-1

Self Reliance #1

Pale Ale

★★★★
Grassroots Shadow Pictures

Shadow Pictures
of a Journey
(Grassroots Brewing)

Double IPA

hill-farmstead-shirley-mae

Shirley Mae

American Porter

 

Hill Farmstead Simcoe Pale Ale

Simcoe Single Hop

Pale Ale

★★★★☆
Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #1

Society & Solitude #1

Double IPA

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #2

Society & Solitude #2

Imperial Black IPA

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude 3

Society & Solitude #3

Double IPA

Society and Solitude #4

Society & Solitude #4

Double IPA

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #5

Society & Solitude #5

Double IPA

★★★★
hill-farmstead-society-solitude-6

Society & Solitude #6

Double IPA


Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #7

Society & Solitude #7

Double IPA

hill-farmstead-society-solitude-8

Society & Solitude #8

Double IPA

Hill Farmstead Song of Joy

Song of Joy

IPL

hill-farmstead-sumner

Sumner

Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Susan

Susan

IPA

★★★★☆
 Hill Farmstead Vera Mae

Vera Mae

Honey/Dandelion Saison

 
Hill Farmstead Walden

Walden

Blonde Ale

☆
Enlghtenment

What is Enlightenment

Pale Ale

★★★★
Grassroots Brewing Wheat is the new Hops

Wheat is the New Hops
(Grassroots Brewing)

Brett IPA

☆
hill-farmstead-works-of-lover-anchorage-brewing

Works of Love Anchorage

Wild Ale

hill-farmstead-works-of-love-thereiz

Works of Love Brasserie Thiriez

Saison

Hill Farmstead Works of Love

Works of Love
(Earl Grey Tea)

Blonde Ale

The Bottom Line

There is no question Hill Farmstead is one of the best breweries in the world and if you have not made the trip to Greensboro Vermont than what are you waiting for. Find some friends and schedule a trip. Trust me you will enjoy your time in Vermont.

The Pics

Below are a bunch of pics, mostly crappy cell phone pics, of the brewery over the years I have been visiting. You can see the significant change to the brewery during the construction and some photos from the events held over the years.

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One Response to Hill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro, VT

  1. Rob says:

    Nice write up, thanks! When you say line, how long do you mean? A friend has offered to pick me up some Hill beer but I don’t want to send her to a long wait, too much of a favor to ask. Thanks!

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