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Three Penny Taproom

Not Rated.
Three Penny TaproomThree Penny Taproom
BA SCORE
100
world-class

114 Ratings
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.64
pDev: 6.03%
Taps: 24
Bottles: 10
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

108 Main St
Montpelier, Vermont, 05602-2906
United States
phone: (802) 223-8277

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @threepennytap

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: threepenny on 05-18-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Digimaika2
4.3/5  rDev -7.3%

Was in Montpelier for a weekday afternoon back in mid-July 2011, and decided to stop in after hearing good things.

Long and narrow room with an equally long bar that reminded me of an old barbershop for whatever reason. Pretty packed for a weekday afternoon but we managed to find two free stools against the wall. Atmosphere gave out a pretty good vibe with a relaxed and laid back feel. Bartenders were pleasant and efficient from what I remember.

Impressive tap list with quality local VT selections, popular and more rarer american offerings, and great belgian selections. Definitely had more harder-to-find offerings, especially for the area, which really made this place stand out for me. Prices seemed in-line with a more rarer product line for the area.

If I lived in Montpelier I would be at this place frequently - Great little gem in central Vermont.

Digimaika2, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of WanderingFool
4.36/5  rDev -6%

Went to Montpelier recently to visit some friends and grabbed a couple of beers at the Three Penny Taproom.

The night we were there wasn't too crowded and we found some stools on the back wall. The bar is a long rectangular room with the stools along the wall and bar. Plenty of standing room and no loud music or TV drowning out conversations.

Near the front of the bar is a large chalkboard with the various tap offerings. It took a couple minutes to read all they had and make a decision on one of the delicious beers. The night I was there they had some Hill Farmstead Edward and James, Stone 15th Anniversary and a Belgian Sour (forget which one) on tap. Three Penny also has an IPA specially brewed for the bar at the Shed in Stowe.

Prices were fair for what we got. We were buying rounds so it was hard to tell if some pints cost more than others. Overall though we felt prices were similar to other locations.

The service was great. The bartender knew his beer and offered us additional pints when our glass started to run low.

We didn't get any food, but our friends say Three Penny only has some snack items on the menu.

Overall, we had a great time at Three Penny. They have an incredible tap selection with clean lines and properly poured beers in the correct serving glass. Unfortunately their bottle collection was destroyed in hurricane Irene. I'm looking forward to my next visit to Montpelier and a stop at Three Penny.

WanderingFool, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
4.33/5  rDev -6.7%

Lunchtime on a Tuesday strolling around a relatively quiet capital city waiting for the bar to open. Around 1pm, we enter with only 2 other customers at the bar. The old storefront and interior make it feel like an old time lunch counter, but the beer decor and taps tell a different story.

Each of the 24 selections are written on a chalkboard and range from great locals like Hill Farmstead and the Shed, to more known American and European crafts. Bottle list is no more after they lost a bunch of stock in a basement flood.

Food menu is minimalist but features great local sourced meat, cheese and produce. We had their fancied up grilled cheese with fried cheddar and an awesome pork belly sandwich. Service was friendly and welcoming like no other place I have visited recently.

This place is a gem of an establishment on all fronts and should not be missed when visiting Vermont.

rfgetz, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Chincino
4.55/5  rDev -1.9%

I had been very excited to visit the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, Vermont after all the good things I'd heard about it and I was not disappointed. This place is a hidden gem in Montpelier. It is located in a little strip next to a bookstore and I wonder if you'd notice it if you weren't looking for it.

The place is small and cozy and has a very welcoming atmosphere. It was filled with tourists such as ourselves and locals alike and was busy even at noontime on a Thursday afternoon. The place's decor included several bottles of rare beer and German Steins went across the top shelf by the door so there was plenty to look at. The place had games to offer if you feel like playing a game with your companions while having some beers.

The service was excellent and our bartender was very helpful and knowledgable about the beers.

The beer selection was very good and there were some rare beers on tap. I was able to try some Hill Farmstead beers including Abner and Edward and I also had a Saison from Sierra Nevada. This bar had Saison Dupont on tap as well.

We split a couple of appetizers and they were good. Everything was reasonably priced.

Great beer bar and I hope to go back again someday!

Chincino, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of dragonWhale
4.2/5  rDev -9.5%

Sauntered on down to the spot for tacos and delicious beers. Glad to see these guys essentially not breaking stride after getting the basement flooded earlier this year. The tacos were awesomely delicious. The bartenders were friendly with us as well as many of the other peoples. Not being very demanding on this trip, it was cool to just see how they interacting with their base. Bought a disc, a couple HF beers, some tacos, and just had a great mid-afternoon type of time with some good folks. The rest of the 20 or so taps besides the Hill Farmstead and the Shed/3P IPA was quite respectable. Big fan, looking forward to making it back there.

dragonWhale, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of mpwdoyle
4.8/5  rDev +3.4%

A whole lot of good beer packed in a very, very small bar. The Three Penny Taproom is small to me, but seems to fit in well with Montpelier (smallest capital in the US). Three Penny had several Hill Farmstead taps and other New England locals available. Prices seemed to be very reasonable. While I didn't see it anywhere in the open, they do carry cans of Heady Topper. Just ask for it, it's in the back!

If I ever get the pleasure of returning to Montpelier, I'll definitely come back to the Three Penny Taproom.

mpwdoyle, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of tigg924
4.55/5  rDev -1.9%

Finally got a chance to visit the Three Penny Taproom and now understand the hype. They are located in the middle of Montpelier. I went for lunch and the atmosphere was relaxed. There is a lot of beer memorabilia on the wall but it is a simplistic old time bar that stretches down the wall one side. Then there are stools and another flat table along the other wall. Very pleasant space. The service is amazing. Very friendly bar keep and kitchen staff. I had my two year old with me and they were super helpful to her which I appreciate. The food here is amazing and the salad was scrumptious. Why you come here though is the huge selection of beer. Something like 30 premium taps. There is a sign on the wall that states that they proudly do not serve and Budweiser products. They have three Hill Farmstead taps, so if you are in Vermont on a day when Hill is not open, stop here. Lots of Belgian offerings on tap too…and the prices are reasonable. I would stop here again in a heartbeat. I would live here if I was in the area. One of the nation’s best bars.

tigg924, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.65/5  rDev +0.2%

This stop was one of my best missteps ever. After doing the very touristy but interesting tour of Ben and Jerry's down the road in Waterbury, we tried to hit the Alchemist in town--not open until 3 or 4 pm. Without daylight burning we continued down the road and I used BA to find the next closest pub or bar for lunch--Three Penny Taproom sounded familiar (could be the monthly ad in BA mag, I guess), so we stopped.

Started with a DFH Burton Baton, and then went local with Hill Farmstead's Everett and Double Galaxy. Not bad for a lunch stop (thanks to my wife driving instead of drinking). Really would've been nice had our hotel been here overnight instead of the next stop. Oh well. Next time.

For lunch, we had a simple but amazing cheddar cheese sandwich, which may be the best cheese sandwich I've ever had. Just a spectacular fresh taste and done perfectly. Spent the rest of the trip lusting over local cheddar and never matched it.

If near (or not so near), stop. Next time I'm in Vermont, this is home base. And, all of this goodness is in spite of suffering a recent flood and rebuilding their bottle stock and business. Good luck to a truly great place in recovering from this set back.

FightingEntropy, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of djoucy
4.38/5  rDev -5.6%

I've been there with a few friends when passing through Vermont. We've stopped towards the end of the afternoon and there was already a fair amount of people in there.

I got one of their sandwich (pork) which was quite good. Their draft selection was respectable with many beers from outside of Vermont. They also hold a good local selection, including Hill Farmstead.

Service was great, the bartender was very chatty and it was interesting to discuss with him.

We sadly had to leave early but I would go back to this place anytime.

djoucy, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Chowdahead
4.16/5  rDev -10.3%

Had a two day business trip to Burlington and stopped in to grab a beer and check this place out on the drive over from Maine. Located right in downtown Montpelier, the bar was small but not too small with a few small tables up front.

Overall selection was nice with about 25 taps and more in bottles. I was there to sample some Hill Farmstead offerings and they did not disappoint with three different Hill Farmstead beers on draft (best selection of HF I found that week in VT outside of the HF brewery). The rest of the draft selections were solid but didn't blow me away but then again I'm used to Lion's Pride, Novare and Ebenezer's in Maine so I'm pretty spoiled.

Service was good, clientele seemed very laid back and every seat at the bar was taken despite the fact that it was a Monday afternoon.

Wish I had more time here but had to continue on my way to Burlington. Overall a very cool, VT beer bar that I would recommend to anyone in the area.

Chowdahead, May 02, 2011
Photo of berley31
4.83/5  rDev +4.1%

Recently made a pilgrimage here for three nights with my wife... we told ourselves that we were also going to Vermont for the skiing, but let's be honest here... it was for the beer.

The Three Penny is small, as other reviews have stated, but in a nice, welcoming, cozy way. It can get crowded at times, but I never felt at all claustrophobic or bounced around.

The tap list is fantastic... a perfect balance of locals (discovering Hill Farmstead on this trip was definitely one of the highlights), other Americans, plus imports from Belgium, Germany, and beyond.

The food menu changes daily. It could be several cheeses, a couple of sandwiches, and pistachios one day, and then tacos and the like another. Great, local ingredients make for some extremely tasty food that doesn't overfill.

But, the one area where this place really stands out is the service. I have never been to a bar where every single person I made contact with that worked there was so GENUINELY nice. Scott, Kevin, Matt and Wes are fantastic guys who are extremely passionate about what they do. You really couldn't ask for a nicer set of people.

It was depressing to leave after that third night. I wish this was my neighborhood bar! Well worth the 7.5+ hour drive... we will definitely be back.

berley31, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%

This is our kind of place, and should be your kind of place too.

We stopped in here after a lovely visit to the Montpelier Farmers' Market (Lawson's beer and great artisan cheese; how can you go wrong there?). Had to kill an hour or so since opening time on Saturday is 1pm (my only complaint) but the wait was well worth it.

The place looks like a converted luncheonette, though I am pretty sure it was a retail store in its most recent life. A long L-shaped bar on the right with a line of stools and a bar rail on the left. Very appealing and warm (in the welcoming sense; the staff had forgotten to turn on the heat so it was about 60 degrees when we arrived), we loved this place from the start.

The tap list is incredible. Had we been staying in town, rather than heading off to Maine, this would have been a long, long visit. 24 taps, all high quality, no bottles but who needs them with this tap list. Shed, Hill Farmstead, Cisco, you get the idea.

Food menu was small but inspired, featuring Vermont cheeses and stuff like cured jowl. Fun.

The highlight was meeting two of the owners (Scott and Matt(?) who were hanging out watching soccer. they were great, entertaining hosts.

Can't wait to stop back. What are you waiting for?

HV

sholland119, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of GatheringBrews
4.58/5  rDev -1.3%

Love this place. Dropped by on our way through town with a friend visiting from Washington, DC, and he enjoyed it, too.

Scott is a fantastic beer host at the taps, guiding us through a selection of beers with which we weren't familiar, smoothly and politely, all while clearly showing a passion and knowledge of beer.

It's a tidy little place right on the main drag in Montpelier and it has a nice, homey feel. Very comfortable atmosphere that seemed like a mix of locals and visitors. Loads of good stuff on tap, and good rotation.

GatheringBrews, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.36/5  rDev -6%

Finally made it to this Vermont "must visit" good beer hot spot, after what seems like about a half dozen recent visits to the Burlington general area. Simple set up, medium sized rectangular room. Bar to the right, a row of chairs along the wall to the left. That's pretty much it. Crunchy/friendly/down home/no frills Vermont feel/athmosphere

The draw is the beer. 24 taps and a mess of quality bottles. Hill Farmstead, Allagash, Shed, Trap, Omme, Sierra Nev. and a heap of other quality options. Loved the vibe, wish I could have stayed longer, wish I lived closer, I'm a regular here, no doubt, if a local...what higher praise is there?

Billolick, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of coachdonovan
4.05/5  rDev -12.7%

Stopped in shortly after they opened on a Saturday afternoon in early January. Doesn't look like much from the outside, as the the storefront just blends in with the other businesses on Main Street. Inside though, is a friendly local bar with not many frills but plenty of good beer.

Seating is bar stools only, both at the bar and around the outside of the one room. Breweriana (mostly new stuff) all around. Good music playing on the iPod; there is one TV. Taps listed on the large chalkboard included three from Hill Farmstead (Riwaka, Edward, Anna) and lots of others from VT. Beer list was a little too heavy on the Belgians/style for my taste, and aside from the HF I didn't really see anything that's hard to find elsewhere. Half-pints are available.

We'd planned to have lunch here so we were a little disappointed with the size of the menu, but actually the food was very good. There are just a few simple sandwiches along with cheese and/or charcuterie plates. We both really liked our sandwiches (ham&cheese, brie&apple) but you might be better off just snacking here and eating somewhere else before/after.

The sandwiches were just under $10; not bad but they don't come with fries or anything on the side. Our total was $45 for two sandwiches and four beers.

coachdonovan, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of TCassell1
4.65/5  rDev +0.2%

The place to stop if you are visiting Montpelier. I started coming to Three Penny the day the opened and haven't stopped since. Even when I have to leave town for several months at a time, I get thier email and see what they have coming up and I want to be back.

They have 23 taps that are poured by exceptional tenders. All of the staff has a wide knowledge of the beers thay are serving and can help you decide on one if you are having a difficult time navigating through the three chaulk boards.

Dont plan on having he same beers all of the time here either. The rotation of the drafts is exceptional. They do have some staples that are pretty much on on a regular basis, such as the Shed IPA, Old Rasputin, Allagash Curieux, and Hill Farmstead Edward. Other then that, they turn over as soon as they run out.

The food is great all though at times it can see a bit pricey. However, it is the only place in town to find sushi, and some of the best sushi I have had in my life.

Stop in, sit long, drink much.

TCassell1, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of spixley
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%

Three Penny is small, but their beer list is not. I'm always impressed with the number of beers on draft and the quality of the selection! A great place to grab a pint with friends, ask questions of the knowledgeable bartenders, or warm up on a cold winter day. A very small kitchen (note *very*) in the back puts out some small plates, so don't go if you're really hungry, but they do have some delicious cheeses and salumi that change fairly often. While there isn't much room in the bar itself (which can be a drag if you show up on a busy night and can't seem to find space at the bar or on the stools in the back and you have to do that awkward, lets stand in the middle of the room thing) I think this lends to the character of the joint. It feels very intimate and cozy, and I don't have to shout to my friend sitting next to me to be heard!

spixley, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of chiefmick
4.13/5  rDev -11%

I spent the last 2 weeks in VT and visited the Three Penny almost every day. It's not the biggest place so it only takes about 30 people or so to get really crowded. No tables, just a long bar. The beer selection is as good as I've ever seen, both tap and bottle. I can't even start to tell you all the selections, but it was outstanding. They had about 20 taps and another 40 bottles maybe. The high end beer though is pricey. Be prepared to spend $8 for the high end beer on tap. They have some pretty expensive bottles as well but some of the stuff was unique. My favorite was De Doulle Still Nacht ($9). They have a small sandwich type bar menu. It's rather eclectic and you'll need to ask about the types of meat in the sandwich. I had sandwiches 3 times though and was not disapppointed. Nothing fancy on the food, just sandwiches and some soup items. The bartenders were really knowledgable about the beer also. Overall, I like the place but watch your wallet.

chiefmick, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of bbenvenuti
4.94/5  rDev +6.5%

My parents live about 10 minutes away from the three penny tap room so I have been able to visit this place twice. Both trips were very enjoyable. The selection is quite good including several beers from Hillfarmstead (Edward, Ephram, Twilight of the Idols), along with a couple of the Woods beers from Cisco, and lots of other great choices. They do a great job keeping their web site up to date so you always know what to expect before you go. The service was great both times, they definitely know beer and are very passionate about their business. Prices are good for the beers they provide. Have not had a chance to try the food. The bar is on the small side and both my trips have been in the early evening so I am not sure how crammed it gets during their busy hours. Overall a great place that I would recommend to anyone who is in the area.

bbenvenuti, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.8/5  rDev +3.4%

Stopped in on a quick trip up to VT right as they opened with my brother and two cousins. Sat at the bar and we were quickly greeted by one of the best bartenders I have ever encountered (Scott). Rustic feel to the place, as it looks like they threw a bar in an old book store or something like that. 24 draft lines and full liquor bar. All HIGH quality drafts!! Had a couple of Hill Farmstead beers, including the new Holiday Porter and the Ephraim. Both were delicious. Also had a Trapp Family Helles and a Hitachino Nipponia (I believe, it was just tapped as we were sitting there). All fresh and very, very good. We did not try the food, but the menu consists of all local ingredients. Extremely friendly, local bar. Scott seemed to know everyone by name and everyone seemed real happy to be there. I would have stayed all night if we could have. Note to hipster beer bars in Boston and other places- service is important!! Can not wait to go back!

DrDogbeer, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of KBrennan1000
4.8/5  rDev +3.4%

Read about the Three Penny Taproom in a recent BA issue and decided to add it to the agenda on a New England brewery road trip. Amazing place, Scott was the best bartender I've ever encountered and I mean that sincerely. I would definitely go back in a heartbeat and become a regular if I didn't live 4 hours away. The selection wasn't the biggest I've seen but the variety was great and the quality of the beers was definitely high. Didn't get to try any of the food but I will next time I visit.

-UPDATE 8/12/12-
I stopped in the Three Penny again a week after their dining area opened up. Needless to say I was excited to try the food but at the same time nervous that it wouldn't be as good as I hoped. Turns out the food was fantastic. It seemed like everyone around us was saying how much they loved their food. I don't remember everything that we got but the duck pate' in particular was delicious. Have I mentioned how awesome Scott and Wes are? Everyone needs to go here.

KBrennan1000, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
4.3/5  rDev -7.3%

Made the trek for the first time tonight...and was not disappointed!

The tap list covers three chalk boards strung along the wall. Great offerings, mostly from US micros but also some imported brews (leaning Belgian). Didn't catch a look at the bottle list, though I suspect it's awesome too.

Tap examples: NC Old Rasputin (Nitro), Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Kaizer Rood 2008, Stone Old Guardian 2007, Allagash Curiuex, Farnum Hill Farmhouse Cider, Hill Farmstead Edward IPA, Ommegang BPA, Maredsous 10...and on and on.

The space is small and I could see it getting cramped on a Fri/Sat night, but it's absolutely worth the trip. This place will be nationally famous soon, I'm sure of it.

SFLpunk, May 07, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%

Came here for Montbeerlier for the first time. I have to say I was really blown away by the event & the bar itself. The taplist was 3 chalkboards full of beer, from Southern Tier Backburner to a 2008 Gravitation and a 2007 Old Guardian the list was exceptional. I came in with UA8 and checked it out and chatted with the bar tender and he was really knowledgeable and friendly.

The actual event had about 10 different casks outback with some super limited stuff (Otter Creek RIS aged with Port and double dry hopped ruination) and some solid standards (Lawson's Weiss-K, Stoudt's APA) on cask as well. The event price was a very good deal ($4 for a cup of limited cask beer, can't beat that). But their prices inside seemed a bit pricey to me, but being the only beer bar in the area it's justified. I really wish that they were a bit closer to Burlington so I could go more often!

kingcrowing, May 02, 2010
Photo of Bierman9
4.44/5  rDev -4.3%

Alewife and I stopped in here on 12APR10, just as they were opening. Easily found on Main St, Three Penny is situated on the ground level of a red, multistoried wooden building. A large Three Penny facade is located above an awning shading a large pubfront window. Entering the pub (formerly a womens clothing store), there are a few stools at the front window, then the pub runs long front to rear, about 15' x 65'. More stools line the length of the left wall, and the bar starts about 10' in from the front, elling out from the right wall and heading to the rear, where the WC and kitchen are located. The place is fairly bright, with a tin ceiling and some track lighting overhead. The walls are all yellowish/light yellowish, and the bar wood is a light, polished hue. The barback also holds bottles of various liquors, as well as many different styles and sizes of glassware, which is nice to see. Numerous bier placards, flags, logo signs and mirrors adorn the walls, along with selected TPT clothing for sale. Also on the walls, near the front of the bar, are three large blackboards listing the current draft offerings (including their ABV, place of origin and cost). Soft music filled the air, shifting between current rock offerings to classic stuff like The Beatles and Stones. The place had a rather comfy vibe, altogether. They had 22 biers on tap, from German Helles Lagers to US DIPAs to Belgian Strong Ales to... you get it. A nice lineup, and prices were fair, considering the types of biers offered, ranging from $5 to $8 per serving (12 to 16oz, varying). I had a Trapp Helles and a Three Penny IPA, while Alewife had 2 of the Brooklyn Dark Matter. Tasty stuff, it was. Chatted with one of the owners, and our bartender, Matt. Very knowledgable and pleasant. A former Shed brewer, his recipe was used for their eponymous IPA. Matt says he is looking into a second location, possibly Hanover, NH. Sounds good to us; otherwise, we'll be back to Montpelier when we can. Prosit!!

4.44
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 - $$

200

Bierman9, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of scottg
4.51/5  rDev -2.8%

Finally got the opportunity to make the trip to Montpelier to check this place out based on numerous reccomendations and it lived up to the hype. Finding the place was a bit tricky because we didn't write down the address and from across the street we didn't see the window below the large white awning with red and black stripes.

There is a long skinny room reminding me of a diner with the bar on your right and a counter top to the left and a smaller countertop near the front entrance with about 25 or so overall seats. There is a tin tile ceiling painted silver with yellow/green walls decorated with beer signs and lots of plants throughout. Two flat screen television with the NFL on.

There are 22 taps with one cask that gets tapped every thursday night, a full bar and wine list with 3 reds and 3 whites. The selection of beers on tap was great with a number of Belgians and great variety of styles all served in the appropriate glassware including some pretty rare stuff from $5-8. The bottle list wasn't huge but some great stuff on there, all relatively cheap.

Ryan was the bartender, awesome service- thanks man.

We were there on Sunday and the food menu consisted of some cold meats and cheeses, olives, and some cold vegetable dishes. Our next trip will be during the week to try the menu which looked interesting.

scottg, Nov 05, 2009
Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, VT
100 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.