Hill Farmstead Brewery
Active Beers: 69
Beer Ratings: 17,970
Beer Avg: 4.35
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 7 | Show All Ratings:
4.81/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I had a long drive from the Burlington area, made longer by the missing road signs and the lack of GPS. as well as the company of my Alzheimer's-ridden great aunt. After my third time asking directions (splitting the difference between the a gas station attendant and a postal worker on delivery, who both offered visions of wildly disparate landmarks and a nonexistent street sign), and the dozenth time my great aunt asked where we were going and why, I took a chance on an unlabeled dirt road and eventually found my way to the brewery.
The location was under construction- expanding as a nod to the attention and demand they've been receiving as of late. The service was quick and friendly, the employees both pleasant and knowledgeable. I went on a weekday, midday, and the longish (though by no means approaching anything resembling some of the wait times others have mentioned during peak hours) line moved swiftly and efficiently.
The beer is unparalleled, in my (admittedly limited) experience. I picked up my and my great aunt's full allotment (3 growlers per person) to share with friends back in Burlington, in the hopes that they would one day repay the favor.
CASH ONLY - just as they require you to drive to them; they aren't here to make your life easy
GROWLERS ARE $10 - but are attractive and well-designed
USE GPS if it's your first time
BRING A FRIEND - make an event out of the trip!
02-28-2014 00:52:17 | More by coolforcats
4.86/5 rDev +1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Hill Farmstead Brewery
A treasure trove of craft beer production and kinship. The pinnacle of the venture occurs when you turn from the evergreen lined rte 16 onto the class IV roads of Greensboro Bend. If you are a green plated driver, and you drive on Taylor Rd at the same speed you just came off 16 with, then you may be in for a surprise encountering other vehicles on the busiest road in Greensboro.
My favorite game to play in the parking lot is to see what the furthest distances traveled are, then wonder if anyone had a commute shorter than my 30 minute voyage.
The air is clean and quiet, broken by the clanking glass of empty growlers and boxes of bottles leaving the brewery. If you can catch them on a brew day, it is a cool reminder to see the work in progress that makes hundreds of people each day make the pilgrimage. The selection changes almost weekly, following the trend standards in the craft brewing industry. Lots of excellently balanced pale ales and IPAs, an occasional stout or porter, and some rare gems in bottles.
I say that the value is a bit pricey from the viewpoint of a college student who spends a fair portion of their low income at HFB. I am not speaking from the viewpoint of an economic libertarian who thinks that the beer is overpriced, no. What HFB does is very hard work, and they are damn good at it. A single trip is only as expensive as you wish to make it. Do I spend a lot of $ here? Oh yeah.
If you're one who has mastered the virtue of patience, then a trip to Hill Farmstead is for you. Expect long drives, long lines, long waits, long hair, long beards, and beer that you can never get enough of.
02-23-2014 02:27:47 | More by KingdomBobcat
4.25/5 rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I have been to HF many times. The beer is fantastic (they probably make the best beer of any single brewery). The people behind the desk are always nice, although they could use faster/more efficient methods of serving customers. There is always a line, and people waiting for beer must wait in the line, this is as opposed to many other breweries that let you place your order and then wait for your number to be called, which I much prefer.
The tasters while in line are great and make the line go by quickly. The beer isn't cheap, but it's worth the money in my opinion.
The main sour taste in my mouth with the brewery's service was left due to a bottle release, where I was repeatedly told by HF employees that due to my place in line, I would be able to buy bottles, only to be next in line and told they were sold out. But that's the risk with these things, it has just taught me not to listen to employees in these situations, as they aren't always correct. I would have hoped they would error on the side of caution though, rather than the other way, having 50 people waste their time.
02-20-2014 18:49:30 | More by Resuin
4.63/5 rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
There is a reason I drive four plus hours and stand in line for a couple more , simply put it's the beers . I have been able to try twenty or so of their beers in all different styles and all have wowed me .You can tell there is a lot of pride and craftsmanship put into each one of their beers, every aspect of each brew is perfectly balanced .I have been there several times during construction and can't wait to see it at its completion .I feel lucky to be within driving distance of hill farmstead it is a true beer Mecca and worth the trip from anywhere .
02-09-2014 13:30:47 | More by shehateme
2.49/5 rDev -48.2%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
Despite making great beers, my overall feelings on this brewery were abysmal based on my experience visiting. The atmosphere is like no other brewery I've visited. The location is a rectangle with a roped off square in the middle, a "bar" in the back, and a walkway. There is a single tall table in the roped off area, so patrons have no way to relax and enjoy their drinks and instead they are made to feel like cattle while they stand around drinking their rations. The staff was very short and didn't seem interested in serving the crowd. Additionally, despite being in the middle of nowhere, the brewery is cash only. Considering they sell merchandise and bottled beers ranging up to $30, this is simply unacceptable. The whole experience left me with a poor taste in my mouth. The beer? Fantastic. However, if anyone asks me about the Hill Farmstead, I very quickly reply, "F*** that place."
02-08-2014 17:06:25 | More by one800higgins
4.26/5 rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | $$
I've been visiting the brewery essentially since they opened, and I just recently paid a visit to check out the new place. So here are my thoughts.
The brewery itself is top-notch, and the quality of the facility upgrade is super. You really can't beat the experience of going to the Hill, driving out to the middle of nowhere, in beautiful Vermont, to find yourself at the little farm with the beer that everybody wants. And they have all the room in the world, making their festivals easy to maneuver, without bumping into too many people (at least once you're out of the line). The reason I give such a low rating for atmosphere is this. Despite all the upgrades and everything, nothing really has changed. Now, this is preliminary, because I don't know what the future holds, but at first revisit, really, nothing is different from the old set-up, and I was shocked to see this. The first time I went to HF, I walked in with no problem, had some samples, bought my goods, and left happy. Years go by, hype builds, and now it has gotten to the point where no matter what day or what time it is, you're going to be waiting in a god-awful line to get your beer. Maybe some people don't mind that, but the situation has pretty much gotten out of hand, and it was my thought that this upgrade was going to cure that. But instead, there's still the same two people filling growlers from the same slow taps, and if you take your spot in a line of 20 people, you're going to be waiting 1-2 hours or even more. No efficiency, I guess is the issue here. And it's not my place to tell them how to run their business, but there has to be a solution, and as of yet, they haven't found it, and don't seem to be trying, since no matter what, people are going to wait in line for their three growlers, and possibly get back in line and wait another 2 hours for another 3 growlers, repeat and repeat again. Pre-filled growlers? Faster taps? More taps? I don't know, but there must be an answer, and again, it's not my place to dictate that whatsoever. I've been to over 100 breweries now, large and small, and I don't think I've seen any other with a setup that makes their own beer so inaccessible relative to their clientele.
As for the beer, Mr. Hill is truly one of the greatest brewers on the East Coast, if not in the country, if not in the world. So it's not like quality is lacking here. There's a reason that people will unconditionally stand in this line, even if there isn't a "special" release going on. The brew line up is always changing, and the beers are always extremely good. There's a selection of about 8 or so on tap, and bottles randomly pop up for limited sales as well.
The staff is strict, but friendly and of course knowledgeable. While you're waiting in your 2+ hour line, a staff member will take orders for your 4-taster sampler, to be enjoyed one at a time. Going back to the atmosphere factor, there's really no way to sit and enjoy your beer here, and that's what makes the experience so much less pleasant for me than at other breweries, which have expedited their efficiency and customer service long ago. I say, why go to the brewery, when you can go to a bar that they distribute to, sit down, and have a nice enjoyable session with the beer? As opposed to knocking elbows with your neighbor while trying to pick up the complexities in your little 6oz. glass as the minutes and hours tick away.
Don't get me wrong, I have no intentions of stopping my treks to HF, and I recommend it to anyone. It's worth going out of the way for just for the bottles alone. But one thing I've done for the last time is: standing in that line for a growler fill. It just makes no sense to me. See you in Waterbury or Burlington with a full pour at the bar.
PS - BRING CASH. No credit, no checks, and there are no ATMs anywhere for miles. CASH ONLY!
PPS - Usually bottles of 3F Golden Blend and Bruery Oude Tart available for sale as well.
02-04-2014 02:29:42 | More by Rifugium
4.78/5 rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This review is for when I was up at the brewery in late November 2013.
Atmosphere- not going to lie, the remote setting of this brewery adds a lot to the atmosphere. Standing outside of it and looking at the mountains on a sunny day when its just starting to snow- it's amazing. Plus the brewery itself- you're waiting in line inside the brewery with tanks and barrels and everything. It's very cool, plus I was able to strike up conversations with people before and after me. Plus they had just resumed tastings, which was $5 for 4 taster glasses, which added a bit more appreciation to the whole experience. Plus, hey this is Hill Farmstead, where else do you have a brewer like Shaun Hill walking past you and grinning at you?
Quality- It's a brewery, and a well-kept one at that too. Clean and a well-run operation. I guess growler fills shouldn't take so long, but there are a lot of groups with 20 growlers, etc. that line up so I can understand that. They do their best to keep the line moving. And well, the beers speak for themselves. Again, you can pay $5 for 4 taster glasses worth of different beers they have on tap. Where else can you drink the likes of Everett, Susan, Abner, Edward - all world class beers in their styles- while waiting in line?
Service- Everyone was very nice, cordial and they obviously have a system going. The people working the taps know what they're doing.. no surprise given the amount of visitors they get. The lady working the line for the tasters was efficient and quick. They gave you a small sheet of paper with the numbers 1-6 on them, corresponding to what's on tap. And she would check it off every time you ordered a new taster (again, $5 for 4 tasters). It's a good system and adds to the experience.
Selection- Seriously? You have to ask that? This is Hill Farmstead and any one of their six taps would rival the best in the style. Plus the bottles available are usually excellent though variable depending on when you go.
Value- Considering the quality of their beers, the price they ask is ridiculously underpriced. $10 for a 750ml of Brother Soigné? Yes please. $8 for a 500ml of Everett? I'll take it all. And of course, the growlers are great values for the pale ales that Shaun makes, which I consider to be in the highest echelon of pale ales.
01-29-2014 04:31:17 | More by Stevedore
Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, VT
100 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.