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Making the drive from PA to VT in March. Help me plan!!!

Discussion in 'New England' started by PetieP, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. PetieP

    PetieP Aficionado (210) Pennsylvania Apr 27, 2011 Verified

    Hey guys! Im heading north the weekend of March 17th, Sunday thru Tuesday. My original plan was centered around Hill Farmstead, but I've found they are not open any effing day I will be there. SO, new plans need to be made, seeing as the wife and I would still like to visit the area. I'll most likely hunker down in Waterbury for the duration and check out Alchemist and Ben and Jerry's (totally tourist, im sure).

    So I come to you for advice. Can anyone give me suggestions as to good places to stay? Good taprooms, pubs, breweries or eateries I should make sure to visit? Any other local must-sees? On top of that, is Hill Farmstead sold anywhere besides the brewery? Do I have any chance to bring some home? Should I still plan on spending way more on beer than anyone should? Do these boots go with these pants? Thanks so much for any info you give. Hoping to make the trip a blast!
  2. Number45forever

    Number45forever Savant (400) Vermont Jan 6, 2012 Verified

    My advice: bring lots of cash and change your plans so that you're here on a day HF is open. You don't want to drive 10 hours or whatever it is to Vermont looking for beer advice and choose the three days of the week when HF is closed. HF is worth adjusting your schedule if at all possible.

    As far as stuff to do, read some of the many Vermont threads here. In Waterbury, I suggest Hen of the Wood for food and of course Prohibition Pig and Blackback. For outside of Waterbury, Burlington is great and I'd highly recommend the Worthy Burger in South Royalton (about an hour from Waterbury). Worthy Burger is just fantastic burgers, fries and beer. Tonight they had six HF beers...gloating at me from their facebook page, with me stuck at work tonight. Sadness. WB is a farm to table place, awesome food.

    Also, you'll be very lucky to see any Lawson's or HF beers in stores. HF especially...they just don't distribute much, if anything. Hit the Alchemist on Monday (a canning day) and you can get up to 3 cases of Heady. Ben and Jerry's is about a 1/2 mile from the Alchemist, and dammit, it's not a bad time. Ice cream is good.

    Enjoy Vermont!
    brikelly likes this.
  3. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (660) California Aug 26, 2009 Verified

    If you can change your days at all to include a day that HF is open then you really should do it. You'll definitely have an opportunity to get plenty on tap in Waterbury, but having some to take home is nice as well. In Waterbury you can hit up The Blackback Pub, Prohibition Pig, and The Reservoir. They're all within eyesight of each other and each will be sure to please with delicious beer and food. I can't recommend a place to stay because I'm usually only there for day visits or staying with friends but other BA's will chime in.

    As for other local must-sees... Go SKIING!!! Stowe and Sugarbush offer some of the best skiing east of the Mississippi (Mad River Glen too in a good snow year). If you don't know how then take a lesson. Mid-March is often the best time of year to ski because it offers the best combination of snow conditions and comfortable temps.
  4. mklisz

    mklisz Champion (850) New Hampshire Dec 31, 2010 Verified

    I would recommend staying at the Old Stagecoach Inn in downtown Waterbury. B&B style and a ~2 minute walk to the beer spots mentioned above.
  5. PetieP

    PetieP Aficionado (210) Pennsylvania Apr 27, 2011 Verified

    Awesome tips so far, guys. I know the schedule sucks, but my days off are Mon/Tuesday, and I have prior arrangements Saturday, which is bringing me to CT. Thats what made me decide to go, seeing as it will take me almost half way there anyway. I figure if its good, Ill plan a trip up for Hill Farmsteads 3rd Anniv in May.
    And skiing is out, due to my having knees resembling those of a 95 year old woman. But hell, ski slopes have lodges, yeah?
    Monday is probably the main day of mulling around, so its good to know Alchemist cans on that day. Thatll work out perfect.
  6. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Savant (260) Pennsylvania Dec 11, 2007

    When I visited this past summer the liquor store in Stowe had a few bottles of HF stuff as well as cases of Heady and a great beer selection of non VT stuff. You can check there if you strike out in other places. I can vouche for the Stagecoach Inn being a great place to stay too.
  7. Waterbury gets a lot of well-deserved attention, but the coolest thing about VT (IMO) is that there's great beer everywhere you go. In Montpelier, for example, 3 Penny Taproom is wicked good, and everyone knows it's wicked good. And right across the street is the Skinny Pancake--a crepe place that happens commonly to have Hill Farmstead and Lawson's on tap and Heady in cans. Who knew? Then there's Positive Pie in Plainfield, which is on a side road in a small town with no traffic lights, and which happens to have a taplist that would have people lining up in Philadelphia.

    My point is that yes, I think you should make plans for a couple of must-visit places, then just spend some time stopping into places in towns like Montpelier, Plainfield, Hardwick, etc., and be pleasantly surprised by what you find...
    youbrewidrink likes this.
  8. seplo

    seplo Savant (490) Connecticut Sep 8, 2009 Verified

    I hope your stop in CT includes a trip to NEBCo in New Haven. A new batch of Gandhi-Bot will be ready Friday.....CHEERS
  9. If you're driving through Rhode Island, hit Track 84 for a pint. That normally have an awesome selection, prices are reasonable and they are 5 minutes off of I-95.
  10. Number45forever

    Number45forever Savant (400) Vermont Jan 6, 2012 Verified

  11. +1 for the prohibition big, and bring your own growlers to save money
  12. Positive pie is pretty great and I would say comparable to Parker Pie in Glover. Plainfield has by far the best taplist and Hardwick has the best pizza. I've never seen HF on tap in Montp, meanwhile Hardwick may have 1-2 taps but frequently runs out and Plainfield always has two or more plus a good taplist beyond that as well. +Pie Plainfield is a great place to get HF on tap on your way back to I-89 if you don't want to go all the way to Waterbury or into downtown Montp for Three Penny