Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Three Penny Taproom

Log in or Sign up to start rating.

65 Reviews
Three Penny TaproomThree Penny Taproom

Type: Bar, Eatery

108 Main St
Montpelier, Vermont, 05602-2906
United States

(802) 223-8277 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by threepenny on 05-18-2009

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 181
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

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!

 952 characters

Photo of KBrennan1000
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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.

 982 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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.

 692 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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!

 882 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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!!

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


 2,066 characters

Photo of scottg
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

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.

 1,335 characters

Photo of mnrider
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here when I was visiting a friend. He suggested we try this place out. The place was a little small but I don't mind that at all. Nothing really special with the decor or anything like that. The beer selection was excellent. I think around twenty taps and a large selection of bottles too. There's a little bit of every style of beer. What really impressed me was the glass selection for each style of brew you choose. The bartender was very knowledgeable and friendly. The food selection was small, but it looked like there was a lot of interesting things to try. The prices seamed a little high, but I reckon for the styles of beer and how most of them had ABV's over 8% It's fair. I would definitely go to this place again.


 743 characters

Photo of ElGallo
4.24/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I stopped in back in mid-September with fellow BA madrivervt. It was a brief visit, but I had Houblon Chouffe and Aventinus on tap (both exceptional), and he had a 90 Minute IPA and the Southern Tier Hoppe (also both on tap). I can agree with others that the decor is very simple, but this place is relatively new, still figuring things out, and personally I go to beer bars for beer, not ambience, but the point others have made is valid.

Scott, one of the owners, was tending bar the day we went, and he is very friendly and very knowledgable about all the beers they sell. I actually have to give this guy some props: I travel to Vermont a lot on business, and several years ago I met Scott when he was still tending bar at The Black Door (also a great Montpelier destination). He introduced me to Delirium Tremens, Allagash Black, and Ommegang Rare Vos at a time when I thought Redhook was the high end of the spectrum. He was among the few who set me down the right path to great beer.

Anyway, the bar has appropriate glassware for all of their beers (taps and bottles), and the food selection (while small) looked pretty good.

By the time we left the place was packed and had a good vibe going. Montpelier is a great town, and it's nice that it can now boast this type of establishment.

 1,295 characters

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

After all of the high praise I was expecting something great. I was disappointed.

We stopped by early on a Saturday evening for a couple of pints and a bite. There were only half a dozen patrons sitting at the bar. It took the bartender about five minutes to ask what we would like and then there little or no personality involved.

As others had previously stated the beer menu is outstanding, but absolutely no welcoming atmosphere whatsoever. Even the other patrons were not very sociable.

I doubt we will return, we enjoy good beer in a freindly setting and this did not have it.

Edit: I have returned here a number of times, If Wes, Scott or Joel are around the service is usually outstanding. If Jason is working forget it, he was just as bad the last time as he was the first time I stopped here.

The food was definitely more to my liking as of late.

 862 characters

Photo of soccerman7
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Having just moved to VT, I was truly floored to find a place in the middle of Vermont that not only has quality beers, but truly cares on how they are served. Went to a few other places before walking into Three Penny and was expecting a large selection of VT brews and the usual New England Regionals.

What I found was a very clean, attractive long bar with around 20 drafts ranging from Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace (huge hit), their own Three Penny IPA brewed for them (good) to barrel aged Allagash and a 20 bottle selection with a few ciders and lambics. The selections seemed very across the board with no real style favored which was nice. What really floored me is that the bar has a FULL set of proper glass wear for each offering: Snifters, Goblets, Pints, Flutes, and stems. The bartender was very smooth handling a crowd of about 20, with no real wait for a refill or different beer.

On a return visit, found that on thursdays they have a cask offering served from a hand pull. (Allagash Tripel served in a flute)

Bottom line this place is worth the trip by all means and so far the best pub I have found in VT.

 1,129 characters

Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

You'll recall that all I wanted out of my '06 trip to Burlington was breakfast in Winooski, and wound up eating at the crappy attached hotel restaurant both mornings (under protest). Whatever. Up for a whim weekend now, Marvie's been called, Flatbread's had, the brewpubs three seen & sampled accordingly, and now Saturday morning, opting for the so easily accessible counter space at Sneakers. Had the Bird Special; blueberry goddamn pancakes, eggs scrambled, rye toast, hash browns, traded up the sausage for more bacon, I feel, I feel, well, sleepy, yes, but I'm a very happy kid, and out. Making's for a great day...

We know the Alchemist is selfishly closed for renovations (fuckers), and Ben wanted to go to the Shed, which we did, and was ass. Backtrack to Cabot to woof cheese, score some chocs for Bethy and licorice for me from the place across the parking lot, and then hit Ben & Jerry's house for a "Goodbye, yellow brickle road" cone (crazy good), and okay, can we get back on beer track? Montpelier (a town whose name I cannot pronounce no matter how I try), a bit down the highway, parked & walked and oh, there it is, mixed in with the sidewalk strip scene.

New smelling, wide plank laminate topped "L" shaped bar seating 13 on backless stools (somewhere, Randy is grimacing), with a lip and a place below for my feets. 10 taps on a copper tower aged & tarnished on the bar, plus 2 stand ups with 3 apiece down the way a bit; glassware stacked in between and past there. Shelving on the bar back, booze & wine along the top, glassware below. Adjacent bar counter with stool seating as such, and another in the front window, seating for a trio. Yellow painted walls and some brown trim around the front window, checkerboard black & white floorings, silver pressed tin ceiling with lighting on the spinny fans and strung cords running small spots. A pair of large framed logoed mirrors over the bar counter, some light brewery signage & mirrors riddled about, a large flatscreen above the barback and another over the door in the corner. A shotglass holds a flower of purple on the tap tower front center, more in a Bali mason jar on the bar back, and something pussy willowish on the bar counter. 3 Vertical blackboards, 2 of which lift drafts, the third listing wines (Red & White, 3 of each), plus a pretty impressive bottled list (PBR, Ballatine, Miller, Miller High Life), soon to change up to great imports & craft, Scott describing their intentions there. Another vertical board sits to the rear listing tapas items (local pickled eggs, chorizo, tamari roasted almonds, and a single cheese).

16 taps; about 1/3 of them Belgian or in style (Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, Maredsous 8, McChouffe, Delirium Tremens, Unibroue Trois Pistoles), and the other 2/3 craft, in-state (Switchback Roasted Red Ale, Rock Art Belvidere Double IPA, Three Penny Revenge Black IPA, their house beer brewed by the Shed), regional (Pennichuck Pozharnik Espresso RIS, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA, Stoudts Gold), and beyond (Flying Dog Gonzo, North Coast Brother Thelonious, Stone Old Guardian). Started with the Three Penny Revenge Black IPA, which was excellent, much better than anything we had at the Shed just an hour before, that's for sure. Funny how the Shed's best beer wasn't at the Shed. And something else, tried a taste of the Penni', no, too much, the Rock Art, no, just no, and then the Switchback Roasted Red Ale, yes, that'll do, it was actually quite tasty.

We've been talking beer, good beer, with these owners three, they get it; Wes (the counter of beans, we dealt him difficult trigonometry questions), Scott (the brewer, used to deal at the Shed some, didn't seem badly offended by my talking of smack about the place), and Matt (the traveler, having just done some time in Brooklyn, played downtown and Williamsburg proper). They do a good thing here.

Cool chill place, works well in this town. We've been listening to The Who, Live at Leeds, it's awesome. The other patrons get the extreme pleasure of listening to me sing "Tattoo" and "A Quick One". For free. Ben says the place is similar in look/décor to the Toronado, San Diego (there's no such place as California, it's a well known fact). Beer is fresh and they've got a good mix of taps. Bottled list soon and cask a-coming. Very good house, long overdue in this state. Pretty much makes up for the Alchemist being closed.

 4,454 characters

Photo of calsbeek
4.64/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Ok, so i was very skeptical that there could be a bar with an A+ rating in Vermont. Having lived here for three years and finally realizing that the only good beer bar in the State is the Alchemist (a nanobrewery that makes fantastic beer but doesn't carry commercial stuff) I had all but given up.

Last night, I had a complete change of heart. When two guys who are sick of having crappy beer statewide decided to rectify the situation by opening their own beer bar, you get a bar like ThreePenny.

Awesome. very good beer (and its clear that they're pushing the Vermont distributors to go to greater lengths for even more good beer). Very knowledgeable guys behind the bar. So unbelievably friendly and welcoming.

this will be my new goto bar (though its still 35 minutes from home).

 789 characters

Photo of Forsurity
4.95/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

If you're in Montpelier or the surrounding area, go to the Threepenny...

great beers, great selection and it's constantly revolving...the owners are the guys behind the bar and they're the ones bringing the beer in...

The place is designed as a beer haven, nothing out of place and nothing unneeded...just straight up good beer for people who respect good beer...

I'm going back as often as I can...and they're inclusion on Facebook (can I say that here?) let's you know what's upcoming and new so it gives a great excuse to get out...

overall, cheers...

 558 characters

Photo of duchessedubourg
4.22/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Finally got to stop in on my way home from Memorial Day weekend in Maine. Have been avoiding it until the Legislature adjourned and the town had settled back down. I suspect this is the new place in town for our legislators who like good beer (aside from the Black Door) because wow, do they ever deliver selection-wise!

I was there on Memorial Day Monday at 4pm and the place was quiet, with a few locals hanging out. Up on the board were 12 of the nicest imports/domestic draughts I've seen since a trip to the Dirty Truth in MA. At least a dozen fine bottles too. All high-end, many high-gravity, and all desirable. Nothing locally-brewed was on - yet. Appropriate glassware to go with...kind of. I had an Ommegang Red (tap-only tart Flemish Red) served in a Piraat tulip. The barkeep is one of the partners and he was very pleasant and knowledgable in terms of local beers, people & events. I asked for a plate of the cheese of the day - it happened to be one of my faves - Ploughgate's "Hartwell," a nice local take on a camembert. It was too cold though - he pulled it right out of the cooler but it was an ample portion for $6 and I sliced it up to get it warmed up quicker. It came with some fresh, thinly-sliced baguette.

I ordered an Allagash Curieux for my next choice - it came in a Dogfish Head Snifter - and it was too cold, so I coddled it in my hands for a bit. Great with the cheese, once both were a little warmer! I asked if the Pennichuck Pozharnik was still on, but the barkeep said they were holding some back to age and serve later. Kudos for that and not serving everything ASAP just to get it out of the kegs to make room.

Although I'm closer geographically to Alchemist & Flatbread, this will be my taproom of choice for special trips beyond my usual commute. The room is long, narrow and plain, but nice bar, very high ceilings & comfy stools more than compensate. Isn't swanky, romantic, or hip - it pretty much gets the job done with little fanfare of showcasing some great beers, nice snacks, and a local feel. I appreciate that they post each beer's ABV on the board so you can plan your session accordingly. Most reminds me of the Moan & Dove in Amherst, MA. In other words - it's all about the beers, baby! I hope they stick around.

 2,270 characters

Photo of unbalancedbuds
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

was up in vermont a few weeks ago, staying at a buddy's house in waitsfield. he likes to frequent the langdon cafe which is down the block from the three penny taproom. while we were in the cafe drinking wolavers and switchbacks, my two buddy's and myself were talking about good beers and the guy behind the counter over heard us and told us about the three penny taproom. so we had to go.

walking into the three penny taproom room, it was very pleasant looking place, with its wood bar, long chalk boards listing the beer-with their origin and abv, and the nice line up of taps. and the place is very very clean. has about a dozen stools at the bar and a couple of window seats.

on tap they had approximately 15-20 beers dont really remember the exact number. they had a great mix of craft imports, american crafts which were regional and national. my one friend had a delirium tremens, my other friend had a smuttynose star island single and i had a pennichuck porter (never heard of it before, it was great).

the bartender was very courteous and seemed to know what he was talking about. there was also a couple of other guys sitting at the bar who knew their stuff about beers too.

not too sure about food here, didnt try anything, cause we only stayed for one due to the fact we had a couple at langdon. but it looked like a there was a small kitchen in the back and a chalk board which had pickled eggs on it and something else.

very pleased i visited this place and to be the first one to review it. place is great, i highly recommend it and if im in the area again ill definitely go...

 1,602 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, VT
4.55 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!