Boston/Stowe/Monson 7/27-29

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by B_Horne, Jul 7, 2017.

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  1. B_Horne

    B_Horne Initiate (39) Jun 12, 2014 California

    Planning my first beer only trip. My Dad (who doesn't have any interest in beer) has offered to be my chauffeur. I only have one chance to do this right so I am asked for any input if you see issues or have suggestions with this plan.

    Day 1 Thursday 7/27

    We are taking a red-eye from Ca to Boston, we arrive at Logan International airport at 8am. We will rent a car and begin driving north (3 hours 34 minutes) to Hill Farmstead, arrive around 1pm. We will then drive west (57 minutes) to The Alchemist. I am not sure how long for lines at Hill Farmstead but I guess I will be at The Alchemist by 4-5pm? Once done there we need to find a place to sleep for the night in the Stowe/Montpelier area.

    Day 2 Friday 7/28

    Drive South (2 hours 26 minutes) to Monson (or Charlton depending on 2nd brewery situation) for Tree House. Not sure what time I need to be there since the official open time is 4pm. Once done at Tree house we head back towards Boston. Find a place to stay in Boston or perhaps outside the area to save some money. There is the option of going to the Boston/KC game at 7:05 if we get back in time.

    Day 3 Saturday 7/29

    No set structure for this day but I would like to visit Night Shift and one of the two Trillium locations. We fly out from Logan at 6pm.
    My plan is to ship the beer from Hill/Farm/Tree on either Fri/Sat and then put the beer from NS/Trillium in checked luggage.


    1) Where is my best bet to find all the shipping supplies I need along the way? Insulated shipping box, bubble wrap, tape...

    2) What time should try to be at Tree house (assuming only Monson is open)? Morning seems really open, anything along the way?

    3) How would you plan Day 3 in Boston (which Trillium location)?

    4) Any other input?

    Thank you to anyone willing to take the time to help direct me.
  2. Patsfan123

    Patsfan123 Initiate (0) May 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    For #3, Trillium Canton is 10x bigger than the Boston location and allows full pours. The Boston location is tiny, doesn't allow sampling/pours and only has street parking/paid lots. It's worth going to Trillium when they open as it fills up quickly. I went last Saturday and they had 19 beers on draft in the taproom in Canton. You can go to Nightshift after.
  3. Nichols33

    Nichols33 Poo-Bah (1,742) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Day 1: you shouldn't face long lines at Hill. Go in tap room, get a number for growlers. While waiting, enjoy some onsite offerings. After you get growlers filled and you are done enjoying onsite beers, head over to the bottle area and get your bottles. If you get there by 1, you'll be out by 3 and at Alchemist by 4. Lots of good places to stay in Stowe/Waterbury area. Cheap option is Best Western Waterbury/Stowe line. After Alchemist, hit Doc Ponds or The Bench for dinner and head to Blackback Pub or Pro Pig in Waterbury for awesome draft lists.

    Day 2: If still in Monson, they'll open early. So if you get there around 2, you'll be out before 5 and could make Sox game. Lots of places to hit on the way but most of them probably don't open until later. Look into River Roost, Foley Brothers (a little out of the way but if you have time.....), Worthy Burger, Armsby Abby.

    Day 3: if staying in the city, I'd say hit up Night Shift as soon as they open then go to the beer garden on the greenway to enjoy Trillium beers. Then walk over to Fort Point location to get your takeaway beer before your flight. Good eats at Row 34 right next door to Fort Point, but could be busy on a Saturday, and $$$.

    Shipping supplies can be had at any Fed Ex, UHaul location. Although I believe the styrofoam shippers are hard to come by in the area. Perhaps ordering online before hand would be best option.

    Enjoy the trip, sounds awesome.
  4. Colonel_Forbin

    Colonel_Forbin Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2016 Massachusetts

    Ok you do not want to miss Foam, I suggest going to Burlington and staying there for night. You can go to Fiddlehead and get cans, Farmhouse Grill to enjoy an amazing taplist and food, and Foam to get pours and bottles. I just got back from a VT Trip and Foam was by far the tastiest brews I had. If they have any of these on tap you need to get them...Watermelon Gose, Eternal Sunshine, Experimental Jet Set. Pretty much everything they make is fire.
  5. CAcker

    CAcker Initiate (168) Apr 16, 2012 California

    I'm doing a similar trip but flying to NYC driving to HF hopefully arrive by about 2pm, staying in Waterbury (Best Western) then on Friday do Mt Mansfield, hit Alchemist at open then head down towards Albany, via Burlington (and requisite breweries/shakesbury cider), to stay with family. Saturday hit Suarez Family in Hudson and get back to Brooklyn and my buddies natural wine bar opening/ family and friends party by the evening. I'm actually hoping to bring a bottle shipper to check bottles on the airplane both ways. Cheaper than shipping via UPS/USPS/FedEx.
  6. dbphoto04

    dbphoto04 Initiate (22) Nov 22, 2015 Massachusetts

    yea i would say day 1 should be hill>alchemist>burlington for the night.
  7. Patsfan123

    Patsfan123 Initiate (0) May 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    I'd hit up Common Roots in South Glens Falls on the Burlington > Albany route. Time APA is my favorite followed by Bright Light and then all their non IPA beers.
  8. CAcker

    CAcker Initiate (168) Apr 16, 2012 California

    I was trying to get there last year when I was out but it didn't fit into the schedule. Thanks for the reminder.
  9. B_Horne

    B_Horne Initiate (39) Jun 12, 2014 California

    Thanks for the replies so far. Staying the first night in Burlington will work, especially since Foam is open late and can be done after the Alchemist. Not sure if any of the places mentioned for day 2 will work if I want to make the game at 7:05, I will have to make a choice between the two. Still thinking about day 3 since both replies make sense.

    I am worried about the styrofoam shipping box, I know they are not normally in stock in my area (here in Ca) and I am a little concerned that I won't be able to find one along the way.
  10. Trio2shine

    Trio2shine Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2011 California

    If you lock down lodging for that last night you're there you can always have shippers delivered prior to your arrival. I've made it a practice of not checking baggage on my way out and then checking two shippers going home. Cheaper than shipping a full 12 bottle shipper and you're beer is there with you when you land and hasn't baked in a track driving across the country in the summer. Enjoy New England!
  11. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (278) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    The last thing I would want to do is drive to Trillium Canton after spending two days in a car. I'd just get cans at Fort Point and draft at the Trillium beer garden. Plus it is super quick to get to the airport from that area.
    If it were me I'd ditch Treehouse too and just have fun in the Fenway area(lots of good bars) and then go to the Red Sox game. Bar hopping around Fenway sounds preferable to standing in line for a few cans of beer when you can get as much as you could possibly
    LeRose and yuppiescum like this.
  12. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Initiate (47) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Monson is 90 mins from Boston on a good day, plus you will be waiting in line for at least an hour. (It's getting to be really bad.) Then there's parking, etc. Zero chance in hell of catching the sox game that night if you go out there.

    If it was me, I'd skip Treehouse and go to Deep Ellum or Lower Depths before the Sox game instead. You'll be having plenty of good IPA's on this trip. But if you want to spend it driving out to the middle of nowhere and waiting, don't let me stop you.
    LeRose and Justin42 like this.
  13. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (250) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    I would agree with kinopio and yuppiescum - Treehouse is going to ruin your day for 8-12 cans of beers. Their beers are good but the line will be awful and the yield is not worth it (especially if you have somewhere to be) on such a short trip. As also mentioned, Monson is not close and a Friday only will make it worse.

    I'd hit up a couple more VT locations (Burlington Beer Co, Fiddlehead, lunch in Waterbury or at Three Penny if you end up staying in Burlington, River Roost) on Friday on the way down to Boston.
  14. Jam23

    Jam23 Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2016 Massachusetts

    Red Sox games are like 4 hours long! Since this is a beer specific trip I would still hit up Treehouse and get your allotment, then just head into the game casually late. You'll probably be able to score less than face value tickets from stubhub or scalpers outside the park. I agree that you should get trillium cans at fort point and have a couple on tap at the trillium beer garden on the greenway.
    Larueminati likes this.
  15. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (229) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts

    To each his/her own, but I'd put spending a full evening at Fenway over getting a few cans of beer. Not to mention the stress of driving back into Boston with traffic, having to deal with expensive parking, etc. Take the estimates you see on Google Maps, folks on this forum, etc. with more than a few grains of salt when calculating how long it will take to get from Treehouse to sitting in your seat at Fenway park.
    LeRose and kinopio like this.
  16. Larueminati

    Larueminati Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2016 Massachusetts

    You can't make a NE trip and not stop at Treehouse.
    malfunxion and mrz200 like this.
  17. Jam23

    Jam23 Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2016 Massachusetts

    I hear you, but that's for us who live here and can get to treehouse another day. My thinking is he's coming here from California specifically for beer, posting for advice in a beer forum, and having people say to skip treehouse. That would be like one of us going to the south to try some of the best BBQ in the US and skipping one of the best restaurants to watch an Astros game!
    Larueminati likes this.
  18. HeavyDandtheGirls

    HeavyDandtheGirls Initiate (180) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts

    I agree I'd rather be at Fenway than in Monson, but I've had plenty of Tree House, and I've been to plenty of Sox games.

    How about trying to set up an in person trade for some TH? Sounds like you will have some VT goodies to offer up.
  19. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (278) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    If he bought just one 4 pack or 750 of every beer available at Hill Farmstead, Alchemist, Trillium and Night Shift he would already need 5+ suitcases/boxes. And then there is the issue of drinking a hundred or so hoppy beers while they are still fresh. Adding hours of driving/waiting on top of everything for a few more cans isn't worth it to miss out on a fun evening of bar hopping and a Sox game IMO.
    LeRose likes this.
  20. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (250) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    When there are so many great beer options here and he will have hit plenty of them before and after (many, many of which are comparable if not equal or better (gasp, I said it) to Treehouse) and he said his father is not here for the beer and Fenway is the coolest park in the US (Yankees fan saying that!) and his time is extremely limited (less than 72 hours) ... I think it is perfectly reasonable to not include Treehouse in the itinerary especially when the end game is getting to Boston that night (a nightmare of a drive on a Friday afternoon).
    LeRose and kinopio like this.
  21. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Initiate (47) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Maybe OP can just arrange a trade for some TH in the city on Saturday morning.
  22. Nichols33

    Nichols33 Poo-Bah (1,742) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    If he's there early enough on Friday (one of the first ~25 or so in line) and they open at 4 (probably earlier), he'll be out of there ~4:15 or earlier. It's not going to take 3 hours to get to Fenway. It won't be a fun ride for sure, especially after 495, but making game time shouldn't be an issue.
  23. B_Horne

    B_Horne Initiate (39) Jun 12, 2014 California

    I am not afraid of waiting in a line, I had a similar time crunch the day of the Moonraker anniversary party, I was there four hours early chatting with people I don't know so I was first in/first out. I have no problem getting to Tree house early so I am one of the first out the door. From a California perspective everyone would think I was crazy if I passed up going to Tree house for any other location or event. I also think there is a small chance that the second location opens during the next few week and this issue gets a whole lot more interesting.

    As far as bringing back beer I am going to have to be pretty selective when purchasing. I know we can check 2 bags coming back, maybe 4 but I would need to find the boxes to do that. The cost of bringing back beers gets a little rough if I have to pay $40 for an insulated box and $25 for each bag fee.
    jomobono likes this.
  24. vtcraft

    vtcraft Initiate (187) Apr 1, 2013 Vermont

    I'd work out a trade for some Hillfarm bottles or cali stuff. I know insulated boxes are ideal but what's wrong with regular boxes and a good packing Job. I've got plenty of shipping materials from trades that you can grab in Burlington vt, including a couple beat up styrofoam shippers if you want them
  25. mrz200

    mrz200 Initiate (122) Jul 11, 2013 Massachusetts

    definitely stay in Burlington on night 1, and definitely don't do trillium canton. hit the beer garden + fort point location = all set.

    just to further confuse may want to consider switching your Friday & Saturday around, only because Saturday's might be a pouring day at Tree House and while they might be low on packaged beer, the on-site consumption is a rare event that might be worth trying to catch considering your travel distance. you're coming home with great beer regardless, but having a pint or bottle on site is a cool thing. it's not every saturday, and it's only announced that morning, so it's a risk.

    but switching those days around also guarantee's you make the Sox game and gives you more time in Boston. Lamplighter is a short ride from Night Shift, Mystic, Trillium in downtown. etc.

    going out to Monson & back and making a 6pm flight might suck, but you can make it.

    100% agree with the HF visit & Monson visit being necessary as part of any NE visit. The breweries' locations are lovely (if you can look past the cars) and isn't the driving, waiting, and low allotments a part of the experience that confirm we are all crazy? I proudly say yes.
    #25 mrz200, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  26. B_Horne

    B_Horne Initiate (39) Jun 12, 2014 California

    I figured I should do one final post on this thread after the fact so that in the future people searching will see the end results, here goes...

    Day 1
    Hill Farmstead. It is truly in the middle of nowhere, a rural barn type setting. It almost seemed like it was two different breweries combined. The bottle sales were all the farmstead beers, the tap room was all of the hoppy beers. There was no overlap so you couldn't try the farm ales before buying and you couldn't buy bottles/cans of the hoppy beers after trying (you could do growlers though. I had two free samples, a stout followed by a ipa, only issue was that she didn't rinse the glass so the 1 oz sample of the ipa was altered by the stout. Favorite - Edward

    The Alchemist. A modern artistic building. Walking in you get three nice size samples first heady (they rinse your glass between beers), second Focal, and finally their porter. Very quick to get samples and buy cans, however Heady was sold out by the time I arrived about 3:30. Favorite - Focal Banger

    Foam Brewing. Taproom has a bar type feel to it. Full and half pours of the beers on tap, although they were good I don't think I would make a trip to the town for pours alone. There are no can/bottle sales at this time but I guess that is soon to change. Favorite - Experimental Jet Set

    Day 2
    Tree House. Beautiful new brewery on a hill, no signs on the building itself to tell you were you are. I got there almost two hours early and sat in the lower parking lot just to talk to other people and to trade beers I had brought from Ca. People waiting from New York, Boston, Philly, so the options were diverse. Parking was very organized, people waiting were talking, throwing a baseball, throwing a Frisbee, and trading. Drove as a group to the upper lot once it opened and the line moved very quick. No pours due to the lines to buy cans which were huge. Favorite - didn't get to try any

    Trillium. (canton) Warehouse type building. The line for pours limited you to 2 pours (half or full) at a time. The line moved pretty quick so going back a second time wasn't an issue. The line for cans/growlers was only a couple people long when I was there. Before this trip I had tried a few beers from Tree House and Trillium and the Tree House beers stood out in my memory as being better. After trying 6 different beers I now consider them equal to Tree House. Favorite - Galaxy Cutting Tiles and Raspberry Soak

    Jack's Abbey (Springdale Barrel Room). Commercial type building, Springdale is next door but they pour beers for both locations. Up to this point none of the locations had food when we were there except a cheese plate, it seemed like we ended up being too early or two late for the food trucks that set up at multiple places. Jack's had a good list of food options and the Mac and Cheese with bacon was amazing, also enjoyed the pretzel. This is also the first place that did flights, the beers I tried from Jack's were good but I think the Springdale beers were better overall. Cans and bottles available for each near the door with no lines. Favorite - Kriek Mythology

    Day 3
    Night Shift. Commercial type building. Purchased a flight with a Weisse, two IPAs and a Stout. Flights were cheap and there were no lines when they opened. Same was true of the can sales, sadly my bags were pretty full for the return trip and I could only hold 1-2 more cans max and they only sold cans by the 4 pack. I didn't buy anything but it was a good thing because my bag ended up weighing 48.5 pounds, just under the limit of 50. Favorite - El Lechedor (which is saying a lot because I don't normally like stouts that contain cinnamon, this was clearly the best I have had.)

    Overall a great trip, everyone back home wants to be my new best friend with all the hard to get beers I have now.
    malfunxion, LeRose, jomobono and 5 others like this.
  27. Shaymus

    Shaymus Disciple (359) May 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    Well done!
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