Like Trillium of Mass or Bissell of Maine, Hill Farmstead is the god of Vermont, though some argue that it’s the Alchemist.
For Alchemist’s Heady Topper, there’s a number of stores that carry it, but if you want Hill Farmstead you have to make the trek up into the middle of nowhere in the mountains. Sometimes driving down dirt roads, you wonder if you’re ever going to hit brewery heaven.
But let me tell you, it’s worth it. If you’re anything like the people I saw, you take your cooler and make it worth your while. There are two separate houses whether you want growlers/pours or cans/bottles to spread out wait times. Like a deli, take a number and wait for your number to be called. But this isn’t deli meat, it’s the best beer around.
My boyfriend doesn’t get jealous when I say that I’m in love with Edward. And no this isn’t some lame Twilight reference. The Edward Pale Ale is what dreams are made of. You take one sip of this and you’re in heaven. The smooth light hazy feel for the beer will send you into oblivion.
My girl Susan, on the other hand, is an American IPA with a dank, tropical/melon taste. Three Magic Letters, another IPA, has more of a grapefruit taste than Susan and is just so smooth. Not sure of those Three Magic Letters are O-M-G or Y-U-M; either way this beer is awesome.
If you’re unable to make it to the brewery itself, there are some hotspots around Burlington that carry Hill Farmstead on their menus. I’ve had it at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury and Farmhouse Tap House in downtown Burlington.
403 Hill Road
Ok so there’s no Mark Wahlberg but definitely a whole lotta funkiness. Funky Bow Brewery is like a secret farm party in the middle of the woods with a big greenhouse tent, live bands, and of course, beer.
If you plan to go on Friday or Saturday nights, beware. All five parking lots can fill up making it an adventure to find a spot. Since the first lot was full, we had to make the trek up a long hill. No one told me drinking involved working out. But it was so worth it. The first thing I noticed was dogs running around everywhere. I knew this was going to be a great time.
Head inside the tent and you’ll find bands jamming out, a small rustic bar, tables lining the sides, and a pizza stone. A full on folk party.
Not only is the brewery fun, but so are the beer names. G String, which can be taken any way you’d like, is a light IPA with a slight bite. So Folkin’ Hoppy is more earthy IPA with hints of pine balanced with a slight grapefruit taste. My favorite had to be Citra, though. As the name suggests, this beer is packed with citrus and is a very drinkable beer. Perfect for the summer.
I’m excited to head back as the weather gets nicer. This is the place to be, I’m telling you. Grab some friends (or just their dog) and join the party. I’d definitely name this place Maine’s best kept secret.
Funky Bow Brewery
21 Ledgewood Ln
…Who gets in between me and beer.
Getting to Foolproof Brewery isn’t the easiest task. Picture your worst nightmare. You can see the brewery but a barbed wire fence stands between you and beer.
This was my reality.
Word to the wise. Do not listen to your GPS. A lesson learned when Michael Scott drove into that pond on that episode of the Office.
Once you outsmart your GPS, you’re greeted by a small taproom for Lil’ Rhody’s most popular brewery, which may soon be overthrown by Narragansett’s triumphant return home. Either case, Foolproof has had a great variety and some unique beers on tap.
The culture behind Foolproof’s beer names comes from how your beer should be enjoyed. The Backyahd IPA is a slightly hoppy bitter beer meant to be had while lounging around at a cookout or reading a book out on the porch. The best of the bunch has to be La Ferme Urbaine, the farmhouse saison. With a slight spice kick, I could drink this beer all day. Lab series was the IPA for beginners. It’s lightly hopped with pineapple hints. I heard people in the brewery discussing how they do not like IPA’s but this was up their alley.
If you’re looking for something new and unique, Foolproof has a couple of must-try beers. The Peanut Butter Raincloud is a porter with a very light and airy peanut butter taste. The most unique, though, has to be the Shuckolate. Think of the two things in the food world that you would never put together, oysters and chocolate. Though the beer definitely tastes of a chocolate stout, you would never guess that it has oysters. But maybe that’s a good thing.
The taproom is small but full of character. The barrels are each named after famous fools in history, like Larry, Moe, and Shemp. I really hope to see this brewery expand over the next couple of years. I had seen them at different beer festivals and was glad to finally make it in to visit.
241 Grotto Ave
Thursday-Friday 4p.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday -Sunday 1 p.m.- 6p.m.