Food + Drink

The Best Beer in the World Lies in the Northeast Kingdom

By Shea LincourtSep. 3, 2022

For the fifth year in a row, and for the sixth time in the past seven years, the Hill Farmstead Brewery of Greensboro Bend, Vermont was named as the Best Brewery in the World, United States, and Vermont by RateBeer.com-- a website home to thousands of tasting reviews and ratings from beer consumers and critics across the globe. The Hill Farmstead Brewery, founded in 2010 by owner and brewer Shaun Hill, sits upon the land of the Hill family’s ancestors in the Northeast Kingdom. What once used to be farmland is now home to a bustling brewery, retail shop, tasting room, and taproom whose products can be found in a variety of local spots across Vermont.

The brewery's logo was even inspired by Greensboro's first tavern's sign, which was owned and run by the Hill Family's ancestor, Aaron Hill.

Recently, my family and I decided to take a day trip to the Northeast Kingdom in search of the world-renowned brewery and its famous beer. Tucked away on Hill Road, in Greensboro Bend, the views from the brewery were incredible-- even if cell phone service was patchy. Be sure to print your directions before you leave so you don’t get lost!

     

Being considered the best brewery and beer in the world, it was quite crowded upon arrival, with the line of eager customers wrapping around the inside of the taproom. Being only 20 years old, I was reliant on my parents to do all of the beer tastings for me. Seeing as experimentation and collaboration lie at the core of the Hill Farmstead brewing philosophy and that they rarely make the same beer more than once or twice a year, their selection of bottled and draft beers is limited. Customers are able to pick from a constantly changing menu, which is dependent upon what is readily available day to day. Each beer is part of a series-- whether it be ancestral, philosophical, single hop, etc.-- which is often suggested by its name. My parents decided on a bottle of Brother Soigné, “a Farmstead® Ale brewed with hibiscus, blood orange, and lime” from the grassroots brewing series; and a glass of Conduct of Life, “an American Pale Ale brewed with Amarillo® and Citra® hops” from the philosophical series.

While in the taproom, I also had the pleasure to speak with Phil Young of the Hill Farmstead Brewery and ask him a few questions. When asked about their secret to success, he attributed it to paying close attention to the quality of the beer and concentrating on the product, not the hype surrounding it. We also discussed new flavors for the brewery and how they hope to continue to shape what hops get grown by continuing to test out different experimental hops. In the past, they’ve had great success with this technique, as this is how their Mosaic hop was born. On the brewery’s long term goals and future success, his response was to “keep trying to do what we’re doing, and do it well,'' not only in terms of product, but also in keeping the retail side busy on location in Greensboro, and continuing to take great care of their employees.

          

After my parents finally got their drinks, we went outside where happy customers were enjoying their beer and the view. The atmosphere was relaxed and laid back, with people playing corn hole at the end of the yard or standing around barrels that were cleverly being used as tables for drinks. There’s also a different food truck that comes each week, in case customers desire a snack with their beverages.

Once we finished outside, we paid a visit to the retail shop, where there was a selection of beers to go in the form of growlers, cans, and bottles. Like in the taproom, flavors are limited, making it tempting to purchase one of each kind available.

      

Beer lover or not, the Hill Farmstead Brewery should definitely be on your list of places to visit if you’re ever in the Northeast Kingdom. Only a half-hour from Lake Willoughby and other local glacial lakes, it’s definitely worth taking the time to go and taste some of the best beer in the world at one of the world’s finest breweries-- even if to just say that you tried it.

Hill Farmstead BreweryHours: Wednesday-Saturday, from 12:00-5:00 p.m.

By Shea LincourtSep. 3, 2022
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