Category Archives: RateBeer Event

From the HopPress: Some Bits and Pieces of Ratebeer’s Best

From the HopPress: Some Bits and Pieces of Ratebeer's Best

My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The HopPress… posted on Saturday, February 5th.

Like many of you, I really look forward to the Ratebeer Best lists being released every year. It gives me a chance to look at the brewing industry as a whole and see who was hot and who was not in the previous year. I have taken some time to look through the various lists released last week and have a few comments and observations about their content this year.

First of all I’d like to call to your attention the appearance of one of Vermont’s own brewers, the Hill Farmstead Brewery, on these these lists. Hill Farmstead is listed twice on Ratebeer’s Best; as the top new brewery in the world and also for his truly wonderful Edward Pale Ale. If you have followed some of my previous articles here, you know that Shaun Hill’s small brewery, located in the tiny town of Greensboro in north-central Vermont is one of several shining stars among the 21 breweries that can be currently found in this small state. The appearance of Hill Farmstead on these lists is but the latest in an already impressive accumulation of accolades and awards that this young brewer has earned over the last few years. At last year’s World Beer Cup, three of Shaun’s beers, created by Shaun when he was working for Danish brewer Nørrebro Bryghus, won medals (2 golds and a silver) at this lofty international competition. If you look through the Ratebeer ratings for Shaun’s beers you will quickly see that Vermonters are not the only ones that are in love with Shaun’s creations and I truly believe that many of his beers would stand up well against a goodly portion of the other beers on Ratebeer’s Best. For many of you, however, Hill Farmstead beers might be some of the best beers that you will have never tried, as Shaun currently only runs about a 7-barrel operation and, although I know that some of his beers have appeared in Philly and NYC, most of Shaun’s beers do not make it very far out of Vermont… and that is fine with me. Come to Vermont and find out why Hill Farmstead rightly deserves their spot among the other brewers on Ratebeer’s Best.

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From the HopPress: The Vermont Brewers Festival

The Vermont Brewers Festival

My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The HopPress… posted on Saturday, July 24th.

Last weekend was the 18th annual Vermont Brewer’s Festival (VBF) in Burlington, Vermont. I had not taken this event in for a couple of years, so I was really looking forward to visiting with some of the new breweries that were to be there this year and to see if they had made any changes in the event to improve upon the experience of the festival attendees from years past.

Organized by the 21-member breweries of the Vermont Brewers Association, the VBF is held every year on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington’s Waterfront Park. It is a truly beautiful setting to hold such an event and last Saturday’s hot and sunny weather made it seem that much better. The proximity of the lake and a steady,cooling breeze coming off of the water made the day seem pleasant, in spite of the fact that the temperature reached 90F that afternoon.

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Vermont Brewers Festival This Weekend

Vermont Brewers Festival — Burlington, VT
July 16, 2010 to July 17, 2010
The Festival features 37 craft brewers from Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Mass, Maine, Delaware, Louisiana and, to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the European discovery of Lake Champlain by Samuel de Champlain, breweries from La Belle province, Quebec. This outdoor festival takes place in Burlington Waterfront Park with scenic views of Lake Champlain framed by the Adirondack Mountain Range.

Location: Burlington Waterfront Park, 1 College Street.

Time: Friday, 6 – 10 p.m.; Saturday sessions, noon – 4 p.m and 6 – 10 p.m.

Cost: $25 per tasting session.

Information: 802-760-8535 or visit

Three Penny Taproom “MontBeerlier” Festival

In celebration of the Three Penny Taproom’s First Anniversary, on Saturday, May 1, 2010 the Taproom will host the First Annual “Montbeerlier Festival”. Montbeerlier will be held under a tent in the Onion River Sports parking lot on Langdon Street, Montpelier from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Along with house-made sausages on the grill and live music from Primate Fiasco from 6:00-8:30, the main attraction will be approximately 12 different cask conditioned beers (or “firkins”).

Expected casks and other special beer available at this event to include:

  • Hill Farmstead Abner- A Double IPA (this is the public premier of Shaun Hill’s 2nd awesome beer from the new brewery)
  • Trapp Family Brewery Bourbon Barrel Bock- Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels (I’ve tasted, heaven in a glass)
  • Trapp Family Brewery Helles Lager
  • Lawson’s Finest Liquids Weiss-K- Sean’s Weiss beer poured out of a gravity Firkin
  • Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout- A fresh batch of RIS with added Oak Staves that were soaked in Port wine!
  • Stone Double Dry-Hopped Ruination
  • Stone Vanilla Oaked Smoked Porter
  • Berkshire Brewing Imperial Stout
  • Smuttynose Brown Dog Dry-Hopped with Sterlings
  • Stoudt’s American Pale Ale
  • Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady ESB
  • In the taproom, we have decided to dig deep in the caverns of our basement for some aged goodies to put on tap, so expect to be blown away!

To go along with these, Joey and Jake will be churning out fresh sausages, plus the good folks from Vermont Butter & Cheese Company will be here to give out free samples of their beautiful cheeses! The tickets will cost $5 a piece or 5 for $20, and will be worth either a beer or a sausage, what a deal, four beers and a homemade sausage sandwich for $20!!! And to top it all off, The Primate Fiasco will be tickling your earbuds starting around 6:30

For Directions…
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From the Hop Press: The Denmark Connection

The Hop Press

My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The Hop Press… posted on Saturday, January 16th.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be involved in a rather unique beer tasting event held at the Three Penny Taproom in downtown Montpelier, Vermont. Shaun Hill, an acclaimed local brewer, was there to introduce a small group of beer aficionados to six very limited-run, barrel-aged beers from Denmark. Due to their limited production, these beers will probably never be distributed or sold here in the US.

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Nørrebro Bryghus/Shaun Hill Barrel Aged Beer Tasting

On Sunday, January 10th, the Three Penny Taproom is presenting six beers brewed by Shaun Hill during his time working at Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen, Denmark. All of these beers are part of the Nørrebro Limited Release/Barrel Aged series. This is a very special event, and is limited to 25 people. Here is the list of the beers on the menu:

Saison Lambic Pinot Noir
Viking Oud Bruin
SEVEN Bordeaux Barrel
SEVEN Port Barrel
Little Korkny Port Barrel
Little Korkny Cognac Barrel

The cost for the event is $40, and will go from 6pm to 8pm, with some special drafts lined up for afterwards! To sign up, e-mail



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