Brewery Name: Hill Farmstead Brewery
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: 403 Hill Road, Greensboro, VT 05842
Facebook: Hill Farmstead Brewery
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a special event post. Vermont’s famous Hill Farmstead Brewery made a visit down to Pete’s territory in Washington, DC, for a special tasting event at ChurchKey, a restaurant and bar well-known for its outstanding beer selection. ChurchKey is an old haunt of Pete’s, so, naturally, he couldn’t pass it up.]
Event Location: ChurchKey, Washington DC
Background: So, this event was on my radar for a while because ChurchKey did a great job getting out the word. Because they are justifiably renowned for their beer selection, ChurchKey gets all the great breweries to visit. If ChurchKey doesn’t get it, it probably doesn’t come to DC. However, since they have access to everything and everyone knows it, it can make it very difficult if you want to go there. The last time I visited, people were packed four or five deep at the bar in the middle of the day, which doesn’t often lead to a pleasant drinking experience. My game plan had been to go in, get a glass of the 1-3 beers I want to try the most, and then get out of there.
Still, I wanted to brave this event because Hill Farmstead has been one of the breweries that I have wanted to visit forever. I have gotten to try their beer on several occasions in Philadelphia, and every beer has been fantastic. We also got to try a lot of their beers on our beercation to Vermont. We chose to skip Hill Farmstead because we tried so many of their beers in Burlington, and we did not have to time to swing by when we had already stocked up on way too much beer. The draft list had all the favorites I wanted to try from Abner (double IPA) to their Double Citra IPA. And even the random beers like Everett, which many people say is the best porter in the world.
Two weeks out, the Facebook event already had 500 people attending, which was more than double the amount for most special events. My normal game plan would have been to get to the bar at 10am to wait for the doors to open at noon. However, I have not wanted to wait in line too much lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve read too many articles about getting to releases eight hours early, but I just feel like if I can’t get the beer…I will get it eventually. If I have to wait more than 90 minutes for something, I just haven’t seen it as being worth it. But given the uniqueness of this event, I wanted to at least get there a little early.
Vibe: We got in line at 11:45, and were pretty far back (as you can see). But the ChurchKey staff has really worked out the kinks in their system. We moved pretty quickly and got into the bar at around 12:45. An hour wait for an event like this seems perfectly okay. But would they still have all the beers on tap? I have been to many an event where the advertised beer lasts for 20 minutes before it kicks. Much to our delight, the entire draft list was on and they had everything still on draft after we left around 3pm. The staff was really attentive to the entire crowd and they also regulated the line perfectly. The line at the bar was never more than 2 people deep and most of the people were groups of friends just hanging out and enjoying the beer. There was SOME table hawking, but you can only do so much to prevent that. Overall, this event was expertly run, and our entire group was happy to try all the beers we wanted.
The Beers: While there, I was able to try:
Final Thoughts: Great event, great beer, expertly run. A+ all around from the bar. Though I wonder if this event was almost too perfect. I feel like I got to try everything that I wanted to try. While I want to go back to Vermont, I don’t know how far out of the way I would go to visit the brewery because you can get all the beers in Vermont. That being said, the beer is world class and everyone should get to try it. I just have a lot of great breweries on my bucket list.
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