Stupid question, but do you know what the population of Greensboro, Vt., was in the 2000 census? 770 individuals. Well, we know at least visitor traffic is rapidly increasing in that town, because in northern Greensboro lays one of the mysterious shrines of craft beer — Hill Farmstead Brewery. Hill Farmstead produces a mere 60,000 gallons of beer annually and all of those brews are terribly difficult to enjoy. They’re only available for purchase at the brewery itself and a handful of Vermont bars; supposedly owner Shaun Hill also sends 12 kegs to distributors in New York City and Philadelphia a few times a year too (according to this great article).
How lauded are these folks? Well, in February of last year, Hill Farmstead Brewery was named 2013 Best Brewery in the World, as well as Best Brewery in Vermont and Best Brewery in New England by RateBeer.com (and RateBeer.com calls itself the world’s largest, most popular beer review and rating website). So, to recap: Of the nearly 14,000 brewers in the world, Hill Farmstead Brewery might be the best.
Big question: Should the best brewery in the world stay small?
Hill Farmstead Brewery says yes (indefinitely). First off, we saw the Time Argus reporting on the Vermont Economic Development Authority recently approving $350,000 in financing to partially fund the two-phase construction of a new brewhouse at Hill Farmstead LLC in Greensboro Bend. Next, the New York Times wrote a great article mentioned above with Hill, who says he plans to cap production at 150,000 gallons a year — forever.
According to the New York Times article: “I didn’t start this brewery so I could keep growing and move it away from here; that wasn’t the point,” he says. “It wouldn’t be fun anymore. It wouldn’t have purpose or meaning.”
We’re busy picking our jaws up off the ground (and filling them with comforting craft beer). Please discuss amongst yourselves.