Once again, luck would have it that I’m in the right place at the right time. The first nice warm weekend of the year, and I’m working in New England again. Even better, is that it’s also Hill Farmstead’s Second Anniversary party. I knew that I would have to take a ride over from Portland to check this out. I’ve been to the Hill Farmstead Brewery once before, so I knew that I was in for a bit of a drive, but from looking at the tap list, I knew that it would be worth the long trip.
The party was located on the Hill’s property just outside the brewery. It started at noon, but I didn’t arrive until 2:00. I walked up to the entrance, and there wasn’t a wait at all. I walked in, paid the $10 admission and then purchased my pour tickets. All beers served that day were to be poured into Hill Farmstead glassware, which was for sale at the door for $5.
I was able to pick up an event guide at the door which had a listing of what was being served, from which tents, and when. The party was mostly under three main tents which were set up in a field next to the brewery. The main tent was pouring some of the more common Hill Farmstead beers, which were being served all day. There was also a jazz and jam band playing in the tent. The brewery was on the other side of the tent, which was making growler fills throughout the day. To keep the growler fills in an orderly fashion, they were only allowing 30 people into the retail shop per hour. They also had two people making the growler fills which helped to speed up the process. The only bottles that were being sold at the retail store were from the guest breweries. Anna and Everett were on sale outside underneath a tent. I made sure to purchase my bottles and growler fills first thing so that I could put them into my car and not worry about them. The event allowed re-entry, so it wasn’t a problem to go back and forth to my car.
After coming back in, I decided it would be best to purchase some more drink tickets and get in line. There were four lines in total. Two of the lines were in the main tent, and the others were in two other tents. The main tent had some of the more common releases were under the main tent, and then the other harder to get barrel aged beers were under the other tents. Although at times the lines would get pretty long, they would still move fast. Shaun Hill was even pouring Birth of Tragedy and some of the other beers to help keep the lines moving. I was able to try 5 beers in total.
To ensure that I’d be able to get to my hotel safely, I limited the amount of beers I’d try and was very selective. But if it was really necessary, the brewery was allowing people to camp out. People there for the event had set up tents outside in the fields that surrounded the brewery. I even saw a pond where someone had set up their trailer. The event ended at 6:00pm and those who were camping there were allowed to bring their own beer and drink it in their tents or have their own tastings.
This was probably one of the best run events I’ve been to in quite a while and the perfect way to spend my Saturday afternoon. The event ran smoothly without any bumps in the road. I plan on attending next year and hope it runs just as smoothly.