VTHopHead (67) Barre, Vermont | June 1, 2008| Updated September 21, 2008
09/2008 Update - They have embraced the change in beer laws here in Vermont and now carry a small variety of higher alcohol selections from all over.
Original rating - The beer selection here is fairly small, but also fairly diverse... no macros and a good mix of micros from all over... both domestic and imported. There are better places to get beer in Vermont, but they are close by and will work in a pinch. Lots of great natural/organic food here as well.
Visited on a cold Friday afternoon in October 2014 after a solo trip to HF. It’s a grocery store, so you have to make your way through young families, bread shelves and canned vegetables to reach the beer section. I’ve never been asked if I needed help. Actually, I was completely alone in the area, even if they had just received a fresh stack of 32 oz SoS. At least, the lady at the cashier was nice and kind. Good selection, lot of Vermont and Maine products, some barrel aged Evil Twin, small but nice imports selection(Rodenbach Caractčre Rouge amongst others). Prices are good. Great place if you are nearby but there’s better options in Vermont.
We walked over to Hunger Mountain Coop from the centre of Montpelier for beer & food on a hot Monday afternoon. I imagine the primary reason people head here is for Heady Topper on a Thursday. We visited on a Monday and were rather impressed by the store as a whole. They have a great selection of quality local produce, so we picked up plenty of cheese and maple syrup. The beer selection spans a full aisle and a few fridges. They obviously are locally-focussed, but have a great selection of quality beer spanning the globe. We were lucky that they had very well-priced Lawson’s cans on our visit, so we stocked up! A must-visit venue in this part of the world.
Last place on my "beer trip" today, but actually visited first, just now getting to the review. So, its a grocery store, kinda hippie/liberal sort of thing going on. When the guy asked me if I was looking for anything and I replied, just checking the place out, he responded "groovy dude." Hmmm...must be Montpelier, probably couldn’t hang with my types, lol, yeah, smoke your pot and your pole, hippie, anyways, ambiance - yeah sure - nice. Selection - well, nothing that really stood out from what I’ve seen in the rest of Vermont. Decent value for the Montpelier area. Doesn’t seem like anything special, but nice to check out. I’ll stick my "country boy" stores.
Visited on a Friday afternoon in Apr-2013. Tons of local, state, and European beer selections. We were looking for more specific finds from the state area except they were out, but we happily picked up some packs of Heady Toppers. Took a while to look through everything as it’s spread out. Neat building and great coop concept. Would probably return if in the area but I’d rather load up at Hill Farmstead and just look here for other rarities. (3/8/12/NA/8/14) 74
Excellent selection for a grocery store. Many large format bottles to choose from breweries such as Allagash, Jolly Pumpkin and Crooked Stave. Of course, there’s a nice range of local stuff too. Worth a look.
Ambiance: Nice coop grocery. Clean, well-organized and with a nice beer selection.
Service: Super friendly. There was somebody helping a customer in the beer section that seemed quite knowledgeable about craft beer.
Selection: Quite decent selection despite the fact it has probably been raided by people going to Lawson’s Farmers Market. They carry some Lawson’s, but they also had some tasty stuff like the delicious Crooked Stave Table Beer.
Food: I loved the food options there. The salad bar is amazing.
Value: Prices for both food and beers are super reasonable. Price on some beers were really cheap, other were in line what it is in the area.
Overall: A place I will visit anytime I’m in the are for both beer and food.
Visited on a Saturday afternoon. Organic-green-sustainable-coop grocery store with a nice beer selection. They were out of the whale VT IPA’s when I was there but I know that they’ve had Sip of Sunshine here before and they probably get Heady as well. The prices were really good, I was actually impressed by how cheap a lot of the stuff was. They also have some pretty tasty food, so it can be a good stop when planning a beer trip through VT.
Decided after about 9 different visits I should rate this place so… The focus on local craft with a selection of more national beers. However, all the stock is well thought out by a beer manager who knows exactly what he is doing. Also he is a pretty sociable guy if you get a chance to speak with him.
*Side Note* The wine selection is pretty decent as well if you have a friend or relative that you haven’t converted into drinking beer. Also FYI, they only have Heady Topper one day a week. So make sure you check the delivery date because you shouldn’t expect to walk in and grab it off the shelf. Those days are long gone.
Think of a more hipster Whole Foods as a COOP and you have Hunger Mountain. If I wanted some fresh fruits or baked goods this is where I’d come. Yes, they get Heady and Lawson’s once a week, but there is line of like 200 people so good luck with that. The rest of the beer selection is pedestrian. Unless you time this correctly for some Heady no need to come here to buy beer.
Best selection in Montpelier, likely the best to be found from there to Waterbury. Tons of large format singles including Grassroots and Lawson’s, American micros and a reasonable import selection. It is a weird element to have to call ahead to find the special releases, but there are so few specialty liquor stores in these parts. I just bought some fantome stuff that has become impossible in my area and couldn’t have been happier.