Three Penny Taproom
108 Main Street, Montpelier
A cozy, crazy-popular showroom for some of the Green Mountain state’s best craft brews, it’s no surprise that a Vermont pub with “Taproom” in its name would have good beer, but it’s the quality of the food on offer that really earns this Montpelier destination a place on this list.
From the Ploughman’s Board, a well-chosen charcuterie selection, to their signature TPT Burger, with pickled hot peppers and a house-made peanut butter, the menu at Three Penny Taproom is somewhere above your average pub fare but not as snooty as some self-styled gastropubs. It’s the attention to detail, such as the citrus radish salad that comes with the Scotch Egg, or the crispy buttermilk batter on their wings, that helps elevate the food to next-level pub grub.
There are two rooms: one is dominated by a long bar running down its length, which has stool seating space but can often get packed two- or three-people deep, and the other room has more tables and is better for groups of more than two. The bartenders and wait staff are funny, friendly, and well-informed, able to explain the appeal of their various tap offerings without resorting to the often-impermeable lingo of the unbearable beer snob.
And about that beer list: with a constantly-changing selection of approximately 23 beers, including no less than four Hill Farmstead offerings, you could drink here all week and never have the same brew twice.
The Boston Globe calls it a “craft-beer Mecca,” though TPT doesn’t slack when it comes to inventive cocktails, such as the “Nettles and Mantle,” made from rye, red wine, simple syrup, and lemon. In a capital city that can seem a little short on chill spots, Three Penny Taproom makes up for that imbalance one glass at a time..