Shaun Hill started home-brewing when he was 15. Two years ago, he turned his love of beer into a business-- Hill Farmstead Brewery.
"What we're trying to do is produce the best tasting beer we can with no harsh or jagged edges," Hill said.
This day, a new recipe with oranges is in the works. They are constantly creating new concoctions. And that has beer connoisseurs buzzing. Hill Farmstead was just rated one of the top 10 new breweries in the world according to one well respected beer website, RateBeer.com.
"Sometimes you realize that failure could be easier than success," Hill said.
You can only buy one of Hill's beers at the Greensboro brewery or at a small selection of restaurants around the state. Limited supply has created quite a thirst. Some people are now buying his beer for $10 and reselling it on eBay for up to $300.
"It's just sort of a shame when someone is profiting at the expense of someone else who will never get to taste that beer that was in line behind them," Hill said.
"First it's illegal and second of all, as a consumer, you don't know what you're going to get," said Kurt Staudter of the Vermont Brewers Association.
Staudter says selling alcohol without a license is illegal, plus whoever buys the beer doesn't know how it was handled and taste may suffer.
It's not just Hill Farmstead; other Vermont beers are on eBay, like Heady Topper by the Alchemist and Lawson's Finest.
"Beer is something that should be accessible to everyone and when someone runs the price up to $200 a bottle, that's going to squeeze a lot of people from ever being able to enjoy that beer," Staudter said.
For fighting back, Hill is getting heat from beer drinkers and bloggers. They say he should just make more or take it as a compliment. But Hill says he wants to focus on the quality of his beer and doesn't want to increase production too fast.
"When you're only producing a limited amount of a product, it's your entire life and the content of that bottle tastes the way you want it to taste for a consumer. It's not about the money at that point," Hill said.
Hill does not want beer showing up on eBay to be the new trend, so he's fighting back-- contacting eBay. But Hill says it's ultimately up to local authorities in each state to take care of the problem and this could be very low on their priority lists.
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