A Night in Queen Lil's Helles

And a Morning of Regrets

Sweet but Deadly

During prohibition and the scarcity of malt for brewing . Vermonters at borderline speakeasies sold a maple sap syrup based  sweet highly boozy concoction at the border saloon brothels. Many a boy had an experience of a lifetime at Queen Lil’s in Richford, Vermont which was run by Lillian Minor Shipley aka Queen Lil.

Lillian was born in Richford in 1866 and married A.G. Shipley, a shadowy character who sold patent medicines and had a reputation as a horse thief and a grave robber.

Together they spent their time travelling selling patent medicines and Lill established a brothel in Boston. By 1910, however, they had worn out their welcome. With Boston cracking down on the brothel trade, they returned north to Richford, which had the advantage of being remote, but located on the railroad line and just a stone’s throw from Canada.

The proximity to Canada was crucial to Lill’s business, as prohibition was expanding in America. As more and more of New England went dry, places like Lill’s, that had access to Canadian liquor, prospered. And when prohibition became the law of the entire land in 1920, Lill’s business really took off.

So go forth my son and enjoy… but remember …She may be pretty and delicious but the morning after may be a regretful one. Don’t cross & don’t boss her for you may find yourself lying on the railroad tracks quite possibly in more than one place….

A Night in Queen Lil’s Helles

ABV Helleshly Close to 10%


This beer is the only official 100% Vermont Beer ever made.
Starting off with maple sap from our farm and adding grains from Peterson Quality Malt and just a hint of hops from some friends in Hardwick , we ended up creating a once in a lifetime creation worthy of the name Queen Lil.
Although brewed in a helles style, the sap takes this original beer in direction that lands it squarely in the taste profile of a powerful Blonde.  Sweet, then crisp without the heaviness of the darker dubel and trippels.
Available only at our brewery tasting room.
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