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Riwaka Pale Ale - Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Riwaka Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 52
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with one of our favorite hop varieties: New Zealand's rare and difficult to obtain Riwaka!

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 12-31-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Moll for grabbing the growler for me. Served in Hill Farmstead stemware. Plenty of citrus peel and light pine. A bit floral. Flavor is quite dry and very bitter. Light body. Excellent. This was simply incredible. Shaun really knows what he's doing and, especially when it comes to hoppy beers, can't seem to miss.

Thorpe429, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arbitrator shared this one several weeks back. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Hazy, milky blond body with a tall white head that retains well.

Smell: Quite grassy up front, which eventually dissipates and reveals pineapple, lime and green tea. Yeast and malt are pretty neutral and allow the unusual hop aromas to shine. The hop character is unique, interesting and fairly enjoyable, but I'm not blown away by it.

Palate: Grainy, a bit gritty in texture, presumably from hop particles that didn't fully settle out. Lime and green tea flavors are prominent, with a touch of grapefruit bitterness toward the finish. Light and dry on the tongue, and firmly bitter in the finish. This is good and easy-drinking, but HF has made more impressive pale ales.

largadeer, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice fluffy almost 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice soapy lacing, hazy carrot honey orange colored beer.

Nose has this really interesting hop, a definite Kiwi style hop, with some grassy earthy qualities, almost saison like earthy hop aromas and I mean the farmhouse aromas of a saison in hop form, but there's also a light citrus rind, grapefruit, little lemony, really unique. Light fluffy malts under that with a light acid malt I think.

Taste start with more fluffy malts, a light acidulated malt again I think but not quite sure. Then the Kiwi hops take over. very complex for being a lighter hop. A nice grapefruit flavor and bitter grapefruit rind, little lemony and citrusy. Then grassy flavors, little lemongrass and that farmhouse hay like flavor in hop form again. The bitterness is not so much hop bitterness but comes through more as a grapefruit rind like flavor, quite interesting and tasty. Finish is dry, fairly bitter but that grapefruit bitterness so not a spicy hop bitterness, more lingering lemongrass and grapefruit and earthy.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall quite nice. Very drinkable, with lighter overall hop bitterness, and the bitterness that comes is more citrus fruit bitterness than spicy hops, nice malty base, and the interesting Kiwi hops are really tasty.

jlindros, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Rochefort10nh, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -7.6%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Prohibition Pig weekend of 2012 Harvest Festival.

Pours a cloudy light golden amber color with a generous white head, great retention and lacing. Aroma and flavor took me by surprise as I wasn't expecting something quite so unique while being exactly what expected. Loads of tropical and juicy citrus hops, but there was a slight tropical leafiness as well that added a slight spice and earthiness that enhanced the juicy and sweet flavor (without distracting). One of my favorite HF I/A PAs.

yourefragile, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

orangesol, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited about this one. The beer is similar in appearance to most other HF IPAs. Orange with a white head. The aroma is fabulous, with a huge hop presence. Light in body, with a nice bouquet of citrus. A tad sweet, but not too. So drinkable. Fluffy and soft on the palate. Elegant bitterness in the finish. Overall, this was simply terrific.

Huhzubendah, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mike for hooking me up with this one!

A: Pours a rather light golden color with a foamy two finger white head on top, very nice retention. Sticky lacing forms all around the glass.

S: Very earthy, with a lot of zest/rind going on. Some lemon and grapefruit and grassy aromas. Just a bit of pale malt.

T: Light lemon and lemon rind mixed with a little grapefruit juice and some pale malt. Just a little bit of pine, but overall very clean.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Extremely easy drinking.

O: A great pale ale, tons of flavor, very clean and incredibly drinkable. I had no problem polishing off the entire 750ml growler. I have had more flavor forward pale ales, but few are as drinkable as this one, which I feel is important in a pale ale.

mdaschaf, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of plaid75
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy bright orange hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light piney hop with a slight essence of tropical fruit.

The taste was upfront piney with secondary waves of grapefruit and pepper. Soft malt provided an adequate platform.

The mouthfeel was clean and toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward ale. Easy to drink.

plaid75, May 15, 2011
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Kelp, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: IPA brewed with Riwaka hops from New Zealand.

Pours a mild amber color, bordering on orange/ruby red with a thin head into my glass.

A heavy citrus presence greets the nose, mainly grapefruit and mango. Unique.

Grapefruit and mango notes greet the tongue. Certainly not as strong as sorachi ace with more of a balance. Buttery malt shows up near the edge of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the buttery malt. Very chewy with a texture that amazes.

Shaun has done it again. Riwaka is an amazing IPA that will challenge your palate. I just have to give this a perfect 5. I'm constantly amazed by what he can do and this IPA is a must-try!

Brad007, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

drummermattie02, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of chippo33
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

chippo33, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for picking this growler up for me when he went up to VT to get beers for our epic 13 course beer dinner. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a wonderful lightly hazy/cloudy golden light orange hue pour . Big, fluffy almost 2 finger white head slumped down to leave thick, sticky side lacing and wonderful retention. Excellent.

S - So this is Riwaka hops eh? Nice New Zealandy hop characteristics, earthy, almost wet hops, nice lemony grapefruit citrus ring hop thing going on. Definitely not a typical hop aroma.

T - Taste is spot on too. More of those tasty new zealand hops here. Lots more citrus and grapefruit peel on the taste with that subtle grassy/earthy making up the background. There some slight lemon, almost like a combo of a farmhouse and a pale ale. Very interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, slightly dry. Incredibly drinkable.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer featuring a rather hard to come by hop variety. Glad I got to try another Shaun Hill offering, Really like this lighter styled pale ale.

rudzud, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Holland, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

tom10101, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at HF Harvest Fest 2012 and poured into HF wine glass.

Pours a golden yellow color, hazy, white frothy head, spotty lace. Aroma is citrus zest, grass, and light pine...very little malts in this beer. Flavor is citrus and grass, less pine then the nose. Light body good carbonation, oily hoppy finish.

An excellent APA that was just super-easy to drink and contained a massive amount of hoppy goodness. How can you go wrong with that combo? Answer, you can't. Another winner from HF.

Sean9689, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of koopa
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden to pale orange juice color with a 1 finger white crown comprised of fine/dense carbonation bubbles that show moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Grapefruit, loads of pith, lightly grassy notes, bready malt, a touch of brewing salts, and the tiniest burnt rubber quality.

Taste: Same as the nose but that burnt rubber quality is more apparent. The burnt rubber quality was much more prevalent in a draft sample I had the same weekend at the Blackback Pub. It's also a quality I've tasted in other hoppy beers that didn't use Riwaka before. It's probably just the way my palate presents some particular types of hops or perhaps a particular amount of hop bitterness or something. As the beer warmed I seemed to notice it less.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of thin bodied with medium carbonation. A touch too thin for my liking.

Overall: A fairly stock HF hoppy beer which means it's really good! The riwaka hops are nice but they didn't wow me like I wanted them to.

koopa, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -30.7%

jenray, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

millerbuffoon, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -7.6%

DarthKostrizer, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

oldp0rt, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into provided stemware at the 2012 Harvest Fest. Pours a hazy light orangey hay with a good amount of foam. Huge huge hop aromas...realy nice pine and citrus. Taste is fantastic pine, citrus, grass hop flavor but almost bitter/sweet at the same time. Very well balanced with the malts as the usual hop bomb bitterness is so well masked that just the hop flavor is noticeable. Superb huge hop APA!

DrinkSlurm, Sep 26, 2012
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Riwaka Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.