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Vera Mae - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Vera MaeVera Mae

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

563 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 303
Gots: 93 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SFLpunk on 07-25-2011

Vera Mae is crafted from organic Vermont spelt, American hops, wildflower honey, dandelion flowers from our fields, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 99
Photo of DCLAguy11
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured by Shaun Hill himself :)

Photo of NAPO
2.81/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was not good at all.

Photo of scottfrie
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear golden straw color with a fluffy, soft, dense, and thick bright white head faded to lasting collar and streaky lace.
S: A very bright nose that reminds me of a field of wildflowers. I get notes of lemon and honey, HF's characteristic yeast, and a touch of musty barrel funk.
T: Tons of barrel character, almost vinous. There's a light floral quality with some mild Sprite-like flavors, slight mineraliness, green apple, and tons of flowers and earth quality. Mild floral spice lingers in the aftertaste.
M: Creamy mouthfeel, sweet and lightly juicy, with a solid hop bitterness and a drying finish. Very soft carbonation.
O: A very bright and pleasant saison. Super light and smooth. Very enjoyable.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Honey on the nose and in the finish. Really boosts the body. Carb on point. Floral, lightly sweet, dry, and lightly tart. Well balanced and superb.

Photo of jjdc
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Luscious honey in the glass -- sumptuous looking.

Lovely lemon, mineral, vegetal bitterness from the dandelions and a bit of funk. This is a classic HF saison profile that has some subtle accents from the honey and dandelion. The additions won't hit you over the head, but nicely round out the great base beer.

Not quite as robust as Arthur, but still a great beer.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stem glass. Thanks, Darren, for the bottle and the glass.

A: A pale yellow, opaque, with a nice white one-finger that hangs out for a sunny afternoon. Thick lacing.

S: Lemon zest takes over with a punch of dandelion in the background. Fresh, springtime goodness.

T: Very floral and extremely lemony. Dry, smooth, semi-sweet. Brett funkiness. A pleasant sipper, for sure.

M: Medium with dry, medium carbonation.

O: I had this one late in the year. I wonder if it would've been even fresher in April. Still a great saison.

Photo of imscotty
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%

A - Pours with a big white frothy head that slowly settles down. Lots of lacing that lasts and lasts. Color is a beautiful light yellow straw, beer is hazy and opaque.

S - Very citrusy aroma, very lemony. In the background are some pleasant barnyard, hay aromas. It transports me back to the brewery among the cow fields of Greensboro

T - This is my perfect level of sour. The tartness is assertive, but not enough to make you pucker. Subtle enough to let the other interesting flavors come through. Lots and lots of lemon flavor wash over your tongue with the first sip. In the finish a very slight malt profile remains, some honey like sweetness lasts on the tongue to balance the sour. Barnyard, grasslike and spicy flavors swirl around in the background.

M - Mouthfeel is light, nicely carbonated. The tiny bubbles and the sour leave a tingly feeling in the mouth. This would be my go to summer beer if I could get it every day.

O - This is listed as a Saison, but leans more in the direction of a wild sour. Tastes great whatever it is. Like a bit of Spring on the farm in a bottle to enjoy on a hot summers day. I want more.

Photo of medic25
5/5  rDev +15.5%

First beer in a while that caused me to say "wow" out loud.

Light golden, hazy color with a thick frothy head. Funky, yeasty aroma. Flavor is fantastic; dry, sour, taste of lemongrass. Crisp, sharp mouth feel with a very clean finish. I can't wait for my next trip to VT to load up on this again...

Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

A-Cloudy yellow, some carbonation, one finger head with lacing

S-Nice tart notes, wheat, lemon, grass, very mild honey

T-Starts with nice tartness, wheat, lemon, mild honey and dandilions are there as well imparting a grassy note.

M-Lighter, semi crips, semi dry finish as well.

O-Another stellar bill from HF, was worried about the honey and dandilions but they were great.

Photo of Jordanrk92
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

great stuff, if you are a big saison person...... you'll get knocked out my this one. Too good!

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%

2014 vintage. Pours a hazy yellow color with a loose head that quickly dissipates towards the edges. Nose express a light citrus quality, yeast and fresh greens. Taste is light in body with some Berlinner-Weisse qualities as well as citrus. Mouthfeel is light and lively. Overall - a bright and interesting beer. Had the chance to try the 2013 back-to-back and the 2014 won out, hands down.

Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +15.5%

The beer comes in a cloudy bright fluorescent yellow.

The aroma hits in the front of a funk and tart brine, towards pickles, which is very reminiscent of Norma. There's a bit of wheat and sweetness as well.

The flavor is a complex roller coaster ride. Lemon peel and slight tartness in the front, surrounded by that funk and sour brine. The middle offers a sweet honey candy and bready malt. The finish ends with slight bitterness and medium minus drying.

The beer has Shaun Hill's signature "soft" mouthfeel.

While gueuze may offer a fiery explosion of flavors like the Jimi Hendrix's licks, Vera Mae contains the gentle, yet complex chords of Nick Drake. This is a thought provoking and subtle brew.

Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Adam for the trade!

(A)- Pours a cloudy brilliantly yellow colored hue. A great head of white froth. Good retention and lacing to boot.

(S)- Quite dry. Very very dry actually. Lots of Brett funk meets lemongrass and a rather fragrant floral grassiness; dandelions?

(T)- Very dry, yet very grassy too. Bright lemongrass and subtle Brett funk tartness. I get the dandelions now for sure.

(M)- A very crisp and spritzy carbonation level. The feel and taste of this just screams spring time. Bright and zesty with jsut a tiny bit of tart funk in the background.

(O)- A wonderfully dry springtime themed saison. Every so lightly funky and tart, this would kick ass during the warm months. Simply a spectatularly crafted Saison

Photo of angrybabboon
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this

Review from notes, 6/7/14

Appearance: Hazy, pale honey with some gold and yellow hues - pours with a large, white head, fades to a solid cap, leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Clean and decidedly Hill Farmstead - lightly floral and earthy, with some saison yeast - some light funk and some pale malts - more flowers, earth, lightly spicy aromas from the yeast - some light fruits, but more flowery than fruity

Taste: Floral, spicy, and straight-up saison yeast - nicely balanced and interesting - very yeasty, as it should be, with some earth, some spice, and some yeasty funk - more fruit than in the aroma - dry pineapple, green apple, and pear - honey is not particularly apparent in the flavor - floral and somewhat grassy - nicely complex

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, with a smooth, earthy finish

Overall: Hill Faaahhhm dude

If you've ever had any other saisons from Hill Farmstead, you probably already know what to expect from this beer. It's yeasty and earthy while being clean and refreshing. Personally, it's not my favorite, as the addition of dandelions and honey did not really add much to an already great base.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a great saison, tons of interesting stuff going on in here.

The look is stunningly beautiful, amazing perfect shiny orange with excellent head and sticky lacing, very inviting.

The smell has a nice earthiness and honeysuckle aroma to it, with some nice peppery and lemongrass spice to it as well. Some very big yeast notes dominating. Some sweet notes to it as well, probably from the honey since it has yet again a vibrant spicy edge to it.

The taste leads with lemons, and has a peppery finish. The front also has a plantlike taste to it that is almost like hops without the bitterness, perhaps that is from the dandelions. Huge burst of flavor, different notes with each sip. Farmhouse yeast abounds but it isn't as tart in a funky way as I expected, more of a citrus tartness. I almost wonder if he threw citrus rinds or something in there it is so prevalent, sorachi ace hops?. Little bit of a grainy side to it also to complete it with honey at the finish as well. Nice spritzy carbonation and great saison appropriate body too.

An awesome beer worthy of seeking out. Huge flavors and transcendent overall.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Golden yellow with a nice white head. Lace inside the glass and swirly designs on the surface.

Smell - Intensely floral. Also very yeasty. Pale malt and a white wine-like acidity.

Taste - Very yeasty. Flowery and winey. Grassy bitterness builds into the finish. Floral flavors linger.

Mouthfeel - Light. Crisp and spritzy. Nice flower flavor in the finish.

Overall - Very enjoyable. The flowers are intense, but the saison handles them well.

Photo of spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle received in trade with cfrancis - thanks!

Appearance - Gold colour with an average size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some greatlacing. The head lasted for 6-7 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Cloves, lemons, floral, a bit of funk

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of floral notes, cloves and lemon juice/zest. There is also a fair amount of tart/sour funk going on.

Overall - I don't think this brewer makes a bad beer. This is a fantastic sour yet refreshing saison. My bottle gushed when I opened it, so beware.

Photo of Stevedore
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

75cl bottle, bottle dated 7/2013, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 2/27/2014. Thanks Matt, for this one.

App- Pours a hazy straw yellow-golden body, with a ginormous 3 finger white head with ridiculous retention. I had to take a few minutes admiring the body before I felt comfortable drinking this without getting a white mustache. But otherwise extensive lacing.

Smell- Smells an awful lot like the recent batch of Anna (fall 2013), but more sour- peppery, tart, earthy, floral. Very interesting.

Flavour- White peppers, floral hops (or is it the dandelion? I've never eaten a dandelion so I'm not sure), tartness and barnyard funk that I contribute to the Northeast Kingdom flora as I have gotten this in most of the recent Hill Farmstead saisons, a bit of citrus as well. Very complex and more interesting than Anna.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated but not nearly enough to take any enjoyment away from this beer. Ridiculously easy drinking, with a nice funky tart aftertaste typical of the Hill Farmstead saisons.

Overall- Could be my new favorite Hill Farmstead saison. I think this is more interesting and complex than Anna is, but its hard to say which saison I enjoyed drinking more.. I'd probably go with Anna on this one.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pour is pale straw colored, violent bubbles rising to the top with tons of bubbly fluffy white head. Nose is great, strong notes of earthy Saison yeast, light pepper balance with floral and herbal hops and a pleasant honey note in back. Taste is very light, not as earthy and yeasty as the nose, a bit more bright citrus with a sweet clean honey. Pepper is faint but adds a touch of balance. Nice floral touch integrated very well and boasting quite a bit of depth. Body is airy and enjoyable, strong carbonation and super crisp. This beer rivals Anna, awesome stuff.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle

A delicate pours yields an enormous head that almost overflows my glass. Active and almost violent bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. The head is pillowy and dense like meringue. Nice a pure white and the retention is ridiculous. The beer pours a nice pale straw yellow with some mild golden hues on the edges.

Aroma is delicious and flowery. Notes of earthy grass and some wildflowers in the nose. Like a delicate meadow. There is a mild grassy hop aroma that has some mild citrus notes and seems typical of HF beers. Some nice slight lemony tartness can be perceived in the nose as well. Very earthy and clean nose.

Flavor starts off with nice earthy grain and bready notes. Earthy and grassy notes are also present. There is a quick sharp mild tartness that shows up mild lemon juice and rind. There is some slight fruit juice sweetness that balances out the tartness which is clean and delicious. The carbonation to this brew is delicious and intense. Tiny bubbles that make the brew feel almost spicy. Delicious. The tartness in this brew is so mild but works so well with the mild sweetness and earthy grain notes.

Overaal. HF did really well in my book with this Saison. Its very approachable and traditional with some nice funk and tartness balanced out by mild fruit juice sweetness.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml picked up at the brewery last month. July 2013 bottled on date.

Poured into Duvel tulip. Could be the prettiest beer I've seen in years. Booming, bright-white head over (what starts as) a clear, golden body, with massive amounts of carbonation flowing up... after a couple minutes, the body takes on a chill haze. Lots of lacing.

Lots of farmhouse hay and light citrus in the aromas. Some animal.

Flavors carry a tangy zing of lemon, light floral bitterness, and plenty of fresh wheat. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing - extremely good carbonation level. Some lemongrass quality in the aftertaste.

Extremely enjoyable beer. And given that today is an 80 degree October day, it absolutely hits the spot.

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this while at the Vermont Public Television - Vermont Craft Beer Night event that featured Shaun Hill on site.
The pour out of the bottle revealed a beautiful pale, clear saffron hue. Nice foamy head on top.
Smell is what you would expect from a Hill Farmstead Saison, tangy, pungent, delicious.
First sip and that sour tangy juiciness explodes. Subsequent sips mellowed the tang and revealed softer notes.
Mouth feel was fantastic, tiny little bubbles on your tongue.
This was a delicious saison that I really, really enjoyed. It was fantastic.

Photo of jrenihan
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage.

The beer is golden and absolutely clear. A very large. snow white head. Good retention and lace.

Nose is vinous. Green grape is the first scent to hit my nose. The honey sticks out, along with an array of floral and fruity scents. There is a cherry tartness that smells like Brett- I'm not sure any is in here, but it certainly smells like it.

Taste has the same green grape flavours, with a strong yeast component. Again, it tastes like Brett to me for sure, a dry funk with tart cherry flavours. The honey offsets the dryness with sweetness. Fruity and grassy flavours abound. Has a very 'fresh' flavour. Very balanced between sweet, dry, tart and even some bitterness at the end from the hops. Lovely.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated, but not in an irritating manner. Astringent.

Overall, just great. Lovely stuff indeed.

Photo of Treebs
3.81/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle served in a wine glass. Thanks to cfrances33 for the share.

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick cap that leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: Straight flower patch in the nose with some lemon tartness and plan stems. Light malt profile with a little grass.

T: Light and lemony with a slightly tart pucker. Sweet malts with a little bit of flower stem. Very floral with a dry yeasty note as well.

M: Light bodied with a bubble carbonation level. Fresh and floral.

O: This was nice, but definitely one of the weaker HF offerings in my opinion. Not that complex overall, just a nicely made saison with a little floral components to it.

Photo of Resuin
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a stemmed HF glass. The bottle is marked with a bottling date of June 2013.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous gold/translucent yellow and leaves a 2 fingered, fluffy white head.

Smell: Lemon, light pleasant grassy funk, light floral hops, honey. Very refreshing and light aroma.

Taste: Matches the aroma pretty well. Light lemon zest, faint but very delicious floral hops, very light grassy funk. Very, very mild hint of sour at the finish, which is so smooth.

Mouth-feel: Medium, well-carbonated body with a nice, fairly creamy feel to it and that wondrously smooth finish.

Overall: This is an extremely refreshing beer. The flavors that come out are all delicious and balanced wonderfully, while light and delicate. I could drink a lot of this beer. Everything from the gentle, floral hops to the honey & lemon zest make the profile delicious. As of this review, this is my favorite HF saison.

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Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.