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Vera Mae - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Vera MaeVera Mae

Educational use only; do not reuse.

103 Reviews
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Reviews: 103
Hads: 593
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.19%
Wants: 308
Gots: 98 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 593
Photo of MissSmisje
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle, in a tasting glass
L: sunshine straw, thin bone head, tight carbonation,
S: lemon zest, oak, honey, floral
T: follows the nose, floral note is clearly dandelions, lightly funky
F: crisp and clean
O: delicious

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Photo of Ian_B
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't sure about the ingredients in this beer, but it sounded intriguing at the least. I was more than surprised. Light aroma of citrusy/sour clementine with a honey-like sweetness and floral dandelion. Tastes exactly the same with a hint of spicy white rye dough that lingers on the slightly tart and sweet honey finish. Desert island beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a stemmed vase, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, yellow-gold coloring with a foamy, light and fluffy, bright white head that lightly clings the glass. There is a steady flow of carbonation throughout the body, as well. Aromas of subtle lemon grass, rich honey, woody notes, vinous dandelions, and a blend of floral highlights. The flavors are tangy sweet and extremely vegetal forward, with a solid bitterness that quickly follows. Rich honey, sweet and tart lemon, and floral highlights lead the charge, but the very bitter and resinous hops profile cleans things up quickly, with another blast of tart citrus lemon and grapefruit coming along with it. The wood spice ends up blending with the floral notes as an accent, and there is a subtle sour twist on the back of the palate. The body is smooth and robust, with a slight effervescence from the carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter and vegetal, with the citrus highlights still shining through. Dry, crisp finish, with a solid bitter and resinous linger. Very solid beer!

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Photo of barczar
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I continue to be underwhelmed by all the HF offerings. Not my favorite style, though.

Aroma is fairly barnyard funky, with floral notes. Flavor is clean, with a big lemony, lactic sour presence and an earthy, herbal finish.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to egrace84 for sharing this loooong time want with me!

750ml bottle poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: pale yellow bodied beer with large bone white head. The head has fantastic retention and leaves behind a thick coating of lacing on the glass.

Smell: You can really smell the honey in this as well as signature HF funk and light tartness. I think this smells exactly like Anna. Not smelling much dandelions.

Taste: Taste is exactly like it smells and it also tastes exactly like Anna. Which is not a bad thing at all because I really enjoy Anna. As this beer hit room temperature, I got a slight hint of dandelions.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean, bright, and refreshing feel to this saison. Insurmountable drinkability just like all other HF saisons.

Overall: This is the first beer that I have drank which was brewed with dandelions. Slightly disappointing that I did not get a unique character from the dandelions, but on the other hand I got to drink a Hill Farmstead saison so life is good. This saison is very, very similiar to Anna.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours (into my HF tulip) a glowing hazed yellow with a finger of bright, white head which dissipates within a few minutes, some nice spotty lacing but inconsistent.

S - Bright, HF farmhouse lemony/slightly sour yeasts, elderflower, dry, semi-sweet honey, lavender, floral.

T - Bright lemon and light/citrusy funk, lavendar-type flavors, gentle honey, minimally dry, almost a hint of mild/welcoming pepper twang, the sweet honey comes through momentarily that the finish. Aftertaste is mostly lemony type funk.

M - Effervescent, delicately pops off of the tongue. Seemingly (very) light bodied but leaves a (relative) medium thickness in the mouth.

O - Bright bright funky saison. Gentle floral potpourri notes mix with refreshing honey sweetness very well. Extremely well balanced, easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle purchased 8/6/15 into big pint glass because why not?

Nice looking pale golden, very pleasant citrus and flowery smell.

Very tasty, definitely get the hops, honey, and dandelion, as well as a solid malt profile.

Well-balanced, moderately carbonated, quite refreshing.

Very good farmhouse ale.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of jjdc
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of imscotty
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

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Photo of medic25
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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...

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Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

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Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
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

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.