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Vera Mae - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Vera MaeVera Mae

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 602
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 19.91%
Wants: 313
Gots: 96 | 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: 105 | Hads: 602
Photo of amnesia85
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the most recent bottling, on side of label a hand written #2.
Bought on site early this afternoon, chilled in a bucket of ice and served in clean HF stem.

A: Hazy, Golden, Honey with a pearl white head that leaves residual lacing. Small thin creator formations.

S: clean White grape; white wine; honey; with a tiny hint of grass.

T: WOW! Taste is very familiar to me… Almost in exact order of the smell: first you get a sour pucker tart flavoring of white grapes and honey followed a very light flavor of grass (probably the dandelions).

M: light, clean, perfect carbonation, and extremely smooth.

O: overall this beer is perfect. Any rating on this beer less than a 4 must not have been reviewed in a reasonable amount of time from purchasing or not handled properly (which is a shame because it F%cks up the deviation). There is nothing I would change about this beer and my only regret is that I did not buy more, at 10 dollars for a 750 this beer is a straight up steal.

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Photo of medic25
5/5  rDev +17.1%

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 dar482
5/5  rDev +17.1%

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 codysjb
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hill Farmstead Vera Mai
Tried to Wax the bottle and the cap came off so I get to drink this. YAY!
A: Pours a cloudy straw/golden color. Lots of head plus it gushed open so a ton of head.
S: Lemon zest, farmhouse funk and that nice moldy/musky smell you get in rly old houses in Europe (or antique stores).
T: Wow, it sour. Theres a saison thing mixed with what tastes like a traditional gueuze.
M: Lemon sourness with some nice laid back farmhouse notes.
O: Hill Farmstead is amazing. I really just want to live next the brewery or at a bare min bottle and ship some stuff.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
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 danedelman
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-hazy yellow. Perfect head, perfect haze. Like all HF beers, so pretty.

S-grassy/bitter nose. bitter more on the field side, must be the dandelions although I could not say as I have never had dandelions in a beer. slight sourness.

T-holy cow!!sweetness hits with a following blow of dryness and then sour/tart. lemon/grass/orange zest/cantaloupe rind/bitterness lingers again I think from the dandelions.

M-medium body with perfect carbonation for this style.

OVerall-I would put in my top 5 beers of all time. Thanks again HF!!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 batch on draft at Harvest Festival. Served in a... HF glass (shocking).

Reviewed the first batch from the bottle previously, but this year's was distinct enough to merit a new entry in my opinion. Poured a chalky, hazed golden color with a frothy white head; excellent retention and ample lace. Floral and nectary nose of honey, clover, dandelion and grass. Flavor is similar, dominated by the floral and lemon flavors with an ample tart and light pepper finish. Dry medium body with high carbonation and a crisp finish. I want more of this beer always.

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Photo of imscotty
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%

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 sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
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 cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to WhereTheWildBeersGo, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Pale, hazy golden body, with a billowing three finger white head. Body has a radiance about it that is just beautiful. Head hangs around for a while, and leaves thick sticky lacing. This is way all saisons should look.

Smell: Tart pear and green apple juice up front, followed by a zesty citrus aspect. Some yeasty pepper, followed by a nice breadyness.

Taste: Woah. Tart pears and green apples again up front, followed by a really nice tart lemon juice. Some more white pepper and a light yeast. Slight bready sweetness, but only just Finishes with tart lemons.

Mouthfeel: Incredible. Beautiful tartness and carbonation. Super refreshing each sip. I could drink this forever.

Overall: In my opinion, Hill Farmstead's best "regular" beer.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, we are headed out to downtown syracuse tonight so I figured it might be busy. That being said, I decided to pop open a Vera Mae from the cellar.

A- a hazy sunlight yellow fills my hill farmstead stemware with an almost glowing head of white foam. The lacing is completely massive and sticky that you can draw parallels to the lacing coming from a Vermont spider on 'roids

S- barn yard funk that is not only floral but also tropical and full bodies with candy like Belgian yeast tones. Excellent scent that is tart and flavorful

T- tart and crisp, vera mae extends a yeasty flavor rush of sweet themes coupled by a funky flavor that is not often duplicated. Very enhanced as a "detailed" american saison should be. Completely coating with lively flavor and a splash of honey

M- flavor that latches into your tongue

O- simply amazing. Vera Mae splashes your palate with an American interpretation of a saison that leaves no detail or attribute behind. So refreshing I could drink this for days

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Photo of MissSmisje
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
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 rowingbrewer
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is golden straw color that you can almost see through but not quite as it is slightly hazy. There is a 2 finger pillowy head that manages to last almost as long as my eight oz pour. The tiny bubbles that makeup the head. Continue to rise from the bottom of the glass, it almost has the appearance of champagne but hazy

The smell is slightly citrusy and has a hint of tartness to it. There are also slight notes of funk and an almost earthy grassiness to it. This beer is very inviting both in looks and in smell.

The flavor is just like the smell with hints of tart lemony goodness followed by a nice slight bit of funk but just barely.

The mouthfeel is so light and effervescent it's crazy and the nice touch of tartness makes this beer mouthwatering and hard to put down.

Overall this is one of the best saisons if not the best saison that I have ever had. I cannot wait until next years release. If Jesus turned water into beer instead of wine he would have turned it into Hill farmstead saisons

Batch 2 750 chilled and split between 3 HF wine style glasses

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Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Franklinn, you're a great BA.

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy straw/yellow-gold with a finger+ of frothy white head.

Smell. Spicy, sweet and peppery saison yeast with a bit of lemon juice and light floral herbs.

Taste. Tart, sour lemon juice, a little bit of sweet and spicy saison yeast, and a lightly floral, herby light bitterness in the finish that I would have to assume comes from the dandelions and a little honey. Wow, very nice.

Mouthfeel. Maybe a little below medium body ...it's a little harder to tell than some beers with the acidity. Anyways, there's a pretty full amount of fine carbonation, maybe just a little too much but it's barely a complaint.

Overall. Probably the most sour saison I've had from HF but in combination with that dandelion bitterness, it works beautifully. Another top notch beer from HF. Huge fan of this brewery, it lives up to every bit of the hype. Thanks again Frank!!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large tapered wine glass.

Classic Hill Farmstead look. Shocking bright white head, three fingers, massive retention, huge clumping and lacing. Body color is a gorgeous orb glowing honey gold and green hued just a touch. Just one aggresive looking brew.

Nose is floral and good sense of fresh mowed grass. Crisp honeycomb, and mild garden herbal notes. Very unique and lots of fun. It's like a garden in here, the beer smells of just dense pollen.

A really wondeful tartness. Quick puckering lemon citrus acid. A real punch that lingers just on and on even after the swallow. Creamy body, with a mild carbonation, extremely soft feel to the palate. Honey smacks the lips and lingers with a sense of floral lip balm on the skin. Tight quick carbonation that slowly evaporates on multiple sips. Slight chewy malt, but the beer is truly acidic forward with wonderful aromatics and flavors. Tannic coating on the aftertaste, mild tartness, and even a hint of Gose like salt.

Overall what more could you have expected from Hill Farmstead. More greatness what else.

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Photo of hagbergl
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 750mL bottle of Hill Farmstead Vera Mae for $10 (in my opinion, quite reasonable), their "spring blossom" farmhouse ale made with dandelions from their own field and honey, from the brewery in early August. Pretty cool looking bottle–looks very classy and understated. Enjoyed in my Dogfish Head snifter with my girlfriend during our vacation to the Cape. Review is from notes.

Appearance (4.5/5): Vera Mae pours an opaque lemon yellow/honeysuckle hue and is topped by a voluminous, frothy, white head of foam that measures about 2.5 fingers. Plenty of sticky lacing lines the sides of the glass as you drink. Pour it into a stemmed glass and appreciate!

Smell (4.5/5): Notes of light, tart lemon and citrus, wheaty, floral, and grassy tones, leap from the glass. Yeasty and a bit funky, as well. Quite unusual for a saison; reminds me a bit of Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca. Summery.

Taste (4.5/5): Wow, what fresh, interesting flavors! Fruity notes of lemon, grapefruit rind, and pear combine with a floral, herbal bitterness imparted, undoubtedly, by the dandelions added to the brew. This is quite a unique bitterness that isn't really juicy or citric, but more akin to the bitterness of arugula. My girlfriend also suggested that it's a bit like ginger root. Whatever it is, it's a great touch. A subdued honey sweetness also comes through with further sips. Not a hint of alcohol in the flavor profile. Refreshing, complex, tart.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): The mouthfeel is what makes this beer. It is bubbly, effervescent, and practically tickles the tongue. Great active carbonation. It is also light and the tart "arugula" bitterness stops short of puckering. If HF hadn't nailed the mouth on this one, it wouldn't have been nearly as much of a success. Good show.

Overall (4.5/5): Vera Mae is one hell of a farmhouse ale/saison. It's a bit unusual and unorthodox, but it really makes the twists and added ingredients count. And for all those people skeptical of the dandelions, don't let it dissuade you from buying this refreshingly tart ale!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a delicate hazy light yellow color ale with a super large foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with nice floral undertones and some light honey notes. Taste is a wonderful mix between some rustic notes with some floral notes as well as some honey and light fruity ester. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is a great example of complexity and drinkability without being overly sweet and with great attenuation.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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 GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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 ToasterChef
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A chilled 750ml bottle is poured into white wine glasses.

A huge pure white foam head fills most of the glass. Below it lies a golden yellow liquid. Plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles are present. Lacing is impressive.

A very good saison aroma comes off of Vera Mae. White sugar, musty yeast and grass hops are all detected. I think I can also smell some coriander and orange peel. Some of the grass hop aromas could be due to the dandelions, but I am not sure.

Interesting flavors in this beer. Its not nearly as sweet as other saisons I've had. It's fairly dry. Lots of floral flavors, but I'm also getting something akin to banana, but not like you find in a hefeweizen. I'm not tasting any obvious sugars and the hops are subtle.

I like how this beer isn't sticky. Coating of my mouth is slight,but a good film is left on my tongue. Carbonation can't be felt as much as I thought it would, considering the number of visible bubbles.

This is an excellent, yet hard to obtain saison. Of course, I feel you could probably say that about every style Sean Hill brews. If you can make it to Hill's Farmstead and they have bottles of this available, it would be worth picking up.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
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 SFLpunk
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vera Mae: "...Saison 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..."

750mL brown glass pry-top champagne bottle. No date, but just released yesterday (7.23.11).

Pours a beautiful bright golden yellow with 2+ inches of bone-white head that fades to leave some spotting. Nose has a distinct lemon-y character shared with other HF saisons that I presume comes from their yeast. Some grass and dried hay come to mind, too. Nose reminds me of Anna a bit.

Palate is crisp and biting on the tip of the tongue. I warmed this bottle for about 15 minutes before cracking it, but it's still quite cold. Refreshing after a day's work. Carbonation level is rather high, but not unwanted. Explosive and palate clearing. Flavors of corriander seed, straw, lemon zest or maybe preserved lemon is a better way to put it, and a pleasant grassiness throughout. There's some bitterness here that I like, but I am also curious to see how this beer evolves over the next 6 months and silks out a bit.

Well done Shaun, Dan and crew!

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2013.

Yum! Dry, minerally, slightly tart, granny smith apple, bit of lemon and funkiness. Super effervescent. A hint of honey sweetness brings everything together. The 2 years in the bottle really dried this out and melded everything together. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of Resuin
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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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Photo of rtepiak
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

big thank you so very much to SFLpunk for the beer and the hospitality.

this beer is such a beautiful nose of a saison that could be a beer that totally overlooked due to is very mild barn spunk. there is some interesting shifts but the character is much like a beautifully light and aromatic belgian. nose is lemon balm, mint, and foremost a dandelion greens floral. lemony hint but not pungent by any means. very brisk carbonation that when fades a bit gives way to more of a palate range. wheat spelt hints of creaminess... in the unfiltered qualities. very interesting floral notes... and my favorite saison bittering notes of dandelion greens. excellent brisk drink. prefect for the season.

had another sampling with food and this beer really exposed its true colors. great for mildly vinegared foods... olives particularly as they seem to have a similar brisk bittering quality about them. great with well salted meats as it cleans the palate just right for the next bite of anything. and great great with a mild blue cheese. both balanced and complementary. that is a marriage.

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Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.