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Vera Mae - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Vera MaeVera Mae

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

463 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 463
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 279
Gots: 80 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: SFLpunk on 07-25-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 463 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

imperialking, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of Respirologist
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Respirologist, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

Dreadnaught33, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of SFLpunk
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%

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!

SFLpunk, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Resuin
4.46/5  rDev +3%

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.

Resuin, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of DearthVader
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%

Thanks for this one phingdong!

Poured into my HF tulip

Pours a straw-like gold (much like the Anna I had last night). Yet again, I'm greeted by an extremely aggressive head. I filled the glass about half way and the foam raced up over the edges with no hesitation. Big globs of lacing are left behind.

I love HF's use of the big floral hops that they use in their Saisons. I smell huge bursts of wildflowers that are followed quickly by a lemon zest. The honey is hidden very well by the acidity of the lemon but it's definitely in there.

Taste is of extremely dry floral hops, fresh squeezed lemon, slight honey, and that glorious barnyard funk we all love.

This beer has the perfect balance with dryness and acidity. Its so damn refreshing with the light sweetness hidden in between the acidic beginning and extremely dry finish.

I could drink this stuff year round. One of the best Saisons made in the states that I've had the opportunity to try.

DearthVader, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of rtepiak
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

rtepiak, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of steve8robin
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%

steve8robin, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Skrip
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%

750ml bottle poured into a Dogfish chalace

A~ golden orange with lots of head!

S~ pepper, citrus, tad bit of funk and oh soooo sweet!

T~ holy sour! apples, pears, lemons, limes, pepper, and the list goes on! its like the nicest mix between an amazing gueuze and a fantastic saison.

M~ great tartness and really nice carbonation. sour all the way down!

O~ i can never get enough! after every HF saison i just wanna try another, they just keep getting better. this might be the best one i've had so far but... i've probably said that before haha. so yeah... just try it already!

Skrip, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

750ml bottle, split, served in hill farmstead wine-glass

My first true hill-farmstead offering, graciously shared. Sharp carbonation, golden-yellow body with a healthy white foam head. Lots of light belgian yeast, fresh cut flowers, lemon and spice round out the flavor profile. This saison is nice and tart, light, crisp and really refreshing. I'm not sure what dandelions taste like, but i have to imagine its contributing the floral and earthy flavors. The honey works well too - this was a really nice beer.

dirtylou, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of brystmar
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

Hazy yellow body, tons of white head roars to life but recedes quickly. Looks like freshly squeezed lemonade after the head and lace settle. Cool!

Ooh, nice and tart! Sour, and floral, and oddly lactic -- really like that touch. Can't get over how sour this is; yeasty funkiness is more subdued. More sour and less funky than many saisons, and I like that. Highly carbonated but it actually works well.

Vera Mae >>> Ann IMO.

brystmar, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

BoldRulerVT, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of sisuspeed
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

2012 Vintage - Bottling 2

Poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Slightly cloudy lemon-yellow body with a large, frothy, white head. Lots of lacing. Lemon zest and hints of honey on the nose. Earthy grains and a touch of pepper. Sweet and lightly floral. Citrus and some crisp, lactic, sourness on the tongue. Honey with light, earthy, hops. Body is smooth, crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is perfect. Nice tangy sourness throughout. Overall, this is a really nice improvement over the original recipe. Love the light sourness and floral honey combo.

sisuspeed, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of andrewinski1
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured into a tasting glass. This is light straw color with just a touch of haze. There is so much foam I cannot possibly pour in one swoop (into two glasses). There is a ton of sticky lacing.

The aroma is full of peppery yeast and slightly sweet candy sugar. There is some nice malty aroma to round out the floral aroma.

The taste is very floral, and reminds me of a lavender saison I had from Stillwater. This starts out dry and bitter, with a slightly sweet candy finish with a touch of pepper.

The body is light to medium with soft but spicy carbonation.

I like this one a lot. Hill Farmstead's saisons are among my favorites.

andrewinski1, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Number45forever
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

Finally cracked open a Vera Mae over the weekend. It was outstanding! Pleasently tart, not sour by any means. It was one of the most refreshing things I've ever had. Like a super dry champagne on the tongue, very high amounts of carbonation.

Taste was of lemon, fresh greens, orange blossom honey. It was delightful. I'd drink this beer all the time, it was really great. I wish I had more time to explain.

Bottom line, as with all Hill Farmstead beers, if you get the chance to try this one: do it. Masterful.

Number45forever, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of rudzud
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

Having had this multiple times I figured it would be time to review. This is a Batch 1 bottle, initial release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Ah yes, I seem to recall now Shaun telling me to open the bottle cold. So as I pop this room temp, having forgotten, it rather quickly rises from the bottle. Pours a lightly hazy lightly strawed golden hue with a big, creamy white almost 3 finger head that faded to leave soapy, sudsy lacing and a thick dense blanket.

S - Nice aromas of light honey and warm summer meadows full of dandelions. Very light yeasty funk with some soft gentle lemon. Very light, pleasant barn aromas with more bright almost phenol.

T - Taste is nice and lightly tart/sour with lots of lemon. Very light honey sweetness and some light bitterness that dandelions give to brew (similar to dandelion wine). Very slight spelt in the background as well. Very lightly funky which is impressive all the more seeing how all the sediment got mixed up upon popping. This tastes much, much better than I remember it tasting. Exponentially better.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice. Would like a touch more carbonation to help out the lemon sourness here. Feels more like a wild than a saison.

O - Overall, this is one of Shaun Hill's best saisons to date. All of his saisons are "good" but this though, this is something really special. Really enjoy how bright and tart this is.

rudzud, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of alpineclimber
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

A huge thanks to mmurphy525 for this bottle.

A 750ml bottle poured into my favourite chalice. A huge frothy white head on top of a cloudy straw coloured brew. The head slowly recedes to a small wispy white head with some lacing.

The smell is yeasty, slightly estery and earthy.

Taste is very delicate, the yeast is very prominent in taste. The taste is fairly floral and dry. Not much sweetness in this brew. This beer coates the mouth with a full mouthfeel.

Very nice brew, super hard to get but well worth it!!!

alpineclimber, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a giant, foamy 4 finger white head with fantastic retention. Almost too much. Lacing is thick, patchy, and sticky. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Pretty. Head is a bit too large here.

Nose is floral. Notes of cane sugar, honey, some coriander spice, citrus, and a mild cobweb funk. Aromatic and balanced. Real nice.

Opens citrus and a floral tartness. Just the right amount of sour throughout. Some peppercorn and coriander spice dot the experience left and right. More citrus towards the end with a mild flowery bitterness blending in towards the end. Finish is slightly tart and foamy with a lingering tart finish. Excellent.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and dry and quenching going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Very satisfying. Exactly what I want from the style.

Just about everything I've had from Hill Farmstead has blown me away so far and this is no exception. Just the right amount of tartness with an incredible body to deliver the experience. Well worth trying!

SpeedwayJim, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

cpetrone84, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

Stevedore, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

JoEBoBpr, Nov 04, 2013
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.

rlee1390, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

On-tap at Churchkey, served in a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy yellow color, topped with a big white head that recedes to a collar and leaves nice lacing.

S- Hay, dry earthy funk, grassy dandelion aromas, also some floral aromas and nice honey. The aroma is great, and very complex, a beer I could smell all day.

T- Dry, earthy and herbal, dandelion and honey are both on the milder side and work nicely together, has a bit of fruitiness and tartness, a bit of lemon.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, finish is very, very dry.

O- A very tasty saison, had this alongside Arthur and preferred this by a bit, would love to drink this again sometime.

WillCarrera, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

BeerImmediately, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of jrenihan
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

jrenihan, Sep 22, 2013
Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 463 ratings.