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Vera Mae - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Vera MaeVera Mae

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

99 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 99
Hads: 578
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 307
Gots: 95 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 99 | Hads: 578
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The beer pours out with a ton of foam and as the liquid materializes it is a cloudy honey color; the whipped egg white head persists at length, leaving copious amounts of lace behind

Smell: Slightly funky, slightly floral and slighty earthy, the yeast drives the aromatics

Taste: As with the aroma, the yeast has a big impact on the palate; cantaloup and green tea, up front, with a growing lemony character that appears in the middle; the finish is a bit fruity, a bit grassy and somewhat dry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with high carbonation

Overall: Hill Farmstead's saisons compete with the best of Belgium; I cannot really identify the spelt character in this beer but the flavor profile is complex and enjoyable, while the mouthfeel is light and airy (776 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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. (649 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
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!! (926 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jackie O's bottle share 3/1/2013.

Pours a hazy lemon yellow, thick white head.

Smell is nice, faint citrus and flowers, but very light in character

Taste is pretty funky, odd flower flavors, tart lemon, touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel not very thick but very frothy/bubbly.

8.3/10 (283 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (581 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1700th Review on BA
Bottle to HF Stemware
750ml

Batch 2
Thanks to BA Jlindros and RudZud

App- This bottle has a very interesting color behind it. Similar to the label color. It's a deep yellow with whites mixed into it. A huge three finger head that was super large and cracky. Receded quite slow. Nice stick.

Smell- This had a very unique aroma. The spelt has a very spicy aroma and then paired with the wheat adds a fresh cut grass aroma. It's very grass forward with a aroma I can't place. Herbal, grass and??

Taste- It's got great looks and it goes down for me from there. The saison notes are there but then the spelt and other grassy flavors comes in and fades away the base saison I know to something spicy and that I can't place.

Mouth- A medium body with a semi prickly carbonation. The spelt adds a weird grass residual flavor with some wheat and some spice.

Drink- I love me some HF, but this one just wasn't for me. Unique and different. This would take a couple bottles to get used to. (1,004 characters)

Photo of codysjb
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (512 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers and thanks are owed to BA baconsausage for hooking me up with this. Poured from a 750ml into a gigantic over-sized wine glass. The brew streams a perfectly clear golden yellow color with a rich 3+finger white frothy topping. The cap slowly fades leaving pillows of patchy lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives a finger of slightly off-white cap back to the surface and paints some strings of webby lace on the glass.

The aroma is lemony scented almost perfume-like inclusion that makes me think this is going to be sour. Some earthen edges with a mild inclusion of sulfur and stinky feet/cheese. The earthen aspects of this are a bit grassy and vegetative somewhat similar to dandelions but that is a bit of a stretch. There is a soft fresh grain note underneath that is minorly reminiscent of wheat. Overall, a fine smelling brew.

The flavor is very earthen with hints of grass, wheat and straw-like grain inclusion. There is a bit of that previously described lemony aspect found that was so bold in the aroma but instead of being citrus and zest-like or fruity, it is very bitter like chewing on the rind of an orange/lemon/grapefruit. It has a bit of an oily cling that resonates long into the aftertaste with a bit of a draw back to the initial earthen flavors. As the brew warms up, it gets to be a bit soapy.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It looks, smells and feels the part of a saison but the bitterness was a bit over the top and distracted a little bit from the overall experience. However, I gotta say that this was one of the more enjoyable Hill Farmstead brews that I have had in awhile. I would get this again if the opportunity presented itself and proceed almost like it is a hybrid ipa/saison instead of expecting a saison in the more traditional sense. (1,828 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (822 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppypocket for this one! Poured in to HF stemmed tulip.

A - Cloudy medium yellow with an orange glow around the edges. One finger of bright white head with good retention and good lacing.

S - Funk is noticeable up front with Belgian yeast, floral, lemon, coriander and sweet honey aromas also present.

T - Tartness and funk hit the tongue right away before the other flavours start to come through. Grass, lemon, big floral presence, coriander, Belgian yeast and some dill. Lighter lemon zest and spice in the background. The dandelion is not specifically noticeable but likely contributes to the big grassy and floral presence.

M - Light to medium body. Light carbonation. The typical HF dryness is present. (725 characters)

Photo of nrs207
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle picked up at the Harvest Festival in September.

A - Gorgeous. Hazy pale yellow. It almost looks like a gorgeous adjunct lager. It just looks super refreshing, which is it. Pillowy bright white head that sticks around forever.

S - I can tell this is brewed with dandelions, or at least that's what I believe I'm smelling. A really earthy and grassy scent mixed with an acidic (lemon) funk.

T - Follows the nose really well. Super refreshing, with a grassiness that I assume comes from the dandelions. There's a nice lemon tartness with some light funk. This would be the ultimate beer for a hot summer day outside (unfortunately I'm getting rocked by Sandy right now).

M - Really light mouthfeel. High carbonation (slight knock to 4.5). It's a little too bubbly in my mouth, but pretty high on drinkability.

O - All Shaun's saisons are fantastic in their own way. I might prefer Art over this, but definitely good and definitely different with the dry dandelion character. (990 characters)

Photo of danedelman
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
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!! (535 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
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 (1,083 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from iguenard, 750ml into a tulip. Batch 2.

Straw yellow, with a voluminous white head. Chunky retention and patchy lace. Nose is herbal, floral (dandelion can be sensed, interestingly enough...), dill, farmhouse yeast, light wheat and a touch of mineral character. Taste is floral and herbal again, dill, lemon, citrus zest, farmhouse flavours and light tartness. Sweet malt underneath (perhaps even honey there?). Effervescent feel, light bdoy. Yummy, light and refreshing - my first foray into Hill Farmstead beers and I want more. (542 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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 (1,002 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Batch 1.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spices, herbs, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness and a spice finish on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink. (512 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (1,104 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,387 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch 2. Thanks!

A: Pours a cloudy, lemon-colored body capped with two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good retention that leaves a little streaking down the glass.

S: Extremely floral; Vera Mae has a field blossom aroma that accentuates notes of lemons, white pepper, and grass.

T: The taste is more evolved than the nose; in addition to its dominant floral and lemon flavors, Vera Mae has a grainy sweetness in the mid-taste. As it draws to a close, grass and an herbal character emerge, uniting at the finish with a peppery bite. The aftertaste has a noticeable herbal kick.

M: Light-medium bodied; however, it finishes with a drying close, in part due to the pepper and herbal aftertaste.

O: Very good, though I like some of HF's other saisons more. (794 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 poured into a Tired Hands stem.

Pours a cloudy peach color. Huge, billowy white head rests triumphantly atop the beer. Slowly settles leaving loads of lacing behind.

Smells like a fresh field....notes of grass, flowers, and tart lemon.

First taste is lemony tart. Then as you allow it to open in your mouth, the flowery aspect starts to shine and really takes hold all the way through the finish.

Mouthfeel is dry and a bit puckering. Leaves a a tart aftertaste that makes you immediately want that next sip.

Overall, I found this quite enjoyable. While I still prefer a more 'traditional' bretted saison, this was definately a fanatastic brew. It is very worth a try should get the chance. (703 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer from Hill Farmstead, all thanks to brooklynbrews - poured to a brandy snifter.

Beautiful to look at - pale cider/honey gold, foggy, a swelling pillow of white foam leaves exact lacing.

The nose is heavily floral, fresh grass, faint spicy yeast, very faint clove, very inviting.

Oooh... that's good. All the traditional characteristics of a good saison with the addition of something slightly tart and citric. Nice, dry finish - not thirst quenching dry but clean. The feel of the beer is spectacular. Plenty of body while maintaining a velvet smooth, easy drinking consistency. As it warms, the dandelion notes become obvious and it works so well with the beer.

So glad to have finally had something from this brewery. I can see why it excites people - very tasty stuff! (789 characters)

Photo of Number45forever
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (513 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (435 characters)

Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.