1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Clara Grisette - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Clara GrisetteClara Grisette

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

569 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 569
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.5%
Wants: 92
Gots: 83 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: starrdogg on 08-09-2011

Clara (1906-1969) was our grandfather’s sister; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Grisette is crafted from American malted barley, Vermont Organic Wheat, European and American hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Clara.

Pale Malt, Organic Vermont Wheat, American and European Hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 569 | Reviews: 101
Reviews by Quackus:
More User Reviews:
Photo of mobius387
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Was at HF this week. Of all the beers there, Clara was the clear winner from our group. Beat out double citra, double galaxy, Susan, citra, among the regulars. Also drinking better out of the bottle than Anna or Dorothy.

Not sure if they changed the recipe from previous years, but 2014s vintage is way better than reviews.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large win glass from a 750ml bottle and split with my wife.

Pours a nice slightly hazy pale golden color with some darker orange/light amber hues. There is a nice half inch white head that forms and recedes down to a nice thin mat.

Aroma is yummy. Nice notes of funk and musty barnyard with a nice dosage of citrusy American hops. There is also a nice floral aroma of the European hops. The nice malty and bready grain notes really shine in the aroma of this brew. I detect some slight sweet yeast phenols as well as some mil lemony tartness in the nose, quite faint. The best part of the nose is the slight citrusy and resinous notes of American hops.

Flavor starts off with pretty clean and bready grain. Nice and fresh notes of oats. This is followed by some funky yeast notes with some slight phenolic esters and some nice fresh mildly citrusy hop notes. Very clean and delicious saison. There is a sharp but mild and faint lemony tartness that shoots up near the end of the brew. The finish of the brew is nice and dry as expected and the grassy and herbal hop notes linger throughout with some nice bitterness to boost. Very yummy brew. Nice vivid and clean carbonation and a light body.

This is a delicious and drinkable light saison. Nice low ABV make for easy sipping. Great clean carbonation gives the brew a playful mouthfeel. The grain and yeast notes are delicious with some amazing funky notes some mild tartness and a nice lingering grassy and citrus hop notes.

Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml

Big thanks to Ryan for sending me this packed into yet another stellar box o' beer! Clara is a bright golden libation with orange hues when the light is right. A good deal of haze makes the body tough to see through but does amplify the glow. The head is easy to produce, even on a soft pour I get a thick cap of silky white foam that leaves patchwork lacing on its way down.

Wow, musty wheat leaps from the glass as I pour. Wheat steals the show but there's a good amount of lesser components. An earthy, hard water element makes itself known shortly after the wheat. The yeast and hop blend add perfume driven depth, floral and modest. A solid squeeze of lemon brightens it all up. There's a little must, a little wildflower, a touch of the wild as a whole, but it's perfectly balanced. Impressive, very impressive!

The flavor profile is bright and quenching. Wheat melds perfectly with barley for a seamless concoction. It's fresh and straight from the farm. Floral qualities flash through at the back of the throat while lemon runs throughout, a touch of acidity livens it up. Phil Harmstead's yeast add, again, some of that wild; hard water, wildflowers, fresh cut hay. This is a damn good beer.

You're met with, appropriately, a lively, bubbly mouthfeel to keep the light body moving at a respectable pace. It's light and airy, thirst quenching and dry. The finish even leaves a soft bitterness in its wake accentuated by that dryness. They nailed the mouthfeel on this beer, near perfect for the style.

Of all the good to great Hill Farmstead farmhouse beers out there floating around this is up at or near the top of my favorites. It's rustic and bright, complex yet easy drinking, and a joy to partake on every level. This is a beer worth buying as much as possible. Thanks again, Ryan!

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TheLostGringo for sending this one my way - always excited to get Hill Farmstead stuff. Clara pours out like liquid gold - bright and beaming and completely solidified in terms of color; we are at 100% opacity. A slushy, white head builds up nicely, then breaks down and recedes almost as quick, leaving only a few spots of wet webbing on the side of the glass.

Hmmm... smells like a farm. A beautiful farm. Grassy notes, heavy must, lemon-lime zest, a mild citrus spritz and a moderate amount of lightly cheesy, barnyard funk. Yeasty, clumpy, with just a touch of spices and a faint tartness that brings everything together. Very masterful and refined on the nose - it just smells so refreshing, dry, and "well made".

There's a nice, slightly biting tartness that nips the tip of the tongue with each sip accompandied by a light basket of lemon zest and citrus flesh. The hops quickly come marching in; grassy, leafy, and one shade shy of floral. I haven't even swallowed the first sip yet, but I can already tell that this beer is a major rejuvenation and could easily be substituted as a thirst quencher.

A good bit of funk settles in mid-palate and lasts through the finish. Musty wood, light cheesecloth, and dust spread across an old, damp barnyard floor. The finish contains a good amount of that funk along with a lemon and apple skin, fruity reprieve. Tight, tight carbonation. Tight like a motherfuckin' tiger, snapping your tongue and whipping it into shape. Bold bodied for only 4% ABV, yet still relatively thin on the grand scale.

Wow, what a delicious beer. It would be so much dreamier in 12 oz bottles sold as six packs. This would be a definitely summer rotater. But alas! We must trade away our goods for a single 750 mL sized bottle. I'm not complaining too much, though, as I was generously hooked up and this beer would be worth it anyway. I was lovin' it hard. Refreshing, crisp, tasty, with insane, off the charts drinkability levels.

Photo of tigg924
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: 2 inch head, golden in color, clear, high carbonation, nice rocky top

Smell: apples and hay

Taste: light hay, toasted malt, apples, and a crisp hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, super light bodied, crisp, sweet start and body with bitterness at the end

Overall: One of the best grisettes I have ever had and certainly up the top of the saison list. This may be my favorite Hill brew to date. Super clean, I could drink this all day.

Photo of jeonseh
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy yellow with slight golden body and a milky white head.

S - Honey up front with light tartness

T - Tart with lactic acid, lemon, lemon zest, slight grassy body to it. Light lemon and honey on the back end.

MF - Medium body with a good tingle and tart presence to it. Leaves a light dry finish on it.

O - Really good Saison with a good tart and sour presence to it.

Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow to grapefruit coloured body with immense head. Mild barnyard aroma. Not much going on,some bitterness and pepper just a refreshing beverage that would be great in the summer, particularly with sessionability of abv.Above average mouthfeel, bulked up by some oatmeal. John’s bottle.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle decanted and poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass. Shared with schen9303.

Creamy 1.5 finger white head with good retention. Beer is a deep, cloudy goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and stringy with moderate stick. Pretty beer.

Nose is citrus, wheat and various sweet spices. Real aromatic and fresh with a clean liveliness.

Opens sweet citrus with a spice presence lingering in the back. Some wheatiness towards the middle with coriander and floral notes finishing up the experience. A very mild tartness hovers in and out. Very little aftertaste. Deliciously refreshing.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Lively and prickly in the mouth and aggressive and bubbly going down. Slightly messy finish with a very clean aftertaste. Hugely drinkable.

Following in the footsteps of the HF hoppy offerings, this beer is clean, fresh, balanced, and infinitely drinkable. I wouldn't expect anything less and Clara really delivers. A very solid beer.

Photo of dirtylou
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, split

Nice low ABV offering to start off a session on a very hot Seattle afternoon - lovely peach color and strongly carbonated. Nice notes of grassy, hay, lemon, light yeasty tartness, a touch of rye, oak. This was good and receives considerably less fanfare than many other HF beers - don't believe the anti-hype.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours golden yellow, fizzy head with light retention.

sour grape and tart apple with a sour mash.

tart up front with a rather light flavor overall. some pale malt and green apple seem to be most apparent.

very light with a rather moderate carbonation. leaves a bit of tingle afterwards.

this is really good for 4%. super easy and refreshing.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Appearance - Hazy golden body with a very large white head. Lace clings to the sides of the glass, but never fully settles. A pillow of foam on the surface.

Smell - Yeasty, like Anna. Lots of hay and wheat. Bright acidic lemon aroma.

Taste - Tart acidity is immediately apparent. Cracker malt flavor. Lots of wheat. Yeasty, but not as much as the nose. Peppery finish.

Mouthfeel - Grainy, pleasantly sour. Well carbonated. Light and easy to drink.

Overall - This was my first Hill Farmstead beer years ago at the Blackback Pub. Revisiting it for the first time. Admittedly, it's not Hill Farmstead's best beer, but it caught my interest back then and has held it ever since.

Photo of KMcG
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: When it poured into a tulip glass, the color was slightly hazed straw yellow. There was a high 2-3 finger head that was quite foamy. Nice lacing and residual head after it settled.

S: Lemon, grass (hay), and floral notes.

T: Peppery and bright but light on hops. Some citrus. There is a malty balance and bready character. Complex.

M: Light to Medium body, well carbonated, dry, and extremely drinkable.

Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky bright golden-yellow color with a creamy white head that retains nicely, leaving some lacing behind

S- earthy and funky with some dried hay and must, lemon peel and coriander

T- tart up front with notes of earth and hay, followed by tart lemon peel, peppery spice, floral hop and yeasty dry finish

M- light body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry, crisp finish

O- very enjoyable saison that's loaded with flavor at under 5% ABV

Photo of KYGunner
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Amber hued body gave way to a frothy marangue-like head. The head was a stack of tight knit bubbles with a bright white color.

The aromas were strong and tangy with sour Apple, light pears, acidic lemon even even notes of banana.

The flavors were more subdued than the nose and not nearly as complex. This tastes very cidery with a tart Apple and sweet honey.

The feel is very dry but not astringent with a moderate carbonation.

I like this plenty but wish the taste would have emulated the scent as it was far more varied and bold.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.34/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a light hazy yellow/straw color ale with a large dirty white foamy head with excellent retention and good lacing. Aroma of lemony wheat notes is a bit tarter then expected with light funky ester. Taste is also dominated by lemony tart notes with some wheat malt notes and light funky ester. Body is full for style with good carbonation. No brewing but those lemony notes are just not my favourite flavours.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to HF stemmed tulip.

A - Partly cloudy pale yellow colour. Two fingers of lightly fluffy white head that quickly reduced to one finger with great lacing. Some large pieces of sediment floating in the bottom of the glass.

S - A musky barnyard funk aroma up front. Bready malts and lighter clove and peppery spice notes present as well.

T - The funk really hits up front and is accompanied by a pretty big tartness. Some wheat and Belgian yeast notes are present as well but the big barnyard funk presence really takes this beer over and dominates the other flavours that palate. There are also some grassy and herbal hop flavours in the background and a strange aftertaste that has hints of dill.

M - Medium body. Very dry. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of Bardwashrind
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A picture perfect summer night brought upon the desire for a beer of just this caliber. My first introduction to the Grisette style by way of a brewery I have come to enjoy greatly as of late.

Upon opening the bottle and pouring the first few ounces into the glasses awaiting I was met by a hazy, copper colored liquid with a dense head of bright carbonation. The aromas were distinct with qualities similar to that of hay or a wide open field among the rural country. Dried citrus peels, some lemon, wheat, damp wood and earthy yeast were all arising from the glass. Quite lovely as this didn't have an overly funky quality, more rustic with the complexities similar to herbs and spices. Smelled great with grass under foot.

Tasting the beer under the late day sun shine was a perfect pairing in it's own way. Great carbonation was apparent with the mouthfeel being quite impressive for a beer clocking in at only 4%. Flavors ranged from germinated wheat, oatmeal, wild flowers with some distant bitter hops lingering at the end. Delicious and different that a typical saison, as the big fruity esters were not as pronounced and a more grainy, almost hearth oven toasted bread flavor was apparent.

This would be a staple in our home if we could realistically obtain bottles. Fresh but still rustic with refreshment coming from a distinct simplicity that was quite admirable. With each beer, Hill Farmstead is proving that the honest path is the most admirable. Very well done.

Photo of DearthVader
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 poured to HF Belgian stemmed tulip.

Thanks phingdong!

Pours a glowing straw yellow with the signature 4 finger foam head that climbs an extra inch out of the top of my glass. It stays perfectly intact and doesn't spill an ounce. Very clear body with a ton of carbonation bubbles racing around wildly. Extremely sticky lacing is left behind.

Smell is very bready with slight spiced up lemon zest.

Taste is up front with the peppered lemon and bread. Grassy notes with a floral coating follow.

Hill Farmstead has the mouthfeel mastered for every style. This is slightly different from most of their Saisons in that its extremely light. I typically prefer a slightly creamy body in my Saisons, but you can't help but love this. Super light and crisp and probably the most drinkable beer to touch these lips.

Hill Farmstead is making me consider having Vermont be my retirement destination sometime in the very late future. I've enjoyed everything They've put out so far.

Photo of smakawhat
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

I don't know what it is but this guy makes really great looking beers. Shocking and creamy white and lots of meringue like peaks of thin bubbles, settle slowly to a real bright orange body with good amounts of carbonation. Rolling fire column smack in the middle, slow rising pinhead white bubbles trace the edges of the glass rim. Sexy great looking beer, particularly love this orange hue color.

Nose is classic saison, a little downplayed but real solid. Faint pepper, wine like yeast and brett sense. Lemon sour, dense sense of malt presence coming.

Taste is a bit lacking, but boy what a creamy mouthfeel on this. Dense and creamy palate, thick and whipped, unfortunately there isn't a lot of flavor going on in here. Subdued funk and a hardly acidic, hints of mellow butter (not diacetyl) cream. Big thick presence but toned down malts. Very mild sweetness, mixing well with that great creamy body.

It's an interesting beer, but there's just little to say about what's on the palate, no sweetness but no sourness. No hop but no malt kick. Saison characters of fruit, funk, acid, pepper, spice, etc... not really. The beer comes off as incredibly neutral. It smells looks and feels fantastic but just doesn't bring the final knockout punch. It's a very subtle beer for its style, but by no means not worth trying.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.06/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1 liter swingtop growler to tulip. Sampled on 8/11/11, one week after the fill. This growler did some traveling, so the temps were up and down a couple of times. I'm hoping that the counter pressure fill and the small 1cm headspace helps to hold up the beer.

A: No pop on opening. Very little effervescence visible. Scant 1 finger white head, bubbly & whispy and quick to diminish. The body is a light yellow-orange with golden hints, mostly clear with a touch of haze. Despite the small head, the lace stuck to the glass in decent amounts.

S & T: Light and very straightforward malt bill with notes of straw and general grain aroma. Hops suggest dried grass and flower stems. The earthiness is ample and light notes of funk and must back it up. Light rubbery phenols bring the score down. Short flavor duration.

M: Carbonation aside, the mouthfeel delivers what you expect out of a 4% beer. With no sound upon opening, its no surprise that the carbonation is very soft, and the main reason for the below average mouthfeel score.

O: Pretty lackluster given it's pedigree. I sampled this beer at the brewery as well and still wasn't very impressed. Perhaps my bottle will offer a different experience. I'll update this review when it's opened...

Photo of rlee1390
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

Good deal of wheat, with some lemon and a tad bit of spice. Mild tartness. A decent beer, that I was I glad to try. No where near the best HF has to offer though.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle picked up at the brewery

A - crystal clear pale yellow with pillow of white foam; lacing prevalent througout

S - hay, earth and some nice herbal notes.

T- very little sweetness and some solid funk; a nice dry butter finish. Very well balanced

M - perfect carbonation; light bodied and extremely dry

O - sickeningly quaffable. So much flavor for the ABV. One of my favorites by HF for sure.

Photo of cbutova
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from the 750ml into a Hill Farmstead tulip. The brew pours with a light golden body that has substantial yeast haze to it. Massive white head starts forming immediately with a texture between creamy and foamy. Retention is very nice and the huge head falls to a thick ring. Thick patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Right of the bat a prominent lemon tartness I didn't expect above a nice funky farmhouse Saison yeast. Herbal and spicy with notes of lemongrass, wheat crust, citrus zest, yeast bread and grapes, like white wine.

T- Somewhere between dry white wine, Saison and Berliner for me. A certain white grape fruit aspect blended in nicely with the spicy and zesty Saison yeast. Tartness is pretty high for the style which is why I mentioned Berliner Weiss. Flavors of lemon peel, wheat bread, lactic acid, grapes, herbs and barnyard grassiness. Fairly funky.

MF- Light bodied and dry with a tartness throughout. Spritzy moderate-high carbonation in a beer that feels foamy overall.

Super flavorful with Saison, wine and Berliner attributes all coming together in a good farmhouse ale. Tartness is pretty high for the style but complimentary to the funky and wine grape flavors I get.

Photo of Luk13
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Beautiful opaque bright yellow-beige with white head that recedes quickly in a ring of foam. Aroma is rustic and farmhouse, old wheat, lemon and hay. Definitly funky. I really like the wheat profile. Taste is tart as per Hill Farmstead yeast. Wheat provides some body. I find it very mineral and earthy. Mouthfeel is deliciously dry and light-medium bodied. Very tasty but I don't like it is very sessionnable as it is a little too tart. As good as this is, I miss the Hill Farmstead's saisonthat weren't soured by the yeast.

Photo of rodkin
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber-orange with a 2-3 finger head, big and fluffy. Reduces slowly with nice lacing.

Smell is big yeast, earthiness, slight spice, followed by a sweet fruity brightness - citrus and apple, maybe peach.

I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. Slight breadiness, berliner-style tartness, citrus, wheat and grain, finishes with a grassy, earthy flavor and some peppery spice. Quite a bit tarter than I was expecting, and very flavorful - especially for the ABV.

Mouthfeel is light, dry, heavily carbonated.

This beer is very sessionable. One of the best saisons I've had.

to view more.
Clara Grisette from Hill Farmstead Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.