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Clara Grisette - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Clara GrisetteClara Grisette

Educational use only; do not reuse.

112 Reviews
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Reviews: 112
Hads: 630
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 91
Gots: 98 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 630
Photo of mendvicdog
4.93/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's amazing that so much flavor can be packed into a beer with such low alcohol percentage. The first time I had this was a revelation. I had never really like grisettes prior to that.

Typical amazing mouthfeel with bright, citrusy, hay, mild funk taste and smell.

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Photo of Awolter
4.79/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Despite not having too many Farmhouse beers, this one has by far stood as my favorite of what I've tried so far.

Slightly tart, lemon, a bit funky.

Great beer!

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Photo of mobius387
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

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.

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Photo of KMcG
4.65/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a clear golden straw color with three fingers of pillowy white head. Real good retention and sticky lace.

Nice floral aroma with lemon in the background. Real good farmhouse aroma with some spicy hops. Really a nice dry farmhouse flavor with a dry bitter hop finish. Hints of lemon and a good musty farmhouse flavor.

The body is nice and light with good lively carbonation. Crisp and dry on the finish. Overall this one is knocking me out. Really exceptional stuff here.

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Photo of Brad007
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful bright yellow color with a one-finger head into my chalice.

Sweet, spicy grains greet the nose, followed by a good amount of citrus as well.

Ditto for the taste. Spicy yeast, citrus and floral hops work together to create a synergy that rarely exists.

Lingering citrus, yeast and hops make up the mouthfeel. It's very light and crisp.

Wow. I could drink this more often due to the low ABV (4%) and the expression of flavors within it. This is what a saison should be (a light, sessionable ale for more than seasonal workers!). Check it out!

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Photo of dar482
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a slightly opaque golden orange.

The aroma offers briney lime, a touch of olive, wheat, apple and pear, biscuity malt, a touch of funk.

The flavor follows a medium tart quality up front, lemony. Then onto apple and pear juice. A touch of funk and that almost briney note. The middle hits of wheat and raw oats. The finish hits of some woody and grassy bitterness of hops. A crisp and dry finish.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL into tulip. bottled 06 2013.

A: a hazed pour. straw blonde color on the edges and a bit richer at the center. head is bright white and frothy. retention is fantastic. spotted lacing left behind. pretty classic saison appearance.

S: a mild barniness starts off the aroma. very mild. more horse saddle than full on horse blanket. tart. lemon juice. a little bit of yeast bitterness as I approach the end of the bottle, but it is definitely yeast derived.

T: the first thing I notice is the tart, acidic nature of this brew. a mild barn, but really quite fleeting. there is a rich flavor in there that reminds me slightly of the rind on brie cheese. maybe that is just more of the funk talking. which is definitely there throughout the entire drink. finish is citrus fruit.

M: mouth has a bit of zip on it. light bodied.

D: a pretty tasty saison here. super light but having a great deal of complexity/flavor/aroma. this can almost all be taken from the yeast. great example of taking a simple canvas of a brew and letting the yeast showcase all of its nuances. surprised this isn't rated a bit higher.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright gold color with a huge white frothy head. Looks very refreshing.

The aroma gives off a significant farmhouse funk. Earthy, dank, little wet blanket. Some fruit notes in the background along the lines of white grape and pear.

The taste is almost champagne-like with elegant fruit notes (grape and pear again) on top of a wheat and farmhouse hay-like malt background. A little doughy.

Mouthfeel is bubbly, refreshing yet still has that trademark Hill Farmstead smoothness on the back.

Overall this is very nice, elegant, refined. If you're a fan of Saisons, give this a shot. It shows the style can still be exciting while at sitting at session-beer abv levels. Glad I have another bottle!

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Photo of tigg924
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Pour: Hazy orange with a two and a half finger white head. Head hangs around for a little bit, and has a little bit of lacing.

Smell: A tart lemon zest up front, followed by spicy yeast and white pepper. A light biscuity malt sweetness.

Taste: Follows the nose perfectly, with a really nice tart lemon bite up from, and a great biscuity sweetness. A light yeast and white pepper on the finish. Simple but delicious.

Mouthfeel: Crazy drinkable. Lemon tartness lingers on the back of the tongue for a while. Very, very refreshing.

Overall: A beautiful easy drinking beer. I can only imagine how great this would be on a hot summer day.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this delicious saison poured from the 750ml bottle into HF glasses.
Pours a nice medium amber with frothy head.
Smells are really interesting, some dankness, lots of yeasty tang, good hop characteristics and some very strong bready malts. Complex.
Taste is right there with the aromas. Picked up the floral hops much more on the tongue, the tangy yeast and bready malts works so well together.
Mouthfeel was clean, bubbly and refreshing.
I was very impressed by this beer.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold-yellow color with good clarity on the first pour and some moderate haze on subsequent pours. Head formation is tight, and leaves great lace on the side.

Fresh aroma with some citrusy, tangerine like fruit notes as well as leafy, green notes that remind me of bay leaf or some other herb.

At first I thought this was over-bittered, but as it warmed the fruity yeast notes came to the forefront and it became more balanced. Along with the grassy bitterness is a tart, wheaty malt flavor that goes really well with the rustic yeast. Body and flavor suggest this is more than 4% ABV, but it is still very refreshing/quenching. Carbonation is very high, which is perfect for this beer.

Overall: This beer was enjoyable enough to open my second bottle. It was a bit pricy, but I thought it was worth the purchase. I would love to see this on tap somewhere.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Light, delicate, yeasty and refreshingly effervescent, this is a beer I'd like to drink for hours on a hot summer day. The light bready malts have some sourdough and mild yogurt undertones which are balanced by a lemony tartness. The effervescent sparkling carbonation is what makes this beer. Overall, this is an excellent table beer. Simpler than other HF saisons but just as enjoyable.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from tasting on 11/16. thanks to dat for hooking up the bottle. enjoyed from a hill farmstead wineglass.

a - pours a murky orange yellow with a fizzy head that hung out a bit. the bottle was a bit of a gusher. lacing is a bit stringy and swirling the glass really makes it happen.

s - grassy with some hints of soft fruit and lemon, quite rustic.

t - clean and crisp. some lemon. just super balanced and delicious.

m - super easy drinking and just fantastic.

o - wow. this is a really nice saison with great balance in all the right places. really just enjoyable. hill farmstead really just makes killer saisons (and ipas, and pretty much beer in general).

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Photo of rtepiak
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i'm had this beer before but mind you am review a year old bottle.

a personal favorite style. the table saison that has minimal accent in the spectrum of hill farmstead saisons but a lot of dimension for a beer that is 4%abv. beautiful pour. never seen an american beer with such a successful belgian whipped head. nose of lemon zest subdued in wheat yeastiness. lemon balm, grass and creaminess that is quite suitable for game bird lightly spiced. mild funk but more noble hops grassiness. extremely drinkable and smooth with a popular beer conception. i wish it replaced the american lager forever.

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Photo of Bardwashrind
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straw, hay, and wheat are the stars here. Balanced and quenching. Light tartness but generally that farmhouse character you expect from HF in a lighter body.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased in Vermont by a friend and brought back for me. Thanks, Dave!

This one pours a light golden honey amber, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like white grape juice, honey, tartness, hay, some minerality, and flowers.

This is a pretty unique farmhouse ale in Shaun Hill's big stable of them. It's much lower alcohol than most of the other shelf saisons, therefore, the flavor is definitely lighter. That doesn't mean it's bad though, it's so crushable and drinkable, it's insane. There's still a lot going on at this ABV, there's definitely some damp hay-like Brett flavors, white grape/white wine, honey, and some grainy mineral water character. It's pretty floral as well, and just mildly tart. Really excellent.

This is light bodied, crisp and airy, with a higher level of carbonation.

A really nice change-up here from Hill Farmstead, I could drink gallons of this stuff.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Avalon68 for opening this up to compare with the forthcoming grisette from Terry. Served in a short tumbler.

Pours a nice, slightly-hazed straw-yellow with a good, sticky white head that persists for quite sometime and leaves a sheet of solid lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose brings forward some nice aromas of white pepper with a little bit of black in there. Notes of earth as well as straw come through. Mild wheaty character. Great lemon rind comes through as well, quickly becoming the most-dominant portion of the brew. Flavor is similarly intense, yet mellow at the same time. Subtle fruit notes plus a nice bit of pepper and yeast throughout. Lemon rind abounds.

Light body with good carbonation and a very nice finish, which is fairly dry. Thirst-quenching and delicious. This is quite the session brew. This was the first grisette that I've had, and Shaun really did wonders for the style.

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Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


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!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL Bottle bottled on 6/2013

A-Poured a robust golden straw color. The body is on the hazy side. A very thin white head was poured and receded back into the body. The lacing of the beer is there but minimal and stays on the glass.

S-Aroma is full of citrus zest of lemon and lime. The yeast gives off a pepper smell and the malt is perceived as freshly baked bread crust. There is a funkiness to this beer that melds well with the rest of the aroma.

T-That funkiness found in the nose is more profound in the taste. Yeast driven the taste is with a rounded citrus/acidic taste full of esters. The wheat and pale malt give a nice back bone to the yeast forwardness and the hops though subtle, help to keep it a nice rounded enjoyable beer.

M-Definition of a saison. More on the thin side for the mouth feel with a dry finish. Nicely carbonated.

O-A very enjoyable saison. The funkiness threw me off at first because I was not expecting any brett characteristics. Still highly enjoyable and love the drinkability with the low abv. Perfect for a 90 plus degree night here in southeast PA.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Clara Grisette from Hill Farmstead Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.