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Winterfest - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

23 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 23
Hads: 105
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 30.31%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 11-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 23 | Hads: 105
Photo of PrivateEquity
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intro - Even though this is a local brewery, I haven't thought most of the beers that came out of this brewery were above average. The Winterfest IPA is best beer I have had that has come out of the brewery.

A - Pours an copper color. If head retention and lacing were improved this is would be an amazing brew.

S - This beer is full of aroma. Citrusy / piney hops with floral aroma is enticing.

T - Some nice spiceness and maltiness complements the hops very well. Taste matches the smell. This brew marries the hoppiness of a solid IPA with the maltiness of a Winter warmer.

M - Solid Mouth feel. It is pretty much spot on.

O - Outstanding beer with great balance. Very enjoyable. There are few beers in which I am excited every taste. This is one of them. I am going going to make this one of my house brews for the winter.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one reminds me of the same type of malt backbone that Toppling Goliath uses. It has a sweet thickness to it. It has a earthy barnyard thing going on. Not funky but like a feed grain type of malt. Which TG does to an even higher degree.

Color: Darker almost amber in color. Reminds me of an Irish red almost or very similar to Yeungling in color. Head is minimal.

Smell: More malts than anything else. Some floral and fruity hop notes in there but overall pretty mild.

Taste: This is where this beer really shines, its tasty for sure. Nice tropical, floral and earthy notes going on here . It definitely has a caramel backbone to balance out the hop bitterness which is pretty much nonexistent, this is not a hop bomb by any means. Very nicely balanced.

Overall: I received this one as a trade and its a solid brew. I would drink it again. Solid IPA!

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Photo of JeepCop
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't do many reviews, but this local offering from Free State Brewery has inspired me.

I've had this both on tap and in their newly released seasonal bottling. I was reluctant to try the bottled version as I was fearing it would suffer the same fate as the growler version of their Josiah Miller.

Served in a Free State pint glass, this beer pours a somewhat darkish amber color. The pour leaves a very nice dense head that gives way to plenty of lacing. The smell screams tropical fruits and hops, with just maybe a hint of spice. I am very excited to see how this plays out. The taste is exactly what I was looking for. Tropical fruit right off the bat with plenty of hops and just a touch of spice on the back end. Carbonation is just as it needs to be and the finish is just a tad bitter, which I prefer. Mouthfeel is quite good and not too much nor too little.

Overall, this is an excellent offering by Free State. Quite frankly, this is my favorite bottled beer Free State offers. I wish it wasn't a seasonal, as I would like to have access to this on a year round basis. Nicely done Free State! I will be purchasing this as long as I can.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Galaxy hops FTW

Really bright aroma filled with citrus and tropical fruits with a hint of pine. really nice.

Munich malt provides a nice bready malt compliment to the hop assault.

Really good IPA. One of the better ones I've had from Free State (and I've had most of 'em).

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at the Sandbar in Lawrence...my go-to bar in town. Recently they put on some nice brews, and this is one of them.

Pours a dark amber/acorn brown with a white, foamy head. Lacing is semi-sticky.

Snappy aroma hops. Pine and floral, with some spice in the back ground. Hint of dark bread in the nose. Sweet in the middle, but hops dominate.

Up front the malt is solid. A bit spicy. The dark bread lingers, but hops bring the punch. Floral and citrus begins the hop flavors. The pine builds upon the malt flavors and is solid throughout. The combination of the citrus from the hops and the spices gives this beer a nice touch. While not a typical IPA, nor a typical winter, this will give Celebration from SN a run for its money. Very nice.

Sucked down 7 of these last night.

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Photo of ratedz
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly burnt orange color with about an inch of eggshell colored head. The retention is fairly impressive and as the head did slowly fade, it left behind a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus fruits, most notably grapefruit and lemon. Some piney bitterness lingers along with a little malty sweetness. Excellent overall, the smell begs you to take a sip.

T - Follows the nose with citrus flavors blending with pine needles. The sweet malts are a little more present here than they were in the nose, but the hops are the main attraction.

M - Medium body with light to average carbonation. Fairly consistent with what I would expect for the style.

O - Overall, a solid offering from Free State and my favorite of their bottled beers so far. I hope they keep this as their winter seasonal and certainly wouldn't complain if it became a year round release.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Garnet colored body with a smallish head; clear; leaves little lacing

S: Smell is a big plus on this beer! Juicy, fruity, bubble-gummy. It has a big hop aroma. And I believe those Galaxy hops are contributing a nice scent that I’m not accustomed to, but I like a lot.

T: Sharp piney bitterness starts off the flavor (from the Columbus and Crystal hops) and then it gives way to citrussy, fruity hops (Centennial and Galaxy). There is just enough malt here, but it’s only playing a supporting role. Finish is really sharp and dry--almost astringent.

O: Easily the best beer Free State has bottled. And a nice IPA in general. If this becomes their annual winter release, I will look forward to it each year.

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Photo of bfields4
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good clear filtered golden body. Very nice white tight head. Lacey and good retention.

Very hop forward aroma. Grapefruit, lemon zest, bit of pine. Not big and blasting off the beer like some ipas, but a nice aroma none the less.

Bit of caramel and malt. The hops are present, but more of a pale ale piny mellow hop that fades into a bit of a citrus hit.

A good beer nice refreshing would probably prefer this as more of a summertime easy drinking ipa, but I wouldn't say no to a good beer anytime of year. Nothing really jumps out at me, but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint glass. This just hit the streets last week, so it is very fresh. Poured a brilliant reddish gold with a finger of off white head. Very fragrant. Great citrus/pine hop aroma. Flavor follows the aroma. Nice dose of hop bitterness. Some malt sweetness upfront. Solid malt base. Medium bodied. Drying finish from the hop bitterness. Very drinkable. Nothing crazy, just fresh, local beer, which always works for me.

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Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD of the 1st week of March 2013

Pours copper with a finger of cream colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Floral, grassy & piney hops, plus grapefruit.

T: Grapefruit peels, some bready & piney notes up front. More grapefruit & pine & as this warms, some pear notes as well. Finishes piney wth a touch of grassyness, grapefruit & grapefruit peel

MF: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, nice balance

A fairly refreshing IPA , was hoping for a litte more heft for a winter IPA

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with gold highlights. It had a one-finger head of bubbly off-white foam that left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and piney with some burnt toast notes.

T - It tasted of tropical fruits, pine and burnt toast maltiness. Nice bitter hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a good winter seasonal. Love having an IPA for a seasonal.

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Photo of Boto
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Brewery: This one pours a crystal clear copper color. There was about a finger of off-white lacing that left a good deal of lacing. Good nose. There was a good whiff of citrus hops. Some grassy notes also. It has a nice taste. Good malt body, along with a good hop bite. Very smooth and well balanced. A very good IPA.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a pure rich copper color. A froth off-white head sits on top and slowly dissipates to an uneven thin foam. Some mild sticky lacing. Complex smells of apples, citrus hops, and caramel. The taste is about spot-on with the smell: citrus hops, some sweet apples, and toffee and caramel. Interesting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, i was expecting to not like this IPA as a Winter Warmer. However, it has just enough holiday flavors like apples, caramel, and even toffee in it to make it enjoyable. Maybe not a sx pack, but one is really nice.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Nice amber color was slightly hazy on this one with a very thin head. The head remained throughout, however, and it had nice lacing. The smell was neutral and light, without anything overpowering coming through. Some definite hop flavor with a sharp feel at first, and some aftertaste. Several drinks in, the taste mellowed considerably.

Really liked the look of this one. Not too strong for an IPA. I would drink it again.

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Photo of arc3636
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice copper color with 2 fingers of white head and beautiful lacing. Smells a bit sour and malty. Fairly mild hops for an IPA, lots of pine and a hint of citrus. Slightly above average carbonation. I wouldn't call this a great beer, but I would definitely another.

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Photo of bbeane
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a DFH chalice... starts with a nice creamy head that leaves some light lacing after disappearing. Beer is amber in color with very little activity

S- All piney and citrusy hops

T- Pretty much all hops coming through. Citrusy and a bit astringent. Alot of hop flavor, but not intense

M- Light/medium body with light carbonation

O- Not sure of pricing on this one, but assuming it's a reasonable price, I'd say this is a nice sessionable IPA


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Photo of maleman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with best by dating into a pint glass.

A - dark, but transparent golden amber. clear, white two-finger head with nice, thick lacing.

S - biscuits and grass! ripe fruit.

T - bread and hops with a touch of alcohol in the finish, maybe a tad too much.

M - a bit less than medium-bodied. Aftertaste lingered.

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Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus hops, hop oils, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, hops, citrus hops, hop oils, hint of pale malt, and a hint of alcohol.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle received in trade from RobertDale, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a cleat dark golden color with a smallish frothy white head that quickly settles to a cap on top. Citrus, earthy and spicy hops dominate the aroma. Bready with light caramel malts provide a hint of balance to an otherwise hoppy nose. The flavor is a bit sweeter than the aroma let on. Rich bready sugary honey maltiness provides a nice base for nice hit of spicy citrus hop flavor and a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers long into every sip. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice IPA

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Photo of siege06nd
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a SA Perfect Pint:

A: Pours a truly beautiful dark copper color. A crisp, ever so off-white head provides a pleasing contrast with this relatively dark IPA. Two finger head slowly recedes to a quarter finger, but what is left retains very well. Very good lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. This is one of the better looking IPAs I've had.

S: Not getting a whole lot on the nose. Some sweet malts, a bit of grain, and a relatively faint citrus hop presence. Lemon becomes more apparent on the very back end. Malt forward and the hops are pretty held back for an IPA. Ho hum.

T: Lots of creamy malts, some lemon citrus hops, and assertive pine resin bitterness. The finish is just a bit medicinal, something odd with the hops/malt interplay. Pretty solid, though. Enjoying the more robust maltiness on this.

M: Good. Moderately carbonated and relatively savory for an IPA, I suppose that's why they release it as their winter seasonal.

O: I'm digging Free State's take on a heartier IPA. They didn't quite nail the finish on this one, which is bittersweet (literally) and a touch medicinal. That doesn't mean they didn't craft a solid IPA here, however. It is relatively full-bodied and enough to keep you warm on a cool winter evening. I would have liked a more assertive bouquet, however. It's not going to blow you away, but it is a solid local in a style that is overdone and often done poorly. I recommend it.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a clean deep amber with a finger of creme colored head leaving behind nice lacing. smells of green peas, slight oxidation, grassy hops. weird, this smells like it's an old ipa, but it's a current seasonal.. hmm. the taste is of a fresh pale ale. hints of honey, tea like herbal flavor, grassy hops. a nice sweet malt profile. medium body with a stick feeling left behind. moderate carbonation.

a decent ipa.. nothing out of the ordinary, but not bad.

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Photo of tito42
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by first week of May 2013.

A: Hazy iced tea in color with a foamy, tan head. Fair amount of particulate in suspension.

S: Grapefruit, piney hops, malt, brown sugar.

T: Malt, brown sugar, buttery diacetyl, citrus hops, grapefruit.

M: A bit chunky, decent hops finish, a tad bitter for a single IPA.

O: Not bad, seems like it would be a better choice on tap and fresh at a KC area establishment.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of siege06nd (thanks John!). It pours a medium copper color with an off-white foam that leaves wispy clumps of dry lace. it smells well balanced, with a good deal of caramel malt offsetting the resiny hops.

It tastes just as balanced as it smells, sweet up front with a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Not bad at all but sort of middle of the pack among all the IPA choices in the world. I do like the choice of an IPA for a winter beer, much better than spiced Christmas ales.

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Winterfest from Free State Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.