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Hill Farmstead hype

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by black13, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Heatwave33

    Heatwave33 Advocate (540) Florida Sep 13, 2011

    No. It was a case of Heady Topper, Celia and Sophie. All were fantastic! Thanks a million again. You're the MAN!
  2. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Savant (330) New York Mar 3, 2010

    Spending some time in Vermont at the moment.

    I've had multiple HF and Lawson's brews up here so far. Their "hype" is 100% well deserved. These brews are jaw dropping.

    The real star up here is Double Sunshine. Drinks exactly like a slightly more pungent Heady. Abner is a ruby red grapefruit bomb, and SS#4 is very good as well.
  3. As you say, he was set up to pour at the Cheesemakers fest. However, he did not, or at least not for long (though it sounds like you got some and saw him pouring). Now, there's nothing wrong with Otter Creek or Long Trail - but I could have used something else after all that delicious fromage. There was some good cider there, at least.

    Anyway, after looking around for him, I found someone "in charge" and asked where HF was, and she told me that he'd left. I probed a bit more, and she wouldn't tell me exactly what had happened, other than Shaun threw some kind of a tantrum, packed up his beer, and took off. I guess we can chalk that up to his "quirky" personality. Maybe there was even a good reason. Anyone know?
  4. I can tell you exactly what happened. The festival insisted he do 2oz. pours for the tickets that people purchased at the entrance for beer, wine & ciders. He and the cidery were charging $5 for a nice 8oz. glass. When the directors told him he had to do 2oz pours for a single ticket, of which he gets no money for, they bailed and packed up after an hour. Told me they would go broke in short order. His gf is closely-associated with the fest, and was a featured speaker - if she supported his decision then I don't blame them at all for leaving. The rest of the beers were served in a ridiculous, wine-centric fashion - flights of 4 pours, one at a time, with a line of 20 people in steamy conditions waiting for even 1 pour. Absolutely inappropriate for beer service. I told the VT Brewers Assoc. director, who was on-site (and a sponsor) how gypped the brewers got with this arrangement, and he (and I) are on fire to get this corrected for next year. Has been an on-going issue now for the last 3 years, and it has to be resolved before the next one.
  5. Gotcha. Seems like he should have known about it beforehand if it's been the case previously - and it seems obvious that he'd have to pour samples for the tickets. I mean, that's what they were for. But there were certainly wineries doing full pours for $6 or so in addition to samples.

    The whole flight of beers thing was silly, I agree. My thirst was less than quenched. Good cheese, though.
  6. Was not the case previously (he has poured there the last 3 years, as has Lawson's) and the cidery continued to pour their product for $4 for a nice 8oz pour - didn't know if the wineries were doing full pours or not.
    FatBoyGotSwagger likes this.
  7. SABERG

    SABERG Savant (485) Massachusetts Sep 16, 2007

    What is to say... in the end a craft by a craftsmen needs appreciation. The craft in question, like all art is subjective.
    Both to taste and to trends. I have benefitted from a close (3hr) proximity, and watched the continued development of HF. All with great beer.
    There continues to be craft growth and craft quality, and soul, so lets enjoy.
    As for the hype "in the time we spend acting out against something (we think has been taken from us), even more slips away" (Kormac McCarthey)
    I will be in Greensboro enjoying the art this very weekend, and August 11th.
    To all those brewers doing the great work, Cheers.

    SABERG
  8. There is very little hype, imho.
  9. aasher

    aasher Champion (900) Indiana Jan 27, 2010

    The IPAs and pale ales are remarkably good.
  10. Here's the deal. I'm a nice guy, I like sending people awesome beers. I sent out two of my three Jimmys to a couple regular trading partners. Then, I had my Jimmy while watching the Open this past weekend. Upon tasting the first sip, I got extremelly sad that this was my only bottle. It was unlike anything I've had before, and I cherished it. I was mad at myself for sending two of these beauties away. Then, I felt guilty because I was actually regretting the action of spreading HF wealth around. Then I couldn't sleep because I was wondering if I was a bad person.

    Then, the next day I opened an Everett. And repeated the cycle.

    WHY DO YOU MESS WITH MY MIND, HILL FARMSTEAD?!
  11. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Michigan Mar 17, 2010

    Would you say that your jimmies were rustled? ;)
  12. I've been fortunate enough to experience a vast majority of their beers...and I've enjoyed them quite frequently, and in pretty high volumes. I thoroughly enjoy most of their stuff. I've had a couple I wasn't thrilled with...but for the most part, they're of a quality such that when they're available to me...it's pretty much all I drink. They're the one brewer I feel that if I was restricted to drinking just one brewer's beer...I could get by quite comfortably indeed.

    I know the west coast is the "holy land" when it comes to IPA's...and the argument of east vs. west is tired and boring. That said, I think Hill Farmstead would excel on the dark side of the goddam moon. I'm certain it would fair just fine anywhere on the west coast.
  13. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (575) California Aug 26, 2009

    I'm sure the answer to this question is somewhere on these forums but since this thread is active, I might as well ask this question here. They will fill non-HF growlers at the brewery right as long as they are not clear, right? My friend has a cool looking blue 750ml swing-top that I'd love to use. Either way I'm planning on stocking up on a few of their growlers as well.
  14. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    Well id be more than happy to hook you up with fff stuff for some HF stuff....but that seems a bit unlikely lol
  15. Now that's an interesting question. I do a lot of lighting for video, and when we are trying to convert reddish quartz lights to look like daylight, we use very intensely-colored blue gels that match the color temp of sunlight. I wonder if blue glass would intensify the skunking effect of daylight on beers??
  16. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I very much doubt it would intensify it vs clear glass. Your gel is set to match the optical qualities of light, not the UV qualities. For the effect to be larger in blue than clear you'd need the blue dye to somehow be less effective at blocking UV than nothing, which doesn't seem likely to me. Then again I know very little about glass chemistry.
  17. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (575) California Aug 26, 2009

    I'm sure a whole new thread could be started, and I'd be quite interested to find out just for curiosity sake. The blue 750 I plan on bringing has had homemade cider from 09 in it up until recently so it's never had the chance to be used for skunking experiments. I'm guessing that with how dark it is, not much more light penetrates compared to a brown bottle but either way it's not that hard to keep it out of sunlight on the car ride home.
  18. Blue is better than clear, but not quite as good as green.
    This should answer some of your questions: http://ec.libsyn.com/p/8/d/d/8dde0d...1ce3dae902ea1d01cc8435d5cf5d39db&c_id=1452594
    MarkIntihar and duchessedubourg like this.
  19. amnesia85

    amnesia85 Savant (285) Connecticut Mar 31, 2012

    into the convo late, but squashing the hype. Been to OR, CA and alot of other states not worth mentioning. Pretty sure I have had the chance to taste what ever was available the time I was visiting. currently kicking it in hartford. not too much going on here for beer. Hill Farmstead is 4-4.5 hours away and about $125.00 in gas to get there. I go to hill farmstead for beer. I do stop to get heady and lawsons but neither can compare. 3 years ago, After getting back to the east coast for a month long trip to portland OR I was skiing at sugarbush and I tasted some lawsons finest and was like damn, that tastes almost as good as the beer out in OR. After drinking Hill farmstead I am now trying to move to VT for the rest of my life! A beer should never be judged on the taste out of your glass at home, nevermind after being shipped across the county. Atmosphere, scene, and personality play just as big of a role. NOT TO MENTION THAT GROWLERS I KEEP COLD AND UN-OPENED FROM THE MINUTE I LEAVE HILL FARMSTEAD TASTE DIFFERENT 4 DAYS LATER. You may never know what the "hype" is about until you drink beer fresh from the farm.
    grassrootsVT and celfan like this.
  20. JustBill

    JustBill Initiate (0) Vermont Jul 28, 2010

    "You may never know what the 'hype' is about until you drink beer fresh from the farm."

    Please allow me to award you a chicken dinner...
    HevvyMetalHippie likes this.
  21. celfan

    celfan Savant (465) Vermont Jul 4, 2004

    guy serving the growlers there told me the company line is three days.
  22. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012


    Wait - so you're saying 4 day old draft beer stored in a glass bottle isn't as good as freshly poured draft beer from a tap?
  23. CADMixes

    CADMixes Savant (250) Massachusetts Feb 29, 2012

    The first time I went up to HF another customer went through this whole question with the dude who pours the growlers. As far as I can recall the only straight up prohibition was on clear glass. Blue and green were considered not ideal but acceptable.
  24. amnesia85

    amnesia85 Savant (285) Connecticut Mar 31, 2012

    I thought that I squashed this shit, but clearly there are still misconceptions... I am not saying that a 3 day old growler tastes bad, but it tastes different and prob not the way it was intended to. I would choose a 2 week old growler of hill over any fresh beer around me and over other fresh VT locals. The reason why I put that statement in caps is that this thread is about the the "HYPE". people who have not been to hill but have traded beers online give them sub par ratings attribute all the talk about hill to "hype" because it is located in a rural area or what ever. The only problem is that: and heres my take home quote... I know that the beer tastes different when I store it properly therefore I wonder what it would taste like if I shook it up and left it in a box in my trunk for 5 days (IE mailing it across the country). SO:
    1. Any beer from any brewery put in growlers and stored properly will change over the days. not so hoppy beers may be more subtle. I have found this to hold strong at pretty much all the breweries I have visited (IPAs mainly).
    2. Any ratings given to hill farmstead that were less than perfect were prob not "judged" on site or from a sleeping palate.
    3. off topic but people should stop bitching about waiting in line at a bottle release. Everybody that I know goes up the day before to get there business done to purposely avoid the traffic. Bitching about the traffic at hill on release day is like bitching about the traffic at RR on meat day. so STFU and stop messing it up for the rest of us.
    grassrootsVT likes this.
  25. Every single beer from Hill Farmstead is perfect.

    I don't see any evidence of HF hype anywhere on this site--not sure what y'all are talking about.
  26. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (390) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012

    Yes they were only doing 750ml and it is still on the site as being offered.

    They did create a post on FB explaining. One could have always walked to Farmhouse Tap and Grill for Florence, Edward and What is Enlightenment after the fest:

    Thank you to everyone that visited us during the Vermont Brewer's Festival. Our brewery capacity is maxed out and it was difficult for us to bring more than 2 offerings (Walden and Edward). One can always visit Blackback (11 of our beers on tap?!) or our retail shop to taste some of the other things we have to offer. Cheers.
    InspectorBob likes this.
  27. franklinn

    franklinn Savant (440) Vermont May 29, 2012

    Society and Solitude #4 was on tap today, and I don't think it was limited to 750's. I was getting a 750 though so I didn't really notice, but I'm pretty sure it was $10/$18
  28. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (390) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012

    Oh darn it to heck, when I was up during the fest weekend it was 750ml. It was glorious.
  29. I would rate them the same. I extensively explored San Diego, Philly, NYC, FL, San Francisco and Boston. The fact that they are out in the middle of nowhere and a mere 3.5 hours away from me is the only negative about them. If they were more accessible it would probably only translate to more above average reviews from me. As far as consistent excellence it would be an intense death-match between Russian River and Hill Farmstead for me. They (both) really do deserve whatever praise/"hype" they get. If I lived closer to either, I would probably drink other breweries 75% less. The only thing this thread did was make me realize how much I want some HF brews.

    I really hope that both of these breweries keep up what they are doing. It is all about the beer and it shows in each and every sip.
    franklinn likes this.
  30. I'm not sure whether to applaud you or slap you upside the head for offering nothing to the conversation! :p
  31. franklinn

    franklinn Savant (440) Vermont May 29, 2012

    Yeah, I was up there the week of the brewfest when it was limited to 750's. I imagine it was due to the volume they expected that weekend. Abner was put on recently though, after a short hiatus, so I HAD to fill my 2l with that :D
  32. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (390) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012

    For the people that complain that they are too secluded, too far away on a dirt road (not saying cbutova that you are complaining), know this:

    The Hills are one of the oldest founding families of Vermont, 200 years, 9 generations in the Greensboro area. You can't expect Shaun to go hey, eff this place. He has ties to that land that most of us can't understand. And he wants to bring it back the farm to back to it's former glory.

    Thats what I got anyway from reading some interviews.
    franklinn likes this.
  33. Heh. I honestly enjoy that beautiful drive more than anything (especially in the winter, amazing snowy landscapes) BUT... driving 400-500 miles per trip gets costly. I really do appreciate the history,a good farm and ties to the land a ton. If my car/wallet could take it, I would get up there monthly. I just figured out of all things, that is probably the only slightly meh thing about HF, stupid transportation. I hope more than anything that he stays there and continues what he is doing, it is truly a beautiful land and brewery. (I hope that makes sense, miles and burnt gas sucks)
  34. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (390) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012

    I get that too, yeah it costs me some gas as well and I wish I could be closet, but then I think that at least we are able to drive there to get growler fills. I am sure there are people that wish they were only 5 hours away.
  35. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Savant (490) Indiana Jan 4, 2012

    Seen the bottle all over the board here.
    Seen some pretty high praise. Just wondering why i've never heard any praise from my local beer geek group and have never seen it come across my way!
    Is it worth the hunt??
  36. absolutely...no brainer...
    shufon, BrewBoone, jzeilinger and 2 others like this.
  37. nh2032

    nh2032 Advocate (555) New York Oct 15, 2009

    Yes. I've had 18 offerings from them with the worst still being very good. Pale ales, IPAs, saisons, wilds, porters - just unbelievable range and quality.
    jzeilinger and DevilsCups like this.
  38. This
    pschul4 likes this.
  39. merc7186

    merc7186 Savant (345) New York Dec 5, 2010

    Decent but there is a lot of hype (and trade up charge). Don't feel bad about your local group not knowing about HF, I have a So.Cal trading partner that I've sent him some and got the same reaction.

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