Elaborative #2 | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Elaborative #2Elaborative #2
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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 178

American Wild Ale | 6.00% ABV

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. Elaborative Two was brewed September 2012 with our friends Brad Clark and Ryan Burke. We crafted this farmstead™ ale with pumpkins grown by Ben’s Pumpkins. The beer was aged in a variety of wine barrels — as well as a barrel from Virtue Cider in Michigan — with wild yeast and bacteria. After a year, the unique threads were blended together and conditioned in the bottle.

The Elaborative: A brewing collaboration with like-minded friends. A fermentative experiment through thoughtful enquiry and discourse. A desire to further our understanding of the interactive complexities of our process while trying to abandon our preconceptions...
Elaborative #2Elaborative #2
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 178
Photo of nmann08
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle, pours a slightly hazy light gold color with very active carbonation and a big fluffy white head.

The nose is a musty funk aroma, straw, a little vegetable and spice balanced with citrus zest and wood pulp. The flavor is much more white oak notes, a bit floral, vanilla, citrus, and very faint vegetable spice (must be the pumpkin?). It finishes very clean, refreshing, crisp.

This is brewed with pumpkins, but in a way that doesn't let their flavor play a main role. So much so, that I wouldn't call this a pumpkin beer by taste, just in ingredient. Very good, enjoyable. A unique one.

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Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was going to be my haloween beer but being on call for the next week puts a real damper on the festivities so why not tonight. Celebrating our new dog, Brew (wtf, why not?). A big thank you to franklinn for this!!

Appearance. Pours a really nice gold with a touch of orange. Topped with almost two fingers of thick white froth that has moderate retention.

Smell. Sweet tropical fruits, light funky white wine barrel, sweet melon and light orchard fruits. This is the kind of thing I spend way too much time inhaling.

Taste. Sour melon ...okay maybe that's not really a thing, but that's what came to mind. Lightly tannic oak and some nice white wine barrel funk, a bit of lime. Really nice but I can't find the pumpkin and brother, I'm tryin'. As I drink this I'm reminded a little of Upright mainly due to that light but distinct lime note I'm getting.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of medium, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Wtf is with these jerks at HF?? Clearly they have no idea how to make a pumpkin beer. Needs way more cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, etc. Fuck these guys.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Cloudy orange, nice carbonation and two finger fluffy head that leaves some lacing.

S-Some oak, good deal of tartness, mild pumpkins, the flavor has really faded,

T-Starts with moderate oak and tartness. Some spice and extremely mild pumpkin.

M-Lighter, nice carbonation with a semi dry finish.

O-Can only imagine what this beer tasted like with the full pumpkin flavor. Extremely thankful to have tried it. Thanks!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is light orange to golden and hazy with a half inch of white head. Brett and yeast, funky, perhaps a touch of melon. No discernible pumpkin, per se. A solid blonde wild ale. A touch of tartness in the finish. Lingering brett notes. Smooth with minimal acetic quality.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ray for the share!

Burnt orange color, hazy, with a medium-sized head that retained well and laced the glass with scads of tiny bubbles. Aroma of oak, dried leaves, sour fruits, yeast. Taste was earthy and oaken, leafy and woody, bready malts, notes of mildly sour stone fruits and citrus, with a light vegetal taste in the background...but otherwise no pumpkin whatsoever remaining in this bottle. Medium body, appropriately moderate carbonation. I'm not sure whether or not the pumpkin was more prominent when this was fresh, but it had definitely faded to nearly nothing by the time this bottle was opened, a mere 7 months after the release, and in a blind tasting, I'd have never known that there ever was pumpkin in the brew. That said, this was still a great beer overall, and worth seeking out as a solid American BA sour.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

bottled on date of 09/2013.

poured into a pair of HF wine stems.

Appearance: orange bodied beer with a large fizzy white head approximately 3 fingers tall. Slowely drops down to a thin cap.

Smell: bright citrus notes of oranges. White wine and oak. mild funk. Bready malts. Floral and vegetal notes in the background.

Taste: Mild tartness in the form of green apple and lemons fairly subtle. Mildly sweet oranges and green apples. Hint of HF signature funk. Hint of pumpkin, it is also fairly subtle. Oak barrel, earthy, and floral. Lacto notes are moderate and that fits into the flavor profile of the beer really well. As the beer warms it becomes more funky and the pumpkin/vegetal notes become stronger. Nice white wine note in the finish with mellow green apples.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with low carbonation levels almost moderate carbonation. The beer is clean, crisp, bright, and refereshing. Really drinkable.

Overall: This is a really interesting and unique beer. A pumpkin wild ale. yeah it works really well. Much better than I expected it to be. As always, the Hill Farmstead crew is able to craft a unique and special beer.

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Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


A huge thanks goes out to Ryan for this beer! Cheers, guy! Elaborative #2 sports a rusty orange body with haze throughout. When backlit it glows like a northern sunset. The head is fizzy white and manages to keep sustained thanks to active carbonation rushing to the surface. Patchy lacework is left behind with each drink.

The pumpkin is first from the glass but in a very subtle, balanced addition. Soft, semi sweet gourd adds some earthiness while there seems to be subtle spicing as well, nutmeg and possibly cardamom, but they're tough to pick out. Graham cracker maltiness floats along the periphery while minerality and metallic notes are present in low amounts from the bacteria used. Spring wildflowers and light grassy funk emerge with warmth. Overall the nose is subtle but complex and very unique.

The flavor profile leans more toward Saison than the nose led on. Orchard fruits hit the palate upfront with a sweetness in the middle that's light and reminiscent of candi sugar. Earthiness from the pumpkin joins the mild sweetness but it's more subdued than in the nose. Sugar cookie and graham cracker pick up toward the finish. There's a metallic, mineral driven wildness to this beer I enjoy. The finish is a little grassy with soft lingering sweetness.

The body is light and while there's active, effervescent carbonation it tends to be soft along the tongue. The barrels bring some tannins that dry out the mouth along with a dry finish on the beer. Mild hoppy bitterness lingers after each drink. The drinkability is high with this one.

Elaborative #2 is a really well crafted beer. The flavor profile is subtle but with staggering depth and expert even handedness. The pumpkin and spices are very well done adding complexity, mostly to the nose, of this beer. Glad I had the chance to try this one. Very good. Thanks again for being so generous, Ryan!

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thqnks to bilco for acquiring the bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Hazy burntish orange. Small fluffy white head. Head retention is decent, leaves a small bubbly white collar with some small clumps of head. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Sticky chunky lacing.

Smell: Typical Hill Farmstead funk. A bit damp with some solid floral elements. A touch of pumpkin flesh. Slightly fruity in a vague sort of way. Lightly sweet with some slightly bready pale malts. A touch of grape coupled with some mealy apple and apple skin. A touch lactic with some acidic lemon thrown in. Sweet and sour in balance. A little bit malty on the finish with a vegetal finish.

Taste: A touch of leather, some solid oak, and a mild lactic tartness. Some vague vegetal pumpkin qualities with a smack of floral elements. Lemon rind with some oily fruitiness. A touch of peach and a solid layer of apple skin and flesh. Some white wine and pale malt sweetness. Mildly earthy with a damp grassy hay. A bit juicy. Tannic and lightly vinous with a bunch of crab apple. Some peach and a bit more leather as it warms. Slight herbal hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with minimal carbonation. A touch dry with a slick initial sip.

Overall: No elaboration necessary.


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Photo of angrybabboon
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for acquiring this for both Goblinmunkey7 and me, cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this particular bottle

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy orange - pours with a large, fluffy, off-white head - retains an impressive cap, leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Nicely juicy, with some interesting funk - some interesting sour notes, yeasty funk, and maybe some Brett - some very nice white wine barrel notes - perhaps a light hint of squash, but nothing I'd really call pumpkin - some light fruits like pears and white grapes

Taste: Moderately sour with some interesting white wine flavors - mostly lactic sour, with a touch of acidity, and some nice tartness - some Brett funk and general yeast weirdness - pumpkin is more apparent in the taste than in the aroma, some nice pumpkin flesh aromas - some pale malts in the background, with a strong undercurrent of white wine, and some white wine barrels

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nice carbonation, clean finish

Overall: Great, but the pumpkin could use more elaboration

This definitely has some of the charms found in all Hill Farmstead beers (remarkably clean, impressive depth of flavor), but this isn't the best offering I've had from the brewery. It's nicely sour, with some nice tart notes, but the pumpkin could be a bit more interesting. This is certainly worth drinking, but I wouldn't say it's top tier.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as an amber color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer has a subtle earthy funk aroma to it, some spice but mostly just funk. The taste of the beer has a decent malt profile to it, there is a tart finish as well. The feel of the beer is light to medium bodied. Overall this beer was fun to try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 2013.

Thanks, Jake! Served in Hill Farmstead stemware.

Pours a mostly-clear medium orange color. Slightly burnt. Fluffy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving behind thick strings of lacing. The nose hits first with wine notes, and follows up with a bit of earthy spice. Faint cider and oak notes. Bit of yam as it warms. Overall, however, the aroma is a bit weak compared to the flavor.

The flavor carries more of the cider, especially as it warms. Elements of both red and white wine come through. Earthy and very faint pepper notes, with a white wine-like acidity in the background. A very mild oak presence is in the background. Tart, but not at all puckering.

Light-bodied, but there's a bit of heft from the oak. Maybe a bit from the pumpkin as well. Other than the color, this is likely where it's felt most, although some of the earthy and peppery aromatics could be just a touch of fall spicing. Acidity increases a touch as it warms.

Overall, really a nice beer that lives up to its wild description. Elements of oak and wine throughout, and I can see where the pumpkin could play in. Very much worth seeking out.

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Photo of dar482
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark hazy glowing orange.

The aroma has Brett funkiness, some oak.

The flavor hits of spice, lemon and apple tartness. Decently sour and then it moves onto a light bready body and cider. The medium to finish cuts that tartness extremely well. The pumpkin is not noticeable at all, but instead, probably gives the beer its round body.

A very enjoyable and complex beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.24.14
Bottled 09 2013

A - Pours a cloudy medium-dark orange with a foamy off-white head that fades slowly.

S - Funky, lot of Brett, oak and eark dark spices.

T - Funky and Bretty - like tons of Brett. Some oak and fall spices come out in the finish.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Lots of funk and Brett with a hint of Fall.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 9/2013.

Appearance - Bright orange hazy body. Medium white head. Great retention.

Smell - Bretty and citrusy. Wine barrel is nice. Straightforward but nice.

Taste - Citrus is more prominent. Orange and white wine. Oaky and bretty. Pretty much follows the smell. A little bit of sweetness in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium light. Well carbonated. Mildly sour.

Overall - Not the most exciting or adventurous beer from Hill Farmstead but it's very good regardless.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml - NYC bottle share with mdfb79. Thanks to Ross for bringing this one out!
12/12/13 – Served in a Duvel tulip glass

A: Hazed over golden blonde body with some peachy tones. Quarter finger of dense paper white suds with some decent longevity. Light slippery streaks and dots of stick cling to the glass after each sip.

S: Smell seems more Brett forward with sour lemon rinds and an earthy musk like decaying wood. Has a nice sour graininess to it with some tart green apple and a mild cider like acidity. Only some faint vegetal pumpkin coming through and perhaps even a few Autumn spices with it. White table wine and minerals. Loads of lemony Brett in the aroma but not particularly barnyard or funky.

T: Tastes of lemon zest, sour mash, Chardonnay oak, Brett, earthy spice, and apple cider. Fairly sour on the palate with a nice tart lacto bite. Dry and peppery at the finish with no alcohol flavor present. Not a ton of pumpkin or squash character developed here but it is slightly present. Has a tinny metallic note and finishes with a flourish of more lemon yogurt and that light lacto funk. Plenty sour while only mildly acidic. Nice and refreshing with a slight twist of the pumpkin in there.

M: Light and thinner in body by nature with a nice upper level of spritzy carbonation. Light creaminess with a high amount of tart pucker across the palate. Dry with a light crisp at the finish.

D: A very nice offering but not completely stand out for me. The pumpkin is not very influential. Lots of lemony citrus and white wine with a good lacto sour punch however. Would have again.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 12/24/2013.

Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy straw-orange body, with a very effervescent white head, probably 3 fingers' worth, that retains very well leaving lots of lacing all over the place, especially as the beer goes down.

Smells funky like a nice saison, with a slight bit of fruit acidity, like apple. No sign of pumpkin, though I might be convinced there is a bit as it warms up- pumpkin is already a fairly subtle adjunct in any case. A nice vinous quality is there throughout. Smells very good, but certainly not the strongest suit.

Lots of chardonnay, a little bit of apple cider, along with a ton of musty funk making me think of zest and citrus peels. Not a ton of acidity, but quite vinous and refreshing. Back-end reminds me a bit of cider, with a sweet and acidic finish.

Medium bodied, creamy and well carbonated. Typical Hill Farmstead mouthfeel. Easily drinkable, no indication of booze.

Very enjoyable wild ale. The pumpkins don't come out that much, but its a very interesting combination of vinous white wine, cider and funk. Very refreshing and a nice one to open up on Christmas Eve.

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Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-hazy, dark gold pour with a thin white head with some lacing
S-spice, sour grape, funk, not much pumpkin,
T-first you get that wonderful wild ale sour taste, the wine and cider barrels are apparent and a very nice touch, then some warming spices with a slight pumpkin aftertaste
M-semi-dry, like the happy medium of a low ABV cider and a white wine
O-some slight buyers remorse that I didn't get more bottles

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Photo of mdfb79
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 12/12/13 notes. Big thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing this one; thanks a lot Ross! Always happy to try a new HF beer. 750ml bottle poured into my Lost Abbey stemware.

a - Pours a murky bright orange color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, cider, oranges, citrus hops, sour white wine, sour fuuity malts, oak, and earthy malts. Nice nose lots of citrus and oranges. I like it but not getting any pumpkins.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, oranges, brett, oak, fruity malts, sour grapes and wine, eathy malts, yeast, and light spice. Light pumpkin and vegetables as well. Taste isn't as bretty, but lots of citrus. Nice, light funk.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp and not acidic, easy to drink.

o - Overall a very nice wild ale. Not the most sour or funky beer, but loads of citrus and oranges. Didn't see anything saying this was brewed with brett but sure seemed like it to me. Well worth checking out if you like brett, would like to have it again.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a HF fest glass, bottle split 5 ways after tasting Elaborative #1.

A- Pours a bright translucent yellowish orange color with a slight bit of haze and a white foamy head that leaves layered lacing. Well carbonated and looks great for a pumpkin saison.

S- Wine, cider, subtle pumpkin, slight funk balancing with the wine, very very light spices. Aromas fairly subtle but fit perfectly with one another. Decent aroma strength, nice complexity, unique, and very well balanced.

T- Light pumpkin, slight cider, very subtle spices, a little bit of sauvignon blanc, some light funk balancing nicely with the wine barrel presence. Again all the flavors are very complex and play nicely off one another. Overall everything could be brought out a little bit more and the flavors be more vibrant, but I'm definitely digging it.

M- Nice carbonation, light, easy drinking, crisp, clean, refreshing, and fits the style/flavors nicely.

O- HF works wonders with their wine barrels, they could literally but in anything and it would come out fantastic. This beer is no exception, I wasn't overly a huge fan of the base beer (Grassroots Autumn Saison) but this beer is fantastic with a nice uniqueness and subtle complexities. I'm very glad they decided bottling this in 750ml bottles with a generous limit.

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Photo of Skrip
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Jester King Zwanze Day tulip.

A~ glowing, cloudy neon yellow with a nice head and a good amount of lacing.

S~ reminds me of some of the greatest HF saisons. pineapple/citrus of Mimosa and Juicy, white/black pepper of Arthur, Wheat like presence of Clara and Florence, sweetness of Anna and Vera Mae and amazing oak characteristics of Flora and Norma (yeah... yeah... i know haha) lots of citrus up front followed by tons of bready white pepper all trapped in a chardonnay barrel, conditioned on apples.

T~ yup! pretty much follows the nose, way more oak and wine presence here. starts out with peppery saison yeast followed by apples, citrus, and a roasted pumpkin/gourd thing going on. definitely not your traditional "pumpkin" brew. oaky wine barrel funkness on the finish that sticks with you!

M~ perfect feel and carbonation for a saison (wild?) really smooth and surprisingly perfect on this cold night.

O~ the oak/wine tartness definitely takes away from the pumpkin which seems to be this brews only downfall but like i said this definitely isn't your traditional pumpkin beer. even in the Timmermans Pumpkin Lambic there are a ton of spices added which totally isn't the case here. its there but i would like a little more. other than that, this is fantastic. theres so much going on but you can easily pick out whats what, something Shaun seems to be too good at. finally a "new" 750 from HF which i'm guessing means they have quite a bit. heres to hoping it sticks around for a little while! cheers!

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Photo of jlindros
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to rudzud for splitting his bottle.

Pours a huge fluffy foamy 2+ finger head fades semi slowly, nice soapy layered lacing, very hazy slight golden honey orange color.

Nose has a fruity note to it, nice but light funk, lots of tart fruit and sour notes, nice tart vegetable gourd but hard to really call it pumpkin, tartness almost of a rhubarb, nice barrel, some nice buttery oak and little toasty vanilla, some wine barrel too.

Taste starts quite sour, sour fruit and lacto funk, little Brett perhaps a fruit sour Brett. Flash of pumpkin pie gourd like, little tart vegetable somehow. In the middle is mild barrel, little buttery oak and touch of vanilla, little vinous wine barrel like, mild dank musty funk. Finish brings more creamy tart sour lacto like, sticky and little flemmy, mild acid bite, more tart gourd like possibly pumpkin.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, lots of popping carbonation, little flemmy mild acid.

Overall pretty good, nice sour fruit, nice tart gourd like pumpkin, nice vinous wine and great buttery oak barrel, overall lots of good characters for a good sour.

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Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear pumpkin hue with a two finger white head that fades to leave light lacing and a thin blanket. The norm for a wild ale.

S - Aromas of a very faint vegetative gourd aroma. Lots of wine barrel notes, good sour and tart notes, light vinous notes, rather bright. Very light on the pumpkin but strong barrel notes. Definitely get the wild yeast here.

T - Taste is very sour with loads of lacto on the finish that lens to the sour tart creamyness . Flashes of pumpkin scattered throughout, very fleeting. There is nice white wine notes. The lacto on the finish rally rounds things out, super creamy tasting. Fairly straight forward, mostly just wine barrels, lacto, and flashes of pumpkin. Light brett too.

M - Mouthfeel is very nicely carbonated, super bright and crisp. Nice and easy drinking, the lacto does not take away from the mouthfeel.

O - Overall I enjoyed this beer. Good wine notes, awesome lacto, just wish there was more pumpkin flesh. It's very hard to translate that into beer though.

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Elaborative #2 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 178 ratings