Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Wild Ale
Ranked #46
Ranked #532
4.4 | pDev: 7.95%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Sue is the wine barrel-aged version of Susan (1891-1975), our grandfather's sister and the namesake of our bright, citrusy Farmstead IPA. Aged for nearly two years, it has developed and evolved into its current manifestation: a complex, lightly tart and delicately hopped Farmstead ale.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 324 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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StJamesGate from New York

4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Blonde; big orange Botanic Gardens fruit nose; light tartness, citrus hit, some mild hay bale, and clean end.

4 4.25 4.25 4 4.25

A ton of hoppy fruit, possibly at the expense of everything else: not catching the barrel + mixed ferm character is low. The usual expert execution; it’s a good beer no doubt. It just might not live up to HF’s own high standards: stood next to E., a similar concept, it doesn’t compare well. From any other brewery this would be great; a victim of its own success that way.

Oct 25, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully shimmering perfect amber, a mild sparkling column builds a tall off-white foam settling to a thin film and bubbly compact collar.

A tart yet floral melange of cured citrus zests pair with white wine oak and a delicate white grape characteristic that brings a unique rosé or almost soft raspberry quality to it. Faint hay and grass accent the tail end of the dry, prickly finish. The moderately effervescent body kicks up some wild herbal qualities here and there, rounding out this complex crusher.

The second pour is hazier but still beautiful, and complexity continues to develop, with a hoppy sort of banana peel punch in the background.

Jul 26, 2019
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jhavs from New York

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Onsite pour into globe. Shared by two people.

Pours an orange tinted straw color. Thin bubbly head that sticks around for a bit but ultimately settles into a few bubbly islands.

Aroma has zesty and sweet citrus candy hops, grassy field, earthy oak.

Flavor is smooth and balanced. Lots of citrus including lemon zest, tangerine juice and some grapefruit. Some grain and straw, fruit and oaky earth flavors. Tartness is mild and only a hint of funkiness.

Moderate carbonation and medium body. Smooth and perfectly balanced.

An excellent brew and especially interesting that this can be made from an IPA. The hop flavors are persistent, but delicate and melded perfectly with the flavors brought out by the Farmstead ale process.

Mar 26, 2019
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a gorgeous beer as expected. nose is grassy, floral, lemon, mint, slightly bitter hops, green and herbaceous, straw, peppery note, a weird spice note that a love but somehow reminds me of incense they had in a dark room at my local hippy store when i was super young. dankness, white grape, must, light funky farmhosue character and some kiwi, pulpy OJ, and candied fruits dancing around in the background. on plate there is white wine throughout and pungent hoppy character in all its piney and resinous bitterness its woodsy and floral, pithy grapefruit, herbaceous green character, orange, hints of oak.

overall this one brings a great complexity of flavors and is quite unique. not sure the flavor profile is my preferred style but its so interesting and well executed.

Dec 02, 2018
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For as inaccessible Hill Farmstead (the brewery location) is, which then translates to inaccessibility of their bottles (limited batches, brewery release only, that location thing again), their beer is utterly accessible. Even this complex barrel aged multi-year-old beauty named Sue. As challenging the process is to create the beer, the enjoyment of drinking it is pure, almost simple.

Pours a cloudy, orange hue with a moderate cap of head that lingers for a while before it fades into random clusters of swirls.

Aroma is a mélange of different scents - peach, kiwi, orange rind, pink grapefruit, oak, musty attic and an earthiness that's hard to pin down. Light tartness slips from the nostrils to the back of the palate.

Taste has the aforementioned fruit-forward elements drifting to the back of the orchestra with the wood, floral and musty elements taking the lead. Equal parts earthy, floral and funky, but not overpowering on either aspect. Then comes the kiwi, melon and tangerine (I think?) followed by a light tartness personified by green apple and lemon.

Refreshing, complex, delicious - tilt the glass, forget about the inaccessibility of the brewery and the bottle and just enjoy the beer.

Apr 24, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #1. Bottle from Toby. Hazy golden pour. Pours flat and dull. Sour, tart aroma. Taste smooths out the tartness, Pretty much in the ballpark., Pretty good.

Feb 26, 2018
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kevanb from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2017 release, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 10.21.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a hazy pale straw color, golden hues with a foamy white head that has good retention and yields a fantastic amount of sticky lace. The aroma is great, citrusy hops, almost like candied citrus, funk, oak, cereal grains, really nuanced fruit character that ranges from berries to stone fruits with a light grassy green aged hop and some white wine like mineral water. The flavors are delicious, lots of citrus, candied hops, pale doughy grain, fruit with a nice wine barrel, lightly vinous and tart, mineral water and a super developed floral funkiness. The mouthfeel is good, lively and coating with a medium body that has nice carbonation and a crisp and tart finish.

Verdict: An awesome wild farmstead ale from Hill Farmstead. Perhaps the best reinterpretation of an IPA I've had yet. Delicate, funky, nuanced, bright, complex and still refreshing and approachable as a beer. Excellent stuff.

Feb 06, 2018
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange hue with a loose, frothy head that quickly disperses into a tight band around the shoulders. Nose expresses citrus, a hint of funk, sweet notes and honeysuckle. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some light wine barrel characteristics (think light oak and chardonnay) Mouthfeel is light in body with an even, mild carbonation and a light acidity. Overall, an exceptional American Wild and one of my favorite HF beers to date. Lots of subtle complexity here.

Jan 28, 2018
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Tommo from Texas

4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting, and as described, but not what i expected.

Pours a hazy beer, smells of citrus, the body is super smooth with a ton of hop flavor just like regular sue, but in the mix is the barrel character and a touch of tartness. Very interesting, worth seeking out

Aug 12, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a lightly hazy golden orange, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This is nice, because it actually does smell like an IPA gone wild, with the wonderful citrusy goodness you expect from Susan, with a grassy funk, and oaky white wine.

This is really delicious. It's obviously not as hoppy as Susan is, not even close, but it's still wonderfully citrusy and delightful- peach, grapefruit, and orange, with a solid light grassy funk, just slightly Bretty, with an indescribable softness that permeates all Hill Farmstead beers I've tried.

This is light and super drinkable, with a good level of carbonation for the style.

Hot damn, this was amazing.

Jul 31, 2017
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yasky from Canada (ON)

4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Rose gold pour, puffy white head, fairly sizeable, gobs of lacing. Aroma of musty tropical fruit, green grape, lemon zest, Brett, oak. Awesome flavour profile, citrus, cellar, Brett, white wine, oak, barnyard funk, hints of light pepper. Lighter to medium body.

Jul 04, 2017
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 750 ml. bottle that was filled 05-11-2017. Sampled on July 2, 2017.

The pour is hazy pale yellow underneath a big, foamy white head that lingers all the way through. Busy carbonation and sedimentary deposits.

The aroma is at first sour and Brett-like but under it all I also pick up a peach, apricot, citrus character along with a definite "welcome to the farm" barnyard note. I can almost smell the cows. But I'm saying this is a good way. Ialso get a wooden character and an overripe fruit character.

The body is medium to full and it is smooth and delicate on the palate.

Considering my first sensation on the nose was something sour and something tart - it was amazing that the flavor did not emulate that as much as I expected it would. Certainly there is a tart, lemon zesty flavor to it but it is also somewhat sweet and bready. It ends smooth rather than tart.

Jul 02, 2017
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mtomlins from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Pushkinwow for sharing the bottle!
Bottle date: September 2014.

A really nice beer with mild Brett funk and oak notes balanced off with light fruit, spice and malt.

Apr 27, 2016
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tmbgnicu from Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I have had. Enjoyed a bottle onsite at the HF taproom on 4-9, split with my wife. Tons of wine barrel character with fruity overtones and spice. The oak character added a lot to the finish. Overall, a truly magnificent experience.

Apr 13, 2016
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tregan_20 from Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml poured into a snifter. Poured a hazy golden/yellow color and had a large, one-finger head form on top with a decent amount of lace being left behind. The smell has sourness, funk and hops all mixed together. The taste follows suit with a nice funky, barnyard must and a nice balance of sourness and hoppiness. I got some flavors of citrus fruits... passion fruit or stone fruit hops? You also get some oak/woodiness in there as well. The mouth feel is light, somewhat dry like a red wine, but the carbonation was on point IMO. I have had the Susan before which you can definitely get from this bottle, but the barrel and microflora has created a totally different taste here. Overall, funky, a little sour, hoppy, but most of all, an extremely flavorful offering from Hill Farmstead. Worth seeking out for sure!

Mar 24, 2016
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c-rum from Missouri

4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Hazy orange hue with a nice one finger head that fades slowly to leave nice lacing.

S - Wine barrels with some hop notes.

T - Wine barrel, hops and grassy notes.

F - Nice carbonation, crisp and clean.

O - Light, easy to drink and very enjoyable

Serving Type: Bottle

Sep 18, 2015
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Truly my kind of beer. Hoppy, fruity, and that awesome hf mineral goodness. I could smell this one forever. Pretty much what I expected E. to be. David, the man.

Jul 19, 2015
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A- pours a hazy reddish-orange color with a foamy the-finger white head that retains nicely after the pour, eventually leaving some nice lacing behind

S- fruity and funky with some toasted oak, vinous white wine, a bit of yogurt/cheese rind, grassy & tropical

T- oaky white wine, fruity berries, grassy, lactic-like sourness, light earthy funk dry finish with more earth

M- medium body and carb, foamy mouthfeel dry finish

O- very nice mix of tropical fruit, wet oak & funk

May 16, 2015
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grze from Nevada

3.38/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First of all, totally don't understand why this is listed as a wild ale? It's just a barrel aged IPA and it tastes like one. Really mediocre too. Not very refreshing. Wine character does not balance very well with everything else. Ridiculously overhyped as most of the HF beers. Yeah, you can call me HF hater, but unfortunately imho the fact that they made a few great beers doesn't justify high ratings for the mediocre ones.

Apr 27, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared at DLD. Served in a snifter.

Appearance is hazy lighter lemon yellow body, one finger white head, good retention time, nice collar and a fair bit of lacing. Smells like grapefruit juice, not particularly resinous but quite citrusy, with a bit of oak in the background. It's not particularly funky though it smells moderately tart. Mostly citrus. Flavour is obviously quite citrusy; mostly grapefruit with a bit of oak and mild tartness. It's not complicated, but it's very citrus-forward, which is in keeping with the type of beers that the brewery likes to produce. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly soft, mild tartness and a bit of oak, finishing with a mild grapefruit rind bitterness. Overall a very tasty barrel-aged wild IPA (if that's a style?). Not particularly complex, but it's quite tasty and drinkable.

Apr 26, 2015
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PHBoiler from Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent juicy hop nose that blends into the farmhouse funk. All the great elements of a well made saison blended with a citrus hop nose and a slight bit of bitterness on the back end.

Apr 13, 2015
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chaos99 from Florida

4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Less than 1 month old bottle poured into a tall tulip. Had it for the first time thanks to a trade during 2015 EBF. Thanks fregolo2. One of my first HF. This is a wonderfully drinkable beer. There's a fair amount crammed into this "pale ale". Appearance is inviting. Bright yellow yet cloudy and "tasty" looking. Mouth was spot on. Clean dry finish. The wine plays well with the overall beer. Sits in the background waiting for you to notice it. Nicely balanced. The tart finish adds another layer of flavor. I would of like a bit more on the nose but other than that, I will seek this out again!

Apr 03, 2015
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy gold in the glass. The nose is funky Brett, hint of pine and faded tropical fruits. Flavor is big on the funk. It also has some oakiness, minerals, hop bitterness and a buttery Chardonnay finish. This is nice, but I feel wine barrel and hoppy beers don't totally always mesh. 95.

Apr 03, 2015
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Suds_Suds from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had high hopes for this one, but was slightly disappointed. The oak notes seemed to dominate. Felt more like wine than the fresh sour citrus notes that I was hoping to get. Still, pretty good one though.

Mar 12, 2015
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breadwinner from California

4.12/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lot going on in this one, with an exuberant nose of tropical notes and Brett, with maybe some wine barrel sneaking in. It's almost a bit too chaotic, though, and the palate displays similar issues, with a touch of a tannic/astringent note sneaking in. It's an interesting idea, and I give the brewer credit for creativity, but the parts never seemed to mesh quite enough to really make this a standout.

Feb 24, 2015
Sue from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 324 ratings