Shirley Mae
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
American Porter
Ranked #30
Ranked #4,978
4.14 | pDev: 7.73%
Jan 18, 2023
Feb 07, 2016
Notes: An American session Porter... "Baby Everett"

Shirley Mae (1936 - 2015) was our cousin, daughter of Everett, and a beloved supporter of her family and Hill Farmstead. In her honor, this American session version of our Everett porter is crafted from American malted barley, English and German roasted malts, American hops, our ale yeast, and water from our well. Chocolate, coffee, and light malty sweetness, this ale embodies her ebullient and generous spirit—a fitting tribute.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by Hendry from Vermont

Jan 18, 2023
Rated: 4.42 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Jan 01, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by smartassboiler from Illinois

Oct 26, 2022
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Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
10oz pour at Sabatinis in Exeter pa this evening. On nitro.

Superb looking porter. Black as black body with a persistent coffee with cream head. This persists throughout leaving a solid sheet of "lacing".

Coffee and chocolate notes on the nose.

On tasting, smooth of course. Coffee stronger than the chocolate, but both present. There is a significant roast for balance

Mouth between medium and full, finish a lasting roast which is not drying.

Overall, superbly crafted beer. And at only 3.8 abv, very sessionable. Shows that you can produce a low alcohol flavorable porter with bags of character.
Sep 17, 2022
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Reviewed by brewme from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Had a single draft at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont for about eight dollars. My eleventh brew from these guys. Very good, flavorful LAB.
Aug 31, 2022
Rated: 4.61 by mattycasey from Massachusetts

Mar 10, 2022
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Rated by Holderness from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
On tap at the brewery

The coffee character is really fresh but not syrupy. Probably the most flavorful low ABV porter I've had

Mar 06, 2022
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Rated by Paul9656

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Very smooth nice low carbonation. Creamy and easy on the palate. Guinness like in it's drink ability.
Jan 09, 2022
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Reviewed by smcolw from Massachusetts

3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Excellent, lasting head. Blanketing lace. Deep dark brown color where only the brightest of lights can pass through.

Nice blend of darker chocolate malt and light bittering hop.

The beer is a touch watery on the mouth. Neutral carbonation. Notable coffee flavors. Much dryer than the smell. The finish is darker mocha with no milk or sugar. Longer Aftertaste.
Nov 26, 2021
Rated: 4.28 by emptyglassagain from Massachusetts

Oct 21, 2021
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Like a classic draft pour of Guinness, the nitro takes forever to cascade upwards out of solution, building a gigantically tall and dense creamy tan head over a dark polished mahogany body.

Mild roast meets deliciously toasty coffee bean with an almost brown sugar and maple quality, while exhibiting absolutely no sweetness. The thick head makes for a pillowy start to the otherwise silky smooth medium body, which finishes paper dry and exhales a hint of cigar smoke.

As with Poetica, I'm finding myself a little perplexed by Hill's menu and their choice of wording on these beer names. I'm not really sure if this should be a different beer entry, but Hill branded it as regular Shirley Mae, and I still have a picture of the menu. The menu describes this as having additions of coffee, cacao nibs and lactose sugar, via nitro. The Sunrise Addition listed here and on Untappd is supposedly only coffee and vanilla with lactose. I wonder, has regular Shirley Mae always had adjuncts?

Whatever the case, it's an excellent porter, and I was surprised to have thoroughly enjoyed it far more than the Poetica I was much more hyped for. I even made sure to dig into half my pour of the pilsner before even touching this darker brew.
Oct 20, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by t2grogan from Arizona

Nov 15, 2019
Rated: 3.89 by ckeegan04 from Texas

Nov 14, 2019
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Reviewed by Crowheadhopper from New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Had this on tap at Henry's Taproom in Saratoga, ny in early November 2019. 4%? Hmmmm. No hint of alcohol but a beautiful and fulfilling mouth feel. This is what a Guiness should feel like, and this is a porter! Beautiful coffee like, almost wine presence. Then again Hill Farmstead has that stature that does affect one's beer attitude not to mention the palate. A very beautiful session on a cold autumn day.
Nov 12, 2019
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Reviewed by DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured out at the Hill Farmstead Taproom. Dark brown, with creamy khaki head. Nitro bubbles slowly creeping to the top.

Smell is huge roasty coffee. It just smells like a fresh cup of morning coffee.

Taste is coffee as well with some mild dark chocolate and smoky notes. No alcohol taste whatsoever. 3.8% ABV makes this a very easy drinking beer.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Medium bodied, nitrogenated. A very relaxed brew.

Haven't had a brew quite like this. Very smooth, easy to drink, enjoyable.
Nov 08, 2019
Rated: 4.12 by BEERMILER12 from Maine

Sep 03, 2019
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Reviewed by Gatch from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
40cl at the brewery, “slow poured via nitrogenation.” About as good as this style gets, it’s so damn smooth, with massive coffee & subtle cacao character. Smoky in the feel and finish. Roasted malt is on-point. No beer should be this good, seriously, wow!
Aug 28, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by fitzy84 from Massachusetts

Aug 17, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

Aug 08, 2019
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
served on nitro at the farmhouse tap in burlington, gorgeous looking beer with a rich creamy almost white head atop a near black silky body, looks stunning. i dont know if there is always coffee in this or not, but the ones i have seen around town this week all seem to have it, so i am assuming its part of the normal shirley mae, if anyone knows differently, fill me in. this is a real nice porter, as decadent and roasty as the stronger everett, seemingly just as much malt depth to it, and the coffee here is extremely well integrated, not just forced in over top, its really an essential piece of this, especially in the nose, where its almost warm brewed and cozy to me. hints of leather and dark chocolate are here too, a softly english yeast maybe, a breadiness to it that really rounds it out and seems to soften some of the roasted character. insanely smooth to drink on too, probably would be even without the nitro, but in this format its just silk, so gentle and creamy, expansive and then dry, almost with a finish like an irish dry stout. enormously impressive beer, i love the low abv and all the structure and complexity. ive always liked the fermentation forward beers the most from these guys, but from a quality standpoint, this is as good as anything they have ever made. this was possibly a special edition with coffee, if thats not part of the normal recipe...
Aug 01, 2019
Rated: 4.34 by 322wingedfoot from Pennsylvania

Jul 25, 2019
Rated: 4.09 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Jul 22, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by Nunya from Ohio

Apr 21, 2019
Rated: 4 by IBUBrew from Vermont

Apr 14, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Feb 02, 2019
Rated: 4.24 by moltch from Massachusetts

Jan 03, 2019
Rated: 3.85 by rogacks from Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019
Rated: 4.02 by AMCimpi from New York

Dec 24, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by heerboth from Pennsylvania

Oct 11, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by blaje from Canada (QC)

Sep 28, 2018
Rated: 4.4 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Sep 22, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by TheEpeeist from Maryland

Aug 28, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by Abe_Froman from Massachusetts

Aug 22, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by Simon212 from Canada (ON)

Aug 01, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by Ajlvt from Washington

Aug 01, 2018
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Reviewed by PicoPapa from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
On nitro at The Bench. Pours a pitch black color with an inch of creamy tan head. Tons of lacing. Roasted malt aroma with some chocolate, black coffee, and earth. The taste is rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, black coffee and earth. Very little alcohol presence with a creamy mouthfeel. Great easy drinking Porter.
Aug 01, 2018
Rated: 3.53 by coz from Illinois

Jul 26, 2018
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Reviewed by Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Nitro version on tap at Hill. Light mocha colored but as the bubbles cascade down, quickly turns black with a slightly off-white bright head. Coffee, hints of vanilla and roasted malt. Super smooth feel. Light and delicate but very flavorful. It's amazing you can get this much flavor into a sub 5% beer. Impressed. Delicious.
Jul 24, 2018
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Rated by Jtsang1 from New York

5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
favorite beer from hill farmstead!
Jul 24, 2018
Rated: 4.46 by johnlatona from New Jersey

May 24, 2018
Shirley Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 226 ratings