Hill Farmstead Brewery

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German Helles
Ranked #2
Ranked #2,644
4.2 | pDev: 6.67%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Unfiltered Helles Lager

Marie-Ange (1907 - 1996) is our maternal great-grandmother, fondly remembered as Mémé. Born in Quebec, she emigrated to the Northeast Kingdom with her husband Edward J. Fournier. In her honor, we brew a beautifully soft, unfiltered Helles lager. Lightly hazy, naturally carbonated and truly enjoyable, this is the beer we dream to have shared with Marie.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 152 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap that leaves good lacing

S: Grassy and spicy noble hops up front along with some bready malt and grainy notes

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the grassy and spicy hops and then picks up the bready maltiness and grain. Finishes with lingering grass and bread

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very good helles that is super easy to drink. Definitely worth checking out

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Photo of mushroomcloud
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz canned on 9-3-19. Opened on 10-10-19.
1" white head, decent retention as it recedes to a solid 1/4" slowly. Unfiltered straw gold, still with decent clarity. Early lacing forming at the top of the pint.
Sweet grain, feed store grain - earthy and floral hop backing. Delicate and appealing aroma.
Malt, sweet and grainy - followed by floral and slightly herbal hops. Simple but very tasty.
Bright, cool entry - soft mouthfeel. Low to medium carbonation. Low bitterness. Sweet malt start to an off dry finish.
Very good. Would be a constant drinker if I had access to it.
Really impressed with this brewery - everything I have had the opportunity to taste has been so well made and nothing over the top.

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Photo of Gatch
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Armsby Abbey. Finally trying this beer! One of my favorite styles and I knew HF would go above and beyond. Smells like freshly made bread dough, flavor is tons of sweet bready malt with a delicious hop hill, and feel/finish is simply stellar. This is how a Helles is executed properly and how I expect them to taste in the small towns and villages of Bavaria.

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Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Canned 7/01/19, if there is any American brewery that can nail a Helles, I think Shaun would be the one.
Pours a large creamy dense slight pillowy white head with great retention, light whispy lacing, crystal clear lemony yellow color

Nose is great, reminds me of Weihenstephaner, big grainy-sweet malt, big German pilsner malt bringing a touch of corn with it, straw and bread dough, faint floral herbal hop

Taste brings more of the same, big pilsner malt out front with more corn DMS, but a bit more corn than the nose, grain-sweet malt and some straw, some bread dough, clean lager, hops are moderate with medium bitterness and a herbal floral hop flavor also medium, turning a bit spicy late, clean crisp finish, with a bit more crisp hop bitterness probably a little sulfate addition to add to that spicy hop crisp bitterness but I don't pickup any sulfate flavors so must be the perfect balance

Mouth is med to lighter bod but soft lager and crisp finish, medium to lighter carb

Overall this nails a good German Helles as I expected, perfect hop level (which no other American brewery has nailed), great malt character, nice level of DMS corn, nice clean soft lager, good crisp hop finish but without sulfate flavors, this was delicious and well done. if I have to nit pick anything, I'd say carbonation is a tad low.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz tallboy poured into Hill Farmstead stemmed globe.

canned: 7/1/19
drink by: 10/1/19

Appearance: Translucent pale straw yellow bodied beer with tall bone white head. Head sticking all over the glass with great head retention.

Smell: Liquid bread. Light fruity lager yeast aromas. Floral hops. Honey.

Taste: doughy malt flavors that have a subtle toasty & light sweetness. Honey in the middle with a hint of fruity lager yeast. Finishes with a light bitterness of floral, grass, & earthy hop notes. Flavors are extremely well balanced and the flavor profile is overall lightly sweet from the grain bill used for this unfiltered beer.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Soft and creamy carbonation with a crisp and lightly dry crisp finish. This just wows the palate. Unfiltered lager is at near perfection.

Overall: This is just as good as Dovetail Helles Lager. Marie and Dovetail Helles are easily the best two German Helles Lagers that I have encountered. The flavors profile are balanced and complex. The mouthfeel is what really takes the beer over the top. Marie is yet another example of the high quality beers that Hill Farmstead can pump out. The brewers at Hill Farmstead can make a German Helles Lager so authentic that you would think you were drinking this beer right off a draft line in Germany.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another fantastic beer. Golden body and fluffy head, moderate lacing. The flavor is rich with honey notes, a bright drinkable feel. Another solid offering.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz. can served in a willibecker. Pours a lovely straw gold with a loose, quarter inch, off-white head. Clarity has the slightest haze. Nose reveals grassy notes and aromas of bread dough. Taste follows nose - bread dough comes out at the finish. Backbone is grassy and also expresses hints of noble hops. Mouthfeel is light in body with a carbonation just shy of lively and a semi-crisp finish. Overall, lovely, delicate and drinkable. High marks!

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Photo of Sabtos
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Barely sparkling, slightly foggy gold with a tall airy white foam collapsing to a fuzzy uneven film leaving spongy cobweb lace all over.

While the nose is softly floral, Marie is promptly crisp on the tongue, but then suddenly silky smooth, delivering flavors of light popped corn, grass and mildly bitter wild greens. These glide into toasted wheat and a dry finish that brings out a faint hint of farmhouse.

Despite the noted mild bitterness in the middle, in contrast to Mary's spicier complexity, Marie is overall sweet, giving off a honeycomb vibe in the end.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can: Poured a nice bright golden color lager with a huge white foamy head with great retention and some lacing. Aroma of cereal notes with light dry floral notes and some subtle butter notes are also discernible. Taste is a nice mix of cereal notes with some light residual sugar notes with some light butter notes and dry floral finish. Body is about average with good carbonation. Solid rendition of the style with great drinkability.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Top of this style. Clean and crisp from start to finish. Bread and cracker malt profile. Nice carb and smooth body. Hint of bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a definite change of pace from the ipas and the wild ales these guys are known for, but a really well done and massively drinkable lager here, lender further credence to the idea that these guys really are one of the most competent and versatile breweries out there. a keller type lager here, unfiltered and clean still, pale like straw, uniformly hazy but its minimal, i can still see through this well enough, and it holds a nice white head from the tap with spider web lacing as it fades back. aroma and flavor are pretty classically german, minerals and dry rustic lager yeast on top of a very simple, earthy, biscuity pale malt base, not a whole lot to this one, but there is beauty in simplicity, and this is a fine example of that. dry in the feel, but with some body, upbeat carbonation too. notes of dried grass and hay, summer in the country, delicious grain driven pale beer, patiently lagered, and of the high quality we have all come to know and love these guys for. certainly not their most dynamic brew, but a nice addition to the lineup!

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Traded for this in front of Other Half not too long ago, never reviewing a small can from these guys before. The bottom read "MARIE" with "1335" written below that and unlike many of the beers that I have here, I didn't want this to age. I don't drink this style much but if I did, I would want it to be like this as this was quite enjoyable and smooth without feeling weak or watered-down. What else could one ask for from a beer like this?

Lovely golden hue to this with plenty of fluffy head to top it off. Not as much lacing left behind though there were a few hints of rings along the back of my pint glass. Noble hops, white cheese, grass, and cracker in the nose with all of those being present in the taste. A light citrus twang, dough, and grass came through in the taste which was exactly as it should be for a beer like this - bright, lively, and clean. Plenty of carbonation to go around and a surprising amount of slickness as well ensured that this would go down easily and smoothly.

That it did, and the low presence of alcohol was a plus as it would be easy to quaff more of this, had there been more that one can of it lying around. Lovely stuff that would turn anyone onto Lagers, let alone a Munich Helles. Nice job all-around by these guys!

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 6/3/18

A: Light to medium gold - nicely clear - pours with a medium-large head, fades to a wispy cap, retains a small-medium collar and leaves some streaks and webs of lacing

S: Soft, light bread and some light noble hops - light bread, freshly baked bread, bread dough, and a touch of crackers - pilsner and Munich malts - light notes of hops, some spice and some grass - some light, biscuit-like sweetness, very clean overall

T: Light bread, like a slice of fresh bread, with some notes of bread dough, crackers and biscuits - touches of grain, cereal - pils and Munich malts - light hops, with some spice and grass - light malty sweetness - very clean lager yeast - just a touch of lemon, light fruit, hint of honey - mostly clean but some lingering sweetness

M: Light body,medium carbonation, crisp with some smoothness, clean

O: Straight out of Munich, mostly

I've been eager to try Marie for quite some time. Through some great fortune, I was able to buy cans when I recently went to Hill Farmstead. It's pretty much what I had hoped; it's great. Ultimately, compared to some of my other favorites in this style, it's a touch too sweet, and Hill Farmstead's house lager yeast is almost too clean (yeah, that sounds stupid), but I look forward to drinking as much of this as possible.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light green hue to the otherwise straw colored liquid. Solid and lasting white head. Wide streaks for lace.

Grainy nose with lighter pale malt. Light pepper in the background at the end of the smell.

The taste is appropriately fruity but the finish is tad bit more spicy bitter. Full bodied with adequate carbonation. The finish is peppery like the smell leaving a long aftertaste.

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Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 16oz can into a dimpled mug. pours semi hazy gold with three fingers worth of fluffy white head. smells of rich, semisweet bread maltiness with some slight floral hop aromas to back it up. tastes packs a lot of the same bready malt flavors with subtle hops backing it all up. it’s a very floral as opposed to spicy hop character and i almost get a buttered corn smell and taste from this beer. it’s delicious at any rate. feel is smooth andfull with a lower level of carbonation than i would expect of the style. overall, really enjoy this one from HF. i would drink this beer on a regular basis if proximity allowed. it’s so light and refreshing yet full of flavor. well done.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Half pour at Upright Brew House.

Chill hazed, straw-colored, leggy brew.

Smell is dry malt with a tiny bit of astringency/Asprin.

Taste is toasty, light, and determined to be dry. Grain, veg, sediment. Mild sweetness. Dusty & salivating. Perfect carbonation.

Pretty quafable.

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Photo of kevanb
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750ml growler, poured into a 16oz tumbler glass. Enjoyed on 6.28.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a bright golden color, nice and clear with lots of bubbles rising to the top of the glass where a foamy white head sits, about two fingers tall with great retention and lace. The aroma is very nice, soft noble hops, light grassy and earthy character, a touch of citrus with soft pale doughy malt and lots of mineral water. The flavors are great, very refreshing pilsener malt flavor, bready and doughy with lots of mineral water while the hop character is so delicate and offers some grassy and floral brightness with a bit of citrus rind that lingers well. The mouthfeel is great, bubbly, lively, crisp light body with a dry but smooth finish.

Verdict: A great Helles lager from Hill Farmstead. Right up there with Mary and showcases how well rounded of a brewery Hill Farmstead really is, just nailing such a diverse range of styles. I think I prefer Mary to this, the flavor profile is a touch more nuanced and developed, but this beer is so refreshing and delightful.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can poured into shaker pint.

A: very little head just a whispy white film. Body is a crystal clear light yellow watery color.

S:light doughy greasy crackery Malts with just a light hint of floral hops.

T: soft hoppy flowery flavors give way to a nice doughy light malt base before finishing with a soft dough characteristic.

M: Light clean good carbonation.

O: This is a well done Helles Lager. You really don't expect anything less from this brewery and it doesn't. The beer is very light and clean with just the right subtle malts finishes by just a light hoppiness.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Prohibition Pig, June 30, 2017.
This was poured into a becher pint glass, close enough, I realize brewpubs don't keep lager glasses on them, so I figure this is closest respected glassware for the style.
The appearance was a nice clean sturdy hazy burnt orange color with no transparency about it, which I didn't mind for me, but have often seen the German ones with a bit more transparency, no harm no foul, I just figure it's Shaun Hill's creative take on a sturdier looking color.
The aroma takes the clean malt bill of smooth semi-sweet biscuits to play with a sly earthy to grassy hop component.
The flavor leaned into the biscuits initially and then developed a finer blend of those qualities of the earthiness and grassiness. Mild biscuit sweet smooth aftertaste that was super nice and clean.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, seemed to sit just a touch under but I'm getting fabulous vibes on it's smoothness running along my tongue. Carbonation felt light and appropriate along with the ABV feeling just as good.
Overall, a very well done Munich Helles Lager well worthy of many more pours and am now wishing I had some Bratwursts to go along with this beer!

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Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler filled at the brewery. Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw yellow body, two finger white head, settles down in a reasonable amount of time, medium film and collar, plenty of lacing. Smell is biscuit, touch of grain, bread, floral and slight lemon, very clean lagery flavour. Flavour is also quite clean and keen with a good bit of biscuit, touch of honey, touch of spice with floral notes. It's not flavour overwhelming, but it's clean and flavourful, just about what you'd expect. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, soft but even a bit crisp, with the finish subtly making you want a bit more to drink. Delicious Helles, and I think it encapsulates a clean, flavourful Helles I would want to drink regularly.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap

This beer pours a clearish straw with a finger of white cream and a little lacing. The aroma and flavor walk hand in hand with toasty bread, slight green apple from malt and light hops. The malt character is especially rich and decadent (without being anywhere near heavy) in the flavor. Light carbonation, light but rich body with a clean finish. This is a tasty beer. Everything is well-balanced and to style, enjoyable and simple.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 mL growler. Pale yellow. Smells of a little bit of earthy and spicy hops. Strong bready and doughy malt presence. Tastes bready, spicy, and a touch sweet as the hop flavor dies down. Spicy and earthy hop finish. Light body. Not sure why, but I expected a little more heft and hop from this. Soft carbonation. It’s subtle and subdued, which I should have expected from HF. At first, I thought, yeah ok it's just a lager, but a return to it after drinking some HF IPAs made me really appreciate it. Maybe as a US craft beer drinker I don't get to try many good pilsners and helles lagers, but I still thought this was more enjoyable without being more flavorful.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Prohibition Pig. Oh lady! This was tasty. A goddamn tasty treat. One hell of a Helles! Distinct lager and European flavors but oh-so nuanced. I loved Mary from Hill Farmstead but Marie is right there, too!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Growler procured from the source.

This one pours a clear golden straw yellow, with slight orange tints, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like grass, pear, honey slathered bread, and floral notes.

Shaun Hill, as expected, did a bang-up job with this one. It's super clean, and super crisp, with a lovely light hop note of flowers, pear, citrus zest, and grassiness. There's a light malt character of slightly sweet breadiness.

This is light bodied, with a clean crisp mouthfeel that just begs to be drunk quickly. There's a good level of soft carbonation.

This is exemplary, and certainly one of the best lagers I've ever had.

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Photo of rudzud
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Dive Bar.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a nice clear light straw hue with a thin one finger head that fades to leave light lacing and a creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of sweet malts, floral grassy notes, honey, bready yeast.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of honey, sweet crackery malts. Light floral grassy hops . Rather bready yeast.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, crisp and clean.

O - Overall this was a solid representation of the style. Rather honey forward.

Serving Type: on tap

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Marie from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 152 ratings