Ephraim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ephraim (1823-1913) was our great-great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery resides several hundred feet downhill from the land that he and his father settled. In his honor, this Imperial India Pale Ale is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, buckets of American hops, our ale yeast and water from our well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Intensely aromatic and saturated with resinous hop flavor, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Ephraim.

280 Theoretical IBU

Pale Malt; Dextrose; Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by Kegatron on 09-28-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
1,003
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.44%
 
 
Wants:
1,494
Gots:
39
For Trade:
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 1,003
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.04/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a swing-top 750 that was bottled for VIP attendees at the harvest festival.

Pours a clear pale orange with a great white head. Aroma is fruity with pear and melon notes along with some peach. Minimal pine/green hop notes.

Flavor is strong and boozy with a nice candy-like sweetnes in the middle. Finish is overly harsh with high alcohol notes and in the end isn't all that complex.

Mouthfeel is smooth throughout with carbonation on the low side. Nice maltiness creates a substantial body mid palate while still having a dry finish. Definitely the high point of this beer. Overall, I feel the same way about this beer as I did when I had it on tap; booziness overshadows the hop profile. This beer reminds me a lot of hopslam, which I also think is on the wrong side of booze/hop balance. I prefer the less harsh/more aromatic character of HF's other hoppy beers.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.36/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Gonzoillini at a tasting. This was the first beer if the night. I was very excited to try it!
Growler opened with a large -pop- and was served in my Ithaca tulip.

The beer looks great. Nice closing yellowy gold... Slightly hazy, which I am a fan of... Big 3 fingers of white head... Very sticky lacing and strong retention. Off to a very strong start.

Smells good. Big citrus and pine hop notes. No real malt. Crisp and clean. The taste has some citrus and pine for sure... But everything is almost lost to a hurricane of pure bitterness. This is painfully bitter, but at the cost of a lot of flavor. This reminds me of Ruination a bit...

The body is oily and light-- almost thin for my tastes. Almost watery?! Wow. There is no bright prickliness that really helps propel the flavor across each tastebud... The beer feels dull and boring. Lots of oily residue left after each sip. It coats my teeth with pine tar.

Overall... This is a good beer. Is it fantastic? Meh. Is it world class? Nope.
It is a sign of a good young brewery though, and I'd love to see what these guys can do after tweaking things a bit.

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Photo of Ynot2
3.4/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 750ml swing top growler into a tulip glass (thanks Satchboogie). This is probably a 2 week old beer at this point shipped from East to West coast.

Pours a golden color with decent fluffy white head. Plenty of lacing left as I drink it down. About what I would expect.

The smell is sweet and fruity with a little pine and even some sugary malts. Lots going with the smell, one of the better parts of the beer.

The tastes are kind of earthy, especially for a DIPA. The nice citrusy hops fade quickly and is replaced with sweet tropical fruits. The end is a little more bitter than I expected, not a good or bad thing, just not expected. The sweet flavors are big and all of a sudden you are left with a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is good for DIPA, nothing spectacular, but good. The alcohol is well hidden, again not good or bad, just there.

I was disappointed in this. I had a Pliny that was a month old just before this and the Pliny had more of a hop profile, a better balance and just an overall better beer (for me). A good beer, but not in the same league as Pliny, Citra, Ruination, Hopslam or Dreadnaught.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a one finger frothy white head that has good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

The nose on this beer is absolutely fantastic. Just bursting through with a ton of tropical and citrus fruit along with some slight earthy pine, pale malt and sweet booze. Lots of mango and pineapple as well as some grapefruit and lemon peel. One of the best smelling IPAs I've encountered.

This beer looks great and smells incredible but unfortunately the flavor falls way off. The citrus and tropical fruit notes are there but anywhere near as prominent as the aroma suggests. More bitter and earthy than expected with piny/soily flavor but not overly dry. Also, it is very hot and the strong booze component kills the best of the hop flavor. Hints of grapefruit and lemon peel with a very faint tropical presence. The malt backbone is also stronger than expected with hints of biscuit and an overly grainy graham cracker presence. Toward the end of the palate the beer is almost all booze. Kind of all over the place an very disappointing.

I have heard very good things about this beer and was really looking forward to it but it was an enormous let down. I'm gong to be trying it again on draft in a few days and will update my review if my opinion changes.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a Growler. Giddie Up.
Color is a sunburst golden amber color, like a light resin nugget. Picture the piece of resin from jurrasic park that they extract the mosquito dna from, that color right there hits it.
The aroma is predominantly citrus and grapefruit, and just a hint of mango and tropical pulls through, but citrus is by far the winner in this aromatic battle of domination.
The flavors match the aroma, with the exception that the faint tropics are replaced with a faint pine grove, but this pine grove still has 10x the grapefruit trees in comparison. This one is very bitter, it doesn't only have hop flavors but a lot of bitterness also, balanced slightly but a bit of residual sugars.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.56/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Blackback Pub, Waterbury, VT

I've had my fair share of HF beers, but for some reason this one has eluded me for years. Now I've had it, and despite it's reputation, I must say, I'm not a huge fan. I actually think the bartender may have poured me the wrong beer, because it just didn't match the bill.

Appearance-wise, the beer was tremendous. Served in a HF stem glass, slightly hazy, bright amber color with a large, foamy, white head that retained amazingly and left blankets of lacing on the glass. Aroma of somewhat muted tropical and stone fruits, musty grass, somewhat bready; none of the intensity I'd expect from a fresh IPA though. More in line with a Belgian IPA or even moderately hoppy saison (further leading me to believe it could have been a mis-pour). Unexpected hit of funkiness up front in the taste, soft peach, citrus zest, mango, pear, bready malts, slightly bitter in the aftertaste. Hmm. Yep. This was either a fresh saison or an old Ephraim. Medium body, somewhat sticky and chewy. Overall fairly drinkable, but not quite what I expected.

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Photo of Rampage1
3.65/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on Mar. 25th.
Was really looking forward to trying this after hearing so much about it and having had Farmstead Citra which I thought was pretty damn good.

Appearance: Has a dark golden color to it with not a ton of carbonation. White head that disappeared pretty quick.

Smell: Has some nice tropical smells to it. Mostly Citrus with mango and a little pineapple. I am also getting some apricot smells and a little hot alcohol in the smell.

Taste: Has a ton of citrus in the first part of the taste that quickly goes to a decent amount of bitterness. I was a little disappointed there was not much malt to balance this out much. No real biscuit flavors like I get with Kern Citra. I also get a little hotness from the alcohol which i was surprised about but could be due to the lower side of the carbonation.

Mouthfeel: This one is really thin and I thinks that's why it taste's hot to me. Poured with some carbonation initially but the head faded quick and the taste became a little more one dimensional.

Overall: I liked this IPA but would say I am not seeking this one out again. In the end it does not come close to my favorite double IPA--Kern Citra which is my measuring stick. Maybe if it had better carbonation and a little stronger smell I would think different. I liked Hill Farmstead Citra much better for sure. Citra had a better nose and way better overall taste to it. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Cascade77
3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The second of two growlers I picked up last weekend.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip and leaves a small off-white head that goes quickly. Lots of bubbles coming up through a light yellow beer. Pretty clear.

Smells really nice with pine flavored resiny hops up front. Really not much else. A bit of booziness to the smell.

Taste is lighter than expected. A bit fruity, hops come on strong with mango, papaya and other island tastes. Really no malt to speak of. Booze comes through stong after the third sip but that's to be expected.

Mouth feel is thin and dry. A bit champagne like. Kind of tingly mouth feel as with most of the HF beers I have tried so far. Not something I love.

Overall I liked it but not a lot of depth. Hoppy and thin with that signature bite and tingly, numbing feeling. Where is the flavor? Dangerously close to proving that if you dump enough hops into it the geeks will flock to it.

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Photo of koutkid41
3.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky and hazy, gold/orange color, nice two finger thick and creamy head.

S: Sweet tropical fruit, some honey dew, some sweet powdered sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with some breadiness. Honey dew and sugar character upfront then becomes slightly tropical.

M: My only things is I wish it wasn't so sweet and sugary for a DIPA. Body wise it was nice.

O: Not a bad beer but had high hopes for this one, Abner is definitely is a notch above this one.

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Photo of tarheels86
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL growler thanks to oteyj. Pours a clear amber with a modest white head. Looks very different from other samples I’ve had which looked glowin yellow. Nose here is pretty sticky, sugary, muted, candy, maple, orange, 3C hops. Decent. Taste up front is sticky with some very obvious booziness moving to vanilla and maple. But overall, sticky and resinous. Not vey fruity or tropical like I was expecting. Very different from the Double Citra. Good stuff, yummy, but nothing too exciting.

Tap at Capone’s. Definitely not good enough to warrant the iPhone theft that happened to my girlfriend. Small, dense off-white head on a dirty, ugly yellow. Nose is caramel and meaty jackfruit. Taste is boozy, spicy, loads of candied orange slices and orange peel. Sticky, candy body. Butterscotch comes through. Not bad- pretty enjoyable but the opposite of what I was expecting. 10/17/2011 7/3/8/4/15=3.7

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Photo of anteatr23
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque orange, light carbonation, one finger head. Smells zesty, with a pilsner-like malt, herbal. Taste is hugely big and bitter. Spicy, dry and intense. This is a real hop bomb. At least... there isn't much else you can taste through all the IBUs. Leaves your mouth feeling dry and sort of wrecking the palate. It's not that this beer is bad -- it's not. It's just SO hop forward that it'll likely only appeal to hop heads looking to be blown away. Fine for an IPA drinker, but not especially impressive.

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Photo of Rizzy17
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler filled on 2/13/16 into a Hill Farmstead stem glass.

A: A translucent orange/light amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly.
S: Resinous and slightly citrusy aroma.
T: Resiny and almost sticky. Not a whole lot going on with this.
F: Smooth and drinkable.
O: Not really impressed with this. Maybe I should've had it fresher.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 750mL swingtop growler to snifter on 11/13/11 at a small tasting with friends
*From notes

-- Yet again, many thanks for sharing, Bill --

A: A really healthy presentation. Rich, golden amber and when properly poured, a bubbly 1.25 finger head and decent lacing appear. Really nice retention, as the head lingers for some time.

S: It's floral, yet rather subdued. It's earthy, malty and signifigantly herbal. Lovely, it's really a pleasure to let this drift in and out of the nostrils.

T: This is intense stuff. For as laid back as the bouquet is, the flavor profile is quite the opposite. There's less fruit here, and more of an intensly toasted, almost burnt onion quality to it. It's most certainly rich, and the finish showcases hints of ripe strawberries.

M: The texture is suitable, yet I wish there was more to it. A bit undercarbed, which I'll forgive as it is coming from a growler. But to pack that big of a punch into an almost flabby body is not what I'd call desirable.

O: Hill Farmstead's Ephraim is a very, very good beer that, in my opinion, never reaches the heights of greatness. It certainly knows where it wants to go, yet it wasn't where I felt it needed to be. More of a sipping DIPA, it's one to be shared, as I don't know how one would get down massive quantities of this.

Of the two hoppier HF offerings we imbibed that afternoon, I would have no reservations reaching for their Abner each and every time, as I feel it to be the better and substantially more balanced offering.

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Photo of harrymel
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Oh, just one of six half growlers I received recently.

Pours a hazy light apricot with a sheet of light white foam. Smell is juicy. Some pear, some tangerine, some melons and pineappel, and hints of resin, but mostly sweet juicy hops. This is an approach to hops and grain I've not really experienced before, this is really innovative - this does not really smell like an IPA/IIPA. More like a sweet biscuit with some preserves on it. Flavor follows suit, really unassuming for the style. Not overly syrupy sweet, like some IIPAs, but slightly sweet with lots more juicy fruit, biscuity malt and now some bitterness and a little more hop character as it warms. Full bodied with sharp carb and a semi dry finish. This is a really fine brew, I'm not sure I would go nuts for it, and would likely prefer a few cans of Heady Topper over this, or several others as well. i might argue the beer is a little too heavy on the Dextrose, like Hop Henge in the last couple years.

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Photo of Damian
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at the Blackback Pub & Flyshop, Waterbury, VT
Served in a cervoise

A creamy, light tan, one-finger cap of froth topped the hazy, amber liquid. As the beer sat, the head dissipated to a thin film and the body turned nearly transparent.

Loads of candied grapefruit peel came through in the aroma. Super dank and hoppy. Citrusy and rather sweet. Some brown sugar notes were apparent.

The taste started out fairly balanced but soon turned overwhelmingly hoppy and bitter. Pithy, dry, grapefruit peel dominated the flavor profile. Oily and resinous. Orange notes came through as well. The finish was outrageously piney, dry and bitter.

The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth with a fine, moderate effervescence. For a beer of this magnitude, however, I was hoping for a slightly bigger body.

Drinkability certainly was not this beer's strong point. It was so dry and bitter that I actually had a bit of difficulty putting down all twelve ounces.

Ephraim calls itself a "triple IPA" and it certainly lives up to its classification. If you prefer your IPAs abrasively hoppy and bitter, then you would likely enjoy this beer.

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Photo of readbaron
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to KickInTheChalice for this one. Pour from a 750 ml growler into a Parra Duvel tulip.

Pours an unusual golden orange color. When held up to the light it's a light golden orange.

Lots of honey and caramel malt on the aroma - then it fades into dank hops and with a hint of citrus and tropical fruit. Really impressive.

Taste doesn't live up to the nose - bitter hops dominate - not as much malt and sweetness as the nose indicates. It's still sweet, but the sweetness is overwhelmed by piney, hoppy bitterness. It lacks the crisp clarity of sweet then hoppy that I appreciate in other sweet DIPAs that I've had.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied, fairly heavy for a DIPA, decently carbed, but not as creamy or smooth as would be ideal.

Overall - a solid beer, but doesn't deserve it's top 100 status in my book.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.94/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a tulip. Thanks to CharlieMurphy for shipping me this WaLe.

Appearance: The pour is hazy copper color, kind of a faint color. A light creamy head forms on the pour and leaves some light lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full of caramel malt, some honey, pineapple, a little grapefruit, and some herbal notes. More sweet than bitter.

Taste: The flavor starts sweet and retains a honey and caramel fruity sweetness throughout each sip. The hoppy notes are full of pineapple, dank notes, spicy pine, and a little bit of grapefruit. The finish is bitter, but the sweetness really resonates with on my palate.

Mouthfeel: The feel is lighter than the 10.5% ABV would lead me to have expected. It starts sweet and fnishes a little more dry, with a fair amount of hop resin.

Overall: For a sweet DIPA, this was pretty good. Compared to the whole range of DIPA's this is slightly better than mediocre.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.97/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to glazeman for this one. Winter is breaking in Chicago's western burbs. Bring on the sun. This beer is poured into a snifter from a bigass crazy looking growler.

The appearance is nothing too special - light yellow with a one finger head; pretty clear; reminds me of Sculpin.

Smell is fruity and boozy - mango, grapefruit, and some nutty maltiness in the finish.

Taste is good, but there is a lack of a fresh hop bite. Too sweet and too fruity.

Mouthfeel is sort of chalky and syrupy. Nice, but maybe a little too thick for a DIPA.

Overall, this is a good beer. But no, it does not live up to the hype.

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Photo of dboon
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just another SICK growler provided by hopscotch. Clear golden pour with small frothy white head. Hop and peach aromas. An easy sippin’ DIPA with a somewhat thinner body. Tangy/citrusy hop flavors with a subtle spicy finish. Not as bold and in your face as some DIPAs, but still very good...

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Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1579th Review on BA
Growler to HF Stem
750ml

Thanks to Rudzud for this one

App- A bit lighter in the glass than Abner was. This was more yellow tinged in color. A smaller one finger head. This was still a bit hazy but less dense in the glass than Abner was. A couple dots of cling and lace. Falls quickly vs. the fluffy Abner.

Smell- A nice nose for a DIPA. Doesnt blow me away but its solid. A couple notches below Abner but yet better than 90% of other DIPAs. A small bit of creamy hops and a bit of citrus. Not sure what fruit combo this one is. More of a dense/dank aroma.

Taste- This was a good DIPA, not a great one. Better than 90-95% of whats out there. It was a nice creamy flavor with some good hoppy bitter behind it. This one on the others from HF was more dank/and dense on the zest behind it. A bit more grapefruit and peach flavors.

Mouth- A nice body similar to Abner with a bit of creamy hops and some creaminess remaining. A nice amount of bitter zest and fruits remain. Call this a solid medium body DIPA with a nice wet carbonation behind it.

Drink- Well the fearsome twosome from HF have been taken down. I liked Abner more but wont say no to this again.

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Photo of jjdc
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hallmark of HF beers is restraint, sophistication and a flawless execution. Ephraim is a bit peculiar by this standard. It is a bit too boozy, bitter and big. Distinctly lacking in those great tropical fruit/floral notes that the best HF hoppy beers have. I suspect another reason this is slightly disappointing is that the IPA game has consistently upped the bar since Ephraim stepped on the scene. Not a bad beer, but also not up to the considerable hype either.

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mista brought it all to Darkness Day, thanks! My only "tick" from the said event.

Hazy, amber color. Duh. Looks like any and every Hill Farmstead hoppy beer and I am pleased just by the looks! Grainy and piney aroma. Very clean bitterness but well supported by a clean malt base, if that doesn't seem oxymoron-ic. A good hop flavor heavy on pine sap and citrus rind. Glad to have had it. Thank you again!

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Photo of gcamparone
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 growler into a snifter. Thanks Rich for hooking me up with this.

Pours an amber slightly hazy body with a big frothy white head that reduces to leave heaving lacing and retention.

Aromas are floral, resinous, light citrus, dank, piney. Taste is very floral, herbal, grassy, finishes dry. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Glad I got to try it. Delicious DIPA from HF.

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Photo of dar482
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a pale amber, medium haze.

The aroma is dank, sweet orange peel, biscuity malt, marmalade sweetness, sticky resin, pine, dried herbs.

The beer continues with an underlying theme of dank resin, onto bitter pine and herbs on the finish. It is covered with biscuity sweetness up front, bitter grapefruit peel in marmalade.

Ephraim is a beer like no other Hill Farmstead I've encountered. Reminders of Enjoy By, Double Jack, and Hopslam come to mind, but still, the beer offers a level of drinkability and gentle qualities unlike those.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent gold with soapy white head. Some sweetness in the aroma. There is a lot of sweet malt up front. Like a fruit snack base sweetness. The piney hop finish arrives on the end, providing some nice complexity. The mouthfeel is thin though, which kind of takes away from that for me. Overall, this is a beer I would have killed for 3-4 years ago. Now, it's just a good imperial IPA.

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Ephraim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.
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