Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #24
Ranked #439
4.37 | pDev: 7.55%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Arthur (1922-2005) was our grandfather’s youngest brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Saison is crafted from American malted barley, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Arthur.
Reviews: 291 | Ratings: 2,076 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Franziskaner
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper colored with a light haziness. There’s a fingernail of eggshell around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is of lightly tart brettanomyces and earthy saison yeast. I’m tasting a gentle tartness from brettanomyces and light cereal grains. There’s also some very light earthy saison yeast. The mouth is moderately carbonated, crisp, and refreshing.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 8/29/18

Pours a sharp, crystal-clear honey golden body (shifts to a cloudy, glistening orange/lemon balm hue once sediment settles) topped with an immediately cascading head of white foam; good retention relents to thick, chunky lacing walling the glass, along with a spotty cap and dense collar of foam.

Aromas of ripe barnyard open, quickly followed by a sweet straw interlude and eventually making way for grassy herbs and further complex, earthy funk to develop over time; light lime leaf and citrus rind touch the bouquet from the background.

Taste presents a backbone of yeasty funk beneath fresh grass, barnyard notes, and sweeter hay; deeply lactic, verging on cheesy, funk lingering through the swallow, and develops a casual intensity as it sits.

Mouthfeel features a light body with a semi-airy, moderate-high carbonation; slightly acidic consistently across the palate, with a wetness along the mid-palate balancing against the building funk; a zesty, funky grit holds steadily through to a largely dry finish.

This saison delivers in every aspect and leverages its more intense qualities to trickle throughout, but never overwhelm, the beer as a whole; universally-pleasing and complex in structure, but unceasingly drinkable.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely exceptional. Light yellowy-straw colored with a remarkable soapy head and wonderful lacing. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Horsey, grassy, citrusy, cidery, with sweet white wine notes. Incredible nose.

Crisp, funky, fruity (lemon, grapefruit, green apple, pear), crackery, light, dry, and delicate. Incredible.

Prickly, perfectly carbonated, silky, and smooth.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think it was poured from a bottle (my wife picked it up for me). Tried it at Zwanze day at E9.

Pours with a humongous foamy head, hazy yellow color, almost murky. Very funky flavor, with a clear peach/apricot flavor. Nice and tart.

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4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottled on 5/16/19. Opened 9/24/19.
1+" sudsy white head, good retention at 1/2" and lots of sudsy lacing early. Pale yellow, not clear and not opaque either.
Lemon, clove, yeasty fruit and spice aromas, hay/barn.
Mouth puckering lemon sourness, green apple, more barnyard/earthiness. Zesty lime/lemon.
Light body, medium to high carbonation...very zesty and lively, acidity is just right - does the job of making you want more.
Wow, this one blew me away. Fantastic.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased bottle at HF last April; Dec 2018 bottling. Shared at home August 2019. poured into HF wine glass.
Beautiful soft golden brew; bright to light. Full creamy head that retained a decent ring and some light lacing. Nose was soft with mostly funk; some straw and apple. Taste was more complex with stronger elements of unripe apple; straw; yeast musty; grain;hints of lemon zest; delightful tartness. Body was soft carbonation and dry. Very well crafted. Overall an excellent example of sophisticated well made farmhouse ale at a very reasonable everyday price point (750ml for $10). Great job.

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Photo of WaffleNugget
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pale gold, wheat. A good inch of light foam. Just a touch of haze

S: Sour, tart aroma, some cranberry,

T: Crisp, clean, very bright. Just a touch of a bite. Absolutely delicious. Green Apple. Almost a bit of a wine-like qualities to it.

F: just about right - moderate carbonation, but a bit of fizz. Definitely on the dry side.

O: Just a fantastic Saison. One of my favorites. If you are somewhat new to the style, try to grab this - it's worth taking it for a spin.

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Photo of thebeers
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, vibrant yellow with two-and-a-half fingers of bright white head. Great lacing.

Nice delicate aroma: lightly tart, lightly soapy, lightly floral. A hint of musty funk.

Again lightly soapy and floral up front in the taste, with strong green apple skin on the backend. Hints of wood, hay, horse-blanket funk and some very light floral bitterness in the finish cuts into the tartness only slightly. It’s fairly dry.

On the light side of medium bodied with strong carbonation.

Just a great all around beer. Perfect warm weather refresher. Bottled in November 2017.

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Photo of wedge
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

[From Notes | Consumed 10/8/18]


Hazy yellow with a small, clingy white head that sticks in rings. Soft, funky lemon juice, straw, white wine, and herbs in the nose. Flavors of lemon, leather, hay, peppery esters, and pear juice. Tart, but not aggressively so. Medium-light bodied, soft, and crisp in the finish. Good.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:. Pours a brilliant yellow gd with a small white head and some lacing g on the glass. Absolutely beautiful beer

S:. Notes of lemongrass, hay, Brett funk, some pepper, notes of honeydew, sour and tartness, some coriander.

T:. Lemongrass, hay, Brett funk, pepper, honeydew, sour and tart, some coriander, quite complex but very enjoyable.

F:. Higher carbonation, medium body.

O:. The pour is beautiful and this is an amazing saison.

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Photo of leantom
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is pretty incredible for a saison. Here goes:

A: Somewhat cloudy - but not very much so. Pours a slightly murky yellow with a massive head and great lacing. The beer's body is also very effervescent. Bubbles are very soapy.

S: Lots of Belgian yeast - very, very spicy. Lemongrass, hay, grass, and white pepper. Also a somewhat salty quality - like a gose.

T: Follows the nose. Very excellent saison. Lemon peel, apricot, hay, and sea salt. Lots of bready yeast as well.

F: Nice and soft.

O: Excellent.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has lots of lemon zest and other bright citrus notes coupled with a bouncy farmhouse loam flavor...very clean and crisp like many HF beers, isn’t too earthy but has a nice balance between the farmhouse & lemon citrus tartness

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Photo of RyanK252
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours golden straw yellow with a frothy white head that settles to a thin layer and leaves some spotty lacing.

S: Light tartness, green apple and a little citrus, gentle fruitiness, light peppery notes, crackery malt, and a hint of wild funk.

T: Pleasantly tart, lemon, fruity, apricot, peach, pear, and faint green apple, and light crackery malt.

M: A little on the lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: The more this opened up the more impressed I got. Clean but with a lot of nice stuff going on. Really happy to finally get a taste of this Hill Farmstead magic.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a pale straw like color with a nice pure white head. Solid retention and a lot of lacing.

S: Easily, one of the best smelling beer I've ever had. You have a lot of green apple, lemon rind, barnyard funk, straw, cloves, pepper, light honey and mineral notes. Very complex and strong aroma.

T: The taste is just as amazing. The lemon rind and green apple are very strong in the taste with a pretty high amount of acidity for a saison. Then, it is balanced by the spices of the yeast and some herbal notes from the hops. Very light honey. This beer is almost perfect flavor wise, losing only 0.25 because I find the cloves to not be 100% coherent with the rest of the flavors.

M: Wonderfully light and fluffy. There is very little residual sugars so this beer is very clean in the mouth. But, it is one of the very rare occasion where I think a little bit more carbonation would have helped. Still wonderful too here.

O: This is a great beer. It is by far the best saison I've had in years (maybe as far as the time I had Art). It is wonderfully complex, it has the acidity in spades, it's clean and incredibly drinkable. Highest recommendation from me.

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Photo of csmrx7
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is so close to perfection. Light funk, light tartness, great light gritty maltiness. Have yet to have anything but a superb beer from here, just wish I could get it more!

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: Dec-6-2017

Pours a clear brass color with a mighty white head. Great retention; perfect, drink-by-drink lacing. (4.75)

Tart citrus funk. Floral, hay, light horse blanket, and earthy/bright Citrus sour twang. (4.5)

Follows the nose. Tart citrus flavors off-set with light funk and crusty white bread. (4.25)

Medium-minus body with active carbonation and a dry tingly-tart finish. (4.25)

Excellent sour saison.
As per usual, in my opinion, this one is incredibly well put-together, drinkable and balanced. Lovely to look at. The aroma is light and tart with an earthy, funky background. The flavor follows suit. It is not "too" anything. Bright fruity tartness and big but manageable earthy funk and some nice light malt. Good and dry. An absolute delight. Thanks so much, K-dizzle! (4.5)

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Photo of DavidR_9
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

bottled 12/06/17
Amazing yellow gold cloudy body with a towering fine white active head. Really strong and lingering candied lemon, green apple, earthiness and and thickness in the mouthfeel. Pretty strong sourness and funkiness that reminds me off beatification. Also reminds me of a bretted martinelli’s apple cider with more body and complexity.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden with a dusting of fine bubbled carbonation, a light haze and topped with 2.5 fingers of whitish head.

Smells of sour funk, old wooden cellars, a light, fruity cocktail of pears and peaches, and clean, floral notes like white cherry blossoms.

Tastes sour with a flow of grains, a hint of apple cider, very lambic and gueuze like reminding me of Cantillon. Oaky, earthy, dusty funky cellar, with hints of pear and floral notes.

Medium body, bone dry and acidic, with a light buoyancy, and light carbonation.

I got this in Vermont at Hill Farmstead Brewery almost two years ago. I brought this to Thailand, where I am drinking it in my home in Chiang Mai, June 16th, 2018. Cracked it open after a long, moving day sale day.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Like Anna, a bright golden farmhouse style brew with subtlety. Unlike Anna, sourness prevails without honey to mitigate. So Arthur is a more straightforward saison--a beautiful example if the style.

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Photo of keith40
1.9/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 bottle dated 8/18/17 purchased at the brewery on 4/18/18 and consumed on 4/23/18. Carbon copy of Florence with slightly more freshness (only 8 months old as opposed to 10). Too old or this isn't the style for us. One and done.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another beer from March Madness 2015. James always bring the dank stuff, this was no different. Pours a golden color, haze is apparent. White head, 2/3". The aroma is a nice medley of sourdough, white wine, oak, barley, citrus and yeast.

Taste kind of mixes things up, they didn't go all traditional here, there is plenty of American input going on. There is a white grape and sourness mixed up in this that I didn't see coming. It mixes it up alternating between a clean crispness, but then has that light sourdough funk to it. I didn't want to like this beer, but it really gave me no choice. Nice interplay between the wine notes and the citrus acidity. What a neat summer it would be to have a bottle of this every weekend around the pool.

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Photo of sasamarinkovic89
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From the 750ml bottle purchased at Hill Farmstead Brewery. Pours light golden with the thin white head. Fruity, tart, almost cider-like aroma. Perfect saison.

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Photo of craftaholic
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. This is delicious. Juicy citrus that practically bursts into your mouth like biting into a grapefruit or lemon. What a delightful IPA! Hill farmstead knows what they're doing

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Photo of VABA
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Revisited 11/3/18

A-Pours a nice light hazy golden color with a slight head and lacinge
A-Aroma has abundant brett and fruity hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a very nice brett and fruity flavor
M-A light bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very nice sour beer

At The Sovereign on Draft. Pours a clear light golden color with a slight head and lacing. Aroma has fruity hints, the taste follows the notes with pleasant fruity flavors and very balanced pleasant sourness. A very well made, well balanced beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caught between the rusticity of traditional Belgian farmhouse ale and the popular norther German sour ale, the brewers at Hill Farmstead rely on both groupings of flavor to honor the men who held the farm before them.

Arthur pours with a surprisingly clear light golden color. A spritzy froth pulls from the ale and crowns the rim with a loosely knit, long lasting froth. The striking scent of white wine, cider and citrus align on the nose with a mild backdrop of cork, cellar and grain. Soft sweetness greets the tongue with a sense of pulled candy, sourdough and a crisp cereal character.

The real magic happens as the ale blossoms on the middle palate. Its sweetness drifts away and the multitude of yeasty nuances begin to shine. Citrus flavors of lemon and under ripened orange begin to fuse with a juicier melon and pear medley. Cider follows with the crispness of green apple in a dry french cider kind of way. White grape trends racy and crisp with a mineral snappiness late on the palate that balances to even keel perfection with the hop composition of hay, pepper and grassiness. A sharp grapefruit and vinous spice finish has the beer straddling the wine and ale separation.

Medium light on the palate, the beer's residual malts trend lightly starchy and of whole wheat. But the work of hop resins, playful acidity and yeast spices all lighten the impression of taste and texture to allow a fast finish of impeccable drinkability, refreshment and cleanliness. A quick aftertaste leaves a tart, cidery and soft doughy taste resonating briefly afterwards.

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Arthur from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2076 ratings