Arthur | Hill Farmstead Brewery

238 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kingcrowing on 10-03-2010

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 1,848
Photo of JMUbrewz
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully tart and funky saison from HF. It straddles the style boundaries of saison and wild ale. Acidic lemon and orange peel up front, with a crisp, dry, and refreshing finish. I love tart saisons and this one really hit the mark for me.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is list listed as a Farmhouse/Saison but to me it borders on being a sour.
I traveled to Hill Farmstead in search of the brewery with the most highly rated beers, and upon my visit there I was quite disappointed in their beers compared to the beers ratings.
Having stated THAT, I am quite pleased with this beer, although I do not think that it fits within the Farmhouse/Saison category as one would think of it. I think, as I drink from a bomber savoring every ounce of this 6.0% beer, that this tends to lean more towards a sour than a farmhouse, to which i was quite happy with that conclusion. After visiting Russian River Brewing last fall I have gained a great respect for sours and this beer is close to bridging that gap.
I wish I had a great supply of this and a bunch of different Russian River's sours to keep me happy throughout the year.
All though I have not tasted all the beers Hill-Farmstead produces, this without a doubt is the one beer of theirs that I would recommend, if you like sours, or beers with the non traditional taste I'm pretty sure you will really enjoy this offering from the guys out there in the middle of nowhere.

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Photo of Onemoresolo
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a truly sublime experience. It's hard to write anything beyond that; this beer is truly remarkable. Dry, complex, tart. This is the perfect saison.

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Photo of scotorum
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 25.4 oz. bomber into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip.

a; Hazy gold with an inch plus thick white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Belgian yeasty light ripe fruit combo with sour notes.

t: Difficult to begin to sip because inhaling the aroma of it makes me cough every time. Holding my breath, getting the same as the nose, with the dominant note being sour.

m: Light to medium, ok body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A very good example of a sour saison. Easy drinking for those who favor that style. In this case my taste and overall ratings are based on perception of quality relative to the style rather than my personal reaction of enjoyment.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the difference between a very good saison and a world class one turns out to be not all that much. its just that one extra degree of refinement and attention to detail, maybe knowledge of process or even quality of ingredients. its tough to pinpoint, especially here, in a beer that in so many ways is not that different from a million other saisons on the market. it has a soft fluffy mostly pale malt base, with a slightly higher dosage of hops than tradition probably calls for, but with classic varietals and a yeast strain that makes it special. the recipe is the same across the board, but arthur has that it factor, that distinguishing element(s) that puts it up into a category nearly all of its own. for me, one element is the yeast. its super super funky, but it isnt tart or sour at all, and while it definitely has wild ale appeal, it doesnt get as involved on that front, a level of reserved craftsmanship rarely seen. if there is a little brett in here, its mild and sweet. the other element is the hops, and we all know these guys do hops pretty amazingly, but its grassy and bigger in this beer, without even lending oils to the beer to make it sticky and heavy, and without much bitterness. its a special understanding of the ingredients and the processes that produces such dynamic balance. mouthfeel is special as well, its carbonated quite brightly, but its not the racing soda bubbles of most, its a more gentle upbeat tune this one sings, and i am really happy having it hum along on my palate. finishes nice and dry and clean, feels rustic and timeless, traditional but evolved, and like something to be revered and shared, which is exactly what we did with it. a common beer style, probably with common ingredients and processes, but of outrageously uncommon quality. this is the new benchmark in my mind.

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Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have had this beer many times, and like it quite a bit. There's a hint of sour to the beer (some batches seem a bit more sour than others), but is still in the range that I can tolerate. Otherwise, the beer is light, fairly dry, slightly bitter, and just very, very easy to drink. Very well crafted farmhouse ale from HF.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic saison, shared a bottle with my wife over dinner. The funk is beautifully balanced with wheat tartness. Fresher bottle(3-15), will hold one for a little while to see what age does to it...

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Photo of adapt313
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely fantastic saison. So bright, lively, and refreshing. The nose is a fair bit more tart than the taste. Perfect balance of tart, funk, and wheat. Super sessionable. Crisp, refreshing, near flawless brew.

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Photo of aleigator
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Ron for providing the bottle!

Pours a hazy sun-yellow color, with a big, froth head.

Has aromas of wet grass, hay, citrus green apple peel and a lovely, slightly fruity, acidity. Bretts blend well into the rustic characteristics of the nose, providing an enjoyable freshness. The nose reminds me more of a Berliner Weisse, than a classic Saison, while being a bit richer and more pronounced on the nose.

Has a lively, very refreshing carbonation. While the beer is still relatively low in alcohol, its got a decent body to it.

Begins with soft wheat, wet hay and acidic lime, inviting sour bretts to the palate. Has a truly refreshing beginning, almost mirroring the nose, balanced by bready, slightly biscuity malts. Taste is still without a doubt providing a very pleasant freshness, with the right amount of lactic citrus fruit among funky yeast and wheat. Ends with biscuity malts among citrus bonbons, revealing a good amount of sourness.

A real treat, my first Hill Farmstead brew, a fuller bodied Berliner Weisse - or a truly refreshing, sessionable saison. Either way, the beer provides a crisp, citraic freshness, well edged into a distinct wheat foundation leading to a very well composed brew, I would love to drink frequently during warm summer days.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received this in trade a few weeks back. I noticed the bottling date was from January of last year, still this one has held up very well, perhaps even better than it was fresh? Although there was no noticeable off flavors at all. Very well crafted beer.

Appearance: Light golden honey colored with a large amount of delicate white head.

Aroma: Tartness is the dominant aroma some sweetness in there as well. Very much a Belgian style ale.

Taste: Tart, citrus fruits and a little bitterness pretty complex, yet mild as well. Very clean finishing and truly enjoyable.

Overall: This is my first Hill Farmstead beer and I am amazed at how well crafted it truly is, if I had not just ran across the date I would never have been able to tell that it had over a year of age on the bottle. Super beer! I hope this is the first of many opportunities.

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Photo of ELS
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade. The bottle was 7 months old and I was surprised how well the saison held up considering the age. Makes me want to go to Vermont and drink some HF Beer on tap to see what it's like fresh.

The smell and the taste definitely have a lemon zest quality. There is a good amount of sourness which I'm guessing became more pronounced with age. The sourness is well balanced by a slight sweetness from the malt. It's a very well crafted beer that I would trade for again if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a golden yellow color with a bright white head.

Smell - Lemon & grass makes an impression in the aroma.

Taste - As part of the taste, I detect impressions of dry lemon, grass, and lemon rind. The dry after makes the drinker needs another drink in the potentially never ending cycle.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is appropriate for the style, brushing away sweetness and leaving dryness.

Overall - I am not huge on the style, but I enjoyed this one. It does not possess the medicinal qualities of some in the style.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery in November.

Pours a super hazy, pale yellow body with a big gushing frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing a decent, uneven white retention that sits for a while. Some sediment.

Aroma is super inviting with big fruity and tart aromas, namely tart citrus, lemon, and green apple mixed with banana-clove, peppery spices, farmhouse funk.

Taste is equally as complex, upfront is tart citrus but not overpoweringly sour, saison yeastyness & barnhouse funk, estery banana, a creamy caramel, with a spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter finish. Super complex. Excellently balanced. Easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Overall a world class Saison, super complex, balanced, and tasty. I expect nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of KATCanada
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, fridge temp in snifter. 10/14 bottling consumed Jan 4 2015.Pours a light gold with beautiful cloudy white foam. Nose of barnyard from the yeasts with a hint of sourness. Taste is a refreshing saison with the late sourness but not over powering. Lemon sorbet - I'm thinking of the Lemon Ice on a hot day at the old Yankee stadium (go Blue Jays!), granny smith apple. Great acidity - eating eat with Sushi and would recommend this combo to foodys. Wish I had some oysters too. Overall enjoyed on it's own and with food. Thankfully I have another bottle which I will save for a warm summer's night.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle to start of NYE 2014 after getting this in a non-BA trade a few weeks ago. As my first taste of Hill Farmstead, it's amazing that I was able to hold off this long. Label is marked with a bottling date of 10/2014. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack series tulip glass.

Appearance (4.75) - Starting off on the right foot, this is what a saison should look like. The body is a glowing lemon topaz hue with hints of spun gold and a slight haze that seems to enhance the glowing nature. A lazy trail of carbonation rises from the etching on the bottom of the inside of the glass to replenish a towering four finger head of stark white meringue-like foam. With the way the beer developed a half finger of foam inside the bottle after I popped the top, I was afraid it might be a gusher, but after some careful handling, the carbonation was just enough to provide the massive head. Rings of sticky lace adorn the sides of the glass after the head dissipates several minutes later.

Smell (4.5) - At first whiff, there is a decided acidic tartness to the aroma alongside notes of white pepper and citrus zest. Some light floral notes take the edge of the acidity and bring it back to it's saison roots, rather than straying too far overboard with any sourness. Some barnyard funk and the impression of sourdough comes through as the yeast and malt make their presence known.

Taste (4.75) - As wonderful as this beer smelled, the taste is even better. There is so much going on, but it's not busy or overwrought. Notes of clover and pepper blend seamlessly with a refreshing but delicate tartness that leaves just the lightest kiss of that pinch of sour on the tongue, with a dry finish to prepare your mouth for the next sip. Light citrus and the suggestion of peach dance over the more earthy notes of yeast and grain. While stronger than a traditional "session" beer, the taste of this beer is so excellent that I could easily drink bottle after bottle without tiring of it.

Mouthfeel (4.75) - Light bodied, but with enough heft to provide an excellent counterpoint to the tartness and pungency of the beer. Some beers like this can feel watery even though they are supposed to have a lighter feel. This one manages to have some girth without being heavy. High carbonation and a dry finish on the tongue.

Overall (4.5), this is just a fantastically crafted beer. The saison style is a broad-ranging one, so it's hard to compare takes on the style that can be quite different from one another. That said, I can attest that this particular beer more than lives up to the massive reputation that precedes Hill Farmstead. It's the quintessential tart farmhouse ale in my mind.

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Photo of mick303
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. 8 months since bottling. Poured a cloudy yellow gold, strong initial head and a great lacing and film on this, fair bit of visible carbonation.

S- gooseberry, pear, and a lot of estery farmhouse yeast, almond, orange blossum, some tart berry aromas and golden plum notes, pale mlt, some earthy bitterness underneath the with clove and forestry pine spice.

T- a lot of tartness comes through with a full bodied yeast profile, sour pear and honeydew notes, quite a bit of green tart fruity notes then some pleasant earthy notes and more robust yeast notes. Shifting from sharp acidity to horsey and mildly farmhouse notes, hay, barny and with a drying, tart finish. Crisp with lots of farmhouse depth and tangy notes.

M- quite a bit of acidity, moderate body with a cleansing carbonation, the acidity is quite strong but the finish is pleasantly balanced with a crisp dry acidity.

Quite a bit more tartness than I anticipated, which was a great surprise. Light and quenching with a lovely yeasty complexity, some florals and fresh citrus, with a robust barny undertone and some hoppy spice. A lovely saison and I will look forward to seeing how this ages. Balance is pretty terrific, but you do have to crave the acidic tartness.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale yellow with a huge white head that lingers forever. Quite cloudy in body. Nose is belgian yeast, some lemons, and other citric flavors. The taste is very tart which I didn't see coming from the nose. Funky lemons, some hay, low acidity, and belgian yeast come through on the tongue. The finish is very crisp and clean with a very low lingering tartness.

This would be a great warm weather beer to sit by the pool and crush all day long.

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Photo of PHBoiler
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer perfection for me. Light, crisp, bright, and dry. It drinks like champagne. It's got a hint of white grape, pear, and apple skin. Like a pink lady apple with a hint of sweetness and a crispness that almost leans into a hair of tartness. The carbonation, light body, and dry finish are what make this beer special.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a very hazy yellow to straw in color with a huge, fluffy head. The head is here to stay with tremendous retention. Lacing is also phenomenal with an intricate lattice work down the side of the glass from the incredibly fluffy head.

S- Just like the head on this beer, the scent is almost fluffy in quality. Light scents of grain, funk, and just a touch of tart acidity intermingle on the nose and provide an enticing scent. Underneath those scents is a smell of a touch of peppery spiciness that really mixes in with the funky part of the scent very well. Slightly dry on the end of the smell as well.

T- Starts with a mix of slight tartness and some funk at the beginning of the drink. The tartness is very mild and has just a touch of lemony characteristics. The grain and spiciness come next with a light and dry flavor that is accompanied by the same pepper flavor as the scent. The drink moves more towards a dry flavor overall in the second half and the funk and grain are dominant flavors from there on out. The lingering flavor on the tongue is just a touch of the tart flavor mixed in with the dry funkiness.

M- This beer is best described with a word that I have already used in this review; fluffy. It is very light and airy on the tongue with an easy drinking, smooth feel. Greatly sessionable with an evolving flavor profile as it warms.

Overall, this is the type of saison that is right up my alley. Grainy and just a little spicy and funky with a light to moderate level of tartness. My favorite saisons have that tart aspect yet keep a great complexity with grain and funk, and this beer has all of those qualities.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%

On tap at Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Mind blown. Mind on the wall like Earnest Hemingway. All those grassy, peppery saison flavors, but with a dollop of the most glorious citrus possible. Am I tripping? No, I'm alive.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%

- 2014 vintage
- Off tap @ Beachwood (LBC) on 7-Nov-14
- 10 oz. pour into a wheat beer glass

Tasted against Anna, Florence, and Brother Soigne. Of the four, I ranked this one 3rd.

Not tart like Anna and Florence, which I actually don't mind as it's a Saison. A bit one dimensional. Still a fantastic saison.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%

Date: 09/24/14
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Bottled: 01/2014
Glass: East End Tulip

* I am most definitely in the minority saying that not one beer from Hill Farmstead has wowed me yet, but lets give it another go.

Pours a crystal golden in color w/ an abundant champagne like 3 finger white head that produces moderate lacing. Aromas of lemon, acidity, fresh cut hay, mineral water, and a bit of funk. The taste was of lemon rind and acidity and moderate sourness up front, leading into fresh bread and mild hop bitterness, and finishes like a fine mineral water. Thin bodied, but lush due to having tons of prickly carbonation. Very drinkable as most Saisons are and the dryness keeps you coming back for more.

Overall, I am still not wowed by HF, but this is a very solid Saison. First off, I am not a Saison type of guy, but I try to review true to style and not personal preference. So, if I was a Saison guy and this was my style of choice, I could definitely drink this with ease, but I would definitely want more pepper and spice in the brew which I feel this was lacking a bit of.

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Photo of Belimo3102
4/5  rDev -7.4%

750ml bottle, dated 7/2014. Poured into a Tree House Brewing slender cylinder.

A - Pinneapple juice pale yellow, heavy cloudiness. Snowy, tiny white head with persistent lacing on the glass.

S - Unlike any saison I've ever had. Green apple, sourness is instantly noticeable, hinting at what's to come. Little citrus.

T - Satisfying tartness up front, signature farmhouse taste kicks in soon after to combat the tart. More green apple on the back end.

M - Low, soft carbonation. Tartness enjoyably tingles the tongue, with pure green apple on the back-end.

O - My first brew from Hill Farmstead, with Nordic in the fridge. Very delightful brew. Unlike any saison I've ever had. Enjoyed the short, but informational story on the label.

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Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%

Thanks to jrenihan and BrainTree for each getting me a bottle. This one was bottled 7-2014.

Very refreshing, starts out with a tart lemony flavor and saison spices follow. My wife didn`t like it so a 750ml was a bit much for me but overall a great ale.

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Photo of KornWallace
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Location: DiCicco's Armonk
Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: Pale to straw yellow. Little to no head. Hazy and very difficult to see through.
Aroma: Sour yeast. Slightly vinous. Apples/Pears. Light on the wheat.
Flavor: Again that sour flavor kicks more flavors of lemon then that apple/pear.

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Arthur from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,848 ratings.
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