Flora | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wine barrel aged Wheat Saison fermented with resident microflora.

Added by SFLpunk on 10-03-2010

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 633
Photo of jrallen34
3.29/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Corked bottle thanks to Chris poured into my Hill Farmstead glass... A cloudy murky dark straw, doesn't look very good. Lots of bright white head at first with good carbonation, but its watery. Good retention and lacing... The aroma is pretty nice, sweet candy wheat, honey, floral finish... The taste really is disappointing, borderline bad. Almost totally dead, what I do get is bad peppery floral hops. Finish really kills me as bad oaks comes off... Mouthfeel is the true downfall of this beer, watery light with no depth... Easy to drink but not good enough that I would.

Pretty disappointing for me after such a great aroma. I can't recommend this.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.32/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chris for opening this one up at our Strikeforce: The Fall of Fedor tasting.

A - Murky dark yellow color, looks a bit like juice. Nice white head with great retention and lace.

S - Thought this was a saison when it was given to me, but execptionally fruity and tart, almost like a wild. Great smelling tartness combined with some funk and belgian yeast. Not sure I've ever smelled anything quite like this, smells awesome and different.

T - Complete letdown on the taste, after all this unique and cool buildup this beer is quite boring. There just isn't much going on here, seems like-watered down earth notes with a lot of oak and some grass. Finishes quite watery. It started out with such potential on the nose too...

M - This beer is too thin and feels watered down.

D - This beer was particularly polarizing at our tasting. A few liked it, but I was one of the ones didn't care for it in the end. It may have suffered from following Anna in the tasting order, which was an amazing saison, but I kind of think I'd feel the same about this one regardless of what I drank before or after it.

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Photo of Soonami
3.48/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BrewerDan23 for sharing this bottle.

This beer pours a very cloudy gold with just a little island of lazy white foam. The beer smells overwhelmingly bretty with huge funk that's like bad breath. The beer is very dry and thin, low in carbonation and has little hopping. The beer tastes mostly like funk with over ripe papyas, buttery oak and cracker-y malt. To me, it's a fairly one-dimensional brett-bomb and I was looking for a bit more complexity.

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the eager, fast-shipping baconsausage for one more bottle of Hill Farmstead. I think I'm almost ready to get off my hiatus, my friend, because I need more of these excellent beers you send me! (though I still owe him a box, hurry up, Surly Five)

Flora comes in a plain, big bottle that looks bigger than 750ML. Not only capped, but corked, too - my first encounter with this was earlier this week, now two, man, I suck with a cork, I hope this isn't a trend. Poured into a cute matched pair of snifters, this is pale to the point of shut-in. Clear. Nose bring lemon spritz, funk, waving fields of grain. Good start.

Flora brings the funk hard, first & foremost this is a buried-in-the-ground beer that is high on sour lemons, earthy hops. There's also a big wood component that's seriously drying. Wheat, grass. My wife is digging this & she isn't wild about sours or saisons...me, I think it's pretty good.

Pretty good brew, but not quite the killer that previous Hill Farmstead beers have been for me. But hey, expanding my wife's already broad horizons? Worth the price of admission!

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Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rating is a composite of the two batches.

Batch 1:

Milky pale blond with a tall lasting white head.

Smells great. Very floral, perfumey. Nice fruitiness, very berry-like, specifically blackberries. Vinous notes, citrus, strawberry.

Palate has a sharpness to it up front, a nice blackberry-strawberry fruitiness. Citrus, too, along with vinous notes and a mild lactic character. Very light with a dry and tannic finish. Exceptionally good.


Batch 2:

Same appearance as batch 1. Tons of cheesy funk on the nose here. Very bretty, a bit metallic. Tastes cheesy, lactic, funky, vinous. Dry finish. Not great, this batch has an overwhelming blue cheese character. It's drinkable, but it doesn't live up to batch 1.


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Photo of dragonWhale
3.59/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloud of gold fills the glass.
It stares back at me, judging.
We all fall short of the glory,
Under stars and a lemon tree,
The slight funk of the night
Wafting through, just right.
The fields of wheat blazed through
Cut down by an angry beast -
A foul-tempered yeast - The barrel
Gives a bit of itself, not too much.
Keeps some for itself, no doubt.
Through the clean tart finish
I lick my lips clean, desirous
Maybe just a pinch more.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml capped bottle into a couple of glasses. Thanks go to Stakem for sharing this during a recent Hill Farmstead tasting.

Pours a hazed gold, with a finger of frothy bright-white head. This stays rich and bubbly and coats the sides of the glass with swathes of creamy lacing. There’s a nice robust look to this. Wine barrel jumps right out in the aroma, with a tannic fruitiness that sits dryly in the nose. Honey, tartness and light funk sit along the back.

The taste is tart and earthy lemon character, some dark fruitiness, wheat, a touch of vanilla and honey. A dry tannic feel from the barrel sits on the edges of this, while a mildly funky tartness lingers in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm bubbly creaminess to the carbonation that expands out into the mouth. This overall flows pretty easily in the mouth and helps handle the strong tartness.

While I certainly found this to be interesting, the combination of wine barrel, Brett and wheat gave this a rather funky tartness throughout the profiles which my palate never did fully adapt to. I’m glad that I was able to try but I think that they’ve pulled off better with their barrel-aged Saisons from here.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.65/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: Cloudy yellow with a big pillowy white head and nice retention. Lots of lacing.

S: Lots of wheat and granny smith apple. Salt, mineral, band aid, white pepper, and a little clove. The wine influence seems like Chardonnay. There's a bit of lemon and vanilla as well. 

T: Hay and wheat with a little leather and notable apple notes. Lightly peppery and dry. A touch of mineral. Finishes dry with some oak, vanilla, and wheat.

M: Upper light in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry and a little crisp. I found myself wanting it a little drier, crisper, and with more carbonation.

Overall: Another enjoyable Saison from Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of Verecund
3.65/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml. 2011, batch 2 (not corked); I think this spent an extra couple of months (2-2.5) in the barrels. Opened on April 10, 2011.

Pours a faded goldenrod with a one inch frothy white head. Decent lacing and nice clarity on the first pour.

Pleasant, clean nose featuring a light citrus tartness, barely-present oak, unadulterated, fresh wheat and just a hint of earthy funk. Somewhat floral. Quite nice.

Similar to the nose, though softer. On the front of the palate there's a nice blend of lemon, white wine/white grape, and wet hay, giving way to a light grassy and floral bitterness. Mid palate there's a strange, almost sulfuric [mineral acidic] note I'm not fond of that persists through the finish.

Medium-light bodied, though characteristically creamy and pleasantly dry. Just a little watery on the finish.

All the notes are here, they just don't come together for me at this point in the beer's life. A nice balance of citrus, wheat, and grass/earthiness, especially on the nose, but there's a distracting flavor or two that will hopefully fade in the coming months.

Original Review for Batch #2: 3.63
Updated Review for Batch #5: 4.40

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside art and earl.

golden straw yellow with a bubbly head that's gone pretty quickly. very wheat and musty on the nose...almost rubbery. someone in the group said it has that "new car" smell and that is a good way to describe it. pretty muted taste. again, somewhat rubbery and "new car." the mouth was smooth, not fizzy...good. overall a good beer, not great. the barrels didn't do much to the flavor and the base beer doesn't see so wonderful. glad i tried it, but not something i'd knock out my cellar to get, although this beer is as advertised, wheat saison in wine barrels, the summation just is not that spectacular in my opinion.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Central PA crew for sending this in the gang bang BIF.

A: pours cloudy yellow, thin layer of white head, not much in the way of retention

S: nose is fragrant with notes of citrus, in your face lemon with hints of banana in the background, sourdough bread, some floral notes as well

T: tart up front, lemon zest, some hops are present, slight bitterness in the middle, the finish is sweet

MF: high carbonation, light body, very refreshing

O: nice blend of spice and lemon, not a typical wild ale, has the taste profile more similar to a weiss of some sort, either way it is a nice beer.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice very cloudy yellow/straw color with a big white head.

Aromas begin with a nice straw, wheat presence. There is a lemony tartness that emerges as it warms coupled with some grassiness, earthiness and a little oak.

The tastes begin with grainy wheat malt, some hay/straw and a light sourness. Light fruit notes of apple and pear with lots of lemon zest and some green apple. Some bacterial notes with a bit of grassy and earthy funk.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average carbonation, but it works with the stle here. Finish is dry and crisp, almost like a really good pilsner-like bite at the end.

Overall this was a very good beer, not the best of the style or something I necessarily need or want to have again, but this is also not a style I really love. Would be great during the warmer monthes of the year for sure, but is just not hitting the right mark for me on this chilly fall day. Still quite good and recommended if readily available to you or if it can be acquired easily.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml into a couple snifters. The brew appears a hazed golden color with a fluffy white head. The cap hokda fairly well and as it recedes, produces a stringy webbing of lacework on the glass. A light swirl brings up a finger of yellowish cream.

The smell is tangy with citrus inclusion that are partially leaning towards lighter fruit elements coupled with a floral quality. As the brew opens up there are sulfuric tones mixed with cheese. Some mild tannins from the barrel and a pleasant vinous quality shows itself once the brew goes beyond ideal temperature.

The taste is quite tart with a flavoring of something along the lines of chardonnay. Fruity hints of pears, apples and lemon meets up with wheat, grass and earth. Towards the backend are some sulfuric notes that focus more on the earth and sulfur with a mild cheese to grassy character.

This is a light bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation. It is tangy and vinous more than expected. Overall a very good brew but despite its range of character, I kinda lost interest in this half way through my glass. It shows promise and its something id like to revisit again sometime but i wasnt the biggest fan of the sulfur and cheese inclusion. That aside, there are some good things going on here.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Bruery tulip, thanks Chris!

A - Pours a clear golden yellow, white head, thin filmy cap and some spotty lacing. Some bubbles float about here and there.

S - Nice sour funk, Belgian yeast notes, barnyard, slight oak.

T - Slightly funky, some floral notes, yeast funk, some barrel. Not quite as "eventful" as Anna...not as much going on. That said, still pretty darn good.

M - Light, crisp and refreshing, dry finish. Perhaps a little watery.

D - A good beer, although, not great. I enjoyed the funk and barrel notes but I was wishing that there would be a bit more complexity.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%

Re rated 11/29/14. Pour is a completely transparent golden color with a tight white that lingers for a bit. Nose is juicy, bright clean grape flavors, light oak, hints of pepper, faint dustiness. Taste is similar, very strong bright grape flavors, a bit sweet, moderate oak and vanilla, a decent pepper note. Well carbonated, light sourness, soft feel and consistent body.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 (Corked)

Pours a pale, clear, yellow with a frothy white head on top. Leaves some nice lacing behind on a Hill Farmstead tasting glass.

Light earthy sourness on the nose. A mixture of brett funk and some Cantillon acidity. Lots of wet hay with just a touch of lemon citrus.

Dry wheat and faded hop, mix with light grainy sourness on the tongue. Touch of wood barrel and grassy citrus.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp with light sourness throughout. Crisp and refreshing. Feels more like a saison than your typical wild.

Drinkability is good. I love the nose on this beer. Reminds me of a true Belgian sour more so than any American wilds I've had. At 5.5% ABV this makes for a great table beer and it's currently pairing very well with some local cheese and grapefruit. Worth picking up a bottle or two to share with firends over a good meal.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased from the brewery in late May. No bottle date, but assume fresh (for a barrel aged beer....moron). 5% ABV. Poured into Russian River snifter.

A: Mildly hazy yellow color. Very little head, less than one finger. Some mild lacing.

S: This one smells a little funky. The wine barrel aroma and the yeast jump out a little bit. Fruitly, tart apples almost. Granny Smith-ish.

T: I got a dry white wine/champagne like flavor from this. A little spice, but not that much. Pretty solid brew. Nice crisp close.

M: Light to medium mouth feel on this. Doesn't coat the mouth.

O: This one was pretty darn good but I much preferred the Anna that we tasted earlier in the night. Might just be my palate though. Both well crafted brews though.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a tulip.

Flora pours a dark golden color with a nice white cap.

The aroma is lemony, a little bit like a gueuze. Dry crackery malt and some funk add depth.

The flavor is dry, with crackery malt up front, some wild sour flavors next, with a lingering lemon tartness. There are some pear, green apple, and grassy notes in here as well. The finish is fairly clean.

The body is dry, with medium carbonation and a lighter body.

Overall I felt this was a nice beer, pleasantly tart in a style that I do not normally enjoy as much.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Never had a barrel-aged saison before (that I can remember, anyway...), so this oughta be a fun li'l experiment. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises red wine grapes, tart-ish orange, dank oak, and a touch of grass. The taste holds notes of sour grapes, wheat, honey, sourdough, light clove, and some very light mandarin orange. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a very nice saison, one that definitely seems to get a boost from the wine barrels.

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Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow color with a hint of orange. There is a layer of white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly funky and quite herbal. Light and crisp, very nice.

Taste: Very light with just a touch of funk. There is a wine tartness. This beer is really refreshing.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light with foamy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Light and easy to drink with a mild wine note. I thought this was a very good Saison.

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Photo of rudzud
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros, batch #3.

A - Poured into a golden hue with a fluffy two finger head that left lots of big, sticky side lacing. That nice two finger head slumped down to leave a nice thick blanket.

S - Nice funky yeast notes with good sour notes from seemingly almost Brett. Lots of those taste, aromatic white wine barrell notes too. Good lemon citrus aspects too.

T - Starts off with nice lambic sour qualities, very nice vinuous notes from the white wine aging. Fades to leave a very bready wheat note with a nice flemmy finish. The sourness definately draws one back for more. Aftertaste is very bread like.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit flat due to the bottle blowing up upon opening. No warning at all! Slightly dry at the end.

O - Overall, this isnt my favourite beer from Hill Farmstead. Its still a tasty beer and I'm very glad I bought it. Dont think I could have put back a whole bottle myself.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes. Had at a small tasting at wedgie9’s apartment and thanks to Ryan for the bottle. Batch 1.
Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a hazy gold color. About a finger of head is achieved with a soft pour that dissipates slowly leaving nice chunky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A wonderful aroma of barnyard funk, lemon zest, apple, wet hay, leather, honey, and tartness.

Taste – To be honest, the taste is a bit of a letdown. I was expecting a bit more in your face funk and flavor, but it was a bit subdued. Perhaps a bit more of age would have been beneficial to this beer. The initial taste is not so much sour/tart as it is earthy. Hay and barnyard must (not funk) is prevalent, slight lemon and apple sour citrus flavors, wheat, oak, and bread. A complex beer, albeit not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, spritzy carbonation.

Overall – A good saison and one I am glad I was able to try. However, that said, I would take Bam Biere over this any day. I wish the sour/funk was a bit more dominant. Drinkability was great, and I would honestly love to try this with a couple years on it.

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Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at a tasting last night, thanks to Kat for sharing a bottle I actually payed for, lol. Marked with just a marker 'F' on the cap. Purchased February 12th during the 2nd winter gathering.

A- Clear golden straw with a foamy, fluffy white head that builds up nicely with decent retention. Nice and creamy lace suds stick to my glass. Second pour is hazy once the dregs unsettle.

S- Straw barnyard but not hugely funky overall. More of a slightly sour fruit barn feel. Lemon with lots of nice ripe fruit notes like apple, cider and general citrus. Cider-like.

T- Dry barn straw with some spice and esters. Wild yeast giving off some nice citrus, lemon, apple and white grape. More 'funk' noticed in flavor. Oak is nice.

MF- Creamy light body with moderate carbonation.

DB- Has a gueuze-saision-cider character with an overall light feel. Drinks pretty smoothly because of a nice laid-back sour and funk.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch 1, received from youbrewidrink. Thank you, Joe. The bottle mentions this is 5% ABV.

Pouring a hazy straw yellow with a dense, white head with excellent retention and lacing, this is top notch as far as appearances go. Lacing is minimal, but that's OK. The nose is pretty excellent. Opening with a blend of straw, grass and light honey, the saison base is still extremely noticeable here. The Brett hasn't done too much here, though there is a very nice blend of clove and light tropical fruit notes that complement the saison yeast. The wine character is mild, with the fruity vinous notes working well with honey. Both the nose and appearance suggest white wine barrels were used. The nose is wonderfully integrated and very harmonious, creating a deceptively simple nose that's actually quite deep.

The palate opens with a blend of straw, hay and Brett-derived flavors of clove, a little pineapple and some more wet hay. The base saison was probably too dry to give the bugs a lot to chew through, though. Mildly floral with a touch of honey on the mid-palate, this dries up on the finish leaving a blend of hay and clove. The wine barrel character comes through as a mildly boozy white wine with some tannins. There doesn't seem to be much from the saison yeast here, though that could be the age.

Ultimately, the palate is a let down compared to the nose, it just doesn't mesh together like the nose. The bone dry beer just doesn't have enough of a foundation for the Brett to work with. Rousing the yeast does help. Light in body and highly carbonated, this does feel a little watery on the palate at times. Solid stuff, though I have a feeling this beer shouldn't really be aged.

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Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one Michael!

A: Pours a lightly hazy citrus golden with a couple fingers of bright white head that slowly faded into a bubbly film that left streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Light notes of peaches and other light fruits, wheat, straw/hay and earth. I’m getting a few lightly tart notes from the wine barrel as well.
T: Big notes of wheat and lightly tart citrus, lemon peel, chardonnay, hay, grass, straw, earthy funk, peach, apricot, and herbal, earthy hops and spices.
M: Medium-full body, soft and fluffy but ample carbonation, drying but not a desert. Decent barrel influence.
O: The wine barrel adds an interesting tartness to this saison that sets it apart from the other ones that I’ve had from this brewery. Unique and interesting, but not my favorite of HF's lineup. I'd drink this again though. Cheers, SneezyAchew!

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Flora from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.33 out of 5 based on 633 ratings.
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