Summit Pale Ale | Hill Farmstead Brewery

very good
22 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rtepiak on 07-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by renegadeburger:
Photo of renegadeburger
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ok special hookup on the way out of VT with the growler here lets see how this one goes

poured a little flat but had a sticky lace on the head kind of murky in the pour looks like a nice raw beer to me

smell not digging it like the other beers Edward and the double ipas this one smells like wild onions and catty smells

taste is the same too its thin bodied not enough ummmph behind it kind of weak there and the taste is intense herbal with no real citrus or pine or fruit in there its just raw bitter spice and not enough malt

decent mouthfeel and a bit refreshing but just not my cup of tea they make great other pales imho this one was off the mark

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More User Reviews:
Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64 oz flip-top growler into a couple of Hill Farmstead stemmed Belgian-style glass.

Pours a hazed apricot in the glass, with a finger of frothy bright-white head. This retains with a ½ finger of creamy richness, leaving a ton of robust spotty lacing down the sides of the glass. Nice look here. I can definitely see where people are getting the wild onions and garlic thing from in the aroma, but this is coming off a little more flowery feeling to me, with notes of fresh cut grass, marigolds, and lavender. Any way you cut it, it smells like you’re walking through an overgrown field. I don’t think that I’ve ever felt the need to pop a Claritin after smelling a beer before! Anyway, underneath lies a much more zesty combination of grapefruit and lemon (I think people are getting the cat piss thing from the mix of lemon and herbal notes); while there is just enough grainy sweetness from the malts to help soften the overall edges of this. While initially pretty powerful, I will say that the pungency of those Summit hops does start to lessen as this warms and isn’t quite as distracting after a while.

The taste is much more about those crisp and zesty grapefruit and lemon flavors, while the flowery feel from the nose is much more of a subdued light herbal dankness that hangs on the edges of the profile. Sweet neutral grains do the bulk of the balancing here but this is all about those fresh and bright hop flavors, with lingering grapefruit notes leaving a dry pithiness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively sharpness on the tongue that is then surrounded on the sides by a smooth creaminess. That 5% is just right on here, helping add to the overall drinkable feel of this.

Once I got over the uniqueness of the aroma, I really started to dig this. Thanks to the taste, my overall impression of this was of those crisp and biting citric flavors, which coupled with that smooth body to make for quite the refreshing and quaffable drinking experience. I’m glad that I opted for the larger growler of this, as this was one that really grew on me over the course of a couple of glasses. Summit hops can be a tricky business but they seemed to nail it with this one.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery 7/13/11. Served in a white wine glass.

A: It pours a golden color with slight orange hues. There is a hefty white head with really dense looking bubbles. The head displays good retention and leaves behind some chunks of lacing.

S: This beer smells like straight up ganja! It is skunked up grapefruit, with a twist of citrus and earthy herbs. I have never smelled a beer that reminded me of kind bud as much as this. There is a hint of the malt on the background, but there is no mistaking that this is the summit show.

T: The flavors are seriously hop forward with citrus rind and funky grapefruit leading the way. It is almost astringently bitter but manages to finish toasty and dry before it becomes too overwhelming. Seriously dank stuff.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation.

O: Summit hops would not be my first choice for flavor and aroma, but it all comes off surprisingly well in the end.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think I'm somewhat overly sensitive to Summit hops.

Hazy light golden body. Bubbly sticky white head.

Onions and bready malts combine into this hoppy onion bagel aroma. It's also grassy, piney and pretty dank.

More onions and garlic shows up to the party mixing in with the bready malt flavor. Light mouthfeel. Aftertaste that is like the smell of BO (when the beer is colder) and pine sap.

Even with the overwhelming onion flavor/aroma, I still went back for more pours from the growler because it was much more drinkable than some other summit heavy beers. I didn't mind it after a while.

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Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of AgentZero
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for bringing this.

A - Lighter yellowish, orange beer that's a little bit hazy. White head that didn't have much head on it.

S - Smells like green and weed, but not in a bad way. Fairly herbal, some citrus with a slight bit of malt character.

T - This actually manages to taste like weed. Some pale malts with some slight citrus. Pretty good, easy to drink.

M - Lighter bodied, decent carbonation, slightly dry.

O - Good beer, goes down easily. Actually a good Summit beer, which seems hard to do, could drink this on a regular basis.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Reservoir Waterbury VT.
Pours a cloudy amber color with a creamy white head that sticks around for a bit. Smells of pine and citrus hops with very little malt to be found. Hints of garlic find their way into my nostrils but mesh up fairly well. Taste is slightly tart with an assault of spicy piney hops. Lemon and citrus make an appearance especially as she warms. Again malt contributes abv and very little flavor here. Medium body and level of bubbles, slick resinous mouthfeel. I really like this one, but this was my nightcap and it took some coaxing to finish the glass. I would love to revisit this again.

 626 characters

Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of harsley
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is great. Pours a nice pale yellowish color with a long lasting white head and lacing down the glass as it emptied. Huge hops in the nose. It's all about the hops. The flavor of this beer is like I'm biting into a hop cone. This is the hop presence that I remember being in Nugget Nectar but seems to have disappeared. All complimented by a nice bitterness and subtle malt background but finishes dry. This is how hoppy Pale Ale's should be. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brewery and 750ml growler.

A - Pours a sunny orange color, thin ring, bubbles, spotty lacing, thin cap.

S - Floral dank hops, bitter, grassy. A nice herbal/floral character that differentiates itself from many other APA's. Something different is nice.

T - Bitter hops, grassy, herbal, dank bitter finish. The herbal/grassy notes are enjoyable.

M - Body is light, refreshing, good carb, oily finish.

O - A solid pale, interesting grassy notes and unique. Never had an all Summit hopped beer, and I enjoyed this one very much.

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Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of MasterSki
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler picked up at the brewery by Sean. Served in a Jester King snifter.

A - A small white head settles to a thin ring and some wisps, leaving behind minimal lace. Hazy light peach flesh body.

S - Citrus zest, chives, some earthy herbal notes, and minimal malt character. I dig Summit hops, but I understand they can be quite polarizing - in any case this beer didn't smell like onions and garlic to me. Great stuff!

T - Taste is a little less exciting, albeit still quite enjoyable. Zesty herbs and chives with a light sugary malt backdrop. It's a simple beer, but well-executed.

M - Dry, refreshing, light bodied, with pleasant carbonation, and no obvious alcohol. Pretty much spot on for a session-friendly pale ale.

D - This would be a great beer to have on-tap at your local pub, as it goes down easy and has plenty of flavor for the lower ABV. It really showcases the best elements of the Summit hop too without getting overly aggressive on the onion and body odor aromas. The execution reminds me of some of the better Minneapolis Town Hall single hop brews.

 1,078 characters

Photo of starrdogg
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of koopa
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Blackback Pub.

Appearance: Pours a dull straw to light golden with a 1 finger white crown that displays some retention and little lace.

Smell: Onions, celery, garlic, and cat that order. A bit of savory umami underlying this mess is the most redeeming quality for me.

Taste: Same as the nose but the savory is stronger.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Taste is too off putting to want to drink much.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really into the fact that they make beers inspired by crop... brings on the complexity in craft and in cultivation. always fresh, with good reason. never in a bottle. single hop series beers.

on tap at the three penny in Montpelier. the summit was surprisingly oily. being a particularly high AA hop i had the feeling that i was drinking the Apollo single hop all over again. interesting thing is that the hopping was a bit different. pour was yellow orange golden and a tad cloudy. white head... quite sticky. nose of pine and garlic oil and once again. armpit. palate was earthy and astringent in the same way that cheese is. and lemon... but a tiny bit fruitier. or maybe just a dream. as memory serves me and notes. i can't feel a distinct difference between the two. i have a sneaking suspicion that it may be the same yeast used on a similar AA hop profile that gave it something lasting and a unique character... or life form, if you will. ester development guided by reused yeast. its a beautiful thing.

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Photo of cbeer88
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml swingtop growler filled at brewery into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pour down center filling 3/4 of the tulip leaves about a finger of a light wispy head. Head dissipates quickly, but nice white bubbles remain. Color is a pretty cloudy orange. Solid.

Smell: Ah - summit hops. The aroma is nothing but. Personally, I don't get the cat pee. I have 2 cats, and I know exactly what cat pee smells like. That's the good news. The bad news is it still smells like roasted onions baked together with garlic and then blended into a puree.

Taste: Along the lines of what it smells like, though less potent. Once you get past the aroma-flavor, there's a very nice lingering bitterness layered on top of a solid malt base. Actually more enjoyable than I expected, particularly after the smell.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, and moderately carbonated. No real complaints here.

Drinkability: Pretty decent. The smell grows on you. Kind of like eating a big sloppy smelly sandwich - a bit intimidating at first, but after a couple of bites you're all in. Not a whiff of alcohol, and low enough ABV to session this guy.

Overall: This is probably closer to an A if you love summit hops, so I'm not even entirely sure how to score this. As it is, to my preference, it's not bad but not something I'd make a habit of purchasing. Don't go kissing anybody after a glass of this, but it's worth a try if you catch it on tap.

 1,430 characters

Photo of GeorgeAldi
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber color with white head and okay retention. single note smell with onion. Taste is good with an assault of piney hops. Okay balance and flavor. Not a big crowd pleaser but good. Medium body and good carbonation, good mouthfeel. I liked it and would probably like to have this on tap instead next time.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2L growler from the brewery. Pours a hazy orange per usual with their pale ales and has moderate white head that leaves some lacing. Nose smells like weed, straight up - citrus plus earthy wood notes. Palate is bright, juicy and bitter all at the same time. Big citrus flavors. Bitter grapefruit, sweet orange and lemon peel all come to mind, plus some forest-floor notes and a little wild flower too. Palate grips at first with bitterness, then lets go to a puckering juiciness.

Damn fine beer here!

 501 characters

Summit Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 22 ratings.
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