Vera Mae
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Vera MaeVera Mae
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Ranked #59
Ranked #912
4.34 | pDev: 7.6%
May 16, 2023
Jul 25, 2011
Vera MaeVera Mae
Notes: Farmstead® Ale with Spring Blossoms Aged in Oak Barrels

Vera Mae (1886-1976) was our grandfather’s eldest sister; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Farmstead® ale is crafted from Vermont organic spelt, American hops, Vermont wildflower honey, dandelion flowers from our fields, our farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Aged in French oak wine barrels and bottled conditioned, the result is an elegant, luminescent representation of spring in Vermont: lightly tart, bright, effervescent and delicate—passing quickly while leaving just the slightest, most pleasing memory of sunshine, warmth and the promise of more.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.28 by dexterk1 from Illinois

May 16, 2023
Rated: 4.36 by emerge077 from Illinois

May 08, 2023
Rated: 4.41 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania

Feb 09, 2023
Rated: 4.37 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Nov 27, 2022
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Reviewed by Holderness from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Seemed fitting to crack open this 2021 vintage for my 50th Hill Farmstead review. For me this beer represents the epitome of what they make -- it has the classic farmhouse character of Arthur/Anna with that wonderful balance between bretty funk and a hint of pedio/lacto acidity, has the additional complexity brought on by wine barrel aging, and has a nice dose of community spirit thrown in with the dandelion flowers that are harvested annually from their fields in a celebration day of sorts that is open to the public. Plus the usual fine effervescence from the natural carbonation and extended bottle conditioning prior to release. Emblematic.

Nov 12, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Nov 05, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by Gkruszewski from New York

Oct 07, 2022
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Reviewed by WickedBeer from Alabama

4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
2021 Release.

Straw golden yellow pour. Soft white carbonation.

Sweet, floral notes on the nose. Damp earth. Slight vinous funk; musty white wine. Rounded sweetness from the honey, with a touch of malted grain on the finish.

Mouthfeel with an amazing delicacy. Soft, mineral water-type carbonation, with a touch of acid and lemon zest to round out a predominately organic, earthen profile.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the dandelions, but that slight tang and leafy quality really worked when complimenting the citrusy undertones.
Sep 27, 2022
Rated: 4.08 by DaveCash from New York

Sep 17, 2022
Rated: 4.46 by benjaminsa from Vermont

Sep 03, 2022
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Rated by npolachek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Solid - good farmhouse.
Jun 29, 2022
Rated: 4.17 by Newbeergeek1 from Maine

Jun 26, 2022
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Reviewed by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2019 vintage poured into a HF stem glass. Bright vibrant golden color with plenty of medium density white head that receded to a permanent cap / ring. Aroma is a really nice mix of flowers, lemon, honey, and grassy funk. Definitely multi-layered.

Taste is an explosion of flavor. Lovely balance of honey, grass, funk, yeast, dandelion and more. Can't do it justice with words, Just wonderfully complex. It's sweet, it's tart, it's earthy, and there's a little bit of bite. Crisp, light and well carbonated. Delicious beer.
Jun 25, 2022
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Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
2014 batch, onsite pour at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, VT. I've had the newer wine barrel versions of this beer, but I'm happy to be able to try one of the older versions.

This one pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like honey, grape skin, citrus, floral funk, white pepper, and lemon.

This beer is just about 8 years old when I'm trying it, and obviously cellared well at Hill Farmstead, but it's still striking how well this one has aged. There's a deep wine like character, with a funky honeylike character, with lemon, grassines, citrusy funk, white grape, a light pepperiness, and some hay.

This is light bodied, and still vibrant and vivid all these years later, with a light sourness.

This is extremely enjoyable, and maybe the best pour of Vera Mae that I've ever had.
Mar 01, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by AD17 from New Jersey

Feb 13, 2022
Rated: 4.62 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Jan 12, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Sep 12, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by Ajlvt from Washington

Aug 07, 2021
Rated: 4.49 by aasher from Indiana

Jun 20, 2021
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Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2020 Vintage

750ml bottle - poured into a wine stem at 45°F. Purchased from Hill Farmstead

Pours a vibrant, deep, glowing orangey-gold, much like the dandelion flowers that are contained within it. Translucent and bright, shrouded by a faint chill haze. A frothy ring of loose white bubbles surround the ale and hold their ground. The occasion bubble is seen breaking the surface.

Nose: Beautiful tart, complex, funky native microflora, and a clear wine cask influence right off the bat. This may be a bit sharper than the average Hill offering, or at least it smells that way. An unbelievable presence of intensely musty, dank, damp wet oak and age, with petrichor notes leaping out. Wet dead leaves, old musty farmhouse, leather, stone cellar, drying grass, forest floor, stony minerality, and plenty of fruity accords. Ripe apricot, pear, peach, and unripe plum, and orange blossom honey, with some gooseberry and white grape. What sure what dandelions would lend, but they're apparent in the aroma. Flowery, herbaceous, powdery, and floral. This is gorgeous.

Palate: The aroma is so intense, I was certain this would be sour for Hill Farmstead. It's actually NOT sour for Hill Farmstead, and Hill ales aren't very sour to begin with. Extremely gentle acidity greets the palate, really allowing the beautiful grains to shine through. Rustic and crackery, with a buttery biscuit touch, lending this wonderful gentle sweetness. A subtle, young lambic-like funk emerges, bringing with it some candied lemon peel, apricot, crisp green apple, Bartlett pear, yuzu, gooseberry, neroli, and unripe mulberry all intertwine with the overall musty green grape element that the wine cask is lending. Rather than honey, i get a waxy honeycomb vibe, with a mildly bitter cling to it. This seems to go hand-in-hand with a true-to-life grass note and colourful floral nuances, so perhaps that's the dandelion speaking. A hint of grapefruit pith leads into a dense, musty oakiness, with some tannic barrel - laying to rest the vibrancy of the acidity, and allowing the earthy, woody, farmy notes to lead into a firm, composed, and dry finish, with some waxy honeycomb, bitter grass, damp tannic oak, and some wine tannins - all gently bitter, woody, and very clean, with the memory of oak lingering on well past the finish.

Mouthfeel/Body: Vera Mae displays remarkable balance between quenchingly crisp, snappy, and light, and round, soft, and fluffy. The ale is crisp, dry, and very refreshing, while also having presence, thanks to the soft fullness from the grains. Like some other Hill offerings, there's this smooth, almost waxy, oily coating sensation that lends some additional body, as well as adhere the flavours to the palate. Effervescence is lively, ample, but soft and unobtrusive. Very mild acidity, and finishes dry, clean, and ever-so-slightly tannic.

Overall: Vera Mae is simply a beautiful farmhouse ale, which manages to embody that quintessential Hill Farmstead spirit. She may be one of the more simplistic oak-aged offerings from the family, but not without her own unique character whixh prevents this from being redundant. The dandelion is subtle, but surept responsible for much of the personality, and complexity isn't mystifying here, but as a whole, Vera Mae is a wonderful, colourful, and supremely drinkable saison that delivers everything I've come to expect from the brewery. A beer for drinking, and enjoying the moment with.
Jun 15, 2021
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Rated by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Tasted in a Spiegelau saison glass from a 750 mL bottle on May 22, 2021.
May 26, 2021
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Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Back before we needed to subvert success and comfort with shut it all down, there was this trip in the fall of 2019 to New England where I did a little splurging in rural Vermont. This is that $30/35 bottle.

Pours a relatively bright yellow for a saison. Good 3/5" white head on top, excellent retention. Like whoa. The aroma hits those obvious white wine french oak strides. Underneath that there is a pristine grain, citrus and floral greens like presence. Top notch.

Taste imparts a light rustic waves of grain alongside a tart but not quite sour wild ale meets saison broad strokes, this uses deftness alongside dopeness. Light citrus and green apple woodiness. Such levity in the mouthfeel for something with so many directions but still a beer in unison that is even better than the sum of its parts. Gotta believe dat honey makes this both dry and light at the same time, ferment that shit out!

So real talk, this might be the best saison I've ever had. I hope their beer gets easier to get now that the craft beer mafia has turned on them and shouting REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! because things.
May 18, 2021
Rated: 4.85 by sirhc3034 from Texas

May 04, 2021
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Reviewed by NiceTaps from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle in a stemmed tulip glass. Bottled on 7/13/16, drunk today 2/6/2021.

Liquid gold color, slightly yellow. The 1F white pillow case cap drops quickly and leaves little lacing.

White wine barrel, funky yeast, apple cider, roadside flowers, white wine vinegar.

Apple and pear, acidic white wine, honey drop spelt and funky yeast. A bit of lemon peel.

Tart and exceptionally smooth. The spelt renders it light. Honey smooths the yeast bite and the acidity.

Four and one half years fresh, worth the wait. Very abv friendly. Wine like qualities yet remains a beer. Well done.
Feb 06, 2021
Rated: 4.66 by Yungcoolship from Wisconsin

Jan 21, 2021
Rated: 4.6 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Dec 03, 2020
Rated: 4.41 by M4CDO from Massachusetts

Oct 12, 2020
Rated: 4.19 by Beerbom from California

Sep 23, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by MTKATL from Georgia

Sep 09, 2020
Rated: 4.42 by allenson21 from New York

Aug 31, 2020
Rated: 4 by pepesylvia from Pennsylvania

May 14, 2020
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Reviewed by M-Fox24 from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A: A golden, luminous, pale yellow presence, with an etched opaqueness + Rich white head that’s slender in retention and lacing

S: Brightly floral with spring bud groundworks: a rubric of wildflower honey, dandelion greens, fresh lemongrass, crisp pickled dill, and white wine saffron. The barrel presence works well with progression, as concourses evolve toward magnolia, apple peel tea, jasmine poached pears, and Shasta daisy to malted wheat flake bread on reserve

T: There is a piercing complexity on palate, given a peppery dryness to a slightly tart, earthy funk mindfulness. Nonetheless, the acidic component is often in rest to a rustic, grainy, farmhouse restlessness. Accordingly, a continuation on enjoyment through crisp cut grass, peach elderflower, oak spelt berries, and flourishing, earth grown resources. The pauses/intermissions are a showcase for the raw sharpness in biscuity grains and sea glass candy, as it is with the homestead yeast concerning horse-blanket, farm-hound, and spreading merde

M: Cleanly and stylishly emphasized with a controlled feel that accedes in thermal variation

O: It’s gentle, light, and indulgent but very much alive in density, given a prickly softness in mechanics
Apr 14, 2020
Rated: 4.75 by Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

Jan 12, 2020
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
We had a handful of Farmstead ales leading up to this and a couple of other more limited barrel aged versions. We hadn't planned it but the progression was unbelievably perfect, as they got slightly more funky and slightly more sour as we went along.

Of all the Hill bottles we opened this evening, Vera Mae was the most sour and funky of the bunch. Now if we'd have had other sour beers on hand, it'd be considered mild and balanced by comparison, but it's worth noting that this stands out amongst other HF beers.

The appearance is a slightly foggy pale gold, with an unevenly collapsing light, bubbly white head.

The funk here has a sort of peanut character to it, with a little dusty oak accented by pungent hops. The sourness has a sort of pickled green grape character and some white wine notes, while the fluffy light body has an airy quality before finishing dry with a green apple twang.
Oct 07, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Oct 07, 2019
Rated: 4.87 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Aug 12, 2019
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
absolutely astounding beer right here, ancient now too, although we dont see a date on the bottle, a buddy generously unearthed this from his cellar for us to share. i have long been after this one, love flowers and honey both in saison, so to have them together, in a beer from one of the best makers of the style in the game, really had me pumped. it froths from the bottle a hazy straw color and retains an impossibly light and airy white head, dancing with carbonation and without visible sediment until the very bottom of the bottle. it smells insane, and the flavor is just as compelling, with so much of the honey being preserved, surprising with how old and also how dry this is, but its waxy and raw and floral, the liquid essence of spring in my glass here, somehow fresh and blooming at the same time that its incredibly mature. i get notes of lemon lime soda, lemongrass, jasmine, honeysuckle, and the floral honey, the dandelion does add some bitterness, but i also am getting a sort of aged whole leaf hop thing like lambic has. its earthy and grounded with the wheat and spelt in here, and there is a rawness to the grain that i really like as well. the fermentation profile is amazing, like a lot of the hill stuff, but really mature now at this age, and still not very sour at all, much more rustic and funky than it is acidic, extraordinarily distinctive and well refined, and its not too strong or intense to overwhelm the more delicate honey and dandelion. carbonation is super high, the beer is crazy dry, and the texture is fluffy and lively. i love this, its everything i stand for and nothing i dont. maybe my favorite beer i have ever had from these guys, and thats really saying something! so thankful for the experience!
Jul 31, 2019
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Reviewed by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
poured from a 750mL bottle into a stemmed bulb glass. pours a beautiful semi hazy orange yellow with a thick white foam cap. smells of white wine, oak, a touch of honey sweetness and that signature HF soapy, oak aroma. i suppose there’s a hint of wildflowers on the nose as well. at any rate, it smells tremendous. so inviting and lovely. taste has notes of honey, lemon, grass, oak, white wine. mouthfeel is full, lower on the carb as HF saisons tend to be. overall, this is fantastic. you get the usual BA HF saison qualities plus the honey sweetness and flowery, grassy aftertaste. a beyond-excellent BA saison.
Jul 26, 2019
Rated: 4.69 by Run4theRoses from South Carolina

Jul 10, 2019
Rated: 4.42 by hopley from Massachusetts

Jun 24, 2019
Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 725 ratings