Vera Mae
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Vera MaeVera Mae
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #28
ABV:
6%
Score:
96
Ranked #606
Avg:
4.35 | pDev: 7.82%
Reviews:
116
Ratings:
679
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  323
Gots
  98
SCORE
96
World-Class
Vera MaeVera Mae
Notes: Vera Mae is crafted from organic Vermont spelt, American hops, wildflower honey, dandelion flowers from our fields, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated.
Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 679 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of M-Fox24
M-Fox24 from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
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
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +9%
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
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip. 2014 edition, so aged nearly 5 years.

L: Slightly hazed light golden pour with 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Funk and tart fruit. Oak and lemon zest.

T/F: Tart and funky fresh to start with. Oak and white wine character... light lemon citrus, floral notes (the dandelion? can't say I regularly eat them), apple skin, and mild fruit/honey sweetness mid sip. More white wine towards the finish... relatively light bodied

O: An outstanding saison from Hill Farmstead (not surprising), and I love the flavor they pack into these beers with such a relatively modest ABV. Probably aged too long but still fantastic and no noticeable dropoff in quality. One I'd love to have again.

Jan 07, 2019
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floyd_pugman from California

4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

7/13/16 bottle date; poured into a Tired Hands teku. Very well carbed. Nose reveals plenty of farmhouse funk, sweet dandelion, and mild honey notes. Palate comes in with those same flavors and lemon citrus as well, but it is not overly acidic, and softens as it warms. Not mind blowing, but a beautiful day sipper. Would drink again.

Nov 12, 2017
Photo of nfedas
nfedas from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at HF after picking up Sue in late June. Wonderful flavor, slightly tart as you would expect with an earthiness. Very unique flavor and while I wouldn't want this all of the time, it is a great treat to share overlooking the hills of vermont!

Aug 29, 2017
Photo of Sheppard
Sheppard from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden, mostly clear. It's very vinous and yeast forward. I find Hill's yeast to be a pleasant lemony citrus and I love how it interacts with barrels. There's definitely a nice white grape, sauvignon blanc character in this beer. The barrel and the yeast seem to be the dominant components in this, the honey and the dandelions are much more subdued or absent. I appreciate the complexity and depth of this beer.

Dec 01, 2016
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage drank on 10/1/2016 in my SP bulbed stemware

L - golden sunshine, beautiful, lighter head for a saison that disappeared fast
S - lemon zest, oak, honey, floral, tart
T - follows the nose, floral piece is clearly dandelions, funky, hay, lemon and citrusy, honey comes through nicely
F - crisp, clean, light tartness
O - fantastic. screwed up not getting my friends to buy their 2pp allotment. big mistake. glad i have one more!

Oct 05, 2016
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this during a recent event hosted by Brandon, enjoyed chilled from the bottle in a glass.

The color is straw golden with hazed look and white head. The smell is a slightly funky, not quite musty perhaps herbal aroma with slight yeast fragrance to add to the aroma. The feel is great both on the dry and bitter side with plenty of carbonation.

The taste is familiar if you have tried Hill Farmsteads saison culture in other beers it is funky and I like the spiciness of the added herb and the honey gives a dry impression. This is an excellent beer I am happy to have tried it

May 03, 2016
Photo of rodmanfor3
rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened on Thanksgiving Day with non-beer friends. One of them mentioned that this beer, "doesn't even smell like it's from a farm."

To be honest, this tastes like another one of Hill Farmstead's nicer saisons with an added touch of flowers on the palate in a welcoming way. A nice treat on a holiday afternoon but certainly something that a 6-month aged Anna or Florence could have matched in flavor at 2/3 the price.

Nov 27, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2013.

Yum! Dry, minerally, slightly tart, granny smith apple, bit of lemon and funkiness. Super effervescent. A hint of honey sweetness brings everything together. The 2 years in the bottle really dried this out and melded everything together. Awesome stuff.

Oct 30, 2015
Photo of MissSmisje
MissSmisje from New Jersey

4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle, in a tasting glass
L: sunshine straw, thin bone head, tight carbonation,
S: lemon zest, oak, honey, floral
T: follows the nose, floral note is clearly dandelions, lightly funky
F: crisp and clean
O: delicious

Sep 20, 2015
Photo of Ian_B
Ian_B from Massachusetts

4.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't sure about the ingredients in this beer, but it sounded intriguing at the least. I was more than surprised. Light aroma of citrusy/sour clementine with a honey-like sweetness and floral dandelion. Tastes exactly the same with a hint of spicy white rye dough that lingers on the slightly tart and sweet honey finish. Desert island beer.

Sep 11, 2015
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a stemmed vase, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, yellow-gold coloring with a foamy, light and fluffy, bright white head that lightly clings the glass. There is a steady flow of carbonation throughout the body, as well. Aromas of subtle lemon grass, rich honey, woody notes, vinous dandelions, and a blend of floral highlights. The flavors are tangy sweet and extremely vegetal forward, with a solid bitterness that quickly follows. Rich honey, sweet and tart lemon, and floral highlights lead the charge, but the very bitter and resinous hops profile cleans things up quickly, with another blast of tart citrus lemon and grapefruit coming along with it. The wood spice ends up blending with the floral notes as an accent, and there is a subtle sour twist on the back of the palate. The body is smooth and robust, with a slight effervescence from the carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter and vegetal, with the citrus highlights still shining through. Dry, crisp finish, with a solid bitter and resinous linger. Very solid beer!

Sep 10, 2015
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barczar from Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I continue to be underwhelmed by all the HF offerings. Not my favorite style, though.

Aroma is fairly barnyard funky, with floral notes. Flavor is clean, with a big lemony, lactic sour presence and an earthy, herbal finish.

Sep 05, 2015
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to egrace84 for sharing this loooong time want with me!

750ml bottle poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: pale yellow bodied beer with large bone white head. The head has fantastic retention and leaves behind a thick coating of lacing on the glass.

Smell: You can really smell the honey in this as well as signature HF funk and light tartness. I think this smells exactly like Anna. Not smelling much dandelions.

Taste: Taste is exactly like it smells and it also tastes exactly like Anna. Which is not a bad thing at all because I really enjoy Anna. As this beer hit room temperature, I got a slight hint of dandelions.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean, bright, and refreshing feel to this saison. Insurmountable drinkability just like all other HF saisons.

Overall: This is the first beer that I have drank which was brewed with dandelions. Slightly disappointing that I did not get a unique character from the dandelions, but on the other hand I got to drink a Hill Farmstead saison so life is good. This saison is very, very similiar to Anna.

Aug 31, 2015
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MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours (into my HF tulip) a glowing hazed yellow with a finger of bright, white head which dissipates within a few minutes, some nice spotty lacing but inconsistent.

S - Bright, HF farmhouse lemony/slightly sour yeasts, elderflower, dry, semi-sweet honey, lavender, floral.

T - Bright lemon and light/citrusy funk, lavendar-type flavors, gentle honey, minimally dry, almost a hint of mild/welcoming pepper twang, the sweet honey comes through momentarily that the finish. Aftertaste is mostly lemony type funk.

M - Effervescent, delicately pops off of the tongue. Seemingly (very) light bodied but leaves a (relative) medium thickness in the mouth.

O - Bright bright funky saison. Gentle floral potpourri notes mix with refreshing honey sweetness very well. Extremely well balanced, easy to drink and refreshing.

Aug 25, 2015
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle purchased 8/6/15 into big pint glass because why not?

Nice looking pale golden, very pleasant citrus and flowery smell.

Very tasty, definitely get the hops, honey, and dandelion, as well as a solid malt profile.

Well-balanced, moderately carbonated, quite refreshing.

Very good farmhouse ale.

Aug 24, 2015
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scottfrie from California

4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear golden straw color with a fluffy, soft, dense, and thick bright white head faded to lasting collar and streaky lace.
S: A very bright nose that reminds me of a field of wildflowers. I get notes of lemon and honey, HF's characteristic yeast, and a touch of musty barrel funk.
T: Tons of barrel character, almost vinous. There's a light floral quality with some mild Sprite-like flavors, slight mineraliness, green apple, and tons of flowers and earth quality. Mild floral spice lingers in the aftertaste.
M: Creamy mouthfeel, sweet and lightly juicy, with a solid hop bitterness and a drying finish. Very soft carbonation.
O: A very bright and pleasant saison. Super light and smooth. Very enjoyable.

Jan 22, 2015
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Luscious honey in the glass -- sumptuous looking.

Lovely lemon, mineral, vegetal bitterness from the dandelions and a bit of funk. This is a classic HF saison profile that has some subtle accents from the honey and dandelion. The additions won't hit you over the head, but nicely round out the great base beer.

Not quite as robust as Arthur, but still a great beer.

Dec 26, 2014
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brewskifan55 from Mississippi

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stem glass. Thanks, Darren, for the bottle and the glass.

A: A pale yellow, opaque, with a nice white one-finger that hangs out for a sunny afternoon. Thick lacing.

S: Lemon zest takes over with a punch of dandelion in the background. Fresh, springtime goodness.

T: Very floral and extremely lemony. Dry, smooth, semi-sweet. Brett funkiness. A pleasant sipper, for sure.

M: Medium with dry, medium carbonation.

O: I had this one late in the year. I wonder if it would've been even fresher in April. Still a great saison.

Oct 20, 2014
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imscotty from Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

A - Pours with a big white frothy head that slowly settles down. Lots of lacing that lasts and lasts. Color is a beautiful light yellow straw, beer is hazy and opaque.

S - Very citrusy aroma, very lemony. In the background are some pleasant barnyard, hay aromas. It transports me back to the brewery among the cow fields of Greensboro

T - This is my perfect level of sour. The tartness is assertive, but not enough to make you pucker. Subtle enough to let the other interesting flavors come through. Lots and lots of lemon flavor wash over your tongue with the first sip. In the finish a very slight malt profile remains, some honey like sweetness lasts on the tongue to balance the sour. Barnyard, grasslike and spicy flavors swirl around in the background.

M - Mouthfeel is light, nicely carbonated. The tiny bubbles and the sour leave a tingly feeling in the mouth. This would be my go to summer beer if I could get it every day.

O - This is listed as a Saison, but leans more in the direction of a wild sour. Tastes great whatever it is. Like a bit of Spring on the farm in a bottle to enjoy on a hot summers day. I want more.

Oct 06, 2014
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medic25 from Connecticut

5/5  rDev +14.9%

First beer in a while that caused me to say "wow" out loud.

Light golden, hazy color with a thick frothy head. Funky, yeasty aroma. Flavor is fantastic; dry, sour, taste of lemongrass. Crisp, sharp mouth feel with a very clean finish. I can't wait for my next trip to VT to load up on this again...

Sep 03, 2014
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev 0%

A-Cloudy yellow, some carbonation, one finger head with lacing

S-Nice tart notes, wheat, lemon, grass, very mild honey

T-Starts with nice tartness, wheat, lemon, mild honey and dandilions are there as well imparting a grassy note.

M-Lighter, semi crips, semi dry finish as well.

O-Another stellar bill from HF, was worried about the honey and dandilions but they were great.

Aug 30, 2014
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

2014 vintage. Pours a hazy yellow color with a loose head that quickly dissipates towards the edges. Nose express a light citrus quality, yeast and fresh greens. Taste is light in body with some Berlinner-Weisse qualities as well as citrus. Mouthfeel is light and lively. Overall - a bright and interesting beer. Had the chance to try the 2013 back-to-back and the 2014 won out, hands down.

Aug 24, 2014
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dar482 from New York

5/5  rDev +14.9%

The beer comes in a cloudy bright fluorescent yellow.

The aroma hits in the front of a funk and tart brine, towards pickles, which is very reminiscent of Norma. There's a bit of wheat and sweetness as well.

The flavor is a complex roller coaster ride. Lemon peel and slight tartness in the front, surrounded by that funk and sour brine. The middle offers a sweet honey candy and bready malt. The finish ends with slight bitterness and medium minus drying.

The beer has Shaun Hill's signature "soft" mouthfeel.

While gueuze may offer a fiery explosion of flavors like the Jimi Hendrix's licks, Vera Mae contains the gentle, yet complex chords of Nick Drake. This is a thought provoking and subtle brew.

Aug 19, 2014
Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 679 ratings