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Vera Mae | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
109 Reviews
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Vera MaeVera Mae
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by SFLpunk on 07-25-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
109
Ratings:
643
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
19.91%
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
100
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 643
Photo of JMScowcroft
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hill Farmstead Brewery - Vera Mae, poured into a tulip glass.

Look - Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a small foamy head that dissipates quickly. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Sour spelt and lemon, wild yeast, some flowery dandelion.

Taste - Sour punchy lemon with spelt on top. Hints of dandelion throughout. Now I guess I can say I know how dandelion tastes and it actually is not half bad!

Mouthfeel - Rests fruity sour with some yeasty influence on top. Slightly warm for the abv but in a good way for the style. Great drinkability. As you get accustomed to the flavor this brew really goes down easy. Dry and crisp.

Overall - One of the smoothest saisons without lacking the punch that I have had. Solid and pure tasting. True to the style and on-par with just about anyone else's.

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Photo of liamt07
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from iguenard, 750ml into a tulip. Batch 2.

Straw yellow, with a voluminous white head. Chunky retention and patchy lace. Nose is herbal, floral (dandelion can be sensed, interestingly enough...), dill, farmhouse yeast, light wheat and a touch of mineral character. Taste is floral and herbal again, dill, lemon, citrus zest, farmhouse flavours and light tartness. Sweet malt underneath (perhaps even honey there?). Effervescent feel, light bdoy. Yummy, light and refreshing - my first foray into Hill Farmstead beers and I want more.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Huge head dominates the glass with a medium-to-fine bubble structure. Chunky lace. Hazy gold with green highlights.

S – Flower fields, spicy bitter greens, and a honeysuckle sweetness.

T – Smooth opening with honey and soft pale malt. Radicchio and dandelion lend bitterness and a black pepper spice to the center and linger long after the sweetness of the opening has dissipated, leaving a semi-bitter and pleasantly dry finish.

M – Dry, medium body with moderate carbonation.

O – Great floral and bitter character for the style.

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Photo of jjdc
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer provided by Michael to compare with the dandelion beer from Fantome, this one was better, less vegetal.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a soft white head of small bubbles. Lots of lacing, moderate carbonation.

Honey comes through in the aroma nicely, along with a little grassiness and some hop like aroma, smells nice.

Beer is light in body, pretty floral throughout but not too grassy. Beer has a slightly dry finish but there isn't any real bitterness that would be overly amplified by the dryness. You can find the flowers but overall it is not very dandelion-esque. I liked it though, a lot.

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Photo of Verecund
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

September 5, 2011.

Pours between goldenrod and dark goldenrod with a huge, pillowy six-finger head. It's unfiltered and lightly hazy, though still fairly radiant. I let the head settle and poured another two ounces of beer in and the head erupted upwards again; when it broke the invisible threshold of the top of the glass, it looked like a flower blooming.

Lots of bright citrus and fresh hay on the nose, though the whole experience has a certain musty, barn-like quality to it, like entering a stable on a bright summer day after it's rained. A strong green/young floral quality bursts forth as well. Increasingly floral as it opens up.

Opens with a clean wheatiness which the yeast transforms into a grassy and nutty wheat background and conduit for the strong earthy and floral components of the saison. Mildly spicy phenols are present mid-palate which, combined with the dandelions, make me think of bitter leafy greens. Floral through and through, but not as over-the-top as, say, Mamouche.

Light-medium in body with very lively carbonation. Pleasantly dry, especially on the finish.

At first sip, I thought this wasn't as complex as some of Shaun's saisons, but that's not really the case. Different, yes, but still fantastically executed. Vera Mae screams Spring, the sun, fresh grass, flowers.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour created a big glistening white head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Yellow body with an icy haze.

Signature HFS saison nose. Like a bouquet of flowers, very floral. Similar to Anna. Hay, lemons, fruity esters, and a leafy green smell stands out as it warms.

Taste is like a mouthful of fresh cut grass and dandelion greens at first. I was wondering how much the dandelions would stand out but this is right up front on the palate mixing in with the saison yeast. Hay and fresh flowers mid-palate. Leafy dandelion taste lingers. This beer is well attenuated with a fine tingling carbonation. This might not be for everyone but I think it's a great beer.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage.

The beer is golden and absolutely clear. A very large. snow white head. Good retention and lace.

Nose is vinous. Green grape is the first scent to hit my nose. The honey sticks out, along with an array of floral and fruity scents. There is a cherry tartness that smells like Brett- I'm not sure any is in here, but it certainly smells like it.

Taste has the same green grape flavours, with a strong yeast component. Again, it tastes like Brett to me for sure, a dry funk with tart cherry flavours. The honey offsets the dryness with sweetness. Fruity and grassy flavours abound. Has a very 'fresh' flavour. Very balanced between sweet, dry, tart and even some bitterness at the end from the hops. Lovely.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated, but not in an irritating manner. Astringent.

Overall, just great. Lovely stuff indeed.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/6/2011

750ml poured into a snifter at 55 degrees.

A: The body is a very pale yellow, a lighter shade of sunglow. The mountainous head rises three fingers above the liquid, slowly receding in a crater-like fashion after many minutes, leaving much lacing on the glass. Clarity is perfect.

S: My nose is greeted by a highly aromatic floral profile, the Dandelion presence is pronounced. A touch of citrus brings lemon to mind. Rustic earth notes blend with hay and grass. Very nice.

T: Grassy, with notes of hay and earth. A well integrated lower level of moderate bitterness is evident, and there's a very light spicy phenolic note that reminds me of white pepper. The flavor, like the aroma, is very floral. Dandelion tastes better than I would have guessed. I get some of the honey in the taste, along with light lemon notes. The finish is bone dry with lingering floral notes.

M: Light in body with a fantastic high level of carbonation that brings the beer to life on the palate. The mouthfeel is very dry.

Overall: A well crafted and unique Saison from Hill Farmstead. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml picked up at the brewery last month. July 2013 bottled on date.

Poured into Duvel tulip. Could be the prettiest beer I've seen in years. Booming, bright-white head over (what starts as) a clear, golden body, with massive amounts of carbonation flowing up... after a couple minutes, the body takes on a chill haze. Lots of lacing.

Lots of farmhouse hay and light citrus in the aromas. Some animal.

Flavors carry a tangy zing of lemon, light floral bitterness, and plenty of fresh wheat. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing - extremely good carbonation level. Some lemongrass quality in the aftertaste.

Extremely enjoyable beer. And given that today is an 80 degree October day, it absolutely hits the spot.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a giant, foamy 4 finger white head with fantastic retention. Almost too much. Lacing is thick, patchy, and sticky. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Pretty. Head is a bit too large here.

Nose is floral. Notes of cane sugar, honey, some coriander spice, citrus, and a mild cobweb funk. Aromatic and balanced. Real nice.

Opens citrus and a floral tartness. Just the right amount of sour throughout. Some peppercorn and coriander spice dot the experience left and right. More citrus towards the end with a mild flowery bitterness blending in towards the end. Finish is slightly tart and foamy with a lingering tart finish. Excellent.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and dry and quenching going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Very satisfying. Exactly what I want from the style.

Just about everything I've had from Hill Farmstead has blown me away so far and this is no exception. Just the right amount of tartness with an incredible body to deliver the experience. Well worth trying!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy yellow body, tons of white head roars to life but recedes quickly. Looks like freshly squeezed lemonade after the head and lace settle. Cool!

Ooh, nice and tart! Sour, and floral, and oddly lactic -- really like that touch. Can't get over how sour this is; yeasty funkiness is more subdued. More sour and less funky than many saisons, and I like that. Highly carbonated but it actually works well.

Vera Mae >>> Ann IMO.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

75cl bottle, bottle dated 7/2013, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 2/27/2014. Thanks Matt, for this one.

App- Pours a hazy straw yellow-golden body, with a ginormous 3 finger white head with ridiculous retention. I had to take a few minutes admiring the body before I felt comfortable drinking this without getting a white mustache. But otherwise extensive lacing.

Smell- Smells an awful lot like the recent batch of Anna (fall 2013), but more sour- peppery, tart, earthy, floral. Very interesting.

Flavour- White peppers, floral hops (or is it the dandelion? I've never eaten a dandelion so I'm not sure), tartness and barnyard funk that I contribute to the Northeast Kingdom flora as I have gotten this in most of the recent Hill Farmstead saisons, a bit of citrus as well. Very complex and more interesting than Anna.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated but not nearly enough to take any enjoyment away from this beer. Ridiculously easy drinking, with a nice funky tart aftertaste typical of the Hill Farmstead saisons.

Overall- Could be my new favorite Hill Farmstead saison. I think this is more interesting and complex than Anna is, but its hard to say which saison I enjoyed drinking more.. I'd probably go with Anna on this one.

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Photo of KMcG
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9-10-2011: Poured into a short tumbler glass with thick, very fluffy head that is 3-4 fingers high. The ale is a slightly hazy pale straw yellow with lots of carbonation action.  The appearance alone screams refreshing.  The aromas are of lemon with a slight Riesling-like tone and floral hops. It grabs your palate with a little bite of citrus, sweet tones from the honey, and ends with a grassy dandelion tone. The dandelion gives a parsley fresh, spring-like bitterness to this beer - yum!  Crisp, clean, and dry mouthfeel with perhaps too much on the carbonation. After breathing in the glass for a while the carbonation is about right. Excellent for a warm, sunny late summer day. 

9-29-2012: I had the 2012 two nights ago. It was completely different than te 2011. It has a sour quality and hits of honey, grape, and grassy dandelion. I would move taste to 5.0 and the 2012 would top the 2011 by far.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The dandelions add an odd flavor and make the mouthfeel a little harsher than most of the HF saisons.

Still has amazing mouthfeel and the smell is much better than the taste, bright and slightly funky.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Churchkey, served in a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy yellow color, topped with a big white head that recedes to a collar and leaves nice lacing.

S- Hay, dry earthy funk, grassy dandelion aromas, also some floral aromas and nice honey. The aroma is great, and very complex, a beer I could smell all day.

T- Dry, earthy and herbal, dandelion and honey are both on the milder side and work nicely together, has a bit of fruitiness and tartness, a bit of lemon.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, finish is very, very dry.

O- A very tasty saison, had this alongside Arthur and preferred this by a bit, would love to drink this again sometime.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
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

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle

A delicate pours yields an enormous head that almost overflows my glass. Active and almost violent bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. The head is pillowy and dense like meringue. Nice a pure white and the retention is ridiculous. The beer pours a nice pale straw yellow with some mild golden hues on the edges.

Aroma is delicious and flowery. Notes of earthy grass and some wildflowers in the nose. Like a delicate meadow. There is a mild grassy hop aroma that has some mild citrus notes and seems typical of HF beers. Some nice slight lemony tartness can be perceived in the nose as well. Very earthy and clean nose.

Flavor starts off with nice earthy grain and bready notes. Earthy and grassy notes are also present. There is a quick sharp mild tartness that shows up mild lemon juice and rind. There is some slight fruit juice sweetness that balances out the tartness which is clean and delicious. The carbonation to this brew is delicious and intense. Tiny bubbles that make the brew feel almost spicy. Delicious. The tartness in this brew is so mild but works so well with the mild sweetness and earthy grain notes.

Overaal. HF did really well in my book with this Saison. Its very approachable and traditional with some nice funk and tartness balanced out by mild fruit juice sweetness.

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Photo of Number45forever
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracked open a Vera Mae over the weekend. It was outstanding! Pleasently tart, not sour by any means. It was one of the most refreshing things I've ever had. Like a super dry champagne on the tongue, very high amounts of carbonation.

Taste was of lemon, fresh greens, orange blossom honey. It was delightful. I'd drink this beer all the time, it was really great. I wish I had more time to explain.

Bottom line, as with all Hill Farmstead beers, if you get the chance to try this one: do it. Masterful.

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Photo of rudzud
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having had this multiple times I figured it would be time to review. This is a Batch 1 bottle, initial release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Ah yes, I seem to recall now Shaun telling me to open the bottle cold. So as I pop this room temp, having forgotten, it rather quickly rises from the bottle. Pours a lightly hazy lightly strawed golden hue with a big, creamy white almost 3 finger head that faded to leave soapy, sudsy lacing and a thick dense blanket.

S - Nice aromas of light honey and warm summer meadows full of dandelions. Very light yeasty funk with some soft gentle lemon. Very light, pleasant barn aromas with more bright almost phenol.

T - Taste is nice and lightly tart/sour with lots of lemon. Very light honey sweetness and some light bitterness that dandelions give to brew (similar to dandelion wine). Very slight spelt in the background as well. Very lightly funky which is impressive all the more seeing how all the sediment got mixed up upon popping. This tastes much, much better than I remember it tasting. Exponentially better.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice. Would like a touch more carbonation to help out the lemon sourness here. Feels more like a wild than a saison.

O - Overall, this is one of Shaun Hill's best saisons to date. All of his saisons are "good" but this though, this is something really special. Really enjoy how bright and tart this is.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to mmurphy525 for this bottle.

A 750ml bottle poured into my favourite chalice. A huge frothy white head on top of a cloudy straw coloured brew. The head slowly recedes to a small wispy white head with some lacing.

The smell is yeasty, slightly estery and earthy.

Taste is very delicate, the yeast is very prominent in taste. The taste is fairly floral and dry. Not much sweetness in this brew. This beer coates the mouth with a full mouthfeel.

Very nice brew, super hard to get but well worth it!!!

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pour is pale straw colored, violent bubbles rising to the top with tons of bubbly fluffy white head. Nose is great, strong notes of earthy Saison yeast, light pepper balance with floral and herbal hops and a pleasant honey note in back. Taste is very light, not as earthy and yeasty as the nose, a bit more bright citrus with a sweet clean honey. Pepper is faint but adds a touch of balance. Nice floral touch integrated very well and boasting quite a bit of depth. Body is airy and enjoyable, strong carbonation and super crisp. This beer rivals Anna, awesome stuff.

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Photo of Skrip
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Dogfish chalace

A~ golden orange with lots of head!

S~ pepper, citrus, tad bit of funk and oh soooo sweet!

T~ holy sour! apples, pears, lemons, limes, pepper, and the list goes on! its like the nicest mix between an amazing gueuze and a fantastic saison.

M~ great tartness and really nice carbonation. sour all the way down!

O~ i can never get enough! after every HF saison i just wanna try another, they just keep getting better. this might be the best one i've had so far but... i've probably said that before haha. so yeah... just try it already!

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Vera Mae from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.27 out of 5 based on 643 ratings.
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