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Clara Grisette | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Clara GrisetteClara Grisette

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Clara (1906-1969) was our grandfather’s sister; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to her and her 13 siblings. In her honor, this Grisette is crafted from American malted barley, Vermont Organic Wheat, European and American hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Clara.

Pale Malt, Organic Vermont Wheat, American and European Hops, Ale Yeast, and our Well Water

Added by starrdogg on 08-09-2011

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 738
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle decanted and poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass. Shared with schen9303.

Creamy 1.5 finger white head with good retention. Beer is a deep, cloudy goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and stringy with moderate stick. Pretty beer.

Nose is citrus, wheat and various sweet spices. Real aromatic and fresh with a clean liveliness.

Opens sweet citrus with a spice presence lingering in the back. Some wheatiness towards the middle with coriander and floral notes finishing up the experience. A very mild tartness hovers in and out. Very little aftertaste. Deliciously refreshing.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Lively and prickly in the mouth and aggressive and bubbly going down. Slightly messy finish with a very clean aftertaste. Hugely drinkable.

Following in the footsteps of the HF hoppy offerings, this beer is clean, fresh, balanced, and infinitely drinkable. I wouldn't expect anything less and Clara really delivers. A very solid beer.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy gold amber, with an eggshell colored whip cream meringue head of hard, round peaks.

Warhead foam--the first thing that was said with the first whiff of that foam, which included accidentally touching it. It has a sharp, acetic sting, with floral dry hopped aromas and honey.

Taste is far less powerful than the nose would suggest, which is a wonderful thing. I get some lactic essence, a little like sour cream, with sour apricot, and jalapeno without the capsaicin. However, it is still mostly acetic, but very drinkable and not overly sour.

Supremely frothy and bouncy on tongue despite the unexpected sourness. A fun, delicious drink.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks!

No batch number.

A: Pours a cloudy apricot orange capped with a finger of off-white head which falls into a thin collar. The back of the glass has nice lace curtains.

S: Lemon zest, dried hay, grass, bread, and white grapes. Quite nice on the nose, though it doesn't have much phenolic (pepper) character.

T: Hill Farmstead produces a lot of saisons, so it's no surprise that the recipes have gotten dialed in. Lemon zest, grass, white grapes, and green apple. The mid-taste evokes grain. The finish is redolent with minerals, earth, and yeast; there's a slight pepper bite, but it vanishes as yeast pulls into the aftertaste.

M: This was less effervescent than some of HF's other saisons, but to much nicer effect. The bubbles are soft and velvety, creating a soothing presence instead of a prickly one. The downside is that the flavor lingers, with a slick, yeasty aftertaste.

O: I suspect this is the kind of beer that gets lost in a big tasting lineup. Open it before other beers, or open it by itself. It's a nice experience.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wheat seems to cut much of the tartness...only a lingering sour on the fade with some yeast and pepper notes. A good beer, a fun try, but not my favorite HF saison.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy amber-orange color with a 1/2 finger white head. The head is gone almost instantly and leaves very little lacing as it dissipates.

The aroma is very tart, with notes of lemon, peppery spice, and wheat.

The flavor brings tons of wheat and yeast, some cracked pepper, and a nice lemony tartness throughout. Very earthy.

The feel is light bodied with moderately high carbonation. Very drinkable. Goes down dry and smooth.

Overall, a very good yet slightly disappointing grisette. I expect more from HF farmhouse ales and this one just didn't quite cut it. However, it's still a good beer and about as refreshing as it gets.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straw, hay, and wheat are the stars here. Balanced and quenching. Light tartness but generally that farmhouse character you expect from HF in a lighter body.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours golden yellow, fizzy head with light retention.

sour grape and tart apple with a sour mash.

tart up front with a rather light flavor overall. some pale malt and green apple seem to be most apparent.

very light with a rather moderate carbonation. leaves a bit of tingle afterwards.

this is really good for 4%. super easy and refreshing.

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Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Big thanks to Ryan for sending me this packed into yet another stellar box o' beer! Clara is a bright golden libation with orange hues when the light is right. A good deal of haze makes the body tough to see through but does amplify the glow. The head is easy to produce, even on a soft pour I get a thick cap of silky white foam that leaves patchwork lacing on its way down.

Wow, musty wheat leaps from the glass as I pour. Wheat steals the show but there's a good amount of lesser components. An earthy, hard water element makes itself known shortly after the wheat. The yeast and hop blend add perfume driven depth, floral and modest. A solid squeeze of lemon brightens it all up. There's a little must, a little wildflower, a touch of the wild as a whole, but it's perfectly balanced. Impressive, very impressive!

The flavor profile is bright and quenching. Wheat melds perfectly with barley for a seamless concoction. It's fresh and straight from the farm. Floral qualities flash through at the back of the throat while lemon runs throughout, a touch of acidity livens it up. Phil Harmstead's yeast add, again, some of that wild; hard water, wildflowers, fresh cut hay. This is a damn good beer.

You're met with, appropriately, a lively, bubbly mouthfeel to keep the light body moving at a respectable pace. It's light and airy, thirst quenching and dry. The finish even leaves a soft bitterness in its wake accentuated by that dryness. They nailed the mouthfeel on this beer, near perfect for the style.

Of all the good to great Hill Farmstead farmhouse beers out there floating around this is up at or near the top of my favorites. It's rustic and bright, complex yet easy drinking, and a joy to partake on every level. This is a beer worth buying as much as possible. Thanks again, Ryan!

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Photo of jaasen64
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased from the brewery last Saturday. Poured into HF stemmed glassware.

A- Pours a translucent orange golden with about two fingers of fairly dense lightly bubbly white head that has great retention and leaves a thin layer of lacing. Nice carbonation of steadily rising bubbles. Towards the end of the bottle there is definitely significantly more haze from the yeast sedimentation which reduces the transparency.

S- Lightly sweet smell of yeast, a significant amount of floral notes, barley, a little bit of honey, and some pale malts. A little bit above average aroma strength and fairly pleasant.

T- Lightly sweet with a little bit of floral hops, honey, barley, and some pale malts + yeast on the finish. At first I didn't really care for the aftertaste, it was a little bit too heavy on the pale malts but towards the end of the bottle it definitely improved significantly and balanced out a little bit more. Overall it definitely packs a decent amount of taste for a 4% saison.

M- Fairly light, easy to drink, refreshing, a little bit over-carbonated.

O- This definitely wasn't my favorite HF beer, but it was still very well done for a 4% saison. All the flavors were well balanced and it was definitely a decent session beer. For one of HF's lowest ranked beers, this beer is still actually pretty good and definitely enjoyable. My only major complaint was that it was slightly over-carbonated. Overall it was nicely crafted and I recommend trying it out if you like saisons, just don't expect anything that will blow your mind.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/3/14 - Updated from a 3.75 'Had' rating. Have tried this a few times now and picked up two bottles of the 9-2014 batch. Split this particular one 3 ways.

A - Nice glowing orange with some haze to it. White head retains pretty well, a spotty cap/thick ring/some lace is left.

S - Light citrusy tartness, definite oats, lemon lime, light brett, lots of yeast, farm.

T - Brett opens up nicely here bringing on some nice lemon, grapefruit, general tart citrus goodness, farminess. Light tartness, a big yeast profile, almost chalky, some pepper spice, tangy wheat, oats.

M - Impressive body and flavor for 4%, kinda chalky, medium carbonation, very drinkable.

O - Great brett/light tartness without sacrificing drinkability or a nice straight-up light saison base. For the ABV this is a pretty remarkable beer. This one goes a bit underrated in my eyes. Easy-going and would make a great summer beer. It's been great revisiting this and HF's George recently - two 3.75s I now shake my head at.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Matt for this. Teku glass.

Pours clear orange-tinged gold, with a finger of snow white head, very good retention but minimal lacing. Wheat malt and earth, a touch of orange creamsicle, pine/spruce, and pink grapefruit hard candy. Taste is bread/wheat malt with a bit of a twang to it (not tart or sour), moderate bitter earthiness, and a touch of pepper/clove. Medium body and medium-high, biting carbonation. Overall, pretty tasty and drinkable saison with a bit more complexity than usual.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, fall '12
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. Finger and a half of fluffy bright white head. Good carbonation flowing from bottom of glass. Some lacing is left as it recedes.

S: Some funk. Barnyard. Wet hay. White grape. Green Apple. Spice, pepper.

T: On the front of the tongue, you get that traditional Saison pepper spiciness. That pronounced yeast strange really shows. I guess predominantly I get flavors of white grape and that slightly tart green apple hint. Maybe some grassy grainy hints as it get further on the palate. Finish is dry. White wine like. Love the low ABV here. Refreshing little Saison without the guilt.

M: Light leading into medium.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large win glass from a 750ml bottle and split with my wife.

Pours a nice slightly hazy pale golden color with some darker orange/light amber hues. There is a nice half inch white head that forms and recedes down to a nice thin mat.

Aroma is yummy. Nice notes of funk and musty barnyard with a nice dosage of citrusy American hops. There is also a nice floral aroma of the European hops. The nice malty and bready grain notes really shine in the aroma of this brew. I detect some slight sweet yeast phenols as well as some mil lemony tartness in the nose, quite faint. The best part of the nose is the slight citrusy and resinous notes of American hops.

Flavor starts off with pretty clean and bready grain. Nice and fresh notes of oats. This is followed by some funky yeast notes with some slight phenolic esters and some nice fresh mildly citrusy hop notes. Very clean and delicious saison. There is a sharp but mild and faint lemony tartness that shoots up near the end of the brew. The finish of the brew is nice and dry as expected and the grassy and herbal hop notes linger throughout with some nice bitterness to boost. Very yummy brew. Nice vivid and clean carbonation and a light body.

This is a delicious and drinkable light saison. Nice low ABV make for easy sipping. Great clean carbonation gives the brew a playful mouthfeel. The grain and yeast notes are delicious with some amazing funky notes some mild tartness and a nice lingering grassy and citrus hop notes.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 8/29/15 at the new Hill Farmstead tasting room

A: Medium gold, with some touches of tangerine - nice clarity - large white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

S: Intentionally mild, some nice funky aromas - Hill Farmstead saison yeast, lightly funky, with some spice and pepper - light citrus with a touch of lemon - floral and lightly earthy - pale malts, light malts, touch of wheat - lightly fruity esters

T: Clean, light, bright saison - nice Hill Farmstead yeast, as expected, with some pepper, spice, light fruity esters - light citrus, lemon, orange rind - touches of grass, earthiness, herbal notes - green apples - light bread, touch of wheat - extremely clean, extremely refreshing

M: Light body, perfect carbonation, dry, crisp, clean finish

O: Session saison is the new saison

This is bursting with Hill Farmstead saison magic, yet it's brilliantly light and drinkable. This does not taste like a watered-down Arthur or Florence, either. It's its own thing, and it is quite lovely.

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Photo of bmwats
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a tulip.

A: Cloudy, hay color. Substantial, bubbly white head. Craters slowly, leaving an uneven surface, a blanket of carbonation, and some dry residue. Lots o' beer ring lacing. Head renews thoroughly with each pour.

S: Sourdough bread, with a slight hint of raspberry.

T: Light wheaty flavor of sourdough with just the slightest hint of sweetness. A little light pepper.

M: Very light body with a pungent, biting finish, and a bittersour aftertaste.

D: Goes down easy, not much resistance, and nothing off-putting.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Nice body, thick head and lots of lacing. Light, but decent aroma of fermented sourdough, and hints of raspberry. Flavor is a very light combination of the same... pungent sourdough flavor with a slight sweetness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of larryi86
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to bstyle for this
750 ml bottle, 6/12/15, poured into a teku

A- A hazy bright golden orange with a fluffy white head.

S- Tart with a nice earthy funk, some peppercorns/earthy spice, wheat, hints of light fruits.

T- Nice mild citrus tartness, wheat, some light fruits, peppercorns, just enough funk to bring it all together.

M- Smooth, light, dry, refreshing.

O- A great easy drinking 4% beer. Yes the flavor are little bit mild, but not bland or watery.

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Photo of Ri0
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured 750ml bottle into snifter.

A - Pours hazy, deep straw yellow with a fluffy 2.5 finger white head. Retention is excellent and there is webbed lacing that coats the glass.

S - Aromas of citrus, lemon/lime, and floral notes. There a distinct musty wheat aroma and some grassy/earthy notes followed by hints of spice and funk.

T - A tart and citrusy start, with lemon zest and grapefruit peel. Floral and earthy hops along with grassy notes fill in with a bready or cracker like malt. Just a bit of spice and funk on the finish.

M - Light and crisp with fantastic soft carbonation. Quite easy to drink on a summer day picnic..

O - Quality Saison brewed with terrific ingredients. Continue to be impressed with Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright gold color with a huge white frothy head. Looks very refreshing.

The aroma gives off a significant farmhouse funk. Earthy, dank, little wet blanket. Some fruit notes in the background along the lines of white grape and pear.

The taste is almost champagne-like with elegant fruit notes (grape and pear again) on top of a wheat and farmhouse hay-like malt background. A little doughy.

Mouthfeel is bubbly, refreshing yet still has that trademark Hill Farmstead smoothness on the back.

Overall this is very nice, elegant, refined. If you're a fan of Saisons, give this a shot. It shows the style can still be exciting while at sitting at session-beer abv levels. Glad I have another bottle!

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Photo of grittybrews
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy yellow with a finger of off-white head. Aroma with hints of pepper-dominated spice, lemon, and mild funk.

Dry, airy mouthfeel. Flavors of grass, biscuit, lemon, and tart fruit esters on the finish.

Light and enjoyable but not entirely distinctive.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Slight hazed goldenrod. Head is bright-white, bubbly, and creamy. Ok retention leaves a wisp of a cap and collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: A touch of wheat layered over some minerals and hard water. A touch citric with lime zest and a touch of lemon flesh. Grassy with some fresh baked bread underneath. Solidly earthy with some damp and musty elements. Hints of citrus as well. A touch of grapefruit and orange juice. Soft spicy esters. A touch of apple skin. Solid punch of wheat and pale malt. A soft toasted edge.

Taste: Slightly tart on the initial sip. Lime juice and zest. Brightly citric. Soft spicy esters coupled with some apple skin and a hint of pear. Slightly earthy and grassy. Some wet stone and damp earth. Rocks. Malts are super light pushing some toasted homemade white bread crust. Soft ghost of grapefruit rolls on the back. Solidly woody.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with a soft moderate carbonation. Dry. Almost crisp.

Overall: Cooler than your grandma.

A soft easy drinking beer perfect for warm days and relaxation. Super clean and light with enough depth to keep you sipping.

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Photo of brystmar
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Josh!

Beautiful appearance, as always. HF has that down cold. Wheaty, malty, earthy aroma. Smells and taste almost vinous even though I'm pretty sure it never spent time in wine barrels.

Smooth, refined flavor profile. Not too much wheat as these styles often get. Hoppy notes at the end add delicious complexity to the mix. Infinitely sessionable Shaun does it again.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL into tulip. bottled 06 2013.

A: a hazed pour. straw blonde color on the edges and a bit richer at the center. head is bright white and frothy. retention is fantastic. spotted lacing left behind. pretty classic saison appearance.

S: a mild barniness starts off the aroma. very mild. more horse saddle than full on horse blanket. tart. lemon juice. a little bit of yeast bitterness as I approach the end of the bottle, but it is definitely yeast derived.

T: the first thing I notice is the tart, acidic nature of this brew. a mild barn, but really quite fleeting. there is a rich flavor in there that reminds me slightly of the rind on brie cheese. maybe that is just more of the funk talking. which is definitely there throughout the entire drink. finish is citrus fruit.

M: mouth has a bit of zip on it. light bodied.

D: a pretty tasty saison here. super light but having a great deal of complexity/flavor/aroma. this can almost all be taken from the yeast. great example of taking a simple canvas of a brew and letting the yeast showcase all of its nuances. surprised this isn't rated a bit higher.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden-yellow with a big fluffy white head and a lot of bubbles floating to the top. Lots of carbonation.

S: Smell is that typical saison yeast aroma mixed with something else more earthy/grainy that I can't quite put my finger on and a little bit of sweetness. Definitely a little bit unique in the smell.

T: A little bit lemony, a little bit peppery and a little bit grainy with almost no sweetness at all to speak of. As I drink on, the graininess really becomes the dominant flavor. It's actually got a good amount of flavor considering such a low ABV, but I'm not blown away with it like I am with some of the other HF stuff.

M: Very light-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Finishes very dry.

O: Another strong effort from Hill Farmstead, especially given that the style "grisette" is not one I've ever encountered before, but I don't think it measures up to some of the other HF saisons like Anna. It's still a nice, flavorful, light, easy drinking beer, however, and there's always a place for something like that in this world.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i'm had this beer before but mind you am review a year old bottle.

a personal favorite style. the table saison that has minimal accent in the spectrum of hill farmstead saisons but a lot of dimension for a beer that is 4%abv. beautiful pour. never seen an american beer with such a successful belgian whipped head. nose of lemon zest subdued in wheat yeastiness. lemon balm, grass and creaminess that is quite suitable for game bird lightly spiced. mild funk but more noble hops grassiness. extremely drinkable and smooth with a popular beer conception. i wish it replaced the american lager forever.

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Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, dated 6.12.2015, poured into a white Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

The beer pours a hazy copper color, golden hues with a solid two fingers of white head, foamy and soapy with good retention and a few spots of lace. The aroma is lovely, tart wheat, citrus, wildflower and pale doughy malt, light mineral water qualities. The flavors echo the nose, lovely tart wheat, lemon citrus, light yeastiness, mineral water, doughy malt, biscuity with a light spice, excellent light and simple table beer profile. The mouthfeel is nice, crisp, above average carbonation that coats well with a crisp dry finish.

Verdict: A great Grisette, flavorful, balanced, delicate and really refreshing. Everything a low ABV table saison should be and another great saison in Hill Farmstead's portfolio.

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Clara Grisette from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 738 ratings.
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