Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Clara Grisette | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
125 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 738
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!

 702 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: 2 inch head, golden in color, clear, high carbonation, nice rocky top

Smell: apples and hay

Taste: light hay, toasted malt, apples, and a crisp hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, super light bodied, crisp, sweet start and body with bitterness at the end

Overall: One of the best grisettes I have ever had and certainly up the top of the saison list. This may be my favorite Hill brew to date. Super clean, I could drink this all day.

 501 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to WhereTheWildBeersGo, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Hazy orange with a two and a half finger white head. Head hangs around for a little bit, and has a little bit of lacing.

Smell: A tart lemon zest up front, followed by spicy yeast and white pepper. A light biscuity malt sweetness.

Taste: Follows the nose perfectly, with a really nice tart lemon bite up from, and a great biscuity sweetness. A light yeast and white pepper on the finish. Simple but delicious.

Mouthfeel: Crazy drinkable. Lemon tartness lingers on the back of the tongue for a while. Very, very refreshing.

Overall: A beautiful easy drinking beer. I can only imagine how great this would be on a hot summer day.

 711 characters

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this delicious saison poured from the 750ml bottle into HF glasses.
Pours a nice medium amber with frothy head.
Smells are really interesting, some dankness, lots of yeasty tang, good hop characteristics and some very strong bready malts. Complex.
Taste is right there with the aromas. Picked up the floral hops much more on the tongue, the tangy yeast and bready malts works so well together.
Mouthfeel was clean, bubbly and refreshing.
I was very impressed by this beer.

 481 characters

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.

 656 characters

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

Gold-yellow color with good clarity on the first pour and some moderate haze on subsequent pours. Head formation is tight, and leaves great lace on the side.

Fresh aroma with some citrusy, tangerine like fruit notes as well as leafy, green notes that remind me of bay leaf or some other herb.

At first I thought this was over-bittered, but as it warmed the fruity yeast notes came to the forefront and it became more balanced. Along with the grassy bitterness is a tart, wheaty malt flavor that goes really well with the rustic yeast. Body and flavor suggest this is more than 4% ABV, but it is still very refreshing/quenching. Carbonation is very high, which is perfect for this beer.

Overall: This beer was enjoyable enough to open my second bottle. It was a bit pricy, but I thought it was worth the purchase. I would love to see this on tap somewhere.

 858 characters

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

Light, delicate, yeasty and refreshingly effervescent, this is a beer I'd like to drink for hours on a hot summer day. The light bready malts have some sourdough and mild yogurt undertones which are balanced by a lemony tartness. The effervescent sparkling carbonation is what makes this beer. Overall, this is an excellent table beer. Simpler than other HF saisons but just as enjoyable.

 388 characters

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.

 471 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from tasting on 11/16. thanks to dat for hooking up the bottle. enjoyed from a hill farmstead wineglass.

a - pours a murky orange yellow with a fizzy head that hung out a bit. the bottle was a bit of a gusher. lacing is a bit stringy and swirling the glass really makes it happen.

s - grassy with some hints of soft fruit and lemon, quite rustic.

t - clean and crisp. some lemon. just super balanced and delicious.

m - super easy drinking and just fantastic.

o - wow. this is a really nice saison with great balance in all the right places. really just enjoyable. hill farmstead really just makes killer saisons (and ipas, and pretty much beer in general).

 667 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle sealed with silver pressure cap.

bottled on June 02, 2016.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: Opaque golden straw yellow bodied beer with two fingers of white head. Head drops to thin ring around glass.

Smell: Lemon forward citrus hops. Earthy notes, minerals, and well water. Nice waft of signature Hill Farmstead funk as well.

Taste: Light tartness upfront. Lemon and lime citrusy hop mixing with lemon and white grape tartness. Minerals and well water are found in the middle. Light earthy bitterness on the backend. Fantastic balancing act on the flavor of this beer. Light and delicate flavors that are complex and flawlessly balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with low carbonation. Delicately crisp and dry finish; clean brew. Extremely drinkable.

Overall: This is an outstanding grissette with that american saison tartness added to the scenario. I am a fan!

 898 characters

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.

 601 characters

Photo of Bardwashrind
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A picture perfect summer night brought upon the desire for a beer of just this caliber. My first introduction to the Grisette style by way of a brewery I have come to enjoy greatly as of late.

Upon opening the bottle and pouring the first few ounces into the glasses awaiting I was met by a hazy, copper colored liquid with a dense head of bright carbonation. The aromas were distinct with qualities similar to that of hay or a wide open field among the rural country. Dried citrus peels, some lemon, wheat, damp wood and earthy yeast were all arising from the glass. Quite lovely as this didn't have an overly funky quality, more rustic with the complexities similar to herbs and spices. Smelled great with grass under foot.

Tasting the beer under the late day sun shine was a perfect pairing in it's own way. Great carbonation was apparent with the mouthfeel being quite impressive for a beer clocking in at only 4%. Flavors ranged from germinated wheat, oatmeal, wild flowers with some distant bitter hops lingering at the end. Delicious and different that a typical saison, as the big fruity esters were not as pronounced and a more grainy, almost hearth oven toasted bread flavor was apparent.

This would be a staple in our home if we could realistically obtain bottles. Fresh but still rustic with refreshment coming from a distinct simplicity that was quite admirable. With each beer, Hill Farmstead is proving that the honest path is the most admirable. Very well done.

 1,481 characters

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.

 159 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased in Vermont by a friend and brought back for me. Thanks, Dave!

This one pours a light golden honey amber, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like white grape juice, honey, tartness, hay, some minerality, and flowers.

This is a pretty unique farmhouse ale in Shaun Hill's big stable of them. It's much lower alcohol than most of the other shelf saisons, therefore, the flavor is definitely lighter. That doesn't mean it's bad though, it's so crushable and drinkable, it's insane. There's still a lot going on at this ABV, there's definitely some damp hay-like Brett flavors, white grape/white wine, honey, and some grainy mineral water character. It's pretty floral as well, and just mildly tart. Really excellent.

This is light bodied, crisp and airy, with a higher level of carbonation.

A really nice change-up here from Hill Farmstead, I could drink gallons of this stuff.

 919 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Avalon68 for opening this up to compare with the forthcoming grisette from Terry. Served in a short tumbler.

Pours a nice, slightly-hazed straw-yellow with a good, sticky white head that persists for quite sometime and leaves a sheet of solid lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose brings forward some nice aromas of white pepper with a little bit of black in there. Notes of earth as well as straw come through. Mild wheaty character. Great lemon rind comes through as well, quickly becoming the most-dominant portion of the brew. Flavor is similarly intense, yet mellow at the same time. Subtle fruit notes plus a nice bit of pepper and yeast throughout. Lemon rind abounds.

Light body with good carbonation and a very nice finish, which is fairly dry. Thirst-quenching and delicious. This is quite the session brew. This was the first grisette that I've had, and Shaun really did wonders for the style.

 917 characters

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!

 1,807 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, split

Nice low ABV offering to start off a session on a very hot Seattle afternoon - lovely peach color and strongly carbonated. Nice notes of grassy, hay, lemon, light yeasty tartness, a touch of rye, oak. This was good and receives considerably less fanfare than many other HF beers - don't believe the anti-hype.

 330 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky bright golden-yellow color with a creamy white head that retains nicely, leaving some lacing behind

S- earthy and funky with some dried hay and must, lemon peel and coriander

T- tart up front with notes of earth and hay, followed by tart lemon peel, peppery spice, floral hop and yeasty dry finish

M- light body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry, crisp finish

O- very enjoyable saison that's loaded with flavor at under 5% ABV

 504 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle purchased at the HF brewery into a tulip glass. Comes out golden with the slightest haze, nice white head sticks around and leaves some lacing. Mixed aroma on this, a little yeasty but also a little hoppy, pretty nice. Good flavor, too. It definitely has some obvious hop notes swirling around, citrusy and bitter. Nice sweet malt is doughy and not too much. Solid yeast flavor to give it that characteristic farmhouse taste. Light body, tons of carbonation, benchmark mouthfeel. For 4% this has a ton of flavor, very well done.

 551 characters

Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL Bottle bottled on 6/2013

A-Poured a robust golden straw color. The body is on the hazy side. A very thin white head was poured and receded back into the body. The lacing of the beer is there but minimal and stays on the glass.

S-Aroma is full of citrus zest of lemon and lime. The yeast gives off a pepper smell and the malt is perceived as freshly baked bread crust. There is a funkiness to this beer that melds well with the rest of the aroma.

T-That funkiness found in the nose is more profound in the taste. Yeast driven the taste is with a rounded citrus/acidic taste full of esters. The wheat and pale malt give a nice back bone to the yeast forwardness and the hops though subtle, help to keep it a nice rounded enjoyable beer.

M-Definition of a saison. More on the thin side for the mouth feel with a dry finish. Nicely carbonated.

O-A very enjoyable saison. The funkiness threw me off at first because I was not expecting any brett characteristics. Still highly enjoyable and love the drinkability with the low abv. Perfect for a 90 plus degree night here in southeast PA.

 1,092 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clara pours a transparent gold straw with dissipating white head. The aroma is of that typical, beautiful Hill yeast. That bright lemony citrus mixed with a little peppery spice. There's definitely some lemony citrus in flavor, but the peppery-ness is more pronounced. The mouthfeel is still soft like all Hill farmhouse beers. I like Clara but not as much as some of his other farmhouse offerings. It's subdued and not over the top, but I'm not a huge fan of that spiciness on the finish. Despite that, it's still very pleasant to drink though.

 545 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TheLostGringo for sending this one my way - always excited to get Hill Farmstead stuff. Clara pours out like liquid gold - bright and beaming and completely solidified in terms of color; we are at 100% opacity. A slushy, white head builds up nicely, then breaks down and recedes almost as quick, leaving only a few spots of wet webbing on the side of the glass.

Hmmm... smells like a farm. A beautiful farm. Grassy notes, heavy must, lemon-lime zest, a mild citrus spritz and a moderate amount of lightly cheesy, barnyard funk. Yeasty, clumpy, with just a touch of spices and a faint tartness that brings everything together. Very masterful and refined on the nose - it just smells so refreshing, dry, and "well made".

There's a nice, slightly biting tartness that nips the tip of the tongue with each sip accompandied by a light basket of lemon zest and citrus flesh. The hops quickly come marching in; grassy, leafy, and one shade shy of floral. I haven't even swallowed the first sip yet, but I can already tell that this beer is a major rejuvenation and could easily be substituted as a thirst quencher.

A good bit of funk settles in mid-palate and lasts through the finish. Musty wood, light cheesecloth, and dust spread across an old, damp barnyard floor. The finish contains a good amount of that funk along with a lemon and apple skin, fruity reprieve. Tight, tight carbonation. Tight like a motherfuckin' tiger, snapping your tongue and whipping it into shape. Bold bodied for only 4% ABV, yet still relatively thin on the grand scale.

Wow, what a delicious beer. It would be so much dreamier in 12 oz bottles sold as six packs. This would be a definitely summer rotater. But alas! We must trade away our goods for a single 750 mL sized bottle. I'm not complaining too much, though, as I was generously hooked up and this beer would be worth it anyway. I was lovin' it hard. Refreshing, crisp, tasty, with insane, off the charts drinkability levels.

 1,976 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2L growler poured into a wine glass (from notes):

A: Pours pale yellow/straw, hazy, less than a finger of bubbly white head. Leaves just a little lacing.

S: Light floral/spicy hops with a little lemon, lots of toasted malts/biscuit, some funk.

T: What else would I expect from HFS. A lovely balance of light hop character, same as the nose, with a ton of malt character. The malt base isn't big nor thick, but as always with HFS, it has a ton of flavor. Layers and layers of grains (biscuit, buckwheat?, toasted malts, etc). I really don't know how he does it! Slight funk and tartness in the middle. Finish is clean with just a tiny bit of bitterness.

M: Light body and slightly high carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

O: Another fantastic beer from Shaun. This might be the most flavorful 4% beer I've ever had. Keep up the good work!

 838 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 8/11/15, cheers liamt07 for sending the bottle my way

A slight haze in a golden orange body, just a couple tiny bubbles popping up here and there, a finger of foam only lasts a few sips and leaves no lace

S lots of tropical hops, pineapple, mango, lemon, and orange, plenty of wet stone, a nice yeast profile, some white grape, maybe some honey? lots going on in a 4%er

T more of the same and there's nothing wrong with that, mineral water, lots of hops and yeast, everything meshes together, just a hint of pine

M light bodied, more bubbles then I'd guess after looking at it, a little grit on the palate, long but mild rind and earthy finish

O my bottle pretty much empty at this point, this stuff just sinks into my face in no time, well rounded and I could've gone a little higher for smell and taste so a little bump overall

Plenty happening in something I could session all day long without getting board. Great little thirst quencher that was gone in no time, super drinkable and I wish I had another

 1,055 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. There is a giant uncontrollable head on this beer atop a light golden clear colored body.

The aroma is full of sweet honey malt with some peppery spice.

The taste is very dry and crisp. There is a lot of pepper flavor and it's full of earthy spice.

This is light and strikes a good balance between being creamy and sparkling.

This is delicious. It's light and very drinkable with lots of flavor.

 420 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!