Simcoe Pale Ale
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Pale Ale - American
Ranked #36
Ranked #1,397
4.28 | pDev: 7.71%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with one of our favorite hop varieties: Simcoe!
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 247 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy yellow with a small white head and good lacing on an aggressive pour.

S: Pine needles, grapefruit, and pineapple hop notes jump out front with a soft stonefruit character adding additional support. The malt is fairly aromatic providing a clean bready backdrop for the hops and yeast esters.

T: Mild bitterness upfront, moves into juicy grapefruit and pineapple flavors with a slightly resinous pine edge. The malt is stays in the background supporting the big hop flavors.

M: Crisp, dry with a nice moderate body.

Overall: A phenomenal showcase of Simcoe hops. So drinkable and flavorful. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a light, hoppy ale with a lot of character.

Sep 12, 2020
Photo of ScaryEd
ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy straw color with 2 fingers of effervescent white head. The head leaves a string of cobweb lacing before settling into a thin sheet.

The aroma brings a fuckton of grapefruit, as well as some orange rind and lemon zest. There's plenty of biscuit malt with a touch of pine.

The flavor follows the nose, bringing notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange, and cracker malt. Herbaceous and floral throughout.

The feel is light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and highly drinkable.

Overall, this is a very good pale ale that nicely showcases the Simcoe hop. It's incredibly straightforward, especially for HF, but it's still a well made beer and definitely worth trying.

Sep 09, 2020
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can. Bright yellow orange and hazy with a big white head. Smells of grapefruit hops and doughy malt. Tastes of zesty citrus like grapefruit and lime. A touch of woodsy pine. Malt profile is a little sharper than the nose implied. Finishes with aggressive grapefruit bitterness. Medium light. The aggressive bitterness is the only thing that slows it down. Delicious.

Dec 22, 2019
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 3/19/19

A: Pale yellow orange, a touch milky - hazy - pours with a small, white head, fades to a few wisps, retains a small collar, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: Complex and balanced - citrus, with some orange and grapefruit juice, zest - floral citrus - leafy and herbal hops - woodsy, earthy, and spicy notes - some additional fruity aromas, hints of peach, apricot, and maybe some melon, mango - clean, pale malt base

T: Soft but potent citrus, with some tangerine, orange, and grapefruit juice, notes of zest - some floral and lightly spicy citrus - soft pine and some notes of mint - lightly earthy and woodsy notes - vaguely tropical notes, additional fruitiness including slight notes of peach and berries - low bitterness - clean, pale malts with just a touch of sweetness

M: On the light side of medium, smooth, low carbonation

O: [Insert Hill Farmstead praise here]

Hill Farmstead's pale ales all have a lot in common, which makes it even more notable that even the single-hop creations are inexplicably complex and unique in their own ways. I have had a lot of beers brewed with Simcoe, and I have had a lot of beers with just Simcoe. And Hill Farmstead somehow gets every imaginable flavor out of the hops and sets it against a backdrop of a perfectly balanced malt base. Another winner.

Mar 30, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 3/4/19

Pours a hazy, bright light gold with a finger of creamy, white head, which recedes fairly quickly but leaves behind an ample and persistent smattering of spotty lacing along with a light, mostly bubbly collar of foam.

Aroma opens with aggressive but rounded dose of sweaty, earthy hops which soon calm to vinous, herbal, dank grapefruit and citrus tones highlighting orange and tangerine pith; light and slightly spicy crackery malt appears toward the finish.

Taste profile brings hoppy orange, grapefruit peel, and a bursting, dank mixture of tropical fruits and wet grass; lemon zest and light crackery malt make up the back end.

Mouthfeel shows a body on lighter side of medium and balanced carbonation that together glide seamlessly across the palate, consistently juicy throughout, while simultaneously building to a drying, crisp finish with just a light, fleeting bitterness. Masterful for a hazy pale ale.

Hill Farmstead strikes again with some brilliant balance here, capped by a mouthfeel nearly beyond reproach, and one that makes this absolutely top-tier in the league of crushable hazy pale ales. For all its simplicity, this is consistently both flavorful and incredibly enjoyable.

Mar 25, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque pale maize with a large off-white foam.

Smell is spicy, peppery and citric of lemon, orange and even lime with mild accents of fresh sticky icky, mint and vanilla cream.

The flavor of malty shortcake leads into mildly spicy eucalyptus with a minimal spritz of lemon and melon. This is one of the rare ones by HF where the malt gets a little too in the way of the hops--which is too bad, because Simcoe is my favorite and I was really looking forward to this one.

The moderate to light body has an airy froth that condenses softly, finishing powder dry.

May 12, 2018
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, grapefruit juice color in the glass, and nice simple hop delivery--but not fruity--in taste. Dry-hopping step gives it another subtle hop wave through the aftertaste. Solid as a rock, and sessionable.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a moderately hazy golden orange, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This is a really delightful use of one of my favorite hops- there's sweet tangerine, pungent piney hops, fresh hops, mango and grass.

This is way more flavorful than the 5.2% ABV would tend to indicate, as there's a big blast of juicy and bitter hop flavor here- fresh cut grass and fresh pine, with lots of tangerine and mango, as just the slightest hint of biscuity malt character.

This is light bodied, incredibly drinkable and crisp, with a normal level of carbonation.

In a situation that surprised no one, this is crazy good.

Mar 28, 2018
Photo of papposilenus
papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz can, dated 03/19/18. Served in an IPA glass.

Pours a thoroughly hazy, super-pale grapefruit-gold with a scant finger of soapy white head. Little retention and no lacing, just a thick-bubbled little collar.

Very faint nose of sweet citrus and punky wood.

Interesting taste that's a little hard for me to pin down - a pungent, funky, musty, mouldering, tart fruit character, sort of a kiwi or gooseberry thing. A light, cakey malt body, slightly sweet, low-to-moderate bitterness, and a fast, dry finish.

Feel is clean, dry and quenching, medium-light bodied with quite light carbonation and a little mineral bite at the end.

A surprisingly complicated flavour profile for a single-hop beer. Like all of Mr. Hill's pale ales it is, of course, totally delicious.

Mar 23, 2018
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can. Canned on 3/19/18. Opened on 3/22/18

A cloudy and thick looking white gold color. White sea foamy cover. Lacy, foam leftover in the wake. Exellent thick frothy coverage throughout the duration.

Major simcoe hoppy aromatics. Various tropical sweet fruitiness, strawberry, banana, mango, citrus...freshly crushed hop cones. Simcoe gives off a wonderful hop aroma.

This "Pale Ale" comes across much more like a classic New England Style ipa. The Simcoe hop complexity is pretty deep. A dry, earthy, semi bitter bite happens first, sweet fruits in the background, pine resin and pineapple upfront. Multiple levels of hop flavor seems to mutate with every sip. An excellent crispy , light earthy malt balance is pretty right on as well. I really love to focus on one hop strain, especially when it's utilized to the max.

The mouthfeel starts off very crispy and a bit dry, turning thick and practically full. Still, very easy , fresh and crushable.

More high grade goods from Hill Farmstead.

Mar 23, 2018
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler, courtesy of Anthony- thanks again bud! Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 4/15/2014. After spending hours today filling out tons of paperwork for my new job, I felt like doming a big bottle of hops, and this one is the only pale ale I have in the fridge, so bottoms up!

A- Hazy, light straw body with a lovely effervescent 2 finger white head with great retention. When it does fall into the beer, leaving a thin film continuously fed by the carbonation from within, it leaves lots of sticky lacing and residue all along the glass. This is lighter yellow in body compared to all of Shaun's other pale ales which tend to include some orange/copper. But the cloudiness is on spot.

S- Freshly squeezed grapefruit. Citrus rind. Pineapple. Wet floral notes, presumably from the hop resins. Hints of caramel and biscuit indicate a small malt backbone. This is certainly a pale ale that is dominated by hops, and it smells fantastic.

F- Citrus rind is dominant, floral resin, non-descript tropical fruit, with hints of toffee and caramel barely balancing out a surprisingly bitter grapefruit finish. Very delicious beer that seems to be a bit of a departure from the other Hill Farmstead single hop pale ales where the malt backbone seemed to step forward more.

M- Medium bodied. Perfectly carbonated, creamy effervescent mouthfeel. In other words, this is par for the course with Shaun's pale ales. Finish is a dry but clean grapefruit bitterness that sticks around.

O- I'm a fan of Simcoe hops and in my opinion, this beer delivers as straight up Simcoe as any others I've had, bursting at the seams. This is a very good pale ale, though obviously I prefer Edward's complexity to this one.

Apr 16, 2014
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: If a pale ale should be pale, this defines the color, pouring a hazy goldenstraw color capped by three inches of foam; excellent retention and a few strands of lace pattern the glass on the way down

Smell: Floral tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple and kiwi) tones merge with sugary white grapefruit tones

Taste: Floral tropical fruit flavors launch from the outset, with the sugary grapefruit (along with a touch of pithy rind) building in the middle; fruity, after the swallow, with just a hint of bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation; almost etherial

Overall: A great example of a west coast influenced APA that really showcases the Simcoe hops

Thanks, Denzo, for the opportunity

Apr 13, 2014
Photo of ChrisL24481
ChrisL24481 from New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, light, golden straw color with a half inch off-white, frothy, soft head. Some lacing lingers on the edge of the glass. Can really smell and taste the simcoe hops. Earthy, piney, slight citrus and apricot flavors can be detected throughout. A hint of the malts linger in the background. The mouthfeel is just spectacular. Smooth, not overly bitter. A perfect balance between light and medium body. A great example of the style by simply utilizing a single hop variety.

Apr 07, 2014
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy light golden yellow color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-orange, citrus, earthy, biscuit, pine

T-light malt, citrus, mango, orange, earthy pine, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and clean

O-nice single hop pale ale, Simcoe not at the top of my list but well-crafted beer for sure

Apr 04, 2014
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is like all their hop growlers, hazed pale yellow and a tight white head. Nose is quite strong, soft citrus notes up front turning into an earthy and very herbal tea with notes of grassy hops. Taste is more earthy up front, herbal tea notes and hints of grass. Finish is citrus with a touch of mango and moderate bitterness. Light body, well carbonated, and semi dry. Very soft feel, very nicely done.

Apr 04, 2014
Photo of Resuin
Resuin from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL growler into a stemmed glass. This was filled 3 days ago at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a hazy light apricot color. Very light color for a pale ale. Light/pale gold. Leaves a finger of white, fluffy head that fades to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Tangerine, lemon rinds, nice citrusy hops, floral scents, a hint of resin.

Taste: Nice citrus hops, earthy tones, a bit of lemon zest, grapefruit: very smooth taste. The simcoe hops really shine in this one.

Mouth-feel: Well carbonated with a light to medium, creamy body. The finish is remarkably smooth. Very crisp and refreshing.

Overall: This is a very crisp, tasty, refreshing pale ale. Very well crafted and delicious. So very easy drinking.

Mar 31, 2014
Photo of Skrip
Skrip from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

tasting glass at Hill Farmstead.

A~ beautiful glowing neon yellow, big fluffy head and some lacing.

S~ citrus up front, tons of grapefruit. then of course the earthy dank bitterness of the big bad simcoe hops.

T~ just about follows the nose to a T. more dank grass here and the grapefruit is more of a zest or peel kind of thing.

M~ extremely smooth, refreshing, and of course perfect carbonation.

O~ pretty much a perfect 4.5 in my opinion. honestly one of my favorite single hop pales from HF, which i wasn't expecting since i'm not too into simcoe or maybe this broke my cherry haha. of course its worth a try, go grab a growler!

Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Gatch
Gatch from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at Pro Pig in Waterbury!

A: Gorgeous, hazy, lemon yellow with a fine head, retention, and lace.

S: Earthy, spicy, floral...Simcoe!

T: Has that HF signature deliciousness. Just incredible. Everything a PA should be plus the unique character of Simcoe hops. I was never sure if I was a fan of this hop bc there aren't many beers that highlight it but as usual HF knocks it out of the park.

M: The smoothest, most flavorful, most consistent PA I've had in a long while. Wow.

O: Very different from Zero Gravity's Sim City that I had earlier in the day but that was an IPA and this is a PA. Each time I drink a HF I'm reminded of why the hype is real. The gaps between each HF beer are so long that I forget that it's the best stuff in the country.

Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Guess2814
Guess2814 from Massachusetts

4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is there best Pale Ale besides the Abner.. This beer is about 5.5% alcohol and the hops are intense.. It has a very light yellow look to it.. Smooth as heck this beer.. One of the best pale ale's i've had... Every beer I had from Hill Farmstead has been on point.. I put this among there best beers..CHEERS to this beer...

Mar 16, 2014
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill from Kentucky

4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Blackback Pub in Waterbury.

A: Hazy pale amber body, 1-finger white head. Good retention, nice lace. Solid.

S: Bright, fruity hoppiness. Huge grapefruit, tropical notes, and pine resin. Amazing.

T: Pure hops, nothing else. Huge fruitiness up front, strong bitterness on teh finish. Cleanly bitter, almost chalky finish. Great.

M: Soft, creamy, delicate. Wow.

O: Incredibly good pale ale. I enjoyed it far more than Edward.


Nov 18, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Growler shared by yourefragile, thanks! Served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Another winner from the winningest brewery on the planet.

Beer is yellow with a mild haze to it. Nice white head, some lacing, nice carbonation.

Aroma is super hoppy, very forward, not a hint of malt anywhere...anywhere.

Beer is light and fruity with a great finish. I love love love this beer. I'm glad I got to try it and would definitely have this again.

Nov 15, 2012
Photo of brystmar
brystmar from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First time at the brewery! :D

Not a big fan of Simcoe hops so not expecting to love this. Beautiful pour as usual, decadent hoppy aroma. Super fresh, smells great!

Taste is a different story. Distinctively Simcoe tones to kick things off. Hoppy, bitter, not juicy or citrusy. I'm not a huge fan of most beers from this style either, and Simcoe hops don't help in this regard. I'm sure many will love it, but this isn't for me.

Nov 02, 2012
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Share with rudzud and many other great friends.

Pours a big fluffy 1+ finger head that fades with lots of sticky lacing all over the glass, hazy grapefruit color.

Nose has tropical fruit, resinous hop oils, grapefruit, a decent amount of passion fruit, light citrus, rind, mango, fluffy malt, light papaya, and a bit musty.

Taste has fresh hops, tropical fruit, mango, papaya, resin, lots of passion fruit, some grapefruit, little rind, juicy, fluffy malts, little sweetness that turns to dryness, great hop flavors, light hop oil resinous and fairly bitter. Finish is dry and bitter resinous, passion fruit, grapefruit, tropical fruit etc.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall nice but not great, showcases simcoe pretty well but not an amazing beer overall compared to most Hill Farmstead IPAs.

Oct 28, 2012
Photo of largadeer
largadeer from California

3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Jason.

Cloudy amber body topped by a clinging head. Nose of cooked grain, strangely wort-like. The hop aroma really hones in on the spicy, piney aspect of simcoe, with a touch of floral and citrus character beneath. While it smells OK, it's lacking the depth of a beer like Row 2/Hill 56. The palate is heavy on resinous, bitter hop flavors and cooked, caramelized grain. Slightly spicy and floral, quite bitter in the finish. Pretty good stuff, but nothing special.

Oct 24, 2012
Photo of Pinknuggets
Pinknuggets from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured From a 750ml from last weekends trip to the brewery

A: Pours Golden orange honey hazy and completely opaque with about a 2cm head

S: It smells of oranges and other fruit a very "fruity" aroma smells like the hops

T: The taste is very hop forward with a full blast of hops but there are notes of citrus and orange that follow the smell. However it fairly quickly turns to bitter from the hops but it is not overwhelming and fades nicely to the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is oily and syrupy it goes down smooth and is pretty drinkable

O: Overall I really liked this IPA it is interesting to the single hop versions every once in awhile. May not live up to the other hill farmstead IPAs but much better then your average IPA. If you are an IPA person definitely worth a try but won't blow your mind. For some reason I feel like I liked it better on tap when I sampled at the brewery but who knows.

Oct 12, 2012
Simcoe Pale Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 247 ratings