Hill Farmstead Brewery

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Brown Ale - American
Ranked #14
Ranked #3,001
4.14 | pDev: 7.49%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: George was our grandfather’s brother, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings.

George is our American Brown Ale. Hopped, rightfully so, with Centennial, Cascade, and a touch of Columbus…
Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 765 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cola brown, not opaque but dark enough to seem so, with a tan, fairly tall yet dense foam head slowly settling to a fuzzy blanket clinging in thin sheets leaving coral lacing.

Having this after slowly nursing through my half of a pastry stout, it seems imposingly hoppy up front. It's quite bitter of woody and piney hops that are a little sharp and stinging, but the slick, fairly light body glides down with ease, with minimal carbonation in feel despite its appearance, finishing semi-dry.

Getting past the bitterness--which doesn't build and allows room for additional complexity--George exudes tobacco, brown toast and leafy Autumn vibes. As it continues to develop, mild notes of coffee and cacao surface. And then, as it warms, I also get hints of corny lager-like notes.

I imagine that anyone missing Pete's Wicked Ale would find this a proper substitute, albeit no easier to obtain for most. However, it's been so damn long I really can't say for certain, especially with Hoppin' Frog refusing to make a direct translation, even though Pete Slosberg directly collaborates with them on the higher ABV redos.

Nov 03, 2020
Photo of Griffin2
Griffin2 from Virginia

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 10/13/2020 into a snifter glass.
L - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a slight white head that dissipates slowly.
S - Smell of roastiness and chocolate.
T - Tastes of coffee and bakers chocolate, with some nuttiness.
F - Medium body and lightly carbonated.
O - Excellent brown ale.

Nov 03, 2020
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark brown with an off white head and excellent lacing.

S: Burnt sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, and a surprisingly Citrusy hop presence.

T: Big caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, and coffee notes. Citrusy hops and a bitter coffee finish.

F: Medium bodied, slightly creamy with a crisp finish.

Overall: A real surprise treat. I haven't had a brown ale this good in a long time. Kicking myself for only getting the one four pack.

Oct 16, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So when I was in Vermont, we went to this bar one night, they had a few Hill Farmstead kegs on that weren't at the source when we went the day before. Since I have a good boy (dog) named George (the best boy!) this was a natural choice. Description on the chalk board said it was a coffee brown ale. Seeing no mention of coffee here, I think it makes sense, because I wasn't picking up coffee in the beer.

Attractive brown pour, not feint, sturdy, strong appearance, 1/2" tan colored head. The aroma was missing coffee, but it was strong in the brown malt richness giving sensations of hearth like darker bread, nuts, fall.

Taste is smooth with a mild American C hop twist. A lot of smoothness out of the beer, notes of leaves, nuts, bread, hints of chocolate and toffee, relaxed carbonation. Mild coffee from the malt feels were all I could come up with contrary to the chalkboard assertion. I like it and would buy a bottle just for the namesake. I love you Georgie boy!

Apr 28, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Jeffrey, NYC

Pours a murky brown color with a thumb length cream tan head. The head shows excellent retention. There are thick patterns of brown sticky lacing throughout.

For a brown ale, a style that for me generally has a more subdued aroma, this one in contrast is quite rich and wonderful. Alluring notes of warm and toasted brown bread, nutty malts, and sweet biscuit hit the nose like a good bakery. There is also a touch of chocolate and lightly roasted malts.

Medium to full bodied, gently carbonated, and with an ultra smooth mouthfeel. The taste aligns with the aroma in terms of its robust malts that are nutty and biscuity. The balance is masterful in its blending of bitterness and sweetness. The brown sugar sweetness is offset by bittersweet dark chocolate, a touch of coffee like roasted malts, and lots of earthy hops. In addition, the hops have a nice citrusy brightness that adds complexity. The finish is long, dry and roasty.

This has to be the best brown ale I’ve ever had and I’m surprised it’s not rated higher. Mouth coating and complex. Not surprising from such a masterful brewery.

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler procured yesterday at HF. 28 hours old.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a huge light brown head. Head retention is fantastic as it does not even seem to budge for several minutes. Huge thick walls of lacing after it finally does settle down.

S: Toasted malt for sure. Nutty to boot. Get a punch of hop aroma but not much, just a nice hit of citrus I'd say.

T: Taste is hoppier than the aroma. Sharp citrus up front, grapefruit especially. Get some pretzel and some nuttiness following that, along with some lingering hoppy bitterness. Aftertaste is clean and crisp and dry with some of that citrus and pine still hanging around.

M: Medium bodied, dry and bitter.

O: Not a bad brown ale. On the dry/hoppy side versus the more common sweet and/or rich with nuttiness. Clean and refreshing with just enough bite.

Feb 18, 2019
Photo of Dragginballs76
Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours mahogany brown with a reddish tint, nice tight tan head that settles to a rocky cap. Strings of lacing don the glass.

Aroma - Great nose brown sugar, hazelnuts, roasted malts, caramel just sweet roasty goodness.

Taste - Great roasted malts up front along with light caramel, nutty, toffee, brown sugar light hoppiness. very smooth flavors are well balanced.

Feel - Medium bodied nice carbonation slightly dry finish.

Overall - A really well done brown ale that is on another level. The flavor just mesh and work so well together.

Aug 24, 2018
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.82/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has been a long awaited beer for me to have finally found.
On tap at Three Penny Taproom.
This was poured into an English pint glass.
The appearance was a nice dark brown color with a fairly lasting head - extremely slow to dissolve, in which I really liked! Then a nice looking lacing starting to spiderweb just as nice!
The aroma was absolutely majestic. Though brown ales aren't always a go-to style for me in the Summer, this well I looked past. There was brown sugar meshing with slow roasted nuts, coffee and dark chocolate melting into some citrusy rind-like hops.
The flavor yielded slightly towards the sweet side yet probing slightly into the bitterness of those hops. In turn, what an amazing balance. Even the aftertaste was thrilling with a superb balance of citrusy to piney hops to bready, dark chocolate, slow roasted nuts and coffee.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionable to semi-sipping quality. Carbonation and ABV felt on par. Ah, what a finish - what a smooth roasty to bitter toned body of bready toasty malty coffee-esque flow rolling along my tongue, incredible, just incredible!
Overall, what an absolutely amazing American brown ale as it packs in just enough hops to say it's American and showcase the malty to roasty to chocolate to coffee qualities extremely well!

Jul 15, 2018
Photo of y2kawakami
y2kawakami from Hawaii

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Wonderful dark brown pour with about 2 fingers of thick, creamy foam head which was really slow to dissipate

A: Roasted malt, coffee, slight hop aroma

T: A really slight bitter bite with roasted coffee, toffee/caramel hints to it

M: A little thin, if I had to nitpick. Slight carbonation.

O: Definitely one of the better brown ales that I have had. This was enjoyable.

Apr 30, 2018
Photo of kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml growler, freshly filled, poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

The beer pours a nice deep brown color, light burgundy hues, fairly opaque but with a touch of clarity and a bone colored, head about two fingers tall that has fantastic retention and incredible lace. The aroma is excellent, dark brown grains, a bit nutty, toffee and caramel with a bit of brown sugar, light stone fruits linger nicely. The flavors are nice, robust brown bread, smooth grains, light caramel and toffee, brown sugar, a touch of nuttiness and stone fruits with a light amount piney hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is great, silky and smooth medium body, thick and chewy that coats very well with a creamy finish.

Verdict: An exceptional brown ale from Hill Farmstead. Beautiful malt bill, dark brown bread, smooth and grainy but robust with a nice piney and earthy hop bite. Balanced well and so easy going, top notch beer.

Mar 27, 2018
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful dark brown, beige foamy head sticks around for a while. Great roasty aroma. Absolutely delicious brown ale. Carbonation is perfect.

16 oz can from brewery dated 2/12/18 - thanks Adam!
4.25 rating

Mar 19, 2018
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Satchboogie for this brew.

12 oz. Can
Canned: 02/12/18
Drink By: 03/26/18

Poured into a Tree House glass a very nice dark brown color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus tan head, which also leaves some really nice creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some really nice chocolate/toffee, vanilla, nice roastyness. The taste is malty, hoppy, really nice chocolate/toffee, vanilla, very nice roastyness. Medium body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very tasty brew, proabably one of the best American Brown Ale I've had to date. Thanks Kyle!

Mar 06, 2018
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

2.08/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Can into a snifter appears brown with a light khaki head that fades leaving spotty lace.

Aroma of minerals/carbonic character smelling of pocket change and metal. Slight caramel to bready toasty grain sweetness and herbal hops.

Tastes pretty much the same as it smells but excessively roasty/bitter too.

Medium to light body, modestly carbonated and quite a disappointment/forgettable brew. I poured this down the drain, HF shits the bed again.

Jan 30, 2018
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a clear brown color ale with an off-white foamy head. Aroma of dry caramelized malt with nice cereal notes and nice citrusy hops. Taste is also a mix of dry caramelized malt notes with some citrusy hops with no real discernible bitterness. Body is about average with good carbonation. Simple yet very well brewed with great flavours.

Dec 24, 2017
Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can the pour leads to a nice 1.5 finger tan head with nice crystal clear brown color, nose and taste are a wonderful over toasted malt / nutty with a nice clear crisp finish. A well done beer to style and throughly enjoyed getting the dance to drink ti

Nov 27, 2017
Photo of Phineasco
Phineasco from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a dark brown, with a big fluffy off white head. Has medium carbonation.
Smell: Wood, roasted malt, bark, toffee, and a touch of maple.
Taste: Wood, roasted malt, bark, Caramel, and toffee.
Mouthfeel: Medium light and creamy. Goes down smooth.
Overall: A great brown ale from Hill Farmstead.

Nov 25, 2017
Photo of ManapuaMan
ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Malt, hops, lightly sweet. If I'm rating to style here - George is a fucking prince. Hill Farmstead crafts beautiful and delicious beers, and this is no exception.

Had it on tap because the other HF beers were kicked, so I went into this feeling like I was ordering a consolation prize. WRONG. Darker shade of brown, nearing black. Nice pourus head that lingers. Usually brown ales are defined by an "earthy nuttiness" but George has more to offer. Aroma of toffee, light roasted coffee, caramel malt and freshly baked brown bread. Taste is right on queue with toffee, brown bread, light roast coffee, brown sugar and grassy hops. The hops really balance the beer. Smooth and creamy - just a tad below nitro.

Brown ale is one of those easily forgettable styles but, no surprise, Hill Farmstead brings grace and dignity to the proceedings.

Aug 19, 2017
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours a deep brown color with a small creamy khaki colored head that leaves some lacing behind. Smells of nuttty toasted malt, chocolate. Tastes is nutty chocolate, followed by some earthy and herbal hops, the finish gives more nuts and chocolate. Medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and finish. Outstanding nutty chocolate with a hop bitterness to balance

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of nfedas
nfedas from Massachusetts

4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am normally not a huge fan of brown ales but a friend gave this to me. I will never turn down anything from HF. I was pleasantly surprised. This was far and away the best brown ale I've ever had. Great flavor, look and feel.

May 25, 2017
Photo of Jacobier10
Jacobier10 from New Jersey

3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Whole Foods Columbus Circle in NYC. Notes from 3/22/2017.

Dark brown color with a small tan head. Chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of smoke in the aroma. A little pine and citrus from the hops. Smooth malt flavor with caramel joining forces with the roasted malt. Medium bodied and overall just an easy drinking brown ale with great flavor. It gets close to porter/stout territory but never fully crosses over.

Apr 04, 2017
Photo of Hyptochrons
Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap. dark brown pour with a nice tan head that leaves some pieces of lace. notes of dark chocolate, roasty coffee, espresso, some green and slightly bitter hoppy notes come through. really awesome malt profile, creates this super roasty nutty coffee awesomeness ... everything I want from a brown ale! mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth texture. overall this is an excellent brew - I dont drink brown ales that frequently, but this is a beer I could enjoy every day.

Mar 14, 2017
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft in a nonic pint glass

very dark brown in color, tan head that fades. nice malty caramel and toffee aroma. taste is balanced with some hop bitterness. medium bodied.

Feb 26, 2017
Photo of JordonHoltzman
JordonHoltzman from New York

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is 4 months old, pours a nice brown body, when held up to light you can see through it, not cloudy even though it's unfiltered. Tan head, lacing is impressive. The beer has a nice dose of roastiness in the aroma and taste. The caramel malt comes through as well. Very well balanced, light hop character, maybe a touch of vanilla notes. Very drinkable, great mouthfeel, medium light body

Jan 23, 2017
Photo of professorchow
professorchow from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown w/ 2 finger tan head.
S: malt, brown sugar, smoke, bread.
T: toasty malt, w/ hints of chocolate and pleasingly bitter finish.
M: light medium, very smooth, thus very drinkable.
O: I often find Brown Ales underwhelming--not close to my favorite style--but this one's delicious.

Jan 20, 2017
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a bit of haze while pouring it into my tulip glass, ruby tinged when held to the light and topped with a finger of beige head. Moderate carbonation.

Smells of coffee, chocolate, slightly smoky, with earthy notes.

Tastes of chocolate, cocoa, dark, earthy notes, toasted rye bread, coffee, hints of plaster scene, and plastic yeast notes.

Medium body, a little on the light side, with moderate carbonation.

Got at Hill Farmstead in Vermont in October 2016, drinking January 18th, 2017 in Chiang Mai. Love the name as my Great Grandfather was also George. Really delicious brew, all round excellent.

Jan 18, 2017
George from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 765 ratings