What Is Enlightenment?
Hill Farmstead Brewery

What Is Enlightenment?What Is Enlightenment?
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #13
Ranked #430
4.39 | pDev: 7.06%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
What Is Enlightenment?What Is Enlightenment?
Notes: American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.
Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 938 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz can, dated 07/07/20. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a heavily hazed mango-gold with two fingers of lush, creamy head. Retention is excellent, leaving a thick bubbly cap and a heavy tattered curtain of lacing.

Nose is earthy-sharp, orange rind and spice cake.

First taste impression is of grapefruit juice, clean, sharp juicy bitterness. A flowery spiciness follows, finishing with oily orange peel bitterness clinging to the tongue.

Feel is smooth and slick, medium bodied with bright, zesty carbonation.

A very enjoyable small pale ale with vanishingly low sweetness contrasted with moderately-high bitterness of the citric sort.

Jul 21, 2020
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Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 12oz can into a stemmed wine glass. pours a semi-hazy bright orange. plenty of fluffy white head. smell is lemon, fresh squeezed orange juice, grass, a little hint of pine. very complex nose for such a small beer. packs a lot of flavor for a low ABV pale ale. has flavors similar to the smell with more pronounced pine from the hops along with a decent amount of bitterness. very easy drinking though. almost refreshing. feel is well suited for the style. not overly thick but just the right amount of carbonation. not a highlight of the pour but certainly nothing to complain about either. overall, fantastic APA from these guys. has a kind of east coast haze & juiciness to it that collides with a little bit of west coast bitterness, although it’s a pretty tame bitterness. nice early summer drinker. enjoyed thoroughly.

Jun 14, 2019
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great mouthfeel. A bit thinner than other Midwest made hazy IPAs I drink more often. I like the mild bitterness and dry finish I'm getting. It's nice to have less sweetness than I often find on IPAs lately. It's not West Coast style at all for bitterness though. The color is less bright than I've been seeing too. I'd definitely recommend and will look for again.

May 30, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blackback Pub. The appearance was a hazy burnt yellow/orange color with an ever so slight transparency about it. Some carbonation could be seen to fill a one finger white foamy head. Speckled lacing ran here and there around the glass. The smell started started off with some full bittersweet citrus, sweet grass, "iced" pulp and rind, malts underneath. The taste was basically the same with a subtle sweet citrus malt aftertaste and finish. The finish is semi-dry but nice. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a pretty good sessionability about it. Carbonation rides good - fairly low, enough bitterness still nothing overbearing. Overall, very nice American pale ale that I would love to have again.

Jul 14, 2017
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KidDoc from Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very delicious if understated example of a New England IPA. Nice light honey color with decent head. Minimal retention but nice creamy sticky lacing. Aroma is subtle tropical fruit and the flavor follows not a huge juice bomb but very drinkable with a soft fluffy mouthfeel. Not exceptional in any way but worth a pour whenever it is available

Jan 23, 2017
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.49/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-draught @ Mug's Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY for $8 a pint (16 FL oz).

Currently on the top 250 list.

HEAD: Frothy and soft as can be, enticing the drinker with an impossibly long-lived head (~10+ minutes) that coats the glass' sides with thick lacing as it slowly recedes. ~3cm in height after the bartender pours off excess. In short, a near perfectly executed head for the pale ale style.

BODY: Seemingly unfiltered judging by its haziness. Body colour is a yellow-copper of average vibrance. Lively but not clean. Not as eye-catching as the head.

Appears well-carbonated. Appealing.

AROMA: Fruit-forward but subtly so. Lemon, delicate grapefruit, tropical fruit (mango, papaya, guava, lime). No onion from the Simcoe. No resins from the Amarillo (my favourite hop). Floral and fresh, with a hint of citrusy rind.

Any bitterness is softened by it's apt pale malt sweetness.

Aromatic intensity is average. I detect no off-notes. Suggests a balanced enjoyable pale ale, but not a world class vividly hopped beer. Definitely promising, but not on par with what I'd expect from one of the best 250 beers in the world.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Lemony, with a coating soft mouthfeel. Tropical notes of mango, melon rind, yogurty tang (a flavour Hill Farmstead seems almost uniquely able to coax out of the usually oniony Simcoe), floral and grassy hops, cream, some lime. Drifts increasingly rindy and bitter throughout its structure, culminating in a subtle grapefruit climax.

Depth of flavour is nice but not stellar; I've had far more expressive and vividly flavoured pale ales (Alpine's pre-Green Flash Alpine Ale comes to mind). Flavour duration and intensity are quite good for a pale ale.

The soft coating mouthfeel delivers on the promises of the frothy head; it feels like it looks. A little dry and a little coarse, but a creamy cushion on the palate takes that almost dragging edge off.

There's no doubt this is well built for a pale ale, and the yogurty tang Hill Farmstead gets out of Simcoe is enough to make this worth trying...but unique flavour aside, it's not a world class pale ale for me. A cleaner more refreshing mouthfeel and more vivid pungent hop flavours would help elevate this to the next level. Amarillo isn't anywhere near as well showcased as Simcoe, well chosen though both hops were for this fine ale.

Not as intricate as the Zombie Dusts of the world, but pleasingly delicate. Most (American) brewers are going big and bold with their hop profiles, but Hill Farmstead exhibits remarkable restraint.

OVERALL: Not a top 250 beer for me, and I do think the yogurty Simcoe flavour is better explored in other Hill Farmstead ales. If you associate Simcoe with an oniony/garlicky taste, this will blow your mind and show you Simcoe's heretofore untapped potential, but drinkable as this pale ale is, it isn't truly incredible. Well worth trying.

High B- (3.49) / WORTHY

Jan 22, 2017
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

1-18-17 - On tap at the 10th Ave. Pony Bar in NYC. Served in a pint glass with very hazy straw color and just a bit of head, but not much. A quick swirl brought back just a bit of head, but again, not much. First taste was crisp and refreshing, as was the second. Fruity/citrusy flavors with a nice zing. So so good. I'll get this one again and again.

Jan 19, 2017
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2L growler filled today into a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful bright yellow, super hazy body with a huge, frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave huge chunks of lacing and big retention. Perfect.

Aromas are juicy, citrusy, grassy, oranges and clementines. On the tongue is a great balance of light malt and citrusy, zesty hops, tropical fruit and pine on the finish. Extremely easy drinker, medium carb with light body.

A great session pale ale. Might be my favorite HF pale. Awesome balance, lots of flavor for low ABV.

Jan 19, 2017
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh growler drank on 1/14/2016

Really nice floral, grassy, citrusy pale ale. Hill Farmstead does a great job packing tons of flavor into low ABV ales. This is certainly in that category. Really enjoyable and refreshing

Jan 16, 2017
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery.

Pours a hazy, super bright golden color with a finger of pure white head. The head settles nicely into a film that rests atop the beer, leaving pretty good lacing along the way.

The aroma is extremely floral and citrusy. Has some hints of pine and grass, with a sweet, bready malt backbone.

Lots and lots of citrus on the flavor. Has a faint potpourri-like floral hop character, with plenty of sweet malts and a piney finish.

The body is medium-light, with moderate carbonation. Slightly crisp and fairly dry. Leaves a subtle, resinous coating around the mouth.

Overall, a very good pale ale. It's not quite up to par with Edward or Sumner, but definitely a worthy addition to the HF pale ale catalog.

Jan 11, 2017
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fireazzi from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden Pale ale. This beer had a lot of piny notes to me and I loved every bit of it. Such an original tasting pale ale to me. Loved the color on this and when the citrus notes hit my mouth it was amazing.

Nov 23, 2016
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Lochnessmonster from Florida

3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's beautiful to look at, but overall it wasn't one of my favorite Hill Farmsteads. A solid pale, with some decent hops, but give me Edward over this all day long.

Nov 21, 2016
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edthehead from New York

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Underated among HF's Pales. Nice pale orange color and a beautiful soapy dense head that sticks around and sticks to the glass persistently. Citrusy pineapple orange nose and taste. Incredibly refreshing, creamy, and drinkable!

Jul 03, 2016
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PHBoiler from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Soft orange and tangerine. The mouthfeel is pillowy with a slightly dry finish. Some bitterness on the end the balance the juicy citrus front end. Soapy white head on a light orange body.

Jun 13, 2016
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler from the source, thanks Curran.

This one pours a super bright and wonderful bright orange, with a fluffy head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells just so dope, with a big floral aroma, some pine, orange flesh and orange peel, grapefruit, and passionfruit.

I literally can't even. This is so good. It tastes so soft and pillowy, with soft and juicy tropical fruits- all the fruits mentioned above in the aroma are in the taste. There's very little malt here, just enough to keep the beer from being watery.

This has a super nice mouthfeel, soft, like drinking a hoppy cloud, with a good level of carbonation.

Best pale ale I've ever had. I can barely contain myself.

Jun 02, 2016
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njcraftguy from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at a local brew house. Nice golden color. Very light, easy drinking brew but flavorful as well. Another fine brew from HF. Very happy to see some HF brews making it down this way. Cheers

Dec 28, 2015
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At double Windsor Brooklyn of all places. Hazy goldenrod color with a dense crescent of retention. Smells like citrus. Citrus hope with a big, expansive bitter bite. Dry finish.

Dec 11, 2015
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/3/2015 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light cloudy gold color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with some fruity citrus sweetness that is quickly followed by a strong floral hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a long time.

Dec 03, 2015
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SinjaminBentek from Nebraska

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Muddled yellow.

Smell - Pine and citrus.

Taste - Muted pine.

Mouthfeel - Medium attenuation. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Good beer, worth a try.

Grade (B+)

Nov 25, 2015
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brewmeister1984 from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another masterpiece by this powerhouse of a brewery. Never disappointmented with any of hill farmsteads IPAs. Fruity, hoppy and fantastic beers every time.

Nov 21, 2015
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Hill Farmstead brewery on Saturday, 9/26, poured into a wine glass. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a smallish head. Nice floral aroma of hops of sweet malts. Overall this is a very well done Pale Ale by HF here, there is a nice malt backbone and the hops aren't crazy. Nice citrus and tropical fruit notes, definitely some grass, too. Not overly bitter. I would say this offers a little different hop profile than Edward, but I would still put Edward just a touch above this. Still great, though!

Oct 04, 2015
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Acquired a 750 ml growlerful at the brewery last Saturday.

Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Translucent orange with a finger and a half of white head which receded to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Moderate citrus.

t: Follows the nose, leaning to a combination of orange and grapefruit. Biscuit malt is nicely balanced by a fairly strong hop bite which lingers somewhat. Dry finish. Later slight dankness along with light fruit notes bordering on Belgian yeast esters emerge.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A fine refresher, good for thirst quenching or sipping. Goes down easy, highly sessionable. Sorry I only got one bottle.

Sep 25, 2015
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HopBomb515 from New Jersey

4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with orange highlights and coating levels of lacing. Notes of orange rind, grapefruit pith, light pine, light confection sugar, underripe melon and mango. Crisp, lighter side of medium body and dry on the finish. All around an amazing pale ale, right up there with the best I've ever had.

Sep 22, 2015
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap from Guild Tavern in Burlington VT. Looks pretty in the glass with a two finger head and good lacing. Scent is pleasant but not too strong - floral with hints of pine and citrus. The taste/ mouthfeel is what really sealed the deal for me. I was originally hoping to order a glass of Edward - so when I found out Edward had been replaced by 'what is enlightenment', my expectations were high. This beer is unbelievably refreshing and easy drinking, while still delivering a really interesting aroma and taste. Everything I have had the pleasure of trying from HF has been really good, but this beer is quite exceptional. As good as or better than Edward in my book. overall its extremely balanced and delicate, but also still brings that pungent hoppy profile. I would highly recommend this beer - if you have the opportunity to try it, definitely do so!!

Sep 21, 2015
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A really superior pale ale. Hoppy, balanced and nuanced as expected from HF. This may fall a bit short of Edward, but still one to seek out. Definitely one to seek out.

Sep 19, 2015
What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 938 ratings