What Is Enlightenment? | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Added by CliffBrake on 04-26-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
902
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
7.06%
 
 
Wants:
280
Gots:
51
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 902
Photo of ScaryEd
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.

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

1-liter growler care of baconsausage, big thanks for the trade man. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a clouded golden color with more than 2 fingers worth of pillowy white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a wall of lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives a finger of froth back to the surface fairly effortlessly.

The initial aroma includes hints of tropical fruit quality that is something along the lines of nectarines and as more sniffs are taken, more of a not-so-specific tropical fruited quality emerges. Having sampled this almost immediately after Harlan reveals a lot of similarities here to the aromatics. There is a mild cheesiness to the backend of this that takes this brew off in a different direction.

The taste has some zesty bitterness like orange pulp that blends into bitter herbal aspects mixed with a bit of grassy and then yeasty quality and faint straw-like grain inclusion. Like I noted about the aroma, there are a lot of similarities here with Harlan but maybe a bit more grain inclusion here with this brew. As it warms up, a bit of sulfur is noted and a classic "catty" quality typically found from simcoe that lasts into the aftertaste.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light, refreshing and easy drinking. Having a 1-liter growler is perfect, I have no hesitation reaching for another glass and could easily take down several glasses of this in a session. To be picky, I found this to be just too similar to Harlan. If I wasn't paying specific attention to what was going on in my glass, I think these 2 brews could almost be passed off for one another.

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Photo of Gregaroo
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.

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Photo of Hophead717
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, light straw-orange. Fluffy one finger head caps the beer. Nice.

S: Fresh, semi-sweet sweet citrus. Some grapefruit, but also sweeter mango notes. Lightly resinous. Delightful.

T: Tropical fruits and light citrus upfront, quickly yielding to a mild malt backbone, with a some grassy notes. The finish is lightly bitter. Definitely a less-intense experience than the nose, but it largely follows the scent.

M: Light-bodied, with medium levels of carbonation. I'd like this a little less carbed, but we're splitting hairs on this.

O: Well-done pale ale--definitely one of the better ones that I've had. I'll definitely have a second glass.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What is Enlightenment? 12-ounce snifter at Bluebird Tavern in Burlington, Vermont.

Appearance: Classic Farmstead look, hazy-unpasteurized, one finger of bubbly snow-white head that lasts. Foamy lacing.

Smell: Reefer, quality skunk, naked hops, grass. Sniff deeper and get barnyard funk, stinky cheese. Citrus, pickled pineapple.

Taste: Super refreshing, light citrus, but not as good as smell. Smooth honey, clover, tad of spice at the end. Pollinated fields, fresh hops. For a 5.40% APA, this drinks more like a DIPA!

Mouthfeel: Nice spicy hoppy finish, well balanced all around. A little thin but fine.

Overall: Super drinkable, and as farm-fresh as always (more so here in Vermont!). A beautiful display of craftmanship and delicious hops.

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Photo of silentjay
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

as with all Hill Farmstead hoppy pale beers, its hazy beyond hazy, with a huge pure white head that laces very well.

definite simcoe hop aroma of citrus and pine with a bit of the cat urine. lots of bitter citrus and grapefruit. all hops, very soft malt presence.

the pine and citrus notes are huge in the flavor with grapefruit being strong. definitely like Alpine Duet, some floral and spiciness in the middle with some tropical fruitiness behind that.

medium bodied with a fluffy carbonation and a juicy finish that's quite refreshing.

drinks very easy. for 5.4%ABV, they sure packed in a lot of flavor. another good, hoppy beer from Hill Farmstead (the best brewery going right now in my eyes).

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

750 ml. growler from the brewery. Very floral hoppy, complex and fresh and welcoming. CLoudy grapefruit with fluffy head. Tremendous drinkability. Orange citrus, Simcoe? Seems to be a blend of American and British hops.Smooth drinker. An excellent pale, with perhaps the IBU of what used to be called an IPA.Thanks John.

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

Picked up a 750 of this at the brewery this afternoon. Poured into Lawsons tulip.

Pale and cloudy orange body with a nice white head. Pungent aroma brings out the hops. Lemon and orange cover the citrus notes while the floridness of the hops covers the rest.

Hops dominate the palate as expected with loads of grapefruit and orange notes. Bitterness really comes through with little malt body to balance things out. It has the ABV of a pale ale but all other signs point you towards an all out hop-bomb. Nothing wrong with that, just catches you a bit off guard.

Mouthfeel has a medium-light body with a well-rounded and drying finish which only helps accentuate the bitterness of the hops. Overall, it's not small secret... Hill Farmstead knows how to use it's hops. Boatloads of flavor in a relatively light package but still seems to be lacking a certain something (can't quite put a finger on it) that would put this in the upper echelon of hop-centric beers with a few other HF beers and their peers across the country.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
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.

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

2L swing-top growler filled at the brewery.

First HFB glass pours with a 1/2" eggshell head, over the cloudy golden amber brew. Head recedes gradually down to an uneven layer, with lasting lace. Aroma is oranges and tangerines.

Taste begins with a peek of sweetness, quickly giving way to the dominant citrus hops character which holds on through the close, which is lightly chalky. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice thirst-quenching brew for a hot day. Reminiscent of Harlan, but with much less bitterness.

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Photo of BranfordBound
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!

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dirty straw with a finger of creamy white head and good lacing.

Aroma is dank citrus with a lot of grapefruit. A little more mild than the usual style.

Bright citrus and grapefruit up front. Big juicy tropical fruit flavors come in on the back end and it finishes with a pleasant mild bitterness.

Creamy with medium carbonation levels.

Good beer although I prefer several of HF's other offerings to this.

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

On tap at Prohibition Pig.

A 'light' refreshing, easy drinking APA. Lots of citrus, pine and some tropical fruits in the nose and on the palate. One of those well balanced beers you could drink all night.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 2L swingtop growler chilled and split with a friend. Poured into pint glass. I had this filled straight from the brewery about five days ago, so it is still really fresh.

Appearance: Definitely on the lighter side for pale ales, a lot like Edward. Golden yellow to light orange in color with a nice creamy white head and good retention.

Aroma: Tropical fruit and pine notes right off the bat. A really nice pineapple sweetness with a resiny pine note in the back. Really nicely balanced.

Taste: Again, really hop forward. Tons of tropical fruit sweetness throughout. The amarillo and simcoe are both really noticable and play off each other well. Some bitter pine is there, but the pale malt and tropical fruit notes really balance it out well. Really drinkable and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Manages to be both creamy and smooth. The carbonation is spot on and keeps this refreshing.

Overall, another awesome beer from Hill Farmstead where they really make a common style unique and great. One of the better pale ales I've ever tasted and the only one I can recall being better is probably Edward. I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of JC333
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This was my 5th HF beer from a recent trip and the only one I will review since they were all stellar and I couldn't add anything that hasn't been said.

But I felt compelled to write about "What is..." Because it uses my two least favorite hops, Amarillo and Simcoe. I usually have to power through a beer with those hops as the center piece.

Not here, the mouth feel on HF beers is a thing of beauty and even the bitterest and piniest of hops finish smooth.

This is a pale ale way ahead of anything else out there using these hops.

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Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Jason.

Cloudy, almost milky straw-colored body capped by two fingers of frothy head. The nose is simcoe-heavy, very citrusy with grapefruit the dominant scent. A bit spicy and resinous. There are light yeast esters. Tropical fruit comes out as the beer opens up. Tastes great, very light bodied and mildly bitter, with a really pleasant and mellow hop profile. Tropical fruits and grapefruit up front, with some spiciness beneath. A dry, bready malt backbone supports the hops without lending much sweetness. Body is a tad thin and there's a lot of sediment, but this is otherwise excellent.

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Photo of Tbub18
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tough to be objective when comparing to other great HF beers. This one just didn't do it as well as others. Bit too piney--didn't get the juicy bite that others mentioned.

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Photo of KidDoc
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

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Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml growler, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Pours a soft orange, hay-like yellow color, a bit of off white head rests atop the glass. Some lacing appears and the head retention is good. The aroma is simple, citrusy hops, grassiness plays well, lemongrass comes to mind, some cereal malt, and something sweet like honey also comes out. The flavors are pretty similar, very nice, a bit soapy, but nice citrus presence with a good floral bouquet, some earthiness from the malt along with a touch of pine comes forward as well. Nice body, light and easy while still packing in all that flavor, great carbonation and sticky texture. Hard to believe this is just a 5.4% pale ale.

Verdict: Another exceptional beer from Hill Farmstead. Consider me another convert and bandwagon rider, this guy knows how to brew a wonderful beer.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
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+)

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taken from notes on a recent trip to Montreal and Vermont.

On tap at the Prohibition Pig. Pours a hazy golden color with an inch of head. Some lacing. This thing smells amazing. Big, hoppy aroma. Citrus and tropical fruits. Predominately grapefruit. The taste is a big swig of sweet grapefruit and citrus peel. Floral hints at the end. Bitter and hoppy throughout. Lots of carbonation. This one is a bit on the dry side. Overall, an outstanding bitter Pale Ale with a great deal of grapefruit flavor.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass 6/19/2014.

A- Beautiful hazy, darker straw yellow body with a lovely, effervescent and thick foamy white head, great retention, tons of lacing all over the place. Even as far as the other Hill Farmstead pale ales go, this is exceptionally good looking.

S- Oranges, tangerines, peppercorn, crackers, grains, a bit of pine. Nice hop-forwardness that is cut just enough by the pale malt contribution. Enjoying the slight pepperiness that reminds me a little bit of other saisons from Hill Farmstead.

F- Oranges, oranges. Plenty of freshly squeezed oranges from start to finish, ending with a tangy, piney bitterness that is just enough to contribute to the palate before it gets fatiguing. Crackers, graininess and caramel add a nice malt backbone to the experience. Drinks quite well, though not particularly complex.

M- As per the Vermont water, this is a medium bodied beer with a soft feel and creamy bubbly carbonation. It's very drinkable on a warm, rainy summer night. Bitter orange and pine finish that isn't all that bitter. Disappears easily.

O- Very nice APA that showcases a good bit of citrus hops in the nose and on the palate, with the classic Vermont pale ale appearance and mouthfeel. A pleasure to try this one.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-06-09 in Wayne, PA at Teresa's Next Door during Philly Beer Week.

A - Hazy light gold with a 1.5-finger white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fresh, citrus, some tropical and hop floral.

T - Citrus flesh, light bready malt, grass and the lightest touch of sour. Plenty of citrus flesh and zest in the aftertaste.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Light and refreshing.

O - Reminds me of a Zombie Dust. This is very similar to the HF Citra beer, which I also had today.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Positive Pie. Reviewed from notes. Served in a Hill Farmstead pint.

Served with a 1 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a cloudy pastel lemon. Lacing is thick and layered with very good stick. Real pretty. I wouldn't expect any less.

Nose is mango, citrus, and papaya with a splash of cane sugar and the slightest hop bitterness. Moderately aromatic. Solid.

Opens manga, papaya, and cane sugar sweetness. Pulpy and juicy in the middle with some citrus hop bitterness creeping in towards the end. A robust citrus malt backbone with a sprinkling of hop bite at the finish. Clean, tropical fruit aftertaste.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and quenching in the mouth and goes down light and dry. Very drinkable. Clean finish with the slightest lingering aftertaste.

This pale ale really delivers and I wouldn't have expected any less from Hill Farmstead. Almost like an Ephraim light that I could drink all day long. An exception example of the style.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was poured from a growler into Hill Farmstead stemware, showing a dusky sunset yellow coloring. It put forth a one and a half finger head of creamy, mashed potato colored bubbles, showing great retention. Cloudy outlines of lacing were left around the glass as the foam bubbled and slowly dissipated. A haze was certain throughout, with no sediment noted. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The nose gave musk and muddied straw, clean pales, heavily earthen and bitterly citric hops, strawberry fruitiness, black pepper and salt, ale yeastiness, distant wheaty bite, lemon rind bitterness, chalked white flour, and granite. With warmth came a deepening of the hops, with more earthy, mineral, and soapy tones. Our first impression was that the flavoring was deeply earthy and biting, but refreshing, as in the nose. As we sipped, the taste opened up with a brightly pale and toasty malt base, blackboard chalkiness, juicy yeastiness to match, dripping wet citric, herbal, soapy, and bitterly herbal hops, hard mineral water, and distant wheat bread chewiness. The middle came to a peak with more of a refreshed, sweeter sip, offering pales and soft ambers, white sugar flashes, nectarine and passion fruit juiciness, white flour, and freshly churned earthen dirtiness. The ending wash came with more of the same, with plastic phenols, green grassiness and herbal bite of hops, mineral, gravel, yeast, musk and dust, freshly citric lemony hops, barnyard grassy funk, molded straw and raw barley, and final metallic twang. The aftertaste breathed of earthen, nectary, and herbal hoppiness, citric flesh fruitiness, apricot, strawberry, aluminum metallics, damp denim, grassy bite, lactic creaminess, pale malty base, chalked yeast, and gravel. The body was lightly medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp, froth, cream, sip, and smack, with soft finishing pop and light sticky coolness to the corners of the lips. The mouth was left coated and cooled, with satiation and quick puckered astringency from the hops and chalks. The abv was appropriate, and the beer swigged easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its taste. Here we found a unique down-to-earthiness and freshness that many pales avoid. The push in this style lately is to the big, juicy, Three Floyds type of sweet and drinkable beverage, but with this beer, you get a more “real” ale. The hops are gritty, bittered, earthy, and in your face to stay, while the malts skirt the border of Funktown. You get the same sense through the nose, and the body helps to keep things happy and flowing all day long. This guy marks our introduction to Hill Farmstead, and seems to promise a relationship that will be long-lasting and bountiful.

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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.39 out of 5 based on 902 ratings.
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