Ann | Hill Farmstead Brewery

80 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ann is the wine barrel-aged version of Anna, our grandfather's sister, as well as the name of our honey farmstead ale. In her honor, we fill French oak wine barrels with Anna and allow the beer to mature in the presence of our resident microflora. After extended aging for as long as it requires to reach its apex, a beautifully complex beer emerges; Anna becomes Ann. Only the finest expressions of barrel-aged Anna become Ann; our version of Grand Cru, this beer represents the finest barrel results at their peak representation. Each 750ml bottle is naturally carbonated and hand-dipped in beeswax, Ann exhibits and showcases the microflora of her landscape.

Added by yourefragile on 05-27-2012

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Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 344
Photo of doremite
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This did not disappoint in any way and cannot see how this could be better. Perhaps the most enjoyable saison I have encountered. Hype aside this is just an amazing beer. It flat out sucks it is not more accessible. I almost wish it wasn't so good ;) The soft oaky barrel notes, sweetness of the honey, and refreshingly tart characteristics blend artfully well. Complex flavor and remarkably refreshing. I could drink this endlessly.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hill Farmsteads finest! Amazing BA Saison that is smooth with a nice barrel finish. Purchased this bottle along with many others of its caliber for a small group tasting and it was definitely one of the stars!

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Photo of lalaloveyou
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sneezyachew generously shared this bottle with myself and 5 other BAs. Very thankful for that. Poured into brandy snifters.
So, first of all this beer smells amazing... Before you even open it. The beeswax seal sets the tone for the rest of the experience. Ann pours a beautiful hazy gold with a small white head. Smells of sweet flowers and honey, white wine and citrus. The taste follows nicely with honey and wine, with earthy farmhouse notes coming though. Sweet with a nice tart funk on the finish. Effervescent, but perfectly so. Really nice mouthfeel and incessantly drinkable. Overall, excellent. So glad that I have another bottle of this one!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden yellow body with a big fluffy white head.

The nose brings hay, lemon acidity, floral aromas, soft wood and white grape. Spicy saison esters underneath and just enough funk.

Citrus dances on your tastebuds. Any more and it would overpower this beer. Creamy brett flavor and barrel tannins on the finish, like a woody Chardonnay. A pleasant butteriness and tart lemon-like acidity reveal itself more as the beer warms up. Fizzy carbonation scrubs your tongue.

This is when beer becomes an art and everything is working in perfect harmony. One bottle will not suffice.

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Photo of Stum-pub
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THIS IS #1 ON THE TOP 250. Best beer I have ever had. Will change this rating when I find another! Until then, this is the real beer you want to chase.

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Photo of Franch
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really wanted to not like this beer. I really wanted to storm in here, 2.5s a-blazin'. Just not going to happen, though.

The aroma was perfect - green apple and barnyard funk and a blast of fruity goodness. Carbonated like a perfect champagne. Reading "honey saison aged in chardonnay barrels with microflora" made me think it could all clash and be unimpressive. Instead, the base beer came through for a bit and then the fruit blast comes in - citrus that is just on the right side of the overpowering/beautifully balanced line. Everything came together perfectly. It ended with a sweet and sour interplay between the honey and chardonnay aging and the lactic acidity that just capped it off perfectly.

Thanks so much to Quackus for making this possible.

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Photo of abuliarose
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear deep golden body under an airy tall white head. Floral lemon and sun-kissed hay on the nose. Deliciously harmonious flavors... pineapple, floral honey, white grape, slight barrel presence and hints of funk. Crisp but not overly-dry. Ridiculously easy-drinking. If I could drink one beer for the rest of my life, I might very well chose this.

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Photo of jstunna24
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably my top beer ever. Highly hyped but totally met my expectation. The aroma and taste is unlike any saison I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is so delicate but it doesn't compromise on the flavor. Truly a masterpiece. Probably Shaun Hill's best beer to date.

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Photo of cosmicevan
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUMONGOUS thanks to mac for sharing this...and reaching out to me to invite me to this tasting to share in the pleasure that is this beer. Enjoyed on 7/27 at Top Hops at a mini tasting with some awesome BAs. Hell of a night and kicked off a wonderful weekend of beer tasting!

a - I can't believe actually is a 5 in appearance. Gorgeous murky yellow. Like a summer day. Gorgeous head. Foamy and wonderful looking.

s - OH WOW! Perfect tart. Grass. Lemon. Wine. Orange peel. Zest. Just a hint of rotten eggs.

t - WOW! Like a spring day. Soft and easy drinking. Zesty. Grassy. Lemon. Chardonnay.

m - Creamy. Wonderful. Nothing wrong with this beer.

o - Wow. I really didn't want to love this. I didn't want to buy into the hype and went into this ready to bash it and say that all the homers are hyping...but the fact is, this beer really is THAT good. Even the beeswax that seals the bottle smells awesome. As an extreme beer geek who saves labels, I took home the bottle from the tasting and my man cave has this bottle up and the room has just smelled amazing since Friday. Every time I walk in there, I remember that beer. 5's all around...the full monty...well deserved.

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Photo of Mielbeer
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got to try this rarity thanks to the best fellow BAs a BA could ask for. I find this beer to be so special that drinking it is comparable to killing a unicorn..with like a bomb. In all seriousness Ann transcends categorization as it has characteristics of numerous varieties of Belgian ales. The majestic looking bottle was complimented by aromatic beeswax that smelled of raw honey. Ann's appearance is a cloudy yellow-gold with a 1 cm head that stuck around like whoa. Beautiful lacing. When pouring we made sure to divide the last bit evenly to ensure that everyone experienced the same level of yeasty-funk-cloud. Ann's aroma is the epitome of nose candy. The first thing that hit me was beeswax, honey, and sweet malts that was immediately followed by a wine and barnyard lemony funk. Oak was also easily detectable. The first taste that hit me was the lactic lemony sourness that surpasses the common tartness in many farmhouse ales. The sourness and the wine flavor compliment each other so well. Following was honey (microflora), sweet malts, with an oakey finish. Taste buds are firing on all cylinders throughout from the acidity. I found myself running my tongue along the insides of my cheeks to keep tasting the lingering sourness of Ann once she was gone. The mouth feel was a wonderful medium body and I hate using this word when reviewing, but the carbonation level was PERFECT. Overall Ann was the most unforgettable beer in a tasting that included Cantillon, King Henry, and other heavy hitters. Luckily I have friends with more Ann which increases the chance that all get to try her again and figuratively hit beer lottery jackpot once more. I feel very privileged. Thank you Shaun Hill, you are brilliant.

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Photo of Urbancaver
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am finally getting around to uploading my review after the 2nd anniversary party. I'm a HUGE fan of Art and Arthur but I don't like Anna as much so I didn't have that high of hopes.

The pour looks really stellar. Just like Art, beautiful colour, nice head. Incredible nose, the light saison character of Anna without the sweetness. Wine barrel melds well with the brett and funk. The taste is just as amazing. Smooth, light, flavourful, Ann did what Art did to me all over again. Loving where the world of saisons and Shaun have brought us

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one more than lived up the hype. When you are working off of a base beer like Anna, it is hard to go wrong with a wine-barrel aged variant, but this was even better than I expected. Although I actually enjoyed Art more, they are both 5s.

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Where to start? Well, the cap smells like Burt's Bees, and so I even kept that.

Poured into a brandy snifter glass with five others.

A- Pours a hazy orange to pale yellow. Leaves a thin white head, which stays as you drink. The lacing is perfect.

S- The aroma smells of honey, earth, beeswax, and a touch of wine seeps through.

T- A bit sour and funky. Can also taste oak and Sauv Blanc (thanks Shaun!)

O- This beer is amazing. Luckily, I still have one and a friend has another, so more tasting to come.

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Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bach 2
What a masterful creation. Right away with a blast of crisp acidity that starts it off and stays woven throughout only mellowing just a tad for the onslaught of continious flavors I found dissipating into that signature HF soft mouthfeel. Impressive noticeable touch of wine barrel/oak, slight sweet honey, all wrapped perfectly together only to finish with some lingering tartness. Even the clarity of Ann was beautiful to look at as I savored each sip.

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Photo of sisuspeed
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #122

Poured into some Hill Farmstead stemware. Beautiful golden honey body with a fingers worth of foamy white head. Nice lacing. Lots of earthy French oak notes in the aroma. Light mustiness with hay and floral honey. The taste continues to bring out some great oak notes from the barrel and mixes with a touch of honey and earthy grains. Light floral-citrus acidity throughout. Tastes amazing. Body is smooth with perfect carbonation. The mouthfeel has a nice creaminess to it. Overall, this beer is essentially perfect. I really can’t see how a farmhouse ale/saison could get better than this. One of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of vonnegut21
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Scotty-Do for the bottle share.

A: Pours a light, faded gold with a billowing white head. Huge carbonation on this one.

S: Light vinuous notes, citrus, a complex funk-like character, and some bready maltiness. A lot going on here, but nothing overpowers the others.

T: A bit of funk and lactic tartness up front. Citrus and biscuity malt follow to round out the body. There's a lot of complex tartness going on, but it's light and fleeting. Very refreshing. So damn drinkable.

M: Champagne-like carbonation, with a bubbly mouthfeel. Quenching, but instantly demands another sip. Delightful.

O: Completely worth the hype IMO. Probably the single most drinkable beer I've ever had. On a hot day, I could put away multiple bottles. Now to wait until Shaun puts this one out again so I can get my hands on more. Truly an excellent beer.

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Photo of xenjoiii
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I could not hold off long from opening this bottle; the sweet smell of honey that the beeswax gives off induced me into opening this a day after the release.

Drove up from Long Island, NY on friday to attend Saturdays release. I arrived at the brewery around 7:30 and ended up being first in line!

Bottle #250 of 300

A: Poured a beautiful golden color with an orange hue. About two fingers of fluffy white head formed; the retention on this is phenomenal, as the head died down to a constant half finger layer of froth. streams of bottles racing from the bottom of the glass to the top. Absolutely beautiful looking beer.

S: Lots of funkiness and wine character upfront in the aroma. There is a hint of honey, and a heaping amount of citrus. Outstanding aromatic qualities on this Saison.

T: Mild funkiness upfront that makes way for the emergence of a ton of juicy fruity citrus character. The end of the mouth is a mingling of sweetness from the honey and lactic sourness from the barrels. The sweetness really tames the sourness keeping it at a extremely balanced level. Again, outstanding.

M: Medium carbonation with a light to medium body. So juicy and extremely drinkable.

O: Just when I thought it could not get any better than Mimosa, Shaun creates and shares another exceptional beer. I can say with confidence that this is one of the best beers that I have tried to date (easily among my top 5). Its quite simple: everything in this beer works, and it all works REALLY well.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Beer #600:

In the parking lot of a strip mall BYOB Italian joint in suburban Dallas, it happened. We cracked her. Months of anticipation and it all culminates in this. People came from around the state and country to join us in this momentous event. Poured from a 2015 bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

Appearance: A pale, hazy honey white/gold, it almost glows. Tiny white head sticking around a while and leaving spotted lacing around the glass.

Smell: Phenomenal. That signature Hill Farmstead yeast profile really shines here. I get melon, like honeydew melon, and a really gorgeous, perfect citrus character. The beeswax on the bottle smells sweet and floral too. Beautiful.

Taste: Holy shit, fantastic. Delicate, gorgeous citrus perfume. Light tang in an orange juice kind of way. Imagine honeydew melon, soaked in orange, maybe tangerine juice with a splash of wildflower honey. Juicy juicy. Classic Hill Farmstead funk adds a tad of bitterness to balance out the light sweetness of the honey. A crackery malt to finish things up. Just fantastic. It lives up to the hype, this is just everything I hoped it would be.

Mouthfeel: Light, tiny bubbled carbonation just makes everything else about this beer perfect.

Overall: Everything I could ever hope for. Perfect beer. Not quite the best beer I've ever had, but certainly close and easily among the best, most balanced Saisons I've had. Perfection. The hype is real.

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Photo of SneezyAchew
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I am reviewing the "it" beer of the moment, I'll do my best to review the beer as I drink it, and not simply write the review based on preconceived notions one (me) could have already formed about the beer given the state of the forums right now, and the nearly perfect sore the beer has already garnered. Basically, if Shaun Hill is the beer messiah we've been waiting for, let's make sure we get the story right, and not let myth get muddled with beer reality (beereality). Onwards!
Served into a brandy snifter with 5 other great BA's. Pours a golden orange-hay color with a tiny bit of yeasty haze. Not much lacing here.
Smells, like the bottle wax, like beeswax and honey. Then I'm getting a lot of herbs and green apple funk.
The taste is just wonderfully floral and earthy. The honey from Anna is not gone, but emerges perfectly with the other flavors. Evolution at its finest. The wine barrels are definitely not hidden, and thank Shaun for that. Champagne yeast balance brilliantly with sweet sweet hops. This is some saison!
Mouthfeel is bubbly, but not fizzy like lime soda. Just the right level of carb.
This is a saison right up there with world class lambiks. I have a friend with a bottle. I plan to be veryyy nice to her.

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at a recent HF bottle share, between Le Sarrasin and CD11. Color is mostly unremarkable. Nose is white wine, soft peaches and funk, and honey sweetness. Taste is crazy soft and subtle. Unbelievable white wine tinged-Anna flavor and delicate mouthfeel. Finish is dry white wine barrel wrapped with a bit of sharp tartness and lemon. This is a great beer, the hype is real, although the price is so high I don't think I'd trade for it.

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Photo of grachdar
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #96, purchased at Hill Farmstead during the bottle release and shared with family, poured into HF stemware. Couldn't wait any longer after reading the reviews.

Was worried about it being a gusher after the couple reviews mentioned it, but no issues at all. Beeswax was an incredible touch.

A: "Sunset" is the best description. Hazy at first and golden yellow-orange, but clearing as the beer settles. Bubbles are tiny, creating a thick head of about a finger or two in each glass. Lacing stuck around for the entire beer.

S: While cold, the nose up front is mostly dry white wine, citrus (grapefruit, lemon, orange) and flowers. The sour / farmhouse funk notes got stronger as the beer warmed.

T: Everything you want in a beer. The saison wasn't overpowered by the wine barrel-aging, nor the sour, nor the "microflora" additions, but all of them intermingled with a slight sweetness perfectly. Complex enough for a serious beer drinker, but drinkable enough for non-BAs to love.

M: Finished about as cleanly as any beer I've ever had. The champagne-like bubbles gave an effervescence to the beer, and I would never have guessed this was above 6% ABV.

O: One of my family members said, "If all beer tasted like this, I would drink a LOT more." I couldn't agree more. This was only my fourth HF beer, but it was the best of my week in Vermont, and I understand now why people are saying that Shaun is turning beer into an art form.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sharing this with a few of the guys today. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

The beer is a beautiful golden color with a soft, white head. Noticeable lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma brings honey, grass, lemons, subtle funk, white wine, oak. Really complex and profound. The beeswax cap smells fantastic as well.

The flavor is a tad sweet, with a beautiful honey presence. Extremely well balanced. With every sip, a new flavor seems to emerge. Lovely white wine / white grape character. Pleasant, subtle tart character in the finish. Without doubt the most complex and gracefully balanced example of the style I have yet encountered. Like sipping a world class champagne or white wine.

Overall, this is certainly a stellar beer. I'm very glad that I was able to make it to this release and acquire this.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 1 bottle
L: Dark orange yellow honeycomb hues with a translucent body and greeted by an amply carbonated white head
S: Clover honey upfront that is swiftly met by the oak wine barrel and rich malts
T: A huge range of flavors - this might be the most complex saison I've ever tasted: honeycomb, marmalade, tangerines, clovers, slightly tart funk, rose petals, and sweet malt that is underpinned by a healthy, well-integrated oaky chardonnay
F: Softly carbonated, medium bodied, and infinitely smooth
O: What a rare treat to enjoy this bottle! This was simply a gorgeous beer that encapsulates all of the myriad strengths of Shaun Hill and his talented team at HF. From the deeply rich look, first impressions of the nose, to the flavor profile throughout, Ann delivered on all levels for me. Of the great American saisons produced (e.g., SdF, Saison Bernice), Ann squarely sits a top on her throne as queen - this beer is untouchable, complex, and continuously rewarding throughout the session. I'm incredibly lucky to have snagged a Batch 1 bottle and it has held up incredibly well nearly half a decade later. Just an excellent beer - no other way to say it.

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Photo of Mag00n
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped in the cool, moist basement of a renowned beer bar that shall remain nameless. Our host is indeed a farm hillstead fan and appreciates our offering. In return for our generosity he offers us some beers that may as well not exist(I could tell you, but then Id have to kill you).

The first thing that any adult group of discerning beer advocates would do is pass the bottle around for each person to smell the beeswax. I was glad we did.

Upon opening the bottle, I couldnt help but shed a tear for the lost wales that could have been acquired via auction style trade. Alas, I march on.

The pour is yellow/gold/orange with just a little bit of head and nice lacing. A bit cloudy but no sediment.

I get floral notes, a bit of brett/funk, some lemon, barrel, and some of the base saison characteristics in the nose.

Taste is similiar. Its funky but not at all overly sour. Strong wine charactertics. Some lemon. It all just works. One word: balanced.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp with moderate but not over the top carbonation.

Overall easily the best of the style Ive ever had. It's also unlike basically anything else in its style so it even to style? I'll let you decide. Someone pass me that empty bottle I wanna smell the wax again.

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Photo of baybum
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is about as perfect as you can get in a barrel aged saison. Very well balanced with no one characteristic overpowering the other.

Found it very interesting having it next to Art B3. Those of us that prefer Arthur to Anna, actually preferred Ann to Art. And those that prefer Anna actually preferred Art. Now we all agreed that both are hard 5's, so we are talking very small preferences.

Wish we could have waited and done a CD11 at the same time too, but hopefully will get to try it soon...

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Ann from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.66 out of 5 based on 344 ratings.
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