Hyland's Sturbridge Farmhand Ale | Connecticut Valley Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Hyland's Sturbridge Farmhand AleHyland's Sturbridge Farmhand Ale
Very Good
24 Ratings
Hyland's Sturbridge Farmhand AleHyland's Sturbridge Farmhand Ale

Brewed by:
Connecticut Valley Brewing
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 10-15-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by numenor1:
Photo of numenor1
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A glowing light yellow color with the slightest haze. Forms a huge rocky white head. Aroma is slightly nutty, grainy and with a slight touch of lemon.
Palate is fantastic. Very clean, crisp malt. A touch bready. Hay and slightly spicy hops with vague citrusy lemon. Once again a great malty nuttiness impresses itself on the palate. Great purity and balance. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated, but certainly not overly so. Lawnmower beer at its finest. Really a terrific beer.

Why don't more breweries do a koelsch?

 524 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

Pours a beautiful white head with prim lacing on the glass. Crystal clear pale golden color is spot on for the style. Hints of lemon zest, fresh cut grass and a doughy grain--surprisingly extreme aromatics for such a light colored brew. Super deep smoothness pulls at the moderate body to make it seem thicker. The malt has a lot to offer: grassy, cracker-like, bready, doughy, and with all that it stays clean. A prominent but tasty yeast flavor comes through middle to end with a hint of pear-like fruitiness. Hops are very modest with more flavor than bitterness, suggestions of lemongrass and spearmint come to mind. Finishes semidry with a long lingering yeast-malt combo.

Hands down one of the most interesting Blonde Ales (Extra Pale Ale) we've come across in a long while. A perfect example of what the American session ale is. Quaff away!

 896 characters

Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.57/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Starts off good, with a beautiful, huge head, but unfortunately looks extremely pale and lifeless, much like Budweiser or one of those beers.

The fairly hoppy smell is the best part of this beer.

Ouch, the taste. Extremely light and watery. Grass clippings and straw on the finish. Almost no taste at all.

Mouthfeel is the same as the taste - watery & lifeless.

Well, this is light, and as light beers go down easily in large quanitites, I suppose the drinkability is fairly high. Just dont expect it to taste good.

 527 characters

Photo of Jason
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Thin sediment on the bottom of the bottle was left behind while pouring.

A - Exceptional white froth, good head retention. Weathered straw-golden hue with a great clarity.

S – Slight doughy / malted flour aroma with a lemony hop in the back … suggests a little of lemon poppy seed cake.

T&M – A rolling crispness runs the light body across the palate. Solid pale malt flavor throughout, doughy and biscuity. The hop bitterness gets right to the point with hints of lemon zest and dried herbs. Finishes on the dry side.

D – I’ll chalk this one down as an “American Session” beer … enough said.

This is the best out of the litter of brews from Hyland from I have tried to date. If you love extra pale ales / golden & blonde ales this is one to seek out.

 816 characters

Photo of Hagbard
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden straw color and a thick fluffy white head forms from an aggressive pour. There are a few carbonation bubbles rising to the top because the beer is fairly transparent and clean. The aroma is understated, but I catch lemon and grass. The taste is classic kölsch. There is lemon throughout. There are some grassy and herbal elements as the beer sits on your tongue. It finishes with a bit of spiciness, similar to a pilsener. The one thing that keeps this from being a world class kölsch is a bit of diacetyl that creeps into the finish. It prevents the beer from being as crisp and clean as I would like. The mouthfeel is great; heavily carbonated, the way I like kölsch. As everyone else has already mentioned, this beer is extremely drinkable and won't kill you if you consume a lot of it. A great example of a great style!

 847 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light straw hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and excellent lacing.

The smell featured a light doughy grain and a nice little lemon zest.

The taste was airy and very clean. A light biscuity grain bill with a solid noble hop spiciness. Respectable doughy aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was light and crisp.

Overall a very easy drinking kolsch. Light ABV and clean taste make this one ofthe best session beer I have ever had. Thanks to ppoitras for this one.

 509 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of Dithyramb
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale sunny yellow with merangue head. Great retention and lacing. Grassy aroma with a bit of funk.

Didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but this one was either enhanced with Brett or infected. I'll go with enhanced. The chalky/grassy nature with some spicy hops were really punctuated with a bit of farmhouse funk. However, this took away from any kolsch designation. Went down very smooth and clean. Would be quite refreshing after a bit of farm work, or maybe just some gardening. Wouldn't be bad to have again sometime, and see if the funk was supposed to be in there.

 576 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear light yellow in color with a tall fizzy white head. Some lacing and decent retention. Aroma has some lemon, a little malty sweetness and a nice grainy cereal character to it. The lemon really came out as it warmed up a little. Light hops over a solid grainy and malty backbone. The lemon was in the taste as well. Very clean and crisp stuff all around. Good crisp mouthfeel that is a bit lighter but works well for the style. Good drinkability also. I could see putting down a few of these on a hot day. This could make a good beer to turn people from the usual macro swill. Thanks goes to pete for the bottle.

 624 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty decent Kolsch, and the last of my BIF33 cache. Once again, thanks to ppoitras for all the great beers!

This beer pours to a very light and crystal clear golden yellow color. It has a decent creamy white head and a very active carbonation. Leaves a spotty lacing.

The smell is a bit musty and funky. I think it may well be past its prime, or at least lightstruck. Aside from that it's oddly biscuity, though I would expect a much more pale malt aroma. The hops are grassy and possibly skunked.

The taste is a little better. More like a kolsch. Has a good spicy hops flavor, though slightly oxidized. There is a light biscuit malt flavor mixed in with the pale. Still tastes good even though it may not have held up to its fullest.

The body is a bit light and prickly from the carbonation. The taste starts off sweet with a nice balancing bitter with a very feint dry tart in the finish. This would probably be much better and more drinkable if it were fresher. Still an enjoyable brew.

 1,013 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased at the brewery store.

First imperial pint glass pours with a 1 1/2" white head, with excellent retention and lacing. Brew is clear and lightly golden, with a crisp, effervescent aroma, touched with a shot of citrus. Taste is of pale malts, with crisp hops and citrus notes. Not an off scent or flavor to be had, which is half the battle with kolsches, in my experience. Mouthfeel and drinkability both excellent, you must check this one out if this is a style that interests you.

 505 characters

Photo of kmo1030
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pale gold with a fairly thick white head.
grainy and lemony faintly floral hop aroma.
toasted malts combine a little bit of grain and a nice lemony hop flavor to nice effect. the hop bitterness dries things out well. i don't have a ton of experience with the style, but this is solid in the taste department.
mudium bodied with relatively strong carbonation. crisp and refreshing.
good drinkability, would be real nice on a hot day.

 436 characters

Photo of Katahdin
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A delightful interpretation of a farmhouse ale. Very drinkable with smells of alfalfa and timothy hay and a hint of wheat. Taste has a bit of a lemongrass flavor that lingers on the palate. Very smooth in texture, very easy to drink, a refreshing beer for a hot summer day. I cellared my bottle for 2 years and it was still remarkable when I drank it.

 351 characters

Photo of Kookiekwan
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours golden has a two finger white frothy head with good retention and average lacing. The aroma is malty and wheat-like and has some citrusy hops in the background. The taste is light and crisp and full flavored. The citrus/herbal hop flavor stands out, the finish is quite dry and clean. This makes for a great session beer!

Reflection: I purchased a keg of this for my engagement party last year and what I heard all day was "where can I pick up some of this beer?" What a great beer to convert commercial beer drinkers with, this beer is a must try!

 567 characters

Photo of Stimack
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a light yellow/golden color with a thick white head that has excellent retention and leaves chunky lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma has a lemon/citrus quality along with pale malt scent and a little spiciness? The taste is light but has a slight crisp feel on the tongue while having a nice muted hop taste that is in the tail end and leads to a somewhat dry finish. Also noticeable is the carbonation, very bubbly. Over all this is a very good beer and I probably will not rate is as high as I should since it is not a favorite style, but I would get this again. This would be a very nice, refreshing summer brew.

 635 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a very clear and very light yellow color with a tall head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very grainy with a lemony hint. That's about it for the aroma - very clean. The flavor is extremely grainy, but not offensive. It also has a very smally spiciness going on. The mouthfeel is quite light and the drinkability is very good. This is a good Kolsch.

 402 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at their Harvest Fest at the farm/brewery.
The beer is a medium amber color. It's hard to tell, as this was served in a red plastic cup. The head wouldn't quit, so i never really got to see what I was drinking. Very dense, frothy white head, leaving tons of clumpy lace, even on the plastic cup.
The aroma is very light. Definitely a summery offering. Light, crisp maltiness, with perhaps some wheat malt. A distinct herbal hop aroma, exactly like sticking your nose in a bag of pellets, although much less pungent, of course. Some lemony lime aroma.
The flavor is lightish and definitely suited for summer. As a summer ale, this one is a winner. Crisp malt, slightly husky, with some definite wheat character. Full flavored, with an interesting citric lemon/lime flavor in the middle, followed by a moderate herbal hoppiness to finish the beer. Dryish, crisp finish. Very well balanced and refreshing. Light bodied, with moderate, brisk carbonation.
This beer would be excellent in mid august, as it was damn good in the beginning of october. Probably one of the best summer ales brewed locally, definitely worth seeking out on tap, as they don't bottle this.

 1,175 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled March 2007
This beer is incredibly well carbonated, with a very careful pour I still manage to get a six-finger thick, pale, white colored head. The head is fairly large bubbled, as it recedes it forms a rocky, varied surface. The beer is brilliantly clear, with a bright, lightly straw colored body. A touch spicy, with a grassy, green herbal note as well as some lemon peel aromatics. The nose on this beer is quite dry and enticing.

Fairly tart tasting, but there is also a biting carbonation, which couples with a light hop bitterness. This beer finishes with a herbal, astringent finish as well as a continuation of the tart flavor. Very light on the tongue, this beer defines a light quaffable, summer beer quite well.

This is quite a bit tastier than I was expecting, it really captures the character of a farmhouse Saison quite well. This is quite a tasty brew, I am really quite pleased to have a chance to drink this beer.

 948 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clean pale yellow beer. Has a big bright white foamy head. The aroma is mostly a lightly roasted cereal grain with a little peppery hops in the background. A good combination of malted grain and a light hop bite in the flavor. Makes this a tasty and refreshing treat. Althought there is plenty of flavor here the mouth feel in nice and light. Just right for a hot weather beer.

 379 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear rather light yellow color with a 2 finger head that falls to a full finger of head after settling. Nose is lightly grainy and with a moderate peppery hop. There is just a touch of a lemony zing to it as well. Flavor is a light grainy and light lemon with just a touch of peppery spice that hangs lightly into the finish. I like it. Feel is solid moderate with a moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good. I think the flavor and aroma work well together. Its nice and peppy with the lemon character and the peppery hop. Overall, a very nice beer, and a fair take on a kolsch. This is another one that I would buy if it were on the shelves. Especally in the summer.

 688 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of PPoitras...thanks Pete!
Poured into an imperial pint. Pours a pale straw gold, bright white head, decent lacing.
Smell is pale malts, a little sweet and a sort of abrasive hop aroma
Taste is very crisp, kind of sweet, with a little spicy hoppiness going on.
Honestly I wasn't too thrilled with this one when I started drinking it, but the more I drank, the more I warmed up to the beer. It went VERY well with the fish I made for dinner.

 466 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very, very pale, clear off-yellow with a tall foamy white head. Aroma is grassy hay and yeast with a touch of malty sweetness.

Taste is delicate and sweet. Very pale malt with only slight sourness from hops. Lemony citrus flavor, but not a lot. Wisps of biscuity, bready flavor, but not a lot. A little sweeter than I would prefer, but I enjoy the sour beers. Mouthfeel is very light, almost macro-thin.

This is a gossamer whisper of a beer, perfect for refreshment on a hot summer workday outside. Don't know if I'd categorize it as a kölsch, though; it lacks the clarity of taste and nuttiness I'm familiar with. This is for drinking after working hard and sweating a lot. It has a rough, homemade delicateness, as opposed to the refinement of a kölsch. I would think it to be a light-bodied wheat ale, although I like the category "farmhand ale."

Many thanks to ppoitras for this one.

 908 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks again Pete.
This Kolsch was pretty good. The yellow slightly hazy beer was topped with really good fluffy head that unfortunately didn’t hang around for long. The aroma was pretty clean Pils with a touch of grassy and spicy hops.
The balance is close, although I would have liked a little more finishing hops. There does seem to be an ever so slight "Brett" flavor present. I'll have to keep my eyes open to try this again, see if that's it or if it is part of the design.
Very refreshing beer anytime of the year.

 525 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

As I typically do, I ordered this beer purely because it's local and I've never tried it. Well, it was a pleasure. Nice clean aroma from a moderate golden ale. Exceptional clarity with a rather thick head that shows a decent staying power. Nice crisp flavor with a hint of malt, fresh tasting hops on the finish. Refreshing on the palate yet solid, this is an easy drinking beer that was a real treat. One of the best fizzy yellow beers I've ever had. And to think, I was prepared to write Sturbridge off as unlikely to produce any decent beers on this trip. Glad I decided to take a look at the local beer scene. I highly recommend this beer with the fried clams at TJ O'Briens in Sturbridge.

 693 characters

Hyland's Sturbridge Farmhand Ale from Connecticut Valley Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 24 ratings