Hill Farmstead Abner Imperial IPA Cross another off my bucket list

Hill Farmstead Abner is an American Double / Imperial IPA brewed by Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, Vermont

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Hill Farmstead Abner

Tasting: October 12, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,111
ABV: 8.2%

When I first started this website in 2011, the craft beer world was a whole lot smaller. There were fewer than 2,000 breweries in operation compared to the nearly 6,000 reported in 2017. There was no Trillium, no Tree House and no Other Half. My aim was to find the beer widely considered the best beer in America. Of course, that task seems impossible today as the landscape keeps shifting.

Before I started this website, I quickly realized how naive I was about the availablity of what was considered the best in America. You may recall my story of when I asked about buying a Dark Lord at my neighborhood beer store. I realized that getting to try these limited release beer would need some travel, trades and some patience. Early on, I created a bucket list of sorts and I’m happy to say that I crossed off a number of beers off one of my early lists.

My early beer bucket list:

Three Floyds Dark Lord 97 points
The Bruery Black Tuesday 97 points
Surly Darkness 96 points
Three Floyds Zombie Dust 90 points
Fifty Fifty Eclipse 2009 Elijah Craig 97 points
Lawson’s – Double Sunshine (Still Hunting)
Hill Farmstead – Abner (YESS!)
Goose Island – King Henry (Not sure this is still being made)
Cigar City Hunaphu 2014, 98 points
Alpine – Exponential Hoppiness (not really interested anymore)
Peg GOOD RareR DOS (Might replace this with some of the cycle releases)
Surly Abrasive 94 points
Kern River Citra 94 points
Three Floyds Dreadnaught 94 points

Hillfarmstead Abner:

I was able to cross this off my list as part of a whirlwind trip to the brewery on October 11th. I’ll give you more details on my trip in a later post. As far as Hill Farmstead Abner, I get massive fleshy orange and orange rind that weaves itself around some mild but noticeable boozy ethers. As you’d expect, there is that wonderful Hill Farmstead balance and polish. A true work of art, 97 points.

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #4 I had three chairs in my house; One for solitude, Two for friendship, Three for society.

Two Adirondack chairs made from used barrels, Hill Farmstead Brewing, Greensboro Bend, Vermont, Abner IPA, Society & Solitude and Difference & Repetition

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Hill Farmstead has two main themes for their beer. Their “Ancestral” line is a foundational series of standard offerings that follow a loose rotation of release. Each name comes from Shaun Hill’s family tree. There is the familiar Edward, named for Hill’s grandfather who lived in the house that still stands on the brewery property. All told Edward had 13 siblings and you’ll recognize them through Hill’s series of tribute.

The other series of beer is known as the “Philosophical” line. Not surprising as Hill was a philosophy major in college. Where else would Friedrich Nietzche’s birthday (October 15th) be celebrated with cellared rarities like Beyond Good and Evil (named for a book by Nietzche)? More on that stout later.

I’m not one for really deep philosophical thought. In my mind, it always leads back to depressing thoughts of our own insignificance. However, I was taken by the name of this beer and its connection to Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau once said that he had three chairs in his house, one for solitude, two for friendship and three for society. Is it that Society & Solitude leaves out friendship or that friendship is found between Society & Solitude? Hmmm.

Society & Solitude #4

Tasting: October 11, 2017
Style: American Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.0%
Beer #: 1,109

I read a description of Society & Solitude #4 and it said to think Double Citra and Double Galaxy 97 points Uh, yes please!

Can I just say wow? Amazingly complex with guava, pineapple, orange flesh and some robust citrus rind. A bit more assertive than I was expecting and that’s just fine by me. 97 points.

Beyond Good and Evil (Maple Bourbon-Barrel Aged)

Tasting: October 11, 2017
Style: Stout with Maple Syrup aged in used bourbon-barrels used to age maple syrup
ABV: Unknown
Beer #: 1,110

Beyond Good and Evil deserves more than just a mention at the end of another beer’s entry but I didn’t get any photos. While having lunch at the brewery, my friend was sipping on a stout. He said that it could be the best stout he’s ever had in his life. I respect his opinion and dashed off for my own pour before we hit the road for home. The tap room line was about 15 people deep. I couldn’t stand the wait.

Incredible balance, cherries, mellow chocolate, earthy moss, syrup influence is entirely complimentary as is the polished roasted bitterness. Beyond Good and Evil has muscled its way into the upper end of my list, solid 98 points. I think my friend was right on the mark. This could be the best stout I’ve ever had.

Share it!
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Hecto Pale Ale Suarez Family Brewery

Hecto Pale Ale by Suarez Family Brewery

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Tasting: December 30, 2016
Style: Pale Ale
Beer #: 1,037
ABV: 4.5%

Hecto Pale Ale by Suarez Family Brewing

Hecto Pale Ale by Suarez Family Brewery

(C) 2016 popsonhops

There are times when the sight (and availability) of a beer will send my brain a minor surprise shiver. I know. Geeky, right? This was the case at my discovery of Hecto on the tap list at the Growler & Gill in Rockland County. It’s a New York State beer (Livingston) so that shouldn’t surprise me. It was the back story that gave me a tingle.

You see, Dan Suarez was a brewer at Vermont’s legendary Hill Farmstead brewery since the brewery’s inception. Suarez is considered to be like-minded in comparison to Hill Farmstead’s founder, Shaun Hill. When it was announced that Suarez was leaving Hill Farmstead to open his own brewery, it had people conjuring up a similar beer trajectory as his former employer. Suarez Family Brewery opened in June of 2016 and even the remote location, pastoral setting and beer styles have people like me planning a trip. Anyway, I hope this is just the first of many beers I’ll get to try from Suarez Family Brewery.

First sips of Hecto Pale Ale are breadish and very mellow. Have to remind myself that this is a 4.5% ABV. The flavor and complexity build sip after sip. Polished, pithy. Some lingering bitterness and astringency. Most of the flavor rolls in on the back end of the palette. A nice, refreshing pale ale, 90 points for Hecto.

Visit Suarez Family Brewery Facebook Page

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Double Galaxy American Double IPA by Hill Farmstead

Tasting: July 11, 2016
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer #: 980
ABV: 8.0%

Double Galaxy

Hill Farmstead Brewery at Greenboro Bend, VT

© 2015 popsonhops

And the summer of awesome beer just keeps on rolling. This installment comes as a result of a friend and fellow craft beer enthusiast that just returned from a vacation in northern Vermont. While my own Hill Farmstead trip last summer allowed me to cross off a few beers from my beer bucket list, Chris came back with a couple of whales – Double Galaxy and a repeat favorite Society & Solitude # 5 – 96 points.

Double Galaxy American Imperial IPA by Hill Farmstead, Greensboro Bend, VT

(C) 2016 popsonhops

So, there it is…in all its juicy and cloudy beauty. I shared this growler with some friends after work and it seems like consensus was unanimously favorable.

Double Galaxy delivers well-rounded and full flavor. First of all, it’s easy to tell this is a really well crafted ale. It has a soft and pillowy mouthfeel. Also, the juicy orange and rind flavors flow over a sugary candy sweetness. There is less bitterness than expected and it does not assault the palate. That bitterness washes in and reaches a crescendo then recedes gently. Easily muscles its way into my top five beer list and top three IPA list. In conclusion, I’ll put Double Galaxy at 97 points.

Bonus Beer:
Tasting: July 9, 2016
Style: IPA
Beer # 981
ABV: 6.2%

Susan

While picking up my growlers from Chris’ house he shared a glass of Susan from his own haul. Most notably, this is a polished and well-made beer. Susan also delivers that signature softness and flavor. This IPA has some more pronounced grapefruit, hop resin and a noticeable mild dankness. In conclusion, I’ll put Susan at a really nice 96 points.

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •