There are a number of places that every New England beer fan should visit, and I’ve done a decent job knocking some of them off of my list. I do pretty well in Massachusetts and Maine (where I have family so trips are frequent), I have occasional stops in New Hampshire and Rhode Island and I lived in Connecticut for two years (although the beer scene has changed drastically since then). Unfortunately my trips to Vermont are far too infrequent, which is a shame because it is one of the best beer states in the area (arguably in the whole country). I am working on fixing that, and until I can I will rely on my friends to hook me up with some of the quality Vermont brews that aren’t available locally. One place that I need to visit very soon is Hill Farmstead, widely regarded as one of the best breweries in the world (yes, I realize that it’s crazy I haven’t made that trip, I will do it soon, life is a little crazy right now). Fortunately my friends Mikey and Sarah were in Vermont for a family vacation and made the trek over to the brewery, and kindly brought me back a bunch of treats. So, welcome to Hill Farmstead week on Hoppy Boston! I will start with reviews of two hoppy beers, their single-hop Citra IPA and Society and Solitude #10, a DIPA brewed with Simcoe, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops. Both beers are available at the brewery on a rotating basis on draft and in 12 oz cans.
Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #10 pours murky light orange with a solid white head. The aroma features lots of hops, fruity and floral. The hop flavor is complex but the mixture works well together, notes of pineapple, white grape, peach and cut grass along with a very mild bitterness. This is complemented by a noticeable malt backbone, hints of biscuits and bread dough. Society and Solitude #10 has a medium body and a full mouthfeel but goes down very easy for a DIPA with 8% ABV. The finish is crisp with lingering hop flavor that keeps you coming back for more. This is a stellar DIPA, tons of hops but still well balanced and easy drinking. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Hill Farmstead Citra IPA pours very hazy yellow-orange with a small white head. The aroma is solidly hoppy, plenty of citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of grapefruit, mango, papaya and tangerine along with a soft bitterness. The malts add balance along with touches of crackers and cereal. Citra IPA has a medium body and isn’t too boozy at 6% ABV. This finish features full hop flavor with a little bitter bite. This is a great expression of the delicious and popular Citra hop variety. Hill Farmstead definitely knows how to make some high quality versions of the NEIPA style, I could drink this any day. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.