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Grassroots, Holiday Ale, Dark Saison, and Cigar City…

As late summer thermometers commence their hesitant, calculative descent toward frigid, wintery lows – the maple leaves adorning Hill Farmstead begin to display signs of their own transformative withdrawal. In fact, the entire landscape is a symbolic cooperative of coalescence and recoil. Thus, with winter’s retreat imminent, Hill Farmstead Brewery is embarking upon two months of grandiosity: to be conducted with the pretense of better beer, a successive whirlwind of gratitude, of arrivals and departures to ensue – before retreating into the brewery, bound by feet and meters of snow, with every intention of emerging amidst the first sign of spring…

Our September:

Ryan Witter Merithew arrives on August 31 for a five day visit to the Farmstead.

On Wednesday, we’ll craft our first wild sour ale – a sort of amalgamation of Flanders Red/Oud Bruin/American Wild Ale… to be barrel aged for years.

On Thursday, we’ll craft our first Holiday ale – a strong, winter porter to be brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee. This beer will be bottled in 750ml bottles and released during the first week of November. Some will be barrel aged and released in the middle of the winter. Some will be in limited draft form.

On Friday, Ryan and I will be joined by mutual friend Jean Broilet of Iron Hill (Westchester) and, together, we’ll craft our Dark Saison. A portion of this will be primary fermented in Russian River Valley Pinot Noir barrels (with wild honey added), a portion will be aged in Napa Cabernet Barrels, and all of it will be fermented with a mélange of ingredients and wild yeasts…

On Saturday (September 4th), I’ll be running the retail shop while Ryan and Jean are sipping on a the very last keg of a beer that they brewed together just days before Ryan left to join me in Denmark… you won’t want to miss this one!  Here is what Jean has to say:

Tuff Ghost- Red Rye Super Saison. Fermented and aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from Chaddsford Winery with fresh Danish Heather honey and a blend of yeast and bacteria. Hopped with Saaz, Cascade, and Amaril…lo. Keg conditioned for one year. 40 ibu, 8% abv.

On Thursday, September 9th, Ryan and I will arrive in Tampa, Florida to join Wayne, Joey, and company at Cigar City Brewing for a Cigar City/Grassroots/Hill Farmstead Collaboration: Imperial Black IPA. The details of the release (availability?) are pending – but it seems likely that some of it will surface at the Farmstead… Details and a Photo Blog of the Collaboration to follow.

And then… September 15th: Farmhouse Tap and Grill in Burlington, VT. An evening with Hill Farmstead Brewery’s beers and Jasper Hill Farm’s cheeses. A long envisioned collaboration (beyond the sphere of simply only Winnimere) – Greensboro’s two artisan food producers team up to deliver an evening of pairings (I recall discussing a beer and cheese tour with Mateo three years ago… and it’s great to finally see it come to fruition!). Is Hill Farmstead/Jasper Hill the closest link in the United States to a beer/cheese relationship?

October 2nd: Hill Farmstead Harvest Festival at the brewery… Kissmeyer will be here for the release of our Barrel aged Smoked Baltic Porter! Details for this are listed beneath the Upcoming Events section of our website. Basically: the only difficulty has been procuring enough Vermont grown hops (100+ pounds) for the wet hop beers. It didn’t happen. Thus, we are still releasing at least one beer that is “dry hopped” with Vermont grown hops… (lame, I know) but, if all goes as planned, the manner with which we approach this “release” and dry hopping could be monumental and epic. More details to follow… although still vague, think: oak barrel full of hops… =) pictures soon… promise…

Then… Menno of De Molen is still thinking of visiting us mid October.

At the end of October, I am planning to fly to Rome and Denmark. Mikkel and I are hoping to do a Hill Farmstead night at the Mikkeller Bar. Ryan and I will brew a new beer for Grassroots…and I’ll fly home. Easy as that…right?

November 14: La Laiterie/Farmstead, Providence RI. A night with Hill Farmstead beers. Matt and I will put together an epic beer and food menu – I’ll bring the best of everything that I have… and we’ll try to pull off the most ridiculous beer dinner possible. Afterwards, we’ll try to convince Matt to join forces with us in creating one of the best brewpubs on the East Coast…

December 4th: Beer Dinner at the Reluctant Panther, Manchester, VT. More details to follow – but chef Justin is planning a 3 or 4 course dinner and a more specific menu is soon to follow…

Then… we retreat into our cocoon for the winter… Gratefully Yours – Shaun e.