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The Beer Circle » Beer, Hill Farmstead Brewery, Imperial IPA » Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #1

Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #1

Hill Farmstead is one of the first smaller breweries I’ve been to– needless to say, I was a little surprised when I saw a building that was effectively smaller than the house I live in, on an actual farm.  Turns out that the brewery is on the Farm(stead) of the Hill family. Clearly I should have done more research before the trip.

Hill Farmstead's Brewhouse

Their main line of beers are called the Ancestors; appropriately so, because they’re all named after relatives of Shaun Hill, the brewmaster.  While I was there, I got to try Edward (APA; grandfather), Harlan(IPA; listed as Edward’s more aggressive alter-ego), Everett (porter; Edward’s brother), and James (Black IPA; uncle).

The tasty tapped offerings the day we visited.

Sadly, I didn’t have time to review any of these, because our growlers of Everett and James were gone before I knew it. To be fair… the James was totally my fault. Typically I don’t like black IPAs; I find them unbalanced and burnt tasting. James, however, was a whole different ball game.  It was delicious, well-balanced, and I kept going back for more. It’s my favorite beer of 2012 thus far, and so I feel like a failure for not reviewing it. I’ll do better next time.

The other two beers I got to try there are Twilight of the Idols and Society and Solitude #1. It’s a double IPA brewed with cascade hops. Arthur will also be reviewed at some point, when an occasion warrants opening the bottle.Please excuse the quality of the picture- I grabbed it on my phone while we were watching football.

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #1
Poured from the growler a dark golden straw color. There was a minimal, though pure white head that dissipated quickly, leaving nice lacing around the glass and a moderate amount of bubbles around the outside.
Very grassy; dominated by the aroma of the cascade hop. Smelled very clean/pure.
Somehow both crisp and resin-y at the same time; the hops definitely coat your tongue and lingers. The cascade hop is clearly the star of the show, and it's flavor is highlighted. Like the nose, it's very pure/clean tasting. I guess that could also be described as one note, but that is typically used as a criticism, and I don't mean it as such.
Low to moderate carbonation, with medium body. Society and Solitude #1 goes down very smoothly.
A 64oz growler was $18, which is a bit rich for my blood; at the same time, I think it's definitely worth it for an occasional splurge.
A really nice illustration of the cascade hop; single hops seem to be all the rage right now, and this is an example of an excellent one.
Beer Stats
Style: Imperial IPA
Serving: Growler
Size: 12oz
ABV: 8%
BA Score: 89
RB Score: 96

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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