On our latest trip to the greatest place on Earth, the Armsby Abbey in Worcester (more on that to come later), Nick and I had the pleasure of sampling a few rare brews from the ever-so-tiny brewery known as Hill Farmstead Brewery. This place is the epitome of a micro-brewery, with the average batch size of any given beer on brew day being roughly 300-400 barrels, and only brewing a particular beer once or twice each year.
Located about 40 minutes from the Canadian border, maintaining an ever-vigilant watch against the threat of the Great White Northern Invasion, Hill Farmstead Brewery is owned and operated by a group of friends and brothers (not unlike this blog) with one goal in mind: brewing the highest quality of beer for the love of it. The brewery stands on farmland that has been owned by their family for several generations, and several beers are named for their forebears in the Ancestors line of brews.
While I sampled three outstanding offerings from Hill Farmstead, one in particular blew me away. The Everett porter (named for their grandfather’s brother) is, by far, the best iteration of this particular style I have ever had. I’ve long been a fan of the malty, full bodied ales like browns, stouts, and porters, and have enjoyed more than my fair share of these. Hands down, the Everett is the best I’ve had. It pours a deep molasses brown-black color, with a rich, frothy cappuccino-colored head that lingers for almost the duration of the pint. The aroma is loaded with rich, roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes. A deeper examination reveals subtle hints of caramelized brown sugar and banana bread notes…phenomenal. The fact that the majority of their brews are allowed to naturally carbonate as they condition and age, rather than force carbonating, provides for a smooth, refined carbonation that allows for the aromas to continuously hit you in the nose throughout the session. The malty sweetness from the caramel and chocolate malts used in the brewing process, as well as the rich full body, almost make me think I’m drinking a sweet concoction from Starbucks, rather than a 7.5% beer. There is a mild hop bitterness that compliments the sweet malts very nicely.
After doing some research to try and find any offerings from Hill Farmstead elsewhere, I have discovered that the Abbey recently had a release party for the full line of brews, and HF will begin distributing to MA in mid-February, but in very limited quantities and only on draught. Luckily for me, and anywhere within driving distance of Worcester, the Abbey already has a deal in place where they will get 25% of the entire MA shipment, so there’s sure to be plenty of HF in the near future.