Oh great. @Hillfarmstead Art, A Beer I Have Not Been Looking Forward to Reviewing At All.

First and foremost huge thanks to the Vicster for donating the bottLOL yeah right, can you imagine that dude doing something selfless not designed to maximize some self-aggrandizing desire, LOL YARITE.

So after many trials and tribulations trapezing around the current state of farmhouse affairs, we have returned to the touchstone of American Saisons: Hill Farmstead.

I want to state at the outset: I don’t generally enjoy reviewing Hill Farmstead beers. Allow me to clarify before your urethra starts spewing out liquid Velveeta. I love DRINKING these Vermont gems. I LIKE making fun of the attendant shitty, capitalistic HF traders. But in practice REVIEWING Hill Farmstead beers isn’t especially fun from the DDB pulpit.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

Drank this in a hot tub on a 102 degree day in Portland. What am I even doing with my life.

The function of reviewing is to leverage and evaluate the shortcomings and merits of a given work. If the verve of DDB is to present these impressions with any modicum of levity, then it’s gonna be a fair amount of hyperbole and understatement to suck the marrow out of the bone.  Hill Farmstead derails all possible jokes. Generally people love the excoriating rhetoric or seeing a car fire of a beer getting eviscerated, Malty Romans ripped to shreds by yeasty lions.

Yeasty lions is the name of my new protopunk group.

The problem with most Hill Farmstead beers is that they generally are either setting the bar to some degree or competing against their own product, so how in the fuck is DDB expected to make a 900 word  handjob entertaining for the nondeviants to witness? It is just a parade of praise with some jRPG and hip hop references, then we call it a day.

This would be the greatest issue that I have with Art: it is too fucking good to extract a legitimate degree of humor. I would much rather just rip on one of the “shittier” Hill Farmstead beers like a sour pumpkin ale or the Jim line, but alas, I guess I finally have to review this masterpiece.  Lamentably.

Here is the wind up to the pitch:

“Art is the wine barrel fermented and aged version of Arthur (1922-2005), our grandfather’s youngest brother as well as the name of our rustic farmstead ale. In honor of Arthur, we mindfully blend his namesake beer from French oak wine barrels that have been aged and conditioned for between 1 and 3 years. This is the standard that reflects, redefines and guides the progressive vision for Hill Farmstead.”

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again.  I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming idealized.

Every word I type further distances myself from trying this beer again. I am an active antagonist against my own desires, self-preclusion becoming self-fulfilling.

Just look at this shit. How am I supposed to do my job and maintain the tart ph salinity of my vagina, when it looks flawless. I guess I could bitch that a more diverse grist bill with spelt would combat the acidity and improve the sheeting and lacing. But does anyone think that’s a legitimate complaint? Fuck no, it’s just some domineering korean housewife nagging.

The smell? I don’t have a whole lot to deconstruct on this front either. It makes for a shitty boring review, inverse to the quality of the beer itself. In fact, the smell is the only thing that Ann does better than Art. The average shitwaffle strokes it to pinups of that lottery masterpiece, fully ignoring the fact that Art is better in several aspects if not as a whole.  The nose has waves of cut clementines, nectarines, honeydew, ritz cracker, and ricotta cheese.  It is unendingly refreshing like having cyber sex with a water sprite.

I first opened this beer at Beer Revolution in Oakland in 2012, when American Saisons were still enjoying this nascent blissful anonymity before covetous assholes ruined everything. The comments were like “oh so it’s a sour then? No? Is it like a Russian River then? Hmm. Weird.”  People couldn’t wrap their heads around this because there weren’t many barrel aged saisons, let alone executed in this fashion.  Now everything is in ruins.

The smell has a much imitated balance of tropical fruity zest with acidity that strays far from the edge of tolerability.  It is incredible and a beer that uproots itself due to how good it is.  The consumption is an event and in itself is destruction.  The experience is a discrete event that actually makes your net life experience worse having had something this well done.  For that reason it is hard to recommend seeking this out with a clear conscience.  You can’t go back to watching Tyler Perry movies after you have seen Michael Haneke’s best films.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

I guess the most we can hope for is either increased HF production on this level or some janky readily available shasta version in the future.

The taste is dry, not nearly as dry as E. but not nearly as honey sweet as Ann.  The Aristotelian mean that is better than both of those beers simply due to this swiss army knife profile that delives depth, cleanliness, complexity, and refreshment.  Usually the acidity would work against drinkability, or the dryness of the barrel treatment would be oppositional to any malty sweetness.  Somehow all divergent horses and reigned in by Helios on this golden farmhouse chariot. There’s lemon zest and wheatgrass, gruyere and croissant, with a lighly herbal fernet branca grassiness to the closer.  What am I seriously supposed to say about this shit?

As a caveat to undermine all of the foregoing: regular ass Arthur is like 85% as good and about 2000% easier to obtain.  Unless you are a completionist asshole who needs 100% trophies in the beer game, or some Minnesota Dentist who wants to buy a palace on top of HUGE PRICK MOUNTAIN, there’s no reason for you to seek out this beer.  Arthur is already so damn good and the improvements on this are akin to those absurd R TYPE models of already fast enough cars where they gut the AC and roll cage it and supercharge it to absurd heights.

Drink Arthur, or seek this out after you finally patent that dual sided Hitachi/Fleshlight marriage saving apparatus you have been working on.


Scanning the channels of a HAM radio was a tedious task usually relegated to the loneliest of shut-ins.  RF frequencies rarely led to any juicy pearls of wisdom and further served to alienate the participants frittering away their lives in leaky garages around the nation.  Nathan Spaulding sipped on a cup of assiduously prepared Earl Grey and listened to the white noise cascading through time and space.  Each clipped frequency was an extension for contact, a passing analog glance from a stranger. In a world replete with bodies, Nathan sipped his herbal embrace and never felt more alone. “PPSSHSHS- can anyone, please, PLEASE!” the radio hissed, echoing against the wall of the garage door. Nathan frantically gripped the receiver “Yes, this is Phantom Tangelo!” the UHF/VHF transmitter shaking in his palm. “I don’t have time to explain PSSHSHHH I am Warren Dupont, I am a produce shipping magnate who was overseeing a tangerine GMO operation to increase- JESUS JUST LISTEN, the strain is…its…are you there?” “”YES!” Nathan stammered sipping his tea, “PHANTOM TANGELO here, please continue!”

That evening Warren gave the coordinates of the most potent strain of farm grown tangerines ever designed, dizzying in yields and fruit latency. It would take weeks of scouring, but Nathan would ultimately find the ultimate treasure, the pinnacle of farm-based desires.  Months later, hunched over the Platonic ideal of citrus, gripping the flawless rind delicately, he would contemplate whether science had gone too far.


1993 Fantome Ete, A Ghost That is Old Enough to Drink Itself – TRANSUBSTANTIATION INDEED

If you got into beer in mid-2013, please exit this review immediately and keep spouting your typical “FANTOME IS BAND AIDS” rhetoric, this review isn’t for you.  Go attend a homebrew meeting or cicerones anonymous while we discuss some grown ticker shit.

Today we have a geriatric gem from before the Spin Doctors were cool.  TRICK STATEMENT: Spin Doctors were never cool.  Regardless, this is a ghost from the bygone era, some early 90’s discman shit that was pumpin hot in the streets of Soy back when people were watching DOUG and still dialing 411.  This was right around the time that Fantome became “Fantome” and not Brassiere Prignon I believe, but before the iconic ghost showed up.  The early bottles had these creepy bas relief women on them which almost evoke more of a spectre haunting vibe than the cartoon ghost.

Anyway, it is Ete, except 22 years old.  JUST HOW YOU LIKE EM AMIRI- predictable age jokes.  We still doin em.

Jared from Subway is eating fresher than we are for today's review.  HE BE GETTING THEM FRESH VINTAGES.

Jared from Subway is eating fresher than we are for today’s review. HE BE GETTING THEM FRESH VINTAGES.

Fantome, Soy, Belgium

Saison, 8% abv

A:  The label unsurprisingly looks like shit and I half expected this whole affair to be a nightmarish descent into buttery cardboard world, getting my urethra swapped with rolled up sepia photos.  WHO HASNT BEEN THROUGH THAT. But the carb was substantial even after two decades, it pours with a pillowy cloud of retention and a hazy murkiness that shined radiant and turbid. The cork was in really good shape too, not the necrophage blackness you usually get with old bottles, them Brabantiae corks be looking like wet death cast upon the Swamp of Sorrow.



S:  The nose is a magical musky melange of honduran fruit harvesters sleeping in an old rickety barn next to some sweaty leatherworkers.  The chubs were not insubstantial and the sheet depth of crazy lemony goodness coupled with wet Brooks leather saddles, crushed leaves after a rain, and a sort of brulee’d orange peel rounded out the experience.  It has age, in that inexplicable amazing way that isn’t quite at “thrift store/elemtary school yearbook” levels of oxidation, but just old enough to put it on you because it isn’t self conscious about itself anymore it is mature and through with all the games and it fucks you back in a selfless way that has been through enough bad cellars to not care anymore, just primal nose fucking, no need to call back or put on airs, an authentic mature presentation that you hold in austere reverence simply because it aint about all that drama.

I shared this with Alex from Upright Brewing, a halogen filled romance that would span across time.

I shared this with Alex from Upright Brewing, a halogen filled romance that would span across time.

T:  The taste has this cheesy, gristy, dupont left in a time machine sort of creaminess to it like the water from Oikos yogurt.  You get Trix cereal milk, clementines, peeled tangerines, this brie rind, a really strange like earthy oiliness from some budding diacetyl tones that reminds me of some cave aged cheddar, and a long citrusy herbal closer that just lingers in the air like the sustain of a hollow body guitar.  The whole affair cannot be imitated and the age takes those regular tomes to crazy new depths in the crypt.

This is an exceptional beer from a bygone era of bricklined mash tuns and 1 hectaliter batches, foraging for random items, and making beer for local consumption. It is inimitable fresh and with the brett metabolization given years to perfect its craft, it is like when Edmond Dantes gets out of jail in the Count of Monte Cristo and he has all these bad ass new skills and you can only golf clap at the revenge he takes.  OH SHIT SORRY I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO READ DUMAS SHIT OK BACK TO THE TWILIGHT REFERENCES.

Old ghosts inhabit you make you want to touch the no-no and listen to Tiger Army

Old ghosts inhabit you make you want to touch the no-no and listen to Tiger Army

This would probably be at the pinnacle of fuckery to be like “seek this one out guize!” since I will probably never come across a ghost this ancient again, unless I get hella into Sepultura, tarot cards and exorcism, alas I have already graduated from the 8th grade. SHUCKS.

You review grocery store hefe’s and people say you are falling off, you review 50 bottle runs of Summation, people say you jumped the shark with homebrew reviews, but with 22 year old bottles of Fantome the WAT Index is so scrambled that I am confident people will just write this DDB shit off altogether.

Good riddance. the beer game was better when it was just Dre, Scarface and Esco.


PLUM WATCH 2015: @hillfarmstead Flora Plum, Cleaning Up Harmful Free Radicals with Beer

Been getting that Vermont trim on the reg lately, keeping the farmhouse flows going. I recently dropped that Flora B/B review and I think people were needlessly harsh on what was a pretty legit, if not earth shattering, offering in the pristine Flora lineup.  Then, Flora cherry dropped this week and the things VT traders are demanding has me posted in the LOLNOPE cut with unflinching repose. But what about this rarity, Flora with them juicy plums? Let’s prune the fuck out in today’s review

Get Ticks or Dyin Tryin

Get Ticks or Dyin Tryin

Hill Farmstead, ArizonaLOLPSYCHE Vermont
Barrel aged saison with plum, 6.5% abv

If you went into this shit with expectations of seeing some frothy violet extravaganza, I urge you to actually look at what color a plum is after you bite into it. I get this same stupid fucking complaint from those cicerone assholes who judge how much fruit was used based on the srm. “You can tell kiwi herman was barely fruited BC it wasn’t even green like at all.”  This looks almost identical to regular Flora with a slightly darker orange hue to the center and a more refined carbonation. They used a weird Duchessic style flange on the underside of the cap that felt like a .38 special round popping that bad bitch open in the club.

Picture me writing lines knowing Draft Magazine will quote it, when I die they gone read DDB an say a genius wrote it

Picture me writing lines knowing Draft Magazine will quote it, when I die they gone read DDB an say a genius wrote it

The nose is far more acidic and tart than I was expecting and the pendulum swings away from gentle approachable Flora and more into the Fou/Emptiness series from Tired Hands. You get lemon, lime, wheatgrass, cut nectarines, pluot and kumquat. Oddly it finishes with this pithy Glade smell that reminds me of the persimmon beers we have all had. It is very pleasant and feels like a liquid sun-drenched hammock in intensity.

The taste delivers on the acidic threats to the point that is almost unnatural for those HF boys, but somehow pulls it off. In the mutton busting world of wrangling lacto strains, it is easy for shit to get out of pocket but this is more creamy and tart like lemon meringue and pineapple juice. It has a wheat grist to the mouthfeel that allows the acidity room to breath and contributed a frothy aspect that embraces the plum tannins lovingly. If you have ever ate a shitload of Rainier cherries you will know that sweet dryness that the skins will impart. It is intensely crushable but jockeys for your reflection, you’re getting mixed messages because Flora is wearing a low cut shirt and telling you not to focus on them plums but they are like right there come on now.

You go to the bottleshop but you never cop nothing, all your untappd reviews are shared ticks and you need to stop frontin

You go to the bottleshop but you never cop nothing, all your untappd reviews are shared ticks and you need to stop frontin

The Emptiness series from Tired Hands comes to mind when approaching this beer in the distinctively AWA character, fruity juicy interplay and all around intensely drinkable character.  While I enjoyed Satsuma Flora more due to its stripped down simplicity and fresh squeezed pith, I can see most people who love ramped up acidity to say that this is the best fruited beer that Shaun has produced to date. At a certain point it becomes a Mountain Dew Baja Blast versus Code Red preference debate. Both are exceptional at 6th grade slumber parties.

such beer knowledge, wow, comparisons, many tastes

such beer knowledge, wow, comparisons, many tastes

All available analogues will be equally hellish to acquire, 500-800 bottle count 1-2 per person nightmare trades so, have fun on those boards and do your anal kegel exercises.  Be prepared for the Vicster to officiously show up and tell you that you need to add a Zomer or some shit.


@tiredhandsbeer Tired Hands, The Emptiness is Eternal; the void in my farmhouse jeans is eternally filled.

Tired Hands and I have a turbid history with their bottled offerings. They released one of the best saisons of recent memory but then they also release intensely strange beers brewed with esargot shells. Thankfully this falls well within the realm of the latter and even goes beyond all prior iterations and offerings.

If we are going to use something in the realm of Blue Label Arthur as a benchmark, this hits real close to the pin and is one of the best American saisons of recent memory. Take that Cask 200 swagger, add some Lil Lobster on the Prairie, and you get the idea of what Kobe shit we are addressing. This farmhouse puts up 83 on those haters.

Workin them persimmons, clacking those red bottoms, putting itself through saison college.

Workin them persimmons, clacking those red bottoms, putting itself through saison college.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 7.00% ABV

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Emptiness is Eternal is an oak barrel fermented Saison conditioned on a copious amount of Hachiya persimmons grown by our dear friend Tom Culton at his family farm in Lancaster, Pa. We produced 400 bottles of this beautiful Saison.

A: At the outset you get this intensely radiant beer that just LOOKS bone fucking dry. They golden notes look like radioactive hay like it came from some locally sourced Chernobyl farm. There is a mild turbidity to it with frothy thin bubbles that crackle and toss up some wispy stacks and let them rain. The lacing is decent but cling isn’t this beers mainstay, it’s all about that yellow ringpop glow. Marcellus Wallace briefcase shit.

Get your mouth on this golden treat ASAP

Get your mouth on this golden treat ASAP

S: This is acidic but not in that Side Project/borderline AWA realm, it has a tangerine and white grape waft, since this is a 400 bottle release you get serious rare notes at the outset the sublimate into a sort of “unobtainable” and dissipate. The persimmons are light and, as a side note, as a complete bitch to capture in the flavor profile, come through lovingly in the waft. You get some sour skittles acidity and faintly brackish aspect but again the whole thing comes across as a tropical fruit stand with a faint biscuit underpinning. Drank this in bed and had to change the sheets, got that horse blankie all dirty.

T: This is more acidic in the taste than the persimmon sweetness of the nose would indicate and it imparts a riesling dryness upon swallow. The middle is all clementine and orange zest, intensely drinkable, but never going overboard on the acidity and maintaining its wheat backbone enough to paint the ph canvas. Admittedly this is not the most complex beer in taste execution, but it really doesn’t need to be. If you strip down a Datsun 240z and drop an acidic 350 in it, it will get the job done without complexity or panache. This shit drops Molly all in your champagne and people be fuxxin after you pop one of these.

Some people can't handle the farmhouse lifestyle, do u even rustic

Some people can’t handle the farmhouse lifestyle, do u even rustic

M: This is on the dryer side of the farmhouse realm and doesn’t provide a lingering creaminess for the gumline, but again, it never loses its identity within the folds of that ATP acidity, Kreb’s citric acid cycle kept all in check. You can drill this and wont be left with gerd or cankersores. It exits with a white wine oakiness that is almost drowned out from the fruit notes, but when you see them sparklers in the club, you forget all about the minor details.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and you can lay these down racksonracksonracks, well, relative to the 2 per person allocation I guess. If ever a 7% beer needed to be in a 750ml, this is it. THe 500ml is like a full release massage where you never get to flip over. I want more and will tip up, but the opportunity is over all too soon. This isn’t some musky complex banger, but it is awesome in the 3 tricks it does turn out. I can safely recommend this to anyone, stretch marked Cicerones or size zero BEBE dress wearing ASU students alike. This beer goes in.

borderline wild, but domesticated enough for you to fall in love

borderline wild, but domesticated enough for you to fall in love

Narrative: Billy was commonly known as one of the Double Dragon brothers, but there was so much more to Mr. Lee. While some would protest that an industrial garage was an uncomely location for a citrus garden, he still pressed on diligently. He had a small plot of land in the year 19XX and tilled the soil arduously in between rescuing his girlfriend from local thugs. He would pack a few tangerines in his pocket and then proceed to strike a woman armed with a whip directly in the face. There was a simplicity to his agrarian existence, romantic in his goals, and a Roussean nature to his exploits. Billy pushed a huge bald man off of a conveyor belt and peeled a clementine and watched Abobo fall to his death, another day for an industrial farmer caught in the grips of modern existence.


@sideprojectbrew Pulling Nails, I Finally Get My Mouth on Cory King’s Goodies

Some people readily assume that because I wasn’t a huge fan of regular/BA abaraxas and didn’t think the world of BA Sump that I somehow have a chip on my shoulder against Perennial. This is certainly not the case, and I hope today’s review communicates that effectively. I enjoyed Perennial’s light offerings, smashed that peach berliner and would bang it again repeatedly.

Since I am usually obliques deep in that farmhouse swagg, I clearly needed to get these decadent treats from Side Project in and around my mouth. Today I get to dabble in their wild program to see what the business is. Initially I was confused because people were calling this a saison, but this is straight wild, like that kid with divorced parents who doesn’t give a shit about learning long division. Buckwild on that farmhouse tip.

Don't listen to other people's classifications, follow you heart.  LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Don’t listen to other people’s classifications, follow you heart. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART LIKE ROXETTE

Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 6.00% ABV

I can dance around the stylistic nuances all day long, or you can read the commercial description and decide for yourself:

“Side Project Brewing is excited to announce the release of our first blended beer, an American Wild Ale named Pulling Nails. Pulling Nails will be a series of blended beers that explore the art of blending to create beers with extraordinary depth, complexity and balance. This will be labeled as Blend #1 and it is the blend of 4 unique beers, each of which add their own characteristics to the final beer.

These 4 beers are:

Spontaneous Wild (Lambic-style, native microflora from my family’s farm) – aged 25 months in French Oak White Wine (bright citric acid, mushroomy, musty)
Flanders Red – aged 18 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (tart candy, robust oak, big acid, very light acetic)
Saison du Fermier – aged 9 months in American Oak Chardonnay Barrels (citrus and orchard fruit, billowy, delicate)
Saison de Rouge – aged 6 months in American Oak Chambourcin Barrels (Amarillo hopped, pear notes, 100% house Brett)”

So in this saison, we have lambic style microflora, french oak barrels, a Flanders red component, chardonnay barrel treatment, and Chambourcin treatment with brett all up in the cut like what. Wild as Jesse and the Rippers, leather jackets and motorcycles in the hallway.

A: This looks somewhere in between a straight up Flanders red and a Supplication stand in with those amber and light garnet tones shimmering up in that tomestem. The carb is spot on and crackly with that acrid anger that hisses in tiny bubbles, kicking and revolting on their way to timeout. The lacing is insubstantial and the way the beer settles in just APPEARS sour, if such a thing is possible. There’s no hefty residuals to calm the nerves, this shit looks sleek, svelte, bone dry, and wielding an acidic katana sword.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

This is a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, but the end result is phenomenal.

S: The nose is intensely tart and opens with a cherry, currant, ripe peach, them strawberries the size of your fist you see by the roadside, and sliced Granny smith. It is clearly intensely lactic on the nose, and the brett aspects are either entirely dominated at this point, or they need time to gather themselves. The oak is restrained and this is clearly a berry show, not the white wine matinee you paid to see. However, the berry profile isn’t some jammy adjunct fest, it’s like a crisp farmers market spritzer that captures the tannins of the fruits, rather than their explicit juices. Again, the cherry and subtle raspberry dominance reminds me of a cuvee of Supplication and Crooked Stave Batch 1, and this is a very good platform to work upon.

T: At colder temps, this beast is intensely sour. The depth of all those fun fruits and berries take a backseat for a moment to deep punishing tannins that beg for some malty discipline or complexity to even out their keel. Once it warms up a bit, the show really starts and a fantastic bouquet of Jamba Juice citrus, those acidic notes meld seamlessly into peach and fresh cut grass. This doesn’t present a huge brett profile at any juncture, however, there is a certain joie de vivre of earthiness like a rye presence in the closer that keeps all of the fruits and acids in check. That slightly bitter mushroom closer gives a faint oaky and metallic presence to provide a more rounded approach from the single note Cascade and Upland offerings that sometimes kick your jaw inside our and give you no solace.

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

It is important to enjoy a nice wild farmhouse romp every once and again

M: This is very dry and after your first pour you will feel your gums grumbling about mistreatment, asking to see HR. This strips the valleys of your mouth of that mossy coating you maintain and leaves a raw tender shell of a face, bursting with berry goodness. There is a give and take, for each sip imparts an impartial love but cuts deeper, like when you eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and simply cannot stop the mouth abuse, chaining your own demise. It is punitive but thoroughly enjoyable.

D: The formula for this could succincly be stated (Smell + Taste) / Mouthfeel, the greater the sum of S+T, the larger integer presented for the ultimate drinkability payoff. If you can’t handle intensely acidic sours, this might not be your 160 bpm club smasher. However, for those of a more solid constitution, maybe you push yourself to that realm, skull an entire bottle and let your orthodontist figure it out. This could go either way, but drinking this beer is an absolute pleasure and a phenomenal take on arguably one of the most contested styles. Nothing DDB could offer could diminish what this beer has already accomplished, a tip of the acidic bowler to Mr. King.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders.  lick.

Now I need to reach out and get more of these inaccessible, low bottle count shredders. lick.

Narrative: The Jennings farm had seen better days, economically and agriculturally. The simple plot of 50 acres was home to the best cherries in the tri-state area for 3 generations, that is until Impact Confections moved into the adjoining parcel. Most of the simple folks in Shamsville, Missouri had never even heard of Atomic Warhead candies before they moved into town, now you could scarcely visit the general store without hearing about some new sour-based upset. “SO NOW TREVIN’S DENTIST BILLS ARE SKY HIGH. The nerve of this candy joint!” one local resident boomed, fuming while she purchased her sundries. Dirk Jennings shook his head and lamented, “boy she ain’t got the half of it, turns out their acidic stores have tapped into my underground well, now all my cherries are plum puckerin’ like a bovine b-hole at milking time.” His statement was not entirely hyperbole. The fruits from the farm had absorbed copious amounts of citric acid, changing his old farm into something wildly different. “I mean, I try to pick ’em, but my gloves get all itchy and I come in smelling like lemon zest and sour peaches, that ain’t no cherry pickin’ way,” Mr. Jennings bemoaned. The times were changing, simple farmhouses needed to adapt to the tart reality of modern consumerism. If someone isn’t exceedingly sour or demonstrably wild, the average customer might just drive right on past the simple old farms dotted along that Missouri interstate. You can ask the old Hennepin’s up in north county if you don’t believe me. The world done passed them by.


@tiredhandsbeer Handfarm, Barrel aged 500 bottle saison releases? This website was made for this kind of shit.

I hope YOUR hands aren’t too tired from stroking it to all these Pennsylvania walez. In today’s review we look at the inimitable Handfarm, a remix portmanteau of farmhands, aged in barrels, waxed and waiting for your touch. If you are new to this site, you might want to read up on Hop Hands before you just go into this review with some dry labias: Here is the cagematch from Saison Marathon yes I know that is a totally different beer. I am putting people up on that Tired Hands tip.

The only thing that can make an awesome saison even more betterer is barrel aging, look what it did to Arthur, took an already good beer to ART beast mode levels. Anyway, so this was a super small release and my balloon knot has been so puckered waiting to put my mouth on this so lets get to it.

God damn this beer is incredible.  In the unlikely event that you missed out on the 180 bottles of Ann, please seek this out.

God damn this beer is incredible. In the unlikely event that you missed out on the 180 bottles of Ann, please seek this out.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 5.20% ABV

A: No surprises out of the gate here, it looks very similar to Farmhands with a milky sort of pale straw disposition, folding its arms with microbubbles and some will of the wisp lacing regenerating for one black mana on the edges of the glass. MAGIC THE GATHERING JOKES: WE ARE DOING THEM NOW.

A beer this complex and refreshing that clocks in at 5%? They must have leveled their saison specs so hard. DPS for days.

A beer this complex and refreshing that clocks in at 5%? They must have leveled their saison specs so hard. DPS for days.

S: Wow, this reminds me a lot of Ann on the nose with just a huge dry white grape, musk, brett C, a light sweetness like those crescent rolls that people always fight over in commercials, lemon rind, and any candle that is yellow basically (lemon, birthday cake, sunlight, whatever.)

T: This carries more of a floral aspect than I was expecting and it presents a brett c muskiness at the outset that takes me to that vintage Fantome printemps land pretty quickly. There is a ton of complexity in the grain bill, you get sweetness, a light scratchiness as though rye was up in the mix, complicated yeasty profile on the backend that reminds me of banana runts. The yellow ones everyone always be throwing away. Again, this is just incredibly refreshing and the format size and inaccessibility of this beer is almost a complete “fuck you” to anyone without a legit cellar and a Fedex account. I DONT FEEL BAD FOR THEM THEY CAN DRINK HENNEPIN AND FUCK OFF.

This beer is so good, I wish they could just deliver it to my door.

This beer is so good, I wish they could just deliver it to my door.

M: This is dry at the outset because of the barrel and the brett c I would wager, think Seizoen bretta land, but the yeast and complex ass malt bill comes in kicking in doors without a warrant, tagging your mouthwalls up with sweetness, biscuit notes, stick floral potted plants on the gumline. When it leaves you don’t even know where to start, someone just farmfucked your mouth but you dont even fill out a police report because you secretly liked it.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and to say that 500ml is not enough is like dropping my monocle in a glass of 1995 Chateau Margoux and complaining about the dry cleaning bill. Most people will never have this, but this review site is not for most people. Chances are, if you are here you already lost most of your regular friends to the beer game. This site is for fucking lifers, guys with beer shivs tucked under their shitty ikea beds. If you want an incredibly refreshing saison, seek this out. It is both complex and restrained at the same time. It was gone before it even arrived.

Taking barrel aged saisons and comparing them is an art not a science

Taking barrel aged saisons and comparing them is an art not a science

Narrative: Chester Wakely was an average rabbit by any onlooker’s standards. Pronounced bicupsinds, whiskers, nimble, and soft to the touch. He spent his days in a gentle repose amongst the willows and sagebrush, basking in the floral decadence of the springtime sun. Deep down Chester knew that something was different about him. There was a longing complexity to his character that transcended the run of the mill “avoiding predators” and “mating.” Chester would often look across the hills to the Perkinson Vineyard and wonder about those pale yellow grapes lingering on the vine. Those chardonnay casks rolled in and out like the waxing and waning of moons. While he was only 5 lbs and a rabbit, he longed to be get deep into vinification. He lacked opposable thumbs or a developed cortex to execute complex processes, but God damnit, Chester could dream. He would later be hit by a Suzuki Samurai while trying to cross the interstate.

Godspeed, Chester.


2008 Odonata Saison, Retired Beers from Retired Brewers into a Liver that Should Have Been Retired

Sometimes we have to brush away the dust and look deep into ourselves and the past to analyze the deep perverse obsession with saisons. Only by confronting one’s own anechoic shortcomings can you really understand how good a saison is, feel me? If you know anything, you know about the revered Odonata Brewery, the hatchery that created the ultra famous Rorie’s (wh)Ale. So I figured I would excavate an old gem in today’s review to see where we have been, to figure out what the future will bring. As a side note, I went into Blue Palms Brew House and ordered the FW16 and the bartender asked me if I wanted 10 through 15 to go with that, not being a complete fucking idiot, I said yes as fast as my fat gluttal jowels could produce the sound. After I tried a few of that epic vertical, I spun some yarns with the cellar manager and he noted that he had “a really old saison” that I might enjoy. Next thing I know he busted out this archaic gem and shit got antediluvian faster than you could Ctrl+T that word. Thanks to Blue Palms for making a lil ticker’s dreams come true.

You can be the first to let me know that this is in fact a shitty picture.  Be that guy.

You can be the first to let me know that this is in fact a shitty picture. Be that guy.

Odonata Beer Company
California, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 6.40% ABV

A: This beer has a nice radiance not unlike the fleece that some Argonauts once sought, a deep gold meets a sort of dull amber that is not exactly milky/turbid, nor is it as clear as some pasteurized saisons would let on. The carbonation for a 5+ year old bottle was so excessive, the bartender demonstrated this by agitating it after pouring it into the tulip and making a foamy malfunctioning dishwasher mess all over the bar. Shit was so cash.

This beer is a strange merger of old and new cultures, with fascinating results.

This beer is a strange merger of old and new cultures, with fascinating results.

S: This rides side saddle largely due to its age and I can imagine that when this first came out it was a straightforward dry honey affair but the beer that it has evolved into is even more fantastic. I get a series of apple skins, anjou pear, biscuit malt, straw, the brett C is refined and seems to serve as a keystone for the ballustrade to support the hay aspects in a subtle way. Part of me wants to raise an eyebrow at the AWA aspects of this, but it gives me a gentle pat on the back and lets me know everything will be ok.

T: This is not as lactic as the nose would lead you to believe, but then again not all Mormon girls are as freaky as they say. Some things just need to be empirically confirmed. There is a light lemon aspect to this that works well with the wheaty chewy profile. I don’t get a whole series of fruits and tarts that I was hoping for but I will say that this beer will absolutely disappear from your glass like cologne and ipods from a high school party. There is a lingering aspect of chardonnay dryness but I suspect that was due to the cultures that I poured in later in the glass, there was no barrel work here and, as Dan Olson would say, “This shit did not even go into a barrel ©”

When someone hooks me up with an old ass saison just to see it reviewed, that pleases me.

When someone hooks me up with an old ass saison just to see it reviewed, that pleases me.

M: This is chewy while it is in your mouth but immediately dries out the palate and makes room for larger flavors in the lingering aftertaste. If you are accustomed to the realm of Dupont offerings, imagine that but then add a white grape and tannic dryness to the backend that resonates like sobs in the dorm room of an overweight Starcraft fan. Construct additional pylons for your palate.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and I merked this bottle pretty quickly. There is absolutely no alcoholic presence to this and the only real “problem” with this beer is the dryness and the excessive carbonation. When you take a sip it expands like those “just add water” shitty toys in the cereal aisle. As a result you are constantly mowing through the foam, trying to keep the gas down like getting Indian food on a first date. It is hard to fault a beer for my own rampant alcoholism, but, here we are.

This is not the biggest saison, but it is tough and weathered from a half decade of farmhouse aging.

This is not the biggest saison, but it is tough and weathered from a half decade of farmhouse aging.

Narrative: In a new wave of hysteria afflicting the youth of Boca Raton, wealthy young people had taken to body modification to strange new heights. When plugs were no longer in vogue, and surface piercings seemed to be a throwback of the days of the tired old Taking Back Sunday, the freshman class of Lynn University took to dangerous new procedures. It was September and the first fraternity parties were in full swing, the redolent smell of earth and stomped wheat lingered in the air, amongst stale alcohol and teeming hormones. Will Jacobs was working the door of his fraternity, half drunk on wheatgrass and everclear shots, accepting the paltry donations to the house, keeping Asian people out, things of that nature. A stunning young woman walked up with a retinue of attractive friends, each with their hands outstretched for a wanting “X” of approval from the ducal sharpie, validating their existence. Something was amiss. Will branded each in turn with the mark and the blonde haired girl who smelled of DKNY delicious, apples, and waterpark afternoons. “I need your hand, give me it.” Will commanded with a light buzz and the sounds of Juicy J resonating from inside. “Will, just let it go, leave it,” one of the other girls protested, her ill fitting BCBG dress pushing up to awkward heights. “LISTEN, mi casa, mis reglas, I need to see that RIGHT HAND, nothing else will do-” Will demanded and gripped her cold wrist. He felt a sharp whirring and the crinkling of thick plastic. “GOD DAMNIT WILL-” her friends protested and she pulled away the sheath to show her newest bodily modification, a cybernatic hand, the newest model from Skynet, the rage of the post-hardcore/Suicide Girls scene. “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED? DRAW THE X ON THE EXPOSED TRANSISTOR, you fucking assho-” she sobbed and wiped her face with a titanium finger that tasted of apple and honey lotion. The steps across the lawn and the whirring of a fresh penumatic compressor lingered in Will’s heart, and he knew that autumn was upon him, the past rushing forward, strangely developed in a new manner that he was unaccustomed to. He wanted to grip that hand and walk proudly with her on the promenade and win her prizes from a milk jug ball toss. That was all ruined now, as his failure to appreciate the past had denied his future. He seriously could not understand why a girl would think it was hot to have bionic implants, but this was Florida, a state where girls got countless stupid piercings and hummingbird tattoos.


Boulevard Brewing Saison Brett, For those who like their saisons a lil bretty. Saison bretty give real good head.

I really enjoy this beer and it blows me away when my regular trading partners toss this in as an extra. CFrances33 in particular on this one, thanks homie. California now gets Boulevard distro so that good days are upon us. Here is a midwest saison with a sharp brett character, let’s get it.

If you have ever opened one of these, you know that I did not pour it like an asshole.

Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 8.50% ABV

A: Just look at this ridiculous beer, I mean, could you seriously ask for any more carbonation? I know Upland and Fantome are notorious for this kind of nonsense but when carb is so aggressive that you have to go play some RPGs and come back to it, that is simply too much. The body is light golden straw and highlighter yellow at the edges. The lacing is substantial and the whole beer just goes hard in the farmhouse paint.

Sometimes the background elements are the most noteworthy.

S: This has a deep hay meets barnyard musk like puppy breath. There is also a sharp brett character that reminds me of wet leaves and a sort of acidic/white grape aspect to it. The whole beer is amazingly refreshing for 8.5% abv and could easily be a session master that even someone from the UK with the most aggressive of overbites could enjoy at the pub.

T: This is crisp and dry at the outset and the solid wheat base is there in the background like a supportive DJ, nodding on ever 2/4 clove and spice note. There is a light taste of alcohol as it warms but the banana aspects hang in there, like Denzel Washington in FLIGHT. I was going to address this in the M section but this beer has a deep crackle to it that pushes the flavors up and out, leaving a crisp bretty funk in its wake. The hop presence gets pushed out of the way with all of the moshpit of other things going on, but someone holds up the hop’s shoe and they retrieve it and get back up in that pit.

If you can’t handle over the top sours or huge belgian beers, this is a comforting gateway drug.

M: As I noted before, the carbonation just expands on the palate and foams in your mouth with a snap crackle and pop to it. I am not saying Rice Krispies are up in this mix, but the excessive dryness and crackle might put it in that realm. The brett almost reminds me of a chardonnay oak musk to it, solid through and though with deep refreshment.

D: As it warms, there is a bit of the ethanol aspect to it, but the clove/banana/dryness does a great job masking it. I killed this bottle really easily and wanted more while I was playing Borderlands. You can give this beer to damn near anyone and if they have their sea legs in the Hennepin territory, they can likely take this upgraded beer. Your friends are worth it, well, maybe they aren’t.

Pop this saison and it is go time Donny.

Narrative: Fourteen years at the Pepperidge Farm and this is how they treat Devin Francseon. He entered on the Goldfish line and revolutionized the flavor blast line when he added extra clove and allspice to the mix, creating something exceptionally sessionable for the consumer. Apparently no one remembered that. Devin added a level of complexity to the Milano melts, going beyond the overweight female/recent divorcee market. He gripped the pink slip with a tense stare at his Ziggy calendar and calculated his next move. “They take my contributions to the Geneva line and just kick me out, we will see about that.” He went and retrieved a sack of Thiamin Monotrate and headed to the Enriched wheat tanks. He was going to add something to that traditional wheat to funk it up. The batch went out the door at the same time Devin was cleaning out his desk. The company saw 140% profits on their new funkwork cookies, Devin stomped a bag of Tim Tams in frustration.


TIRED HANDS CAGE MATCH: Singel Hop Nelson vs. Farmhands – Two Saisons Enter, ONLY ONE LEAVES

I have enjoyed the marketing, branding, products and general panache set forth by Tired Hands Brewing Company. They set forth an extremely high quality product, laid out a groundwork of not only delicious beers but also a solid framework of innovation as well. The beers and marketing structure reminds me of another certain saison master out of VERMONT , but I will defer on that topic for the time being. Their galaxy hopped gose, GHOST, is a perfect example of it. Instead of trying to determine which saison to review from these saison ballers, I will treat you to an old fashioned CAGE MATCH. There will be only one survivor left to rule the farmhouse.

Here are the contenders:

For the visually impaired, this is the Singel Hop Nelson

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 5.00% ABV

I forget what was going on, I forget a lot of things when I drink this much saison. I can’t be expected to be responsible for all of Nana’s medication all the time.

Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 5.00% ABV


Nelson: This isn’t a particularly beautiful saison at the outset, the carbonation is pretty tame by the outrageous saison standards that we have seen this week, but it is far from deficient. It has a sort of dull shine to it like a yellow/orange shirt that has been washed with some towels. The lacing is pretty and makes some wispy lil ghosts on the glass.

Farmhands: This looks very similar to Nelson, no fucking shit, right? I enjoyed this a bit more though because it had less of wateriness to it and came across as a bit more creamy in execution. It was the same type of growler, shipping, and conditions so this should be pretty fucking equal but this one is clearly more attractive. Feel me.

WINRAR: Farmhands OG.

Both beers come from a proud lineage.


Nelson: This should be obvious, but it is overwhelminly Nelson hops. I drank this beer 4 days after it was growlered and it was still raging with a lemon, tangerine, light pine, and a faint bandaid aspect to it. I usually am not a fan of single hop variants using all Nelson, that Stone Best By was a completely bag of melted plastic. This is quite the exception. At the backend is a bad ass grassiness that supports and compliments the lemon scone aspects going on.

Farmhands: This takes a more traditional approach and I feel is better as a result because you can actually apprehend some of the nuances. In the Nelson it is hop onslaught, in this version you get some light honey, grassiness, a gentle spice, and some lemon peel. This just comes across as a more developed beer for anyone who isn’t a stupid ass Oracle chugging hophead who just discovered beer.

WINRAR: Farmhands OG.


Nelson: The outset has a sharp sweet and almost tart aspect to it that I absolutely love in light watery saisons. The malts are almost imperceptible due to the fact that a huge grassiness moves in and leaves an aggressive bittering aspect. Haters may hate due to the hop profile pulling it off style, but fuck it, this is flat out refreshing and delicious.

Farmhands: This is more traditional and stays closer to style with a cornbread and wheat profile that lingers with a faint lemon but, for the same reason that New Glarus saison was kinda janky, this is more boring in execution. This is by no means bad, but the Nelson version just takes more risks and I end up liking it more.

WINRAR: The Nelson.

Two draft only saisons? 4 fucking liters? surfs up bro, getting so pitted.


Nelson: This initially has a sweet honey stickiness to it but the hops are so over the top that all other nuances are completely choked out like Will Smith’s dog in I am Legend. As a result this is almost medicinal after the first pint because the pints seriously just do work on your cage, steady grassy hadookens right into your chest. I can’t hang with this kind of alpha acid abuse.

Farmhands: The farmhands has a creamier mouthfeel and a gentle sort of lemon acidity to it, but it again doesn’t blow me away with something I can tell my ungrateful ass grandkids about. I enjoy the light crisp finish of the Nelson version more, it feels like they added water to it and kept the abv, which doesn’t make sense TO SCIENCE, but I don’t care, sometimes I like those cones in my facehole.

WINRAR: Nelson version.


Nelson: This would be super high on the D scale if it wasn’t so. god. damn. hoppy. some people will have a fat cone boner and love this beer for that reason but I seriously challenge them to take down a full 2 liter by themselves like I did. Shit goes from fun to a full on drying chore. Your mouth ends up feeling like an incense show and smelling like Lillith Fair.

Farmhands: This is far easier to drink and doesn’t have a huge liability sack of dryness and resin in tow. I enjoyed the sweet meets acidic aspects to the Farmhands with the light grassy finish instead of subjecting my mouth to fucking Bath and Body works for 2 full liters, wait, make that 4 full liters. I am a champion.

WINRAR: Farmhands OG.

TOTAL WINRAR: Farmhands Saison is the more delicious making beer. Nelson is still legit but feels more like a hybrid trying to bang two styles at once, which at a party, never works out and it goes home alone.