Welcome to my beer blog. Here I'll post some of my thoughts on and reviews of craft brewed beer. Follow me on Twitter @AleThoughts

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hill Farmstead Event at Rattle N Hum in NYC

by Greg Kokosinski (@gregkoko)

Last night my good friend Greg visited one of New York's premier tap bars for this event. Greg has Northern NJ and NYC covered for us. You should follow him on Twitter!

In 2010, Shaun Hill, headbrewer of Hill Farmstead Brewery, quickly became the critical darling of the craft beer world.  Located on a farm in Greensboro, Vermont, Hill Farmstead has brewed some of the highest rated beers to come out in the past year.  They were rated the number one new brewery on Rate Beer for 2010.  If you hope to find any of Hill Farmstead's beers, good luck to you.  Bottles are only available at the retail shop in Vermont.  Their draft offerings are mainly available in Vermont, but the occasional keg will make its way to New York City or Philadelphia.  

It's always a treat to see Hill Farmstead show up on the draft list at one of the better know beer bars in Manhattan such as Rattle N Hum.  Rattle N Hum is located on 33rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.  They showcase more than 40 craft beers on tap every day along with one of the biggest bottle lists you'll ever see.  For the most part we see a select few of the Ancestor Series, the main lineup of beers for Hill Farmstead.  All of the beers are named for Shaun's ancestors, such as Edward, the flagship American pale ale named for Shaun's grandfather.

It was a great thrill to see Rattle N Hum announce a Hill Farmstead event for Friday April 8th.  They boasted that this would be the largest Hill Farmstead event New York has seen up until this point in time.  Rattle N Hum was to have nine of Hill Farmstead's fantastic selections on tap.  There were to be some of the lesser distributed beers from the Ancestor Series as well as a few from the Single Hop IPA series.

Typically, Rattle N Hum hosts their brewery events on Tuesday nights to ensure smaller crowds and so everyone can get a taste of what they want.  As this was a Friday night, I knew I needed to rush down after work.  The happy hour crowd plus the weekend crowd would guarantee a huge turnout.  Luckily, everything was still on tap when I arrived, but to my dismay only six kegs made their way down to Rattle N Hum for the event.

I started off with Harlan (American IPA), described by the brewery as "Edward's slightly more aggressive alter-ego."  There was a nice citrus nose, and a wonderful bitterness to the beer.  This was an excellent IPA, dry hopped with Columbus hops.  I then moved onto Everett Robust Porter.  Nice notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.  Surprisingly hot for a 7.5% beer though.  Next up was Anna, a saison-ish biere de Miel.  Anna is brewed with 20% raw wildflower Vermont honey and Hill Farmstead's house saison yeast.  Obviously, you get the honey up front.  This is a bit of a dry saison, and like everything else, Shaun really knocks it out of the park.  I ended the all too short night with a Foster, classified as a Black Rye IPA.  As far as Black IPAs go, this is second to none.  Aggressively hopped, but well balanced with rye and roasted malt.

All in all, this was an incredibly well run event which is to be expected from Rattle N Hum.  They truly are in a class all their own as far as beer bars are concerned.  Hill Farmstead will continue to make a big name for themselves in the craft beer world this year.  They could easily go from the number one new brewery to the number one overall brewery in the world.  I greatly look forward to whatever Hill Farmstead comes up with next.  I just hope I get to see it in New York bars!

Huge thanks again to Greg for this coverage of the NYC scene. I look forward to more from him in the future! Be sure to follow Hill Farmstead and Rattle N Hum on Twitter @HillFarmstead , @rattlenhumbar


  1. from what I heard, the beer ran out way too quickly and several rare kegs that were supposed to be there never showed up. I didn't even bother going, b/c it didn't actually turn out well managed at all.

  2. Yes, there were a few kegs that did not make their way down from Vermont. That was no fault of Rattle N Hum though. Sadly, as is the case with HF, someone actually had to drive up to Vermont to pick up the kegs for the event! I've read some posts about people saying the beer ran out far too quickly, but it was a Friday night. Everything went on at 1pm and as of 6:30, when I left, the only thing that had kicked was the Harlan. It seems like Rattle did the best with what they had been given. But if you're still looking to find some HF beers, there will be an event at the Blind Tiger today.


  3. The only Hill Farmstead beer I've had is the Edward Pale Ale. Sadly, the keg kicked mid pour, so I got about an 8oz pour of it, albeit for free. It was amazingly delicious for the amount I got.

    Glad they're in Philly, although, it's not exactly something easy to find...