Despite how long you’ve yearned for the longer, lighter evenings and those the balmy, warmer temperatures, nothing quite prepares you for when you can sit outside after a hard day’s work and open a bottle of beer and bask in the aforementioned attributes of this wonderful season we call spring.

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Smuttlabs Smuttwater 1.0 (Smuttynose Brewing Company and Stillwater Artisinal)

Style: American Mixed Fermentation Farmhouse Ale/ Farmhouse IPA (Brettanomyces & Saccharomyces)

7.3% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “Smuttlabs Smuttwater: A 7.3%, 45ish IBU golden, Belgian-influenced collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal Beer. It’s hoppy (Citra, Motueka, Simcoe, Amarillo). It’s fermented with two yeasts (saison and Brett Drei). It’s golden-colored and features collaborative art on the label.”

The beer pours a pale, chalky yellow with a huge head of eggshell white bubbles that leave a clinging string of sudsy lacing as it recedes. In body, the beer is hazy, but clean and clear, with a torrent of bubbles replenishing the girthy head. On the nose, the beer is bright and fresh with bretty fruit. A little bit of pineapple juice, a little bit of passion fruit, some mango and fresh cut grass, tart lemonade, some lime, and perhaps a kick of spicy ginger. The nose is rich and fresh, beautifully blending hops and funk in a scent that welcomes a drink. On the tongue, the beer tastes dry, yet fruity and fresh, with just a ghost of bready on the finish. The hop bitters are fresh and citric on the start and finish, and a bright citrus acidity pops throughout the sip, freshening the separate tastes. In flavor, the beer follows the nose. Fresh fruit juice blends with grassy, citric hops in a beautiful mélange. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body, with a fresh effervescent carb that tingle on the tongue. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left skimmed and smacking with hoppy astringent resin. In case this review has not over used the word yet, the beer feels fresh, crisp, and highly drinkable, with just the faintest whisper of residual sugars to give it just a hint of weight. Overall, this is a delicious hop-funk blend. This is a farmhouse IPA to rival the best, yet is funky enough to fall under a simple American Farmhouse Ale style (granted my style guidelines are completely arbitrary and based on what I feel and nothing else…). This is a great little collaboration that Smuttlabs and Stillwater have thrown together, and I’m really impressed with the blend of funk and hops that they have built. This is a little bit different of a creature than HF Dorothy, but I would hold it in the same caliber. This is essentially another fresh take on that realm of hoppy farmhouse funk, and it’s really nice.


Abandon Farmhouse IPA and Berliner Weisse - The Abandon growlers from earlier in the week. Neither were as good as the 4 beers I sampled in the flight.

Farmhouse IPA - this had good flavor, not really too much of a Belgian kick too it. Incredibly cloudy. Had to be near the end of the keg. The last pour must have had half an inch of sediment in it.

Berliner Weisse - lacking any real tartness. Bland and disappointing. I knew this was a big risk without tasting it, but the desire to try something new made me take the leap. In hindsight maybe trying the dubbel would have been the better option.

Beltane Brewing’s Citroen Farmhouse IPA on tap at Beer Revolution in Oakland. A 3 of 4. Pretty awesome stuff - lots of dry yeast notes in the nose, lots of grass and spice, but not much funk to speak of. Some nice pine-ish bitterness as well. Drinks like a good, medium bodied saison. I’m looking forward to trying more from Beltane (it’s close in Novato, CA!).

Dorothy (Hill Farmstead Brewery)

Style: Hoppy Farmhouse Pale Ale

7.0% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “Farmstead ale brewed with wheat, fermented with Brettanomyces, and hopped with Citra. Dry-hopped in the foudres.”

The beer pours a cloudy, straw yellow with a huge, creamy, and smooth head of whipped white bubbles. When the head leaves, the glass is left with a proper spatter work of thin, frothy lacing. In body, the beer is cloudy, and solidly opaque. The coloring is gorgeously pastel. On the nose, the beer smells of fresh hops, doused in juicy citrus and mango. There are hints of passion fruit, pineapple, and juicy slabs of funk are subtly musting everything up below the other scents. As I really shove my nose in it, an herbal, hay-like scent blossoms outwards. On the tongue, the beer tastes slightly sweet, with soft acidity which pops with citric yum, and a slowly building bitterness that quenches at the tongue. The citric brightness blends lightly into a fruity sweetness, and there’s just a touch of earthiness within the bitterness, which adds another touch of complexity. In flavor, the beer starts with fresh pineapple juice, lemonade, and mangoes, before slowly working in grassy bitters, then citric bitters with a touch of pine that slowly works more and more into the taste. It tastes of fresh juicy citrus juice that slowly builds in fresh bitter herbs and pine and just a light finish of breadiness. In the mouth the beer feels on the light side of medium, with a higher carbonation that delivers fresh effervescence with a light pop and frothiness. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left lightly taught throughout, with a sticky, bitter resin lingering on the tongue and some saliva coating everything. The mouth ends up feeling bright and fresh, like all HF beers tend to do. Overall, this is delicious and crushable, with a healthy bitter backend, and tasty, fruity, citric funk on the front end. I could drink this for days.