For a while I’ve had my sights on Bent Hill Brewery … my local beer shop, Stowe Public House and Bottle Shop, has been carrying some of Bent Hill’s interesting creations for some time now. So I finally had the chance to swing by the tap room, way at the top of a hill in bucolic Braintree, Vermont. You can sip your beer while gazing at mountain tops and open fields.
Mike Czok is the master brewer at Bent Hill, and whatever he is doing, it’s working … he brews small batches of curious ingredients. I tried five samples and this is what I found:
Wee Bird (5.0% ABV) A Kolsch style ale … very crisp and refreshing.
Appearance: 4.3 | Aroma: 4.4 | Feel: 4.5| Taste: 4.4 | Overall: 4.4
* Blood Orange (8.2% ABV) A double IPA and a definite hit with subtle aromas and tastes of the blood orange.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.9 | Feel: 4.9| Taste: 4.8 | Overall: 4.8
Wildflower Meadows (5.5% ABV) A farmhouse saison … made with a smack of honey. This beer looked fine, but lacked aroma and flavor.
Appearance: 4.7 | Aroma: 4.o | Feel: 4.2| Taste: 4.2 | Overall: 4.2
Imagination Over Existence (8% ABV) Pretty good double IPA (but not as good as the Blood Orange).
Appearance: 4.4 | Aroma: 4.6 | Feel: 4.5| Taste: 4.4 | Overall: 4.5
Blue Jay Way (5% ABV) This beer had an unmistakable color and appearance … made with blueberries and vanilla. I had higher hopes for its aroma and taste.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.3| Taste: 4.3 | Overall: 4.3
The Cicerone says: the Bent Hill tap room is best visited on a sunny day … any time of the year. Some beers are only available as pours at the tap room, but there are cans available for sale. Also, enter the parking lot slowly as there are few very friendly dogs wandering about.
* Added to my Favorites List. I am on the look-out for these beers when at a local restaurant, pub, or craft beer store. In this case, the beer is only available on site at the brewery!