Portland vs. WSU basketball: Baxter's Beer of the Game

You may have thought Baxter's column would end with the Cougar football season, but beer can be consumed all year round. We review another one of Vermont's best this week.

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Baxter the Pekapoo is still excited about WSU's dramatic victory in the Apple Cup. He spent much of the fourth quarter hiding, because he couldn't bear to watch. Or, he was terrified as I jumped around the living room yelling and screaming. I'll choose to believe the former.

It's been a big week for Baxter. There is snow on the ground, which he loves to eat. He also got a brand-new frisbee with a light, so he can play fetch in the dark. To top it off, he was thrilled to see that I brought home a beer from a brewery that we had previously only seen on draft in Burlington. In case you didn't know, most bars discriminate against dogs, so Bax doesn't get to try the beers that are draft only.

This game's selection comes from Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, VT. Hill is one of the best new breweries in the country, and I've enjoyed every beer I've tried from them. Previously, I'd only had beers from their vast selection of IPAs. Their Ephraim double IPA is wonderful, and their Edward Pale Ale is hopped like an IPA, and might be my favorite beer. My first try at their bottled ales came with "Anna." She is a honey saison.

Saisons are Belgian-style beers that are known for the unique flavor from the yeast. They are commonly made as summer ales, as the traditional yeast used in their production could ferment at higher temperatures without spoiling. They usually have some spice and fruit notes and finish clean. This particular version was brewed with Vermont wildflower honey.

Craig's Review: The aroma of the beer is sweet with just a little bit a spice. The first flavors come from the yeast, and there is the faint taste of banana and clove. As the beer moves back the sweetness from the honey kicks in to complement the spice. Finally, the beer finishes with a nice hop presence that cleans the palate and leaves the drinker ready for the next sip.

As I've said before, I love Belgians almost as much as I love heavily hopped IPAs. This beer is the best saison I've had, as the honey works well with some of the flavors from the yeast and provides an extra dimension. As always, well done Hill Farmstead.

Baxter's Review: Craig gave me some to lick up, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was staring at my new glowing frisbee. It is so magical. Even as I basking in the green glow, I remember thinking it was sweeter and not bitter like most of the other beers he drinks. He should drink more beer like that.

So that is what Baxter and I are drinking as the Cougs take on the Pilots. Share with us what you are having today, or just let us know what good beers you have tried lately.

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