Beers in Review: Hillman Beer's Beer Rundown, Part 2

I have two more Hillman Beer beers on tap to review today. Hillman is doing great things up in North Carolina, and you can check out their Brewvue and Part 1 of this BiR from earlier this month in the links provided. Let’s get to the beers!

First up is Family Tradition, which Hillman calls a “Belgian Hop Blond”. It comes in at 7.5% ABV and 24 IBU. The beer is fairly hazy, coming in at a straw color (or a hair darker). Grassy and resiny notes take the lead in this beer, backed up by passion fruit, mango, and other tropical fruits. Maybe just a bit of candy sweetness in there, too. This beer has a fairly unique flavor profile, but I enjoyed this different style.

Next is Hillman’s try at the New England IPA, which they call Hazy Half-Back. 5.9% ABV, 57 IBU. The beer pours a very cloudy yellow and sports an expectedly juicy and smooth mouthfeel. Plenty of tropical and citrus fruits present, and I even felt like I got something like iced tea. While not necessarily doing anything too outside of the box (maybe the icea tea spice bit), this is a solid execution of this highly in-demand style.

Beers in Review: Hillman Beer's Beer Rundown, Part 1

As a follow-up to the Brewvue of Hillman Beer from a couple of weeks back, I have several of their beers to discuss. Some of these beers I mentioned previously, some not. Let’s get started.

ESBs—Extra Special Bitters-are an English beer style that can be hard to come by in the American craft beer scene, and great ESBs even more so. Hillman’s award-winning (a Silver at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival) ESB is a beer I’ve been seeking out for a long time. Hillman’s ESB checks in at 6.1% ABV and 37 IBU. It pours a clear, deep gold color and the taste profile brings a nice malt/hop balance. There are plenty of pleasing caramel and toffee notes along with some mild toasty elements, as well. A bit of hop bite leads to a fairly clean finish.

As mentioned in the Brewvue, Hillman certainly likes to put a good bit of Belgian influence into its beer line-up, even trying things like a BPA, a Belgian Pale Ale. 6% ABV, 29 IBU, this beer pours a hazy gold color. I found the beer seemingly play in two parts: the Belgian front and the Pale Ale back. There is plenty of clove and spice aroma which also play in to the front part of the tasting experience. You will also find some bubble gum sweetness up front, but I found that tended to dissipate as my palate adjusted and “sweet” is not a word I would use in the overall flavor profile. The back end of the tasting experience brought a good bit of hop bite. Other flavor notes included some mild caramel maltiness.

We’ll have 2 more from Hillman in our next entry. See you then!

Brewvue: Hillman Beer

While I don’t expect a trip to Asheville, NC, aka the East Coast Mecca of Craft Beer, to necessarily become an annual occurrence—there are just too many other great places to visit—it was my chosen destination for several days last month. The visit was centered around a show by a favorite band of mine in Asheville that week, but I also checked out a handful of new breweries, checked out the Beer Geek tour at Sierra Nevada’s Mills River facility, and visited a few old favorites or places that didn’t get much attention last time around.

After the obligatory stop for a BBQ lunch, the first place on the agenda was Hillman Beer, located near the Biltmore Estate and Village just south of the city.


The space is fairly industrial, with the production area easily viewable from the tasting room, though some nice woodwork in the bar and other areas set this tasting room apart from others. Where Hillman truly excels, aesthetically, is in their outdoor spaces, which includes a partially-shaded roadside picnic table area out front (shown below) and a small seating around in the back shaded by trees and sitting near a creek.


Two notes to take away from their tap list: the Great American Beer Festival medals, and the fact that they tend to like pushing things in a decidedly Belgian direction, as a unique Belgian Pale Ale joins a number of more traditional Belgian styles. The ESB lives up to its Silver Medal status, and the previously-mentioned BPA and the Wampa Wit are also quite good.