If you’re tipping back pints at the Blind Tiger this week and hear a gent bellow, “Ephraim!,” not to worry: You’re not being filmed in a Little House on the Prairie remake.
Ephraim is a dry-hopped, 10.3 percent ABV imperial IPA from Vermont’s Hill Farmstead Brewery. Along with Abner, Earl, Harlan, and Edward, it is a beer named for brewmaster Shaun Hill’s ancestors, and one of five being newly poured around town this week at Chowhound favorites like Ginger Man, Spuyten Duyvil, Blind Tiger, and Bierkraft.
Hill brews beer in small batches on the Greensboro Bend farm his family has owned for 120 years, and he names varieties for the relatives with whom he’d like to drink them. Until recently he was head brewer at Copenhagen’s Nørrebro Bryghus, and he is perhaps the only Vermont brewer we know who hangs a Danish flag above his tanks. Hill is a noteworthy addition to the brew scene not only for his quality quaffs—we sampled Abner and were impressed by its floral notes and restrained hoppiness—but for his neighbors: The CHOW 13’s Andy and Mateo Kehler, who craft Jasper Hill Farm cheeses, live about a mile down the road. Hill has collaborated with the Kehlers on cheeses like Winnimere, a beer-washed-rind fromage that has made cameos at restaurants like Per Se.
The Hill Farmstead kegs are relatively small, and they’re going fast, so call first, lest you end up weeping over Abner and Earl at the bar.
Blind Tiger [Greenwich Village]
281 Bleecker Street, Manhattan
Ginger Man [Murray Hill]
11 E. 36th Street, Manhattan
Spuyten Duyvil [Greenpoint]
359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn
Bierkraft [Park Slope]
191 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn
Discuss: Favorite Beer Bar Ever?