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Founders Harvest Ale - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Harvest AleFounders Harvest Ale

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967 Reviews

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Reviews: 967
Hads: 3,883
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 380
Gots: 341 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: granger10 on 10-24-2004

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 967 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of iabeerbaron
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4



ABV: 7.6%


POUR: Golden/orange pour with a medium white head.

AROMA: Grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine.

TASTE: Lots of citrus fruit, a bit of sweetness and then the hops take over.

Ratebeer.com rating: 99

Beeradvocate rating: 95

Overall: A

My recommendation: Fresh Hop beers are meant to be drank fresh. If you’re an IPA fan this is a must have and you have to get it soon! Terrific brew! (451 characters)

Photo of MattyBones
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a 4pack of this the other day after hearing some great reviews of this brew and I must say that I was highly impressed.

Appearance: A nice golden yellow with a thin white head.
Smell: Citrus, citrus, citrus...grapefruit and lemon dominate the nose giving off a beautiful scent.
Taste: Liquid hops and grapefruit. Absolutely delicious, strong citrus with the perfect bitterness, but doesn't overpower the palate. Finishes clean and refreshing.
Mouthfeel: smooth, and clean. slick on the tongue but doesn't linger too long after finished.

Overall this is another classic brew from Founder's. Very fresh and something I can easily and happily see myself enjoying over and over again. (696 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a golden yellow with a bit of orange in there with a white one finger head.

The aroma has a bit of grapefruit and citrus with tons of pine and leafy green. Deep in there, there's some onion there as well. There's almost a gentle hint of smoke or meat from that deep dank onion character hidden in there.

The flavor follows with a tinge of grapefruit and mostly lemon peel in the front. There's a biscuity malt that carries the beer through palate with a wonderful clean and substantial malt body. The finish just hits with lots of green leafy hops, pine, a bit of that onion. The fruit notes and lemon linger throughout as this beer is decently bitter.

This is a great food pairing beer or session/hang out beer. The hops don't come out to shine and define themselves, but it still is really nice drinking and hoppy. (837 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

Bottling date has rubbed off, oops.

A- Nice deep gold, like a Munich gold. Medium-high white head that dissipates quicker than I thought it would.

S- Grapefruit, bitter medium pine. Very vibrant.

T- Cracker malt, a really smooth bright bitterness.

M- Pretty light for a 70 IBU beer, very easy drinking.

O- A superb example of fresh hops and very crisp and enjoyable to have on a sunny fall afternoon, just wish Michigan had more of those. A lot of hype behind this beer, think most of that is it's Founders and it's so seasonal and can be hard to find. Thought this was similar to Double Trouble but with more aromatic hops than bitter. (685 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous sun yellow orange with tons of carbonation that quickly recedes.

Huge citrus and tropical notes, mango, orange, pine, spice, and resin.

Orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine, and hop resins.

Light-bodied, medium-high carbonation, bitter, crisp, dry finish.

Overall, I was expecting a little more, but a great fresh hop brew nonetheless. (351 characters)

Photo of IPAdams
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours a clear, pale gold with a two inch foamy head that lingers for a while and leaves nice lacing. Good visible carbonation.

Smell- As soon as you open the bottle, the hops become apparent. Strong but pleasant smell of pine, grapefruit and lemon zest. Also some fruitiness a bit of fresh cut grass.

Taste- A good balance of bitterness, grapefruit and again I get a bit of grass and mustiness. Pale malt flavors are present in the background.

Mouthfeel- body and carbonation are good for the style. Fairly dry on the finish.

Overall- Enjoyed everything except the taste. Not sure if it was a bad bottle but it had a good deal of mustiness that I didn't care for, everything else was good for the style. (719 characters)

Photo of emyers
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy pale gold with a fluffy 2 finger white head. Good head retention and leaves a very nice lacing down the glass.

Smell: Vibrant hoppy aroma featuring grapefruit, tangerine, and pine. A hint of caramel malt sneaks in to round it out, but this is all about the hops, and the hops are spot on - fresh, juicy, and delicious.

Taste: Similar to the smell and bursting with citrus and piney hops. The malt comes through a little more with caramel and biscuit notes, which is just enough to balance the hops without getting in the way at all. Moderate bitterness on the finish and no alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel: Light, dry, and crisp on the palate with a moderate carbonation level. Leaves you craving another sip.

Overall: Flat out phenomenal IPA. I feel this gets overlooked sometimes amidst the heavy hitters in Founders' portfolio. Don't make that mistake. (934 characters)

Photo of timmy2b
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass. Very small amount of head. It is a golden, hazy almost amber color. Has a nice citrus smell, but nothing over the top. The flavor is good. Some Orange, Citrus up front. It does have a bitter finish which lingers a little bit. This is not a heavy beer, its fairly medium for mouthfeel. Overall I feel this has a good balance of the citrus and bitterness,although I was not expecting the bitter to last as long after each sip, still a very drinkable IPA. (490 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - This beer is a hazy light amber with an inch of off-white head.

S - The smell has some citrus. I also get some grass like a freshly mowed lawn.

T - The taste is full of citrus with a bitter, piney, resin finish.

M - It is smooth and moderately carbonated. Medium feel.

O - As one would expect from Founders, this is a terrific beer. It is a little more bitter than I care for in an IPA. I like more citrus, but I will drink a lot of these while in season. (516 characters)

Photo of gr0g
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes on 2013 version (7.6% ABV), one month from bottling, on which review scores are based:

Slight haze, more of an amber color. Head is about two fingers high and leaves a very nice crown of lace. Aroma is grassy and "grapefruity" overall, without much in the way of tropical citrus notes. Fresh and floral, but not all that vibrant. This is a significant regression from my experience with last year's version, and the aroma can be described as nothing more than "nice."

Flavor remains predominantly dry and hop-focused, though it does seem like the malt backbone is more robust. It treads in a neutral ground between puckering bitterness, malty sweetness, and fruity/estery. It's simultaneously well-balanced and a bit lacking in character. Mouthfeel remains excellent. I'm finding it hard to score this review -- Harvest Ale 2013 is still a very good IPA, but it's falling well short of my recollection of previous years. I recommend picking up a 4-pack, but don't pick up any more (as I did) without trying it first.

Notes on 2012 version (6.5% ABV) from 11/19/2012:
Slightly hazy, straw colored. Kind of an uninspiring head with only splotchy lacing. Fortunately, things only get better. Wonderfully fresh hop aromas of citrus and resiny pine. Swirl the glass, take a whiff, and grapefruit rind becomes more apparent. One of the most aromatic IPAs I've had. Sharp bitterness greets the tongue, leading to a pithiness and dryness on the finish. 70 IBUs sounds about right. The malt body is well in the background, light and cracker-like. Bitter citrus rind and some resin are at the forefront. Mouthfeel hits all the right notes with respect to carbonation and hop oils. Having tried this, my enthusiasm for Sierra Nevada Celebration is admittedly dulled a bit - Founders Harvest truly showcases the beauty of fresh, wet hops. (1,835 characters)

Photo of 2Xmd
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 10/02/13.

Pours a nice golden color with a thick white head. Smells of pine and citrus. Mouthfeel of sticky chewy hops. Taste is of resinous piney hops with citrus flavors of tangerine and orange. Nice slightly bitter finish. Overall an awesome example of a freshly wet hopped ale. Will be anxiously awaiting this next year. (337 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear bright golden amber color with a white head. Super resinous nose, lots of pine and grapefruit, ctirus peel. A little earthy, touch of tobacco, a bit of soap.

Not as brightly flavored as I had hope but pungent hop flavor for sure. Medium bodied, light prickly carbonation, almost no malt presence whatsoever so you do really get to taste the hops. Lots of pine and bitter rinds flavor throughout, along with being super resinous. Bitterness is bold but oddly not overwhelming. Not balanced but one of the most pleasing and refreshing bitter flavors I've ever tasted. There is a touch of alcohol heat but that's probably because the malt presence barely exists. Overall a pretty nice beer. It's limited availability kind of sucks but still pretty good. (766 characters)

Photo of itsscience
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep amber with one finger of white head that dissipates quickly. The nose has a smell of grapefruit and some sweeter citrus fruits like orange, papaya, and mango. I get that same grapefruit and sweet citrus profile on the front of the tongue, which reminds me of Cigar City Jai Alai, but then it leaves a stinging bitterness with not much of a malt backbone to balance out the taste. The body is medium with a high carbonation that intensifies the sting you get from the bitterness. An interesting beer, and a good one, but not among my favorite IPAs. (598 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

For me, even beyond FBS and KBS, this is Founders' crowning achievement. A basically perfect single IPA.

On tap at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY. $8 bucks for a pitcher of Harvest Ale? Yes plz.

Pours a dark orange into this Labatt Blue pitcher. Even in the pitcher, it forms a decent head of about 3 inches. Pretty bubbly, looks well-carbonated.

Smells incredible. Citrus abounds, with some spicy pine in the background.

Similar flavors. To expand, the fruits I taste are grapefuits, oranges and pineapples. The harvest wet-hops give the beer a supreme dankness however- like I scooped the beer off of the forest floor. Now that might sound like a bad thing, and it might be to some people, but for me, it's dynamite. Spicy, raw, and earthy hop flavors on the back end of this- grass, pine needles, cannabis, with a extremely bitter finish that carries over to the fruit forward front end on the next sip, making a perfect combination of flavors for my happy mouth.

Pretty dry mouthfeel, medium carbonation, medium body.

A masterpiece. What a single IPA should be. (1,076 characters)

Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Bottled on 10/02. Consumed on 10/30.

A - Golden orange with moderate carbonation. Gentle pour yielded less than a finger of white head. Clear/no cloudiness or sediment. Light irregular lacing.

S - Very nice. Crisp, easily identifiable scent. Pink grapefruit with a hint of orange. Reminded me of a Double Trouble.

T - Pink grapefruit, orange, and mango with a mildly bitter grapefruit/onion finish. Barely discernible malt backbone, but quite appropriate for the style. Drawback is I get the dreaded onion taste in the finish, and it lingers on the tongue. I love the initial flavor, but not a fan of the finish.

M - Very nice. Carbonation perfect for this type of beer. Nice tingle on tongue and throughout mouth. Crisp and refreshing.

O - Great beer, except for the onion in the finish, which ruins it to a certain extent for me. I really appreciate the orange, mango, grapefruit mix though. Its worth a try. (963 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, about 3-4 weeks fresh, poured into a Speigelau tulip.

Pours a clear copper body with a solid head of large and small white bubbles, great retention and lacing.

Aroma is of fresh dank hops, even a few weeks out. Piney and floral, not as much citrus or tropical fruit.

Taste follows the nose and tastes very fresh with clean, refreshing, floral pine hop notes. Medium bitterness, medium maltiness, very balanced, not overly sweet. Not overpowering in any one regard, extremely drinkable. ABV of 7.6% very well hidden.

Mouth is crisp, light, smooth, moderately carbonated, just nicely done.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. A nice change of pace from the extreme-hopped IPAs that dominated the summer. This goes down easy, tastes very fresh, and is very refreshing. Very glad to get a 4-pack of this. (825 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crisp golden color that's fairly transparent with limited thin white head. The lack of head from an appropriate pour was slightly odd. The smell is piney with citrus rind. The taste is near perfect. Enough brightness and citrus on the front that blends into a piney bitterness with a clean, crisp finish. You can tell this beer is fresh and it shines. Really hit the spot, and it's a top notch ale. You do get a hint of the booze on the finish too. (448 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a fourpack purchased 10/27 in Worcester for $12. Bottled on 10/3/13.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Clear gold with a tall rocky white head which receded to thick surface foam and patchy lacing. Slightly lighter color than the other harvests I have had this season.

s: Intense grapefruit and pine.

t: Moderate hops over a light malt base. Hops strong tasting but do not linger much on the tongue. Dry finish except for grassy/vegetal aftertaste from the wet hops.

m: Light to moderate. Very smooth under the hops bitterness.

o: The lightest looking and tasting of the five harvest ales I have had so far this season (the others were Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere Harvests, Southern Tier and Ipswich Harvests), but with perhaps the strongest hop presence. Easy drinking. Outstanding for the reasons cited.

UPDATE 11/7/14: First bottle of the 2014 release, bottled 9/30/14, purchased in Northampton last Wednesday for the same price as last year. Little to change from the review above from last year, except the head was much thinner, half finger at best, and this one had fewer grassy notes early on. Still very enjoyable and easy going. (1,217 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to an oversized wineglass (Tired Hands stemware, if you’re curious—which you probably aren’t); bottling date of . . . I’m honestly not sure. I think October 2, 2013, but the yellow ink has rubbed off a bit (“BOTTLED 10 02 13”). I know what the Founders bottling info is supposed to look like but the ink isn’t so great sometimes.

Appearance (3.5): Just about two fingers of fat, kinda crackly foam that’s just off-white and dissipates at a moderate speed. It doesn’t stick around all that long, though, leaving just a thin film on the surface of the body, which is a nearly clear 24ct yellow gold color. Lacing is minimal: spotty suds here and there all around the glass, but they don’t stick.

Smell (4.25): Great hop aroma: some passionfruit and guava mixed with some dank herb, some resin, some tropical floral character (like hibiscus), and then straight back to that sweet, juicy passionfruit character. It all sits over a moderately rich, chewy, bready malt body with just a little caramel that blurs the line with that passionfruit/guava.

Taste (4.25): Some modest tropical fruit flavor blends with that malt character, which is like a drier, lighter version of what’s in the nose—kinda bready, sturdily toasted, rustic and grainy. The hop flavor quickly transitions into a pretty solid bitterness—strong grapefruit zest, herbal/floral tea bitterness, lots of resin, and in the finish a lingering combo of the citrus zest and herbal tea. This is just a damn fine IPA, with a focus on that solid bitterness. As it warms up, though, there’s definitely a more subtle layer of hop flavor that comes out, that delves deeper into the floral/herbal tea aspect, sweetened lightly by a passionfruit-like citrusy character.

Mouthfeel (4.0): It’s got a just-about-medium-weight body with a pretty tingly carbonation, which foams easily, dies down easily, and washes out for an oily, quite dry body. It drinks really easily, actually. There might be some booze hiding inside that dryness, but it’s not particularly evident.

Overall (4.25): Sorta-lacking appearance aside, everything else about this beer is quite a bit above average to excellent. It kind of reminds me of older-school American IPAs that don’t focus so heavily on juicy-sweet citrus on the palate and put more into the bitterness—which is well-crafted, moderately complex, and very satisfying. This is a damn good beer and a great use of wet hops. (2,494 characters)

Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Samuel Smith's pint glass. Pours a clear golden with a half a finger of soapy, white head that dissipates into a cap. Had strong aromas of grapefruit and lemon. There was pine, orange, and dish soap in the background. Taste is full of sweet tropical fruits, and it finishes with a soapy bitterness. The bitterness lingers for a while. Not a light beer, but I can't say it's even a medium bodied beer because it is so sessionable.

Overall: Probably the best wet hopped IPA I've had to date, a must try for hop heads. (531 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. The bottling date is a little hard to read but is definitely in October, so this is likely just a couple weeks old.

Appearance: Pours a translucent gold/amber and leaves a finger of white head.

Smell: Dank hops, light pine, light malts, bread. A dash of citrus. Surprisingly mild aroma, but definitely pleasant. Wish I could get a bit more from this one.

Taste: Surprisingly (to me) matches the smell pretty well. Rather subdued but pleasant. Hops are out front but balanced well by malts. Mild pine, light citrus, mango. Finishes a bit hoppier with some pine and citrus.

Mouth-feel: Pretty well carbonated (medium to high) with a light to medium body. I like the body for this style of IPA.

Overall: Very well balanced and pleasant. The flavors are a bit more subdued than I was expecting, but it is well crafted with nothing negative in sight. For a bigger IPA, this is very refreshing and crisp. I could drink plenty of this one. (980 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with herbal and spicy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid fresh hop quality in both the aroma and flavor. (653 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a golden yellowish orange. good clarity and a off white head of about a finger that leaves a little lacing on the edges

Smell: quite malty. bready biscuity malts. some tropical, juicy hops.

Taste: opens up with some biscuity malts. that make way to a fruity subtle juicy hop. ends dry

Mouthfee: pretty light good masking on the alcohol and IBU's. dry and not overly bitter

Overall: a pretty good brew but not enough to separate into the category of limited specialty releases (491 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with a bottling date of 10/4/2013, poured into a Founders' snifter today, 10/27/2013.

Pours a very pretty clear copper body with a nicely effervescent, foamy head with OK retention. The head drops into a thick-ish collar with a small amount of foamy film concentrated in the middle. Very nice appearing pale ale, good lacing as the beer disappears.

Smells citrusy with traces of bready malts in the background. The nose is mostly grapefruit with a bit of orange zest mixed in with a bit of honeyed biscuits. It actually smells reasonably balanced. Not the most intense nose.

On the palate, this beer is very balanced. Starts out with a solid but not overwhelming grapefruit flavour which is balanced out by a nice biscuit and toffee sweetness, with a nice yet non-descript bitter finish. It's a very balanced, drinkable flavour profile.. but not particularly complex or fascinating.

Great mouthfeel- medium bodied and resinous, excellent carbonation, very drinkable and interesting. Leaves a nice refreshingly dry, bitter finish. I'm really finding this one to be very drinkable. Yet, the bitter finish is fairly non-descript- it's just fairly bitter. Which is fine.

Its a straightforward, well-crafted American IPA. None of this hoopla about wet hops or this or that, if you just consider it as an American IPA, this is a very well-balanced, drinkable and refreshing IPA. However- I'll have to be honest- as far as wet hop IPAs go, this is pretty tame. (1,470 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a small head (consistently <1 finger), snow white with decent retention. Good lines of lacing down the glass. Brew is straw-golden, nearly transparent, bubbly, with a pulpy look.

Huge juicy hoppy aroma; lovely, lovely smell. Tropical fruit, light sweet citrus, and some resin: mango, mandarin orange, floral. Wonderful and strong aroma.

Taste is less sweet than the aroma, more of a dry hoppiness. Resin, slight biscuit malts, pine sap, pepper, and tropical fruit.

Medium/light feel with some hop oil cling and residue. Semi-dry, with minimal carbonation sting.

This is a solid IPA, very reminiscent of Jai Alai and Flower Power. The taste can't quite live up to the incredible aroma, but it's by no means poor. Buy it while it's fresh. (749 characters)

Founders Harvest Ale from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.