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Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPASierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,776 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,776
Reviews: 1,309
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 64
Gots: 110 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV: 6.7%
Beginning gravity: 14.7 Plato
Ending gravity: 3.9 Plato
IBU: 66
Malts: Pale and Caramel
Yeast: Top-fermenting ale yeast
Bittering hops: Pacific Halertau
Finishing hops: New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-07-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,776 | Reviews: 1,309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deereless
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice chunky head, lingering lines on the glass, vibrant peach color - 4.50, S: Some of the zesty and peppery hops, a little more earthy as one might expect from a fresh hop ale, not an overpowering aroma - 3.50, T: Lots of spicy and extremely bitter hops, sour grapefruit, a nice balance of malt, for a pale ale this is a solid beer - 4.25, M: 4.00, D: I recall first having a Sierra Nevada fresh hop beer at a tasting at the Brickskeller in DC and it being the best of the bunch, this one is quite tasty but not up to the same scale, still a solid beer - 4.00

deereless, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up this summer & it was buried amongst the other lighter ales in the bottom of the fridge. Wonder what it would have been like immediately.

As is, this is a very good pale ale that I initially thought was an IPA (maybe the "hop" in the name confused me). This APA has a nice tangy nose, & the brew has a nice acrid bite to it that I love in a the few good APAs I've come across. Although as usual I split this bomber with my wife, I would have little problem downing this in a night.

I'll certainly pick up one next summer & try it soon after it comes off the shelf. Might be even better then.

maximum12, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of stewart124
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a light copper color that looks almost apricot. The head is a off-white color and looks extra sticky. Huge head and lots of lace on this bad boy.

Smells is fairly big for an APA. Sweet notes but that general undertone of big fresh hops. There is also a spicy/earthy aroma.

My first thoughts are...delicious! Smooth, creamy and it packs a bite. Lots of citrus and spice that is coupled with a nice caramel maltiness. There is almost a butterscotch feel. My tastebuds are tingling here.

I'm very pleased with this Southern Hemisphere Fresh Hop Ale. The spice lingers in the back of my throat while the citrus is biting the tip of my tongue. All the while there is a sweetness from the malts. Really a nice beer.

stewart124, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of dino213aa
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one side-by-side with the standard 2008 Harvest. Personally I prefer the regular Harvest more. Maybe it's because I'm more of a malt fan.

A: Pours with I nice frothy light tan head which clings mightily down the glass. Mostly clear appearance with only a few floaters.

S: Smell is the least appealing part of this brew for me. Acidic and almost bark-like, the first thing that popped to my mind was vomit. Seriously, there's a whiff of stomach acid that just doesn't settle well with me.

T&M: This has a crisper, hoppier flavor that is less balanced than the traditional Harvest Ale. To me this is less complex than the other. Bitter all the way through- damn if I can taste anything else.

D: I'd have to say mediocre. Even to a hop fan, I can't imagine thinking this is very interesting. Probably the first and last one of these I try.

dino213aa, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of OStrungT
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a slightly orangeish golden color, with a thick, fluffy, off white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a dominate citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit, and lemon. Some piney aroma makes its way into this one also. It smells floral.

This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. Citursy up frony, with a piny flavor as well. It also posesses a slightly spicy flavor.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a citrusy aftertaste. Carbonation levels are just right.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It is tasty, and the flavors are not overly aggressive. Also, the alcohol content is not too high.

Overall: I liked this beer quite a bit. I will buy it as often as I see it. I think that Sierra Nevada is hit or miss. This one is definately a hit.

OStrungT, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of Shaw
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A almost-glowing copper in color with a large foamy head that is rock-solid.

The aroma is all about the hops: It smells of citrus, and, well, hops.

The taste is nice and bitter and hoppy, with just enough malt flavor to provide a slight amount of balance. If you aren't a hophead, though, this might be a bitter bomb.

The body is fine -- possibly even a little light.

Overall, this is a fine fresh hop ale. Probably for hopheads only, though.

Shaw, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of MinorThreat
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle purchased from Mondo Vino 32nd and lowell

A-Awesome fluffy white head that left amazing lacing. Copper mostly clear nice looking brew

S-Nice grapefruit/citrus, spicy lemon grass with a good bready malt back

T-Really nice, nice deep bitterness that is softened by malt sweetness then a good clean after taste. Nice Caramel, fig, citrus notes.

M-Great, soft, clean, great mouthfeel.

D-Very high, very very high. very smooth, light and tons of flavor. Very nice brew.

MinorThreat, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of riored4v
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 6/22/08

Poured from bottle to pint glass. About a 1 finger, off-white formed and held through most of the beer. Nice and thick head as well. Clear and copper in color. A very inviting beer.

Smell is spicy and citrus.. great aroma on this one. Slight malty sweetness as well.

Crisp and hoppy. A great pale ale. Mild malt caramel presence with a lingering bitterness. Hop taste was spicey and citrusy. Hops taste different but at the same time, were very well done.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Very slight dryness with good carbonation.

Drinkability is great. A well balanced pale ale with a moderately low-abv. Can't go wrong.

riored4v, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of EPseja
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from an "I think I'll be having two beers tonight" 24oz. bottle in a SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - A noticeably viscous pour. Hazy, bright burnt orange color with an off-white, small and amazingly even bubbled head that's soapy and tenacious. Lacing comes in sticky sheets, and head retention is good.

S - Mmm. Juicy. Honey-drenched grapefruit wedges with only the slightest touch of pine crispness and florals. Simple and inviting.

T - Much less sweet up front than the smell would have you anticipate. Immediately following the downplayed malts, some very light alcohol and faint Stilton cheese(?) yeasty saltiness pops in. Oddly enough, the sweetness actually comes back for a moment just before the bitter taste buds get busy. For as hopped up as this is, the real bitterness hangs back until the beer starts heading down the throat. Medium dry finish. Delicious.

M - Super refined. Thick on the way in without being syrupy, and only tingly on the tongue after it gradually froths into a hoppy cream filling. Dense and throat coating. Substantial swallow. 5.0 without hesitation.

D - This is definitely one for the hop heads to mull over, but not the hop heads that need a malt kick to counter bitterness. Not that this beer is overly bitter, either. It's well crafted and presents itself not just as a beer, but as a well crafted beverage that actually showcases the beauties of a balanced APA.

In a world of gaudy, exaggerated engagement rings (read: most DIPAs), this classily styled offering strives for and achieves beautiful color and clarity over sheer "look at me" size.

EPseja, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a nice copper orange color with a nice off white long lasting head. Has a nice hoppy and citrus aroma coming from it with definite lacing left over. It is a delicious medium bodied beer that has a nice citrus and very hoppy taste to it. Hard to find though. I suggest that if you can find this one scoop it up. They are very easy to drink.

HopEnthusiast, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of unionturf
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a SA glass.

Color is clear amber/orange with a good head a good lace retention throughout. Smell is hops and malt, the taste is the same with the hops taking the lead. A very good balanced brew and one I like to grab when I can find them. Drinkability is excellent, but due to the difficulty finding I wish I could find more on a regular basis.

unionturf, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of Zippie9999
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S:24 oz bottle, poured into a dogfish head bullet type pint glass.
A: Amber, orange w/ nice fluffy white head that leaves a nice retention on the sides of the pint glass.
T: citrusy, hoppy, with an afterthought of sweet malt and fresh baked bread.
S: citrusy, fresh hops, and bread, maybe an afterthought of a west coast ipa.
M: full, semi-creamt, not unlike a hybrid of a west coast ipa and an imperial pilsner.
D: Excellent. I'd serve this as my late season barbeque beer. Great for tailgating. I'm considering buying a case before this runs out. Gives Sam's imperial pilsner, harpoon's leviathian IIPA, and lagunitas 13 a run for their money!!!

Zippie9999, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of meatyard
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-A hazy, orange/amber with a fluffy off white head that falls slowly leaving plenty lacing.
S- Smells of light pine and citrus hops. Not an overly strong smell like a good IPA but might be more so if fresher.
T- Taste is bitter at first with light citrus hops and sweet malt flavor. There's a balance in this beer that I enjoy.
M-Mouthfeel is sort of thin and well carbonated.
D-Drinkability is very good. A very comfotable, nice drinking beer.

meatyard, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big 24oz bottle...love this bottle size! Pours into my glass a vibrant copper orange with a creamy two fingers of off white head that leaves sticky lacing all over the glass. Aromas begin with a mild caramel malt along with fruity aromas as well. The hops kick in with floral and spicy notes that take main stage. There's sort of a dirty, earthy aspect here as well. Mild pine resin accents. Pretty good, but it doesn't match the original Harvest.

First sip brings sweet malt upfront with a mild caramel and fruit accent that quickly gives way to the hops. The hops bring lots of pine along with a dirty, earthy spiciness as well. Green resins flow down with a big bitterness that envelops the palate and lingers on after each sip. Overall, a tasty fresh hop brew, its just the hops here don't particularly appeal to me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a solid creaminess from the steady carbonation, making this an easy drinking beer overall. Overall, I'd grab that original Harvest before this as I'm not a huge fan of the New Zealand hops apparently. Still, I'm glad I grabbed a bottle and gave this one a try.

orbitalr0x, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of thartman
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 24oz bottle orange-apricot in color with a one finger sized long lasting head. Noticable lacings left on the glass. Nice citrus and hop bouquet. Fresh hop spiciness throughout, from start to finish with some malt undertones which tend to be more noticable as I get through my first pour. Nice bitter bite with a balance of malt and hops on the finish. Crisp, clean and very tasty!

thartman, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to glass....

Apricot caramel color with a big bubbled head. Wears down somewhat quickly.

Smell of hops and malts. Equally.

Starts off with the hops. Malt sweetness briefly overwhelms, then a hoptastic finish. If you take two sips in rapid succession, the second sip is all caramel malt.

Might be a little harsh, but it's also pretty cold and since it's my first beer of the day, I may, just may, be drinking it a little.... vigorously. Keeps getting sweeter....

Overall: yummy

PatronWizard, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from the 24oz bottle into a 22oz snifter.

The beer pours an amber orange with an off white head that leaves a ring and wisps of foam that never fade. This foam leaves bits of lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is full of caramel malts and floral hops. The flavor is similar but also introduces some piney hops. I had had this on tap on a previous occasion, when it was admittedly fresher, and it tasted a bit grassy. None of those flavors are present here however. The Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation, appropriate for a pale ale. Overall, a drinkable pale ale, borderline ipa, similar to a lot of SN beers. Quite enjoyable.

MSchae1017, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of ironlung
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had this on tap at the Rogue ales public house in San Francisco. Since then I have shared a couple bottles with friends. Reviewing on just such an occasion.

A: Since we are tasting side by side with the Chico estate I can say it looks a little lighter in color and the head isin't a fluffy.

S: Smells like a fresh IPA. Nice citrus spice notes come through.

T: Spicy hops backed with a perfect malt yummy!

M: Perfectly balanced! Another solid harvest ale from Sierra Nevada. I like how their flexin' their muscles.

D: Very high. Starting to disappear in a couple areas i frequent in N.& So.Cal. Think I'll be saying bye to this one until next year.

ironlung, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown color with a huge cream colored head. The aroma is fresh and piney with a definite degree of malt noticeable - the sweetness gives it a nice balance. This initial sip is all hops. It is bitter and again, the evergreen/pine flavor is noticeable. The finish is bitter as well. The mouthfeel is thin to medium, and seems to work well. Overall, this is a very good hoppy beer. One that I think would best be served FRESH!

barefootbrewer, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of popery
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always wanted to like Sierra Nevada beers, and now I've found two beers from them that I love in under a week. This beer isn't quite as good as the other fresh hop ale, but it's a fairly close call. I marked down drinkability by half a point most to denote my slight preference for the Estate Harvest version. I'm not sure that I quite understand how I found both of these beers at nearly the same time because there's a little description on the bottle about how they have to go to the Southern Hemisphere to get fresh hops at this time of year. I would guess that one of them is a bit older than it should be (I did find one in a random shop), but they both taste great so I'm not complaining.

The beer looks great. It has a big fluffy head, a bit soapy, in a good way, like other fresh hop ales. It looked a lot like the other version but I wasn't exactly comparing them side by side, so I'm not sure about that.

Also similarly, the nose is a bit weaker than I would prefer. For me, it was more grassy than floral, which was nice when it came through, but I had to wait for a taste to get the full impact.

The flavor is just great. It's almost entirely hops and they taste like your chewing them fresh from the fields. The beer is well-balanced for the deluge of hops present.

The mouthfeel is very good. I know that I mentioned it before, but you also get the feeling of extreme freshness from the hops. It's a bit like having fresh fruit after living on canned for your whole life. The carbonation is smooth and doesn't get in the way. The beer almost comes across creamy for me.

The beer drinks extremely easily. Sierra Nevada knows how to make beer and puts their experience to good use here. I've never been a huge fan of their beers, but these two fresh hop ales are definite winners. I guess you have to like hoppy beers, but luckily, I do.

5/16/09 edit: 2009 version. Still an excellent beer. It's a punched up SNPA with the sort of mild bitterness that lacks any astringency that only seems to crop up in these wet hopped beers. The hops coat the mouth with the flavor of pine resin and a touch of grapefruit rind.

popery, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of TonyT
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 24oz Bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Dark copper, nice 1 1/2 finger foamy, white head that dissipates quickly but the lace hung very nice.

S- Citrus, hops, and the smell of straw, malt smell mixed in.

T- Semi Dry, medium hoppinesss, with citrus and organic undertones. As you proceed, the malts take over very nicely, while still letting the hops linger.

M - Dry in the front, with the malts taking mid to back. Dryness still remains.

D - Very drinkable.

This is a straight up, enjoyable experience. This APA has the best of all worlds...A moderate ABV, Full flavored, with a great hop and malt balance, while retaining its smell throughout.

TonyT, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 release from bomber into oversized Red Oak mug...

Pours up a luscious, dulce de leche-colored 2-finger head that commences solid lacing quickly but has no staying power. Rich, copper/apple cider-colored body...lightly cloudy with significant, fast-moving carbonation.

Scent is mild, caramel apple malt - quite viscous with strong but surprisingly distant floral hops...not as pronounced as expected but very good nonetheless.

On the taste buds the hops emerge with solid grapefruit characteristics - austere, bitter rind...mice! Malt is more of a backbone than significant taste presence. A bit on the tight side but good.

This one is, as mentioned, quite tight on the palate. Lots of grapefruit hop pucker here. Malt provides a woody foundation but that's really it...the fresh hops are the nuclear option in this one.

Quite enjoyable with a bit of warmth. Tighter than expected but solid nonetheless.

IBUnit63, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of golden1
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle from John's Marketplace. 1st Release of the 2008 batch.

Pours a hazy, dark orange with close to two fingers of head. *Great* lacing down the sides of the glass.

Good smell - hoppy, but reduced in sharpness from your standard IPA. More floral and sweet instead of pine. Didn't quite catch the malt that others have mentioned, but it's still good. I would expect this is the difference between using fresh and dried hops.

I could not believe how smooth this was. There's a usual transition in hop-focused beer where you can pinpoint the change from the taste of the hops to the bitterness of the finish. This beer does a spectacular job of masking that point and the result is a very fresh, clean taste that holds up and rolls perfectly into the end.

Crisp feel - bit of a pucker after half the bomber, but you should be expecting that with a beer like this.

Crazy drinkable. This is a brilliant example of the style and, if available, you should not hesitate to try it.

golden1, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of racer2k
4.97/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage -1st Release

A -Dark rich orange color beer. It pours with a very light head on top that is thick but disolves very quickly. Lots of thin lacing on the glass with each sip.

S - Fresh grassy hops and a flowery bouquet are in order. This beer smells like it was just brewed. Very flowery hoppy scent that is quite enjoyable.

T - Balanced beer with a nice hop centric tone. Love the blast of hops at the back end of the swallow. Earthy, grassy, grapefruit tones through the entire glass.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice mix of hops and light malt flavor for a mouth feel.

D - Excellent beer. One of Sierra Nevada's finest specialty beers. Fresh, complex, and very Sierra Nevada. Great beer!!!

racer2k, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks sublime - just what an APA should look like. Slightly hazy body, with a beautiful burnished golden colouring. Thick, creamy head of off-white, peppered with small pancake bubbles. Lacing is heavy and sticky. Just beautiful, and exactly what a Pale Ale should be.

Nose is also excellent, with a really nice hit of floral hops. Citrus, pine and dust on the nose, with a slightly sweet cinnamon, bready character. Very pleasant.

Good burst of hop bitterness on the palate, but it's not too heavy. It's a sustained flavour which permeates from the front to the back, rather than an intense, puckering hit. Perhaps a little more sweetness would have been welcome at the front or the end, because the hops rule the palate from start to finish. It leaves the beer rather refreshing and drinkable, but it also means it's a little one-dimensional. I guess that's kind of the point though - this is a beer to showcase hops. Feel is good; clean and crisp, but with almost a silky texture.

This is a very good beer, with plenty of great Kiwi hop characters. As an Antipodean myself, it's a shame I have to come up here to get it.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 17, 2008
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,776 ratings.