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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Estate Homegrown Wet Hop AleEstate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale

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1,211 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,211
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.87%
Wants: 53
Gots: 105 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Taste fresh-from-the-field flavors with this handmade, homegrown, and completely natural ale. Made with organic wet hops and barley grown at our brewery in Chico, this remarkable ale is the only one of its kind."

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,211 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of green hops with light sweet notes and light bitter notes. Taste is a solid mix between some green hops with a solid caramel malt backbone with medium amount of residual sugars. Green hops notes are really pleasant with some good notes of citrus flavours. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Really good wet hop ale and something I would love to have more regular access to.

Photo of musicforairports
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Waxed 2011 bottle into a tulip.

Amber and clear, pretty dark for an IPA. Nice fluffy head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Smells like some sticky orange and pine hop aromas, quite a bit of malt sweetness as well.

Flavor is pretty smooth--strong malt backbone, prickly lemon/orange citrus flavors. Reminds me of Celebration. Has that juicy flavor that wet-hopped beers have, as opposed to the sharper bitterness of many IPAs.

Mouthfeel is light-medium but leaves a lot of stickiness in the mouth.

This is a good beer and worth getting once each year. I liked it much more than the Northern Hemisphere this year, but at twice the price, I guess it should be better. But seeing as a 12-pack of Celebration costs as much as 1.5 Estates, I tend to go with Celebration through the cold months.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Estate Wet Hop Ale pours a hazy amber color with a thick, creamy white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the surface leaving behind a coating of netted lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't as strong as I though it would be, however pleasant notes of orange and grapefruit citrus with a touch of pine are present. Perhaps I stored this beer in the fridge a bit too long to appreciate the aroma.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is soft on the palate, creamy, with a light effervescent fizz. The flavor is well balanced between sweet caramel malt and grapefruit citrus plus piney hops. Moderately bitter finish. Once gone the pine hops linger on the palate.

This is a very drinkable beer that's well balanced. Very tasty, but somewhat typical for its style.

Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me see if I got this right... A certified organic estate homegrown ale that is wet hopped; utilizing only the freshest of the fresh hops. Every minute that passes you are potentially missing out on subtle hoppy goodness that this brew has to offer. So who's idea was it to package it in a waxed dipped bottle? What is the wax doing for this brew? Locking the hoptastic goodness inside the bottle keeping it fresh and tasty until you unlease the wax from around the cap? Or does it add a layer of excitement to the packaging? Surely it can't possibly have any utility. Or does it? But wait...the bottle is in my hands and I am about to consume it. They got me!

Poured from a large format bottle that was dipped in a green wax that matches the label. I would be a liar if I said the packaging of this brew isn't attractive. So with all the attention to detail and making this brew look sharp and desirable, where is the bottled date/code? As the brew sits in my SA sensory glass, it appears a perfectly polished amber color with more than 2 fingers of creamy yellowish stained head. A constantly swirling vortex of bubbles rises from the etching on the bottom of the glass through the brew supporting the cap of foam indefinitely. Lace clings to the glassware in a webbing absolutely all over the place.

The aroma of this brew is a mixture of hop components that are not as bold or bright when compared to other examples of wet hopped offerings. The hop character is subtle which I fault it for yet it is complex and enjoyable which is to be commended. The smell of this brew ranges from herbs to a floral component, spiced to lightly piny. All the while there is a minor sweetness in the background from the malt that is lightly caramelized with a spice that is minorly reminiscent of cinnamon. There is a twinge of alcohol that is noticeable and becomes increasingly evident as the brew warms.

The taste includes a broad array of hop flavoring before turning moderately bitter. The hops taste herbal, minor amount of citrus rind, somewhat piny character and a light resinous cling that sticks inside the mouth that brings forth the bitterness. The malt backing to this brew is lightly toasty with a faint sweetness that tastes somewhat like caramel. An aftertaste of grassy hops almost seems to taste like green yeast coupled with a mildly solvent alcohol flavor to bring this brew all together. For more than 6.5 abv the alcohol is hidden nicely for the most part but plays a nice accenting role to the hop flavoring.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The carbonation is prickly on the tongue yet at times overall seems watery. There are no issues finishing the glass but this brew left me wanting just a little more. It was a solid representation of the style and I would drink it again but not at the cost of $8 per bottle.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a prime example of why I always take a whiff right after pouring a beer. This one had a real nice wet hopped nose to it right off the pour; nice and oily. The flavor profile is good. Mildly robust with the oily tones on there. I certainly salute SIerra Nevada for what they are doing with this beer, but other breweries have put out other really distinct wet hopped beers that pretty much show this one up. This is nice, yes. But seems a bit muffled in comparison. I'd love a lot more up in my face; a lot more interesting hop influence. But, overall, it's a nice beer.

Photo of krisandajt
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this whilst shopping around Shawan's Liquors on my latest Maryland beer run.

Appearance: Poured from the wax topped bottle into my Shorts pint glass. A rough pour, mostly out of laziness, the beer is a clear vibrant amber color with an immense amount of white, foamy head. Impressive so far.

Smell: A nice, mild blast of bitter, piney hops with virtually no trace of malts getting in the way. Nothing overwhelming, smells like it's going to be a find drinking IPA.

Taste: And a fine drinking IPA it is. Not overly bitter, but not really balanced either. It has some piney hops, maybe with a bit of citrus (lemon and grapefruit) scattered about.

Mouthfeel: A surprising, yet rather refreshing, light to medium body for the style with ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Not exactly a hop bomb, just a nice easy drinking IPA. If you're looking for a good IPA that you can drink all night, this is it. Sierra Nevada knows how to do it.

Photo of Stork_Brewz13
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of rab53
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bashiba
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden/orange with a very thick and creamy head, nice retention and lacing.

The smell was very fresh hops like opening a fresh bag of hops right from the farm, very fuggle/willamatte dominated smell.

The malt is very thin with just a light toasty bread quality with a nice fresh green hop flavor and a light bitterness. Very nice example of very fresh hop flavor and aroma.

The mouthfeel is very thin with a touch of creamyness and a light bit of oil.

Easy drinking and a nice hoppy treat.

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Estate Release, poured from a bomber into a New Belgium snifter.

A: Really a beautiful looking beer, a very deep copper amber color, almost clear. A great light maize 3 - 4 fingers of nice thick head. This head sticks around and the lacing is thick like frosting. Well carbonated but no continuous bottom bubbling.

S: Honestly I have to admit that I was expecting more from a fresh wet hopped ale. I was geared up for grassy pine resin explosion, but the nose was pretty soft, and to me was more biscuit and malt with a little bit of pine cone hops, but very subdued.

T: A very delicious and fresh tasting beer. Even from a bottle, I could have imagined I was doing a cask chug in the Sierra Nevada Estate tap room. Very balanced taste, much less hop tastic than some other wet hopped varieties. Opens with crisp malty breadiness and nice floral and fruity balance, then the hops join in, delivering typical wet hop grassy hay punch and a little of the unique minced scallion note. Hop profile is not that resinous, mostly grapefruit and rind. But overall, very fresh and delicious, and not over the top in any direction.

M: Lovely for me, substantive enough to let you know you aren't drinking a kolsch or pils but not chewy. Nice carbonation and the slightest astringency on the finish.

Overall a very nice and balanced beer. I love the concept of brewer grown ingredients and in comes through in the freshness of this beer. This beer would be totally sessionable on tap. Fresh is the word, I would not cellar this beer, hit it now.

Photo of Casey10
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at RSVP in Portland, Me was a nice brew but did not really do a lot for me.

This is a nice brew I think I was dissapointed from a beer that was wax covered. I think I was looking for a little bit better as well than what I had. The beer is not bad it is crisp, clean, had a nice nice head, but taste was okay and there was nothing that really says wow.

Don't get me wrong this is a nice brew but for the price point and the other beers that SN puts out. Most will try this as it is different not because it is better than say torpedo.

Worth trying at least once.

Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden amber color, fairly typical of the Sierra Nevada IPAs. Tall frothy honey colored head, nice lace.

Smelled wonderful. Super fresh smelling hops. They were damp and grassy. Loads of pine throughout.

Fairly typical, not that much different than the other wet hops in flavor. Still really good. Bitingly bitter, dry, crisp, and refreshing. Not overly drinkable but a great beer worth getting when you have the opportunity.

Photo of JackieTH
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Coppery amber with an enormous puff of foamy head that lasted until the liquid was gone from the glass. Very, very impressive.

Smell: Nice resinous and citric hop, dry, subtle earthen barley malts.

Taste: Subdued hop profile similar to nose with a bit of piney resin, citrus and lemongrass although with a hefty dollop of bisquit-malted barley. A bit of a departure from the norm, and quite nice, great balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium with the right amount of carbonation to prick the tongue.

Drinkability: While I wasn't blown away by this Sierra Nevada, it's pleasant and enjoyable.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle (with a lovely label and appealing green wax seal) into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Vintage 2011.

A: Finger of head. Plentiful clouds of bubbles. Good retention. Clearish amber. Pretty hue.

S: Unsurprisingly, excellent. Lots of pungent hops, Cascade among them. Loads of pine. Not precisely strong, but powerful enough to be compelling.

T: A good beer. Drying, piney hops dominate and provide a superb, moderately drying end- and aftertaste. It's like a better version of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale...Nothing special, but every element is individually superlative.

M: Meh. Moderate carbonation. Lightly dry hops. Fairly mediocre.

O: A fantastic beer to be sure, but grossly overpriced. I understand that the homegrown, organic ingredients are in shorter supply, hence the price difference, but purely based on taste, it is directly comparable to the Pale Ale or the Torpedo. Accordingly, I can't recommend it. Wouldn't BUY another one, but I'd drink them free of charge until the cows came home.

EDIT 10 November 2012: Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. I pretty much stand by my original review, only it's slightly cheaper (and fresher?) this go around.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Friggin wax coated neck took me about four minutes to break through. Once I did, it pours a beautiful hazy caramel color with an abundantly foamy head that lingers a very long while. The lacing sticks to the glass like few beers I have seen.

S: A good amount of hops in the aroma but not overbearingly so. It smells fresh even though my bottle, unfortunately, had a ring of rust around the rim; I’m not about to let a little tetanus get in the way of a good beer. Along with the freshness and disease, there is a tiny bit of citrus as well as a woodsy undertone, and I’m not just saying that because it’s “organic.”

T/M: Low carbonation with medium hops and tastes grassy with a thick, yet smooth texture. There’s a slightly dry and bitter aftertaste. This beer retains a lot of similarities with the Southern Hemisphere Harvest, but this one is much more well balanced.

A very good beer indeed, no matter how long it takes you to open the bottle.

Photo of cetherid
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


a nice copper color. Not seeing much haze to it like others. A huge foamy off-white head. About 3 fingers worth. An insane amount of lacing going on.


A nice little bouquet of floral and citrus hops. Slight malt and pine smells in there. Not as strong smelling as I would have liked but the smells are there.

*as this warms up, I get a little peppery smell as well*


Same as nose. Bitter floral hops up front, then it really smooths out in the finish. Nothing spectacular but very drinkable


Not quite medium bodied. A little thin but an extremely crisp refreshing beer. Goes down very smooth.


Pretty low abv...one could easily drink a bomber, however its a little pricey. I won't be purchasing another 9 dollar bomber but would not turn this beer down.

Photo of farrago
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Simple pour yields three plus fingers of orange creamsicle off-white foam, good density, no real dimpling, extremely slow to dissolve, great retention, curiously the lacing is not as sticky as expected, a few decent streaks here and there. Bright orange rust look to the liquid, tends more towards yellow than red or brown, scattered languid bubbles float randomly, zero haze. Pine, orange and grapefruit quietly materialize in the nose, tight spine of malt, nothing here pushes deeply into sweet territory, salt, hard sourdough and fresh leafy greenness are stronger calling cards, a touch too dense to lift or create a wafting perfume, so clean that there’s barely any bitterness in there either. Full-bodied, close to thick if not heavy, can’t fault the carbonation which is okay in its own right, creamy start before bitterness spreads here. The grapefruit, pine, charcoal and pepper are dry even as the hops keep that moister leafiness. Through the finish a smattering of cocoa, malt and hard caramel attempt a sweetening flourish. Have to admire how it sets a goal and then goes for it, even if in the end it lacks any one very strong characteristic on which to hang its hat. Can get through back the whole 750ml but doesn’t leave you craving more.

Photo of jcartamdg
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a rediculous two finger head that sticks around and eventually leaves a crazy lacing. Aroma is a bit subdued, piney and citrus hops are there but well balanced with the malts. Taste is set apart from the nose, bitter hops kick u in the face in the best way possible and follow with a good malt backbone. Delicious and amazing, I just wish it didn't cost so much or I would drink this more often

Photo of Jadjunk
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Here in the sun-drenched fields of California's North Valley, the black soil is rich with promise. In winter, rows of barley seed are laid in the freshley tilled dirt. In spring, trellises are set for hops. From our fields comes a remarkable homegrown ale, made with organic wet hops and barley grown at our brewery here in Chico and one of the few estate-made ales produced anywhere in the world! This Estate Ale is rich with the flavors of the valley-featuring hops with earthy, grapefruit-like flavors and layered spicy aromas and barley with mild sweetness and smooth, toasted flavors. Together, these crops grow alongside the brewery to make a truly unique brew. Enjoy!" Brewed in the style of an American Wet-Hopped IPA. Available as an annual fall release in 25.4 oz. bottles and on draft.

Poured from a 25.4 oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada snifter. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy foam head of a toasted white color over a very mildly hazy copper body. Retention is excellent and lacing is medium and patchy. 4.5

(Smell) An even balance of lightly toasted caramel syrup body and a mildly potent hop profile of fruit, pine and spice. Perceived bitterness is moderate. Despite its organic status, there's nothing over-the-top about this beer. It's fairly accessible and the aroma is in general enjoyable, if not predictable. 3.75

(Taste) A very pleasant balance of clean light crystal malt syrup and a moderately bitter herbal, resinous and piney hop profile. The bold bitterness on the back end drives this beer home. Not very original nor unique as far as American IPAs go, but it's a solid-built one, a respectable seek-out for Organic fans as there aren't too many Organic beers to go around. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly oily, medium dry. Carbonation is low, generates a smooth, silky mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Sierra Nevada doesn't reach far on Estate Homegrown Ale, and the reason is simple. Quality beers can be made from the smallest of crops and on the simplest of recipes. Consider this a solid late autumn harvest ale and a great half-step away from Sierra Nevada's wintertime Magnum Opus, Celebration. While I find myself venturing rapidly away from the simpler IPAs, Estate is one beer that deserves an annual taste to reflect on the glory of the wet hop. 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Estate Homegrown Ale

Photo of chrisgn
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a BN Army pint glass.

A- Beautiful amber color. Filtered, with a huge foamy head and solid lacing.

S- I can smell some citrus hop aroma and some malt sweetness, but the aromas are muted.

T- Nicely balanced with a clean dry finish. Does not have the normal SN house flavor.

M- medium bodied with a light carbonation. (I think it all rushed into the enormous head)

D- The is a nice beer. Well balanced IPA clean and crisp taste.

Notes: First organic beer I have tried. You have to appreciate SN's commitment to sustainable brewing practices.

Photo of TheBungyo
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is the one brewery that just about every time I see a special release in bottles from them I instantly pay attention and expect the offering to be worthwhile. This beer proved no different.

This poured a burnt orange sort of bronze that was put in check by a meringue like head of half an inch. A little darker than I like my IPA's. Lovely to look at in any case.

There's pine, grapefruit, and charred caramel that is overpowered and tainted by a strong sulfur that seems to mingle with every other aroma.

Taste is mostly malt up front but finished with luscious hop flavors of pine, grapefruit, and apricot. Hints of sulfur show up too in the finish along with bitterness. This would score higher without the sulfur.

Still, even with the sulfur this is a delicious brew. Sierra Nevada continues to demonstrate again and again just how far ahead of the pack they are ... despite the fact that they were the originators of said pack. Cheers to you Sierra Nevada!

Photo of lnashsig
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale- bottle presumably fresh, opened 10-25-11. After I got the wax off of the cap, opened and poured into my brooklyn tulip glass. Pours a dark orange/brown transparent color. Really thick cloudy head fills the glass, and recedes slowly leaving sticky lacing all over the glass. What I love to see in an IPA! Smell- a bisquity, citrus, floral aroma. Not overpowering, but definitely some nice earthy hops aroma is there. Taste- orange, lemon, and a hoppy oily flavor at the back of my throat that I am having a hard time pinpointing- is it gingerbread? Seems wierd, I know, but something with the spicy hop flavors imparts an almost cinnamon bready flavor with me. Its really a nice beer- you can't call this an IPA- its very very different. So incredibly drinkable- no ABV present at all. Others complained about the price of this bottle. It is a unique, interesting, and delicious beer, and I am glad to have bought it.

Photo of davod23
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this label. One of my favorites. Gonna have to save this one.

Beautiful, clear dark copper color. Excellent clarity here. A moderate cap of light whipped cream, tiny bubbles mostly, sits at the top. This is as pretty as an IPA can be.

Smell is nice. Earthy hops, citrus (grapefruit), perhaps a bit of a spicy character. I don't think they put rye in here, but it smells like it could contain some.

Taste is good, but would be SUPERB if the hop characteristic was more pronounced. I really love wet hop ales when they taste like I am drinking straight hop oil. This is oily, hop resin, nice but not quite as good as others (e.g., 2009 High Tide). Slight earthiness.

Mouthfeel is appropriate, prickly carbonation throughout the beer, without being overbearing. Drinkability is real high on this one, but I wouldn't mind if it dropped a half-point or so in the upping of the hop oils.

Good beer, recommended to try. But not great. Why was this waxed?

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice copper orange body with trailing streams of carbonation, very dense and sticky head that craters on the surface. It leaves thick concentric rings of lacing around the edges of the glass. Creamy texture to the foam.

Aroma is slightly sweet and malty underneath a mildly floral and understated citrusy hop bouquet. Cut grass and herbal notes in the flavor. A moderate earthy hop bitterness builds, dandelion greens, pine resin, biscuity malt, and a clean finish with lingering traces of both fresh hops and malt. Melon or cantaloupe notes surface towards the end of the glass.

Medium bodied, light enough to quaff a few times. Bitterness isn't overwhelming, fairly balanced overall. For my money though, i'd rather be drinking local: Broodoo, Daisy Cutter, or Flossmoor's IPAs. More bold hop character in those. The mildness of this keeps it from being more than just "above average".

Photo of bluejacket74
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours an amber/copper color with an inch off-white head. Head retention is good, and there is a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is pine and citrusy (grapefruit) hops, and some bready malt. However, the aroma is very weak. Luckily, the taste is much stronger than the aroma. The citrusy hops (grapefruit, orange peel) are stronger compared to the other flavors, with pine hops, caramel malt and a bit of peppery spice also noticable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit oily with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and goes down easy. Other than the weak aroma, I thought this was a good brew.

Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,211 ratings.