1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop AleNorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,979 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,979
Reviews: 1,437
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 163
Gots: 90 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jmatthew on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,979 | Reviews: 1,437 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cokes
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Scarlet-leaning copper with a fat, sticky cloud of eggy suds on top.
The nose is modest and balanced between the toffee and toasted grain of the malts and the grapefruit pith, dried grass, and conifer resin of the hops. It's not bent in the direction I would anticipate, as the hops are basically in check. There's also an unfortunate rubber band-type phenol, which-- while minor-- further distracts the nose from its purpose.
Through the mouth, it starts with a sturdy malt foundation of toasted nuts and grains, sweetened with toffee and even a few glimmers of jammy dark fruits. Almost trailmix-like. The malt does it's job, and should anchor the beer for the hop squall due to arrive. Except it never really comes, or at least not like it seems it should. Hop flavor is minimal, with pulpy plant matter, peppery dried grass hues. Bitterness is magnified with an astringent blast of alum at the close.
It's slightly plumper than medium body and subtle carbonation seems appropriate for the style, and keeps it drinkable in spite of some significant flaws.
The hop flavor here is pretty dry for a wet hopped beer. See Great Divide's Fresh Hop Ale for a study in wet hopping. This doesn't get it done.

cokes, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of wspscott
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle in Duvel Tulip

A: Dark copper color, crystal clear. Thick fluffy white head, leaves quite a bit of lace.
S: Hops are very up front but not in an over powering sense. Slightly floral. There is a "freshness" to the smell. That sounds cliche given the "fresh hop" part but that is the best I can do.
T: A hint of hop spiciness is apparent, it does not come across as overtly American style hops. Not especially bitter but at the same time the hops seem to fill/coat the mouth. No obvious malt characteristics, just hops.
M: Carbed on the high side but in a good way given the style. Highly attenuated and crisp.
D: I could drink this all night, the alcohol is not apparent at all and the hops are not overwhelming like some IPAs. I would like to compare this to SNPA just out of curiosity. Highly recommended and a nice change from an IPA, I am very glad I picked up 4 of them :)

wspscott, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of Raugupatis
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer in a grocery store when it came out and figured I would try the larger than average format. I was not disappointed at all. The wet hops give it a distinct taste that I look forward to trying again next year. I only bought one at the time and have been looking for it ever since.

Raugupatis, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: The beer is a clear copper-amber color with a medium off-white head that dissipates slowly. Rings of lacing on the glass. Big piney hops aroma with caramel malt and herbs. Medium body with earthy malt and herbal hops flavors. Hints of citrus fruit and dough too. The finish is moderately bitter and leaves a lingering hoppiness. Solid all around.

Dogbrick, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of elmore
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a tulip glass. I've had this beer for about a month, I wanted to drink it earlier because I hear wet hopped brews loose their distinctive character when cellaring, but didn't have time to get to this one. Anyway, here it goes.

Thick, white, two finger head with great retention. Thick chunks of lace left down the glass while drinking.

Piney hops. I think a bit more floral and aromatic than the typical dry hopped ale. Citrus with a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste is similar to smell although I don't think the uniqueness of the wet hops comes through as well in the taste as it does in the smell.

Nice medium carbonation. Medium body appropriate for the style.

Very drinkable. With this beer the hops are on display, but there is enough malt prescence to consider it balanced for the style IMO.

Good beer. Very drinkable. My first wet-hopped beer, so I don't have much to compare with, but I hope to be trying more in the future.

elmore, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle purchased, I forget where. Probably somewhere local in MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear dark amber brew. Thick, pillowy head lasts and lasts, with chunky dwelling lace. Aroma is dominated by prodigious amounts of piney hops. Taste follows the nose, with some malt backbone, but the close finds the hops reasserting themselves anew. Mouthfeel and drinability are both good for the style. Seems to push the APA envelope for me, but a worthy brew nonetheless.

ppoitras, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of mbunje
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all...24oz, Bottle is a great idea. Pay attention craft brewers.

Medium hard pour yields 2 inches of off white head which disappates slowly and leaves nice lacing. It's a rich golden to bronze color, very clear.

Smell is great for a regular beer. But this is the Fresh Hop 2007 Harvest and I am not smelling the hoppiness. It's there but just ordinary. Not much different than a regular SNPA. Could be the type of hops, but the citrus is missing

Taste is good, but not particularly remarkable. It is like a SNPA but a tad smoother and bit fruitier.

Mouthfeel is good. A little carbonation, but not too much. Feels nice on the tongue and throat as it goes down. Probably the best trait of this beer. Was hoping for a bit more hop oil in this given the "Wet" Hops but it is missing.

Because the mouthfeel is good, ABV is moderate, and it doesn't go overboard on the hops, I could drink quite a few of these.

I'm not sure SN has hit what they are advertising. I expected a Dub IPA like beer and that isn't what I got. It's a nice beer. I would label a SNPA + a little better than the standard green label from SN. Worth a shot and I will buy it again.

mbunje, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of scaaven
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy amber with a large head. Smelled crisp with a possible hint of banana. Tasted smooth and very inline with Sierra Nevada. It's like the SN Pale Ale "hopped up" with flavor. It's a very complex taste similar to Stone Brewery. Very drinkable, but unfortunately quite expensive. If this was affordable and mass produced, the human species could be fated to a mellow existence.

scaaven, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of BigRedN
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the 24 fl oz bottle (larger than the typical 22 oz bombr, which is very good!) into a pint glass. The beer is clear and coppery in color. A thick frothy one and a half inch head forms during the pour. I takes a long time for it to settle. Never really goes away, leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Hops. That pretty much sums it up, which is absolutley what I expected from this beer. Fresh floral aroma, a little pine as it warms, with a hint of cirtrus as well.

Taste: While expected a lot of hoppy bitterness, this one also had some decent malt (I'm leaning caramel malt) backing it up. A rather hoppy pale ale, yet a very good one at that.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied. A bit prickly on the tongue and at the back of the mouth with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable and enjoyable beer. Sierra Nevada knows pale ales. Purchased one bottle to try for a mear $3.99 the day before Thanksgiving. I wished I would not have waited to long to have this. When I went back for more I did not see any, too bad.

BigRedN, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Vendome I purchase after the store held a beer tasting, on to this beer:

Poured into a mug, it's a deep cooper-orange color with excellent head retention. As a pale ale using fresh hops, the hops in this beer are crazy! It starts bready with a touch of caramel, which is then puished aside for lots of bitterness. Grapefruit and piney notes are most noticable of the group. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. With the hop presence as big as it is, it's more of an IPA than a pale ale.

DoubleJ, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of 454onbeerss
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I stumbled upon this killer brew after a tip from the wobbley mail man! Any Sierrra NV beer I've had has been great, but the Harvest is the best I've had in a while. I'm a fan of IPA's, porters and stouts and I was more than satisfied with the unbeatable taste of this beer.

454onbeerss, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of ralree
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep red with a white fluffy 2-finger head. Dissipates slowly and laces very nicely.

S: Lots of wintertime spices along with fresh hops and caramel malt. Alcohol evident.

T: Very strong hop and spice flavor backed by a very good bready flavor. Finishes with a great spiced bread smell out the nose and a great hop bitterness on the tongue. Harvest ale is definitely a good name - the hops are sooo fresh.

M: Medium-bodied and perfectly carbonated. Slightly astringent, which goes well with the bitterness in the aftertaste. Slightly oily finish, but that's forgivable.

D: Drinks wonderfully. I will definitely be buying it again. Worth every penny.

ralree, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for a great trade.
Pours a nice clear coppery brown with a large, fluffy off white head that laces like crazy.
Smells nice and hoppy, lots of grass, pine, and citrus.
Taste is wonderful, tons of hops but just enough malt to balance and give some needed sweetness. The hops are delivered as per the label. Wet and grassy, nice fruit notes in the malt, lingering pleasant hop bitterness in the finish.
Feels thick and substantial with a very nice level of carbonation.

kirok1999, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with visible effervescence and a mammoth stiff eggshell colored head that fades in a rocky pattern, leaving 3D lacing in is wake...wow! this is a Pale Ale(!?!). The smell is an aggressive classic bountiful fresh hopped aroma. Definitely a CELEBRATION of #8000 LBs of hops. (Wonder what holds in store for next year...with the current state of the hop harvest). Savior it while you've got it gang. Nicely carbonated, the mouth feel is really nice. Smooth yet complex. Hoppy yet wonderfully balanced with a solid malty sweetness. A little roasted malt character as well. Full flavored, each mouthful through the textbook head is creamy citrus pine and grapefruit. Once again...this is an APA?! Rivals many IPAs. At 6.2% ABV you'd think that you could enjoy this one all day long...but not...if this is 6%, i'm a slim man! Hey, this is kick'n. Highly recommended. Now lets talk about the bottle...are you kidding me 24oz's. This packaging definitely sets the standard. The height of this bottle is so much easier to store (and send) than the current 22oz Industry Standard. Tastes like "i want more". Thank God for Gomers in KC, MO!

jjayjaye, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle, consumed with some friends for thursday night foosball

appearance: pours into a pint glass, lovely amber body, fairly clear, large beige froth and great retention

smell: great hop presence, less bitterness than the standard SNPA, very fresh aroma, pine and citrus

taste: very nice and refreshing beer - floral and citrus hops dominate, light pine, oily and slick

mouthfeel: medium body, oily and hoppy

drinkability: high

dirtylou, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like they've boosted the abv, the 2007 11th edition is 6.7% abv.

24 oz brown bottle with no freshness info.

a: Copper body with big frothy white head and patches of lacing.

s: Spicy citrus hops.

t: Typical grapefruit, pine and floral hop flavors. Not much malt can break through. Bitterness isn't that high, though hop flavor is dominant.

m: Medium to full body, average carbonation.

d: Nice hops and low bitterness make this an enjoyable and pretty drinkable APA. Its a good beer, but i've had better fresh hop ales.

BradLikesBrew, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of OKCNittany
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge 3" rocky head. Great retention leaving chunks of lacing. Clear reddish amber body.

S: The aroma was so strong I didn't have to lean in to get a whiff. Smelled of fresh grapefruit & floral hops with just a touch of caramel malt in the background.

T: The caramel malt backbone barely holds up under the onslaught of fresh grapefruit & orange. Seemed hoppy enough to be an IPA, but still well balanced. Very well done.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Smooth. Lingering grapefruit hop aftertaste complete with the hop burps.

D: The 24 ounce bottle disappeared as quickly as most 12 ouncers. Yet another great brew from Sierra Nevada - probably their best.

OKCNittany, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chonyr and manaryp for bringing this treat north.

Deep bronze in colour, clear and mildly carbonated. Big, tight four finger pale tan head, with excellent retention. Nicely laced, with full thick lacings that eventually leave clingy clumps.

Ruby red grapefruit with some caramel and toast.

Grapefruit, pine resin, and some spicy pepperiness from the hops. Solid malt backbone, surprised by its toasty, almost nutty flavour, with some caramel and toffee.

On the light side of medium bodied, solid and somewhat surprisingly complex malts, with both sweet and dry contributions to the overall feel of this brew. Hops not resinous or even oily, although this is in character for an APA, but do have a pronounced peppery tingle.

Pretty damn drinkable, certainly not hopped up to IPA levels, and i was pleasantly surprised with the tasty malts in this one. Slightly dry and refreshing. Glad i got to try this one, its something i would enjoy again, just dont expect it to measure up to fresh hopped IPAs.

demcorhip, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of mnstorm99
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber pour with an off white head that disipated but laces a bit as you drink it. Aroma is very nice, the fresh (wet) hops really give it a different aroma with a nice malt backbone. Taste is of carmel malt, but the hops seem to be very subtle compared to a dry hopped beer, nice hop flavor but the bitterness isn't there. Definatly a beer I could have a few of, and one of the better SN beers I have ever had.

mnstorm99, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of ByTor2112
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold to my Mad River Steelhead pint glass.
A thin beige head formed and receded to a thicker filmy cover. Nice lacing after the first few sips. Nice Pale Ale color, not quite copper.
Aroma- Flowery fragrant hops, not pungent or stinging but bountiful. No citrus punch on the nose?
Mouthfeel- Instant hop bitterness with a lemony flavor coming in right before the finish. A slow roll on the palate releases some pleasant malt sweetness. The hops have a consistent astringency with a spicy kick. SN's extraction of the oils was highly successful. This is my first Harvest Ale from SN, great job. As I drink my hop bombs that have probably been bottled somewhere since August/Sept, I cherish every sip since the harvest was smaller and shortages are in effect. This one got a great dose.
Steve Harrison-RIP.

ByTor2112, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of sudz42
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first fresh hops ale, I give this a 5 because this ale rules. As others note, "pine" and "oily" are pretty good descriptions. Drinkable beyond all belief. It's a little strong but I guess the malt had to get beefed up to support the hop factory.

After you drink this you'll long for fresh green-bud sticky hop resin year-round.

I'm going out to get some more bottles as they probably move fast.

sudz42, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz. ( yes ! 24 ) bottle. Leaves two fingers of a tan head that has excellent retention and leaves webs and webs of sticky lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - pine resin, and a floral aroma fill the nose, and then faintly, there are toasty malt bisciuts, and a small hint of spicy alcohol. The malt is not much to smell, but the hops are mouthwatering!

Taste - floral and citrus hops flood the tongue, then pine resin with the faint toasty maltbiscuit malt backbone in the middle, giving way to a tea with lemon flavor on the finish, as well as some more grassy, floral, and slightly pine-resiny hops.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied. Very slick from the hop oils, and also pleasingly semi-dry from the hops.

Drinkability - this is a very good ale, one that is all about fresh hops, and is also sessionable.

ultralarry2006, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a crystal clear amber gold color with rich and foamy off-white head. Tons of sticky lacing all around.

Heavy aroma of fresh piney and grapefruity hops dance around the nose. Caramel malts are present but subtle as is the hint of black pepper.

Taste is big and malty with the hops pushed to the back. Finishes with a bitter bite.

Medium mouthfeel, dry, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

This is an APA with character while remaining a beer that is easy to drink and easy to enjoy. Well done, Sierra Nevada.

Monkeyknife, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of Tilley4
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I don't consider myself a hop lover, but if this beer is any indication of what a very hoppy beer is like, I've been missing out.

Rich amber color to this one with one of the fluffiest heads ever. This beer is beautiful to look at.

The aroma is knocking my socks off. Piney, fresh hops with a spiciness to it that has my mouth watering for this thing. It is an immediate strong hoppy aroma and smells like the Christmas tree my wife put up a couple days ago.

Tastes exactly like it smells. Very piney, slightly oily mouthfeel and taste that hangs around well after the finish. Very crisp, clean taste to this one that I find very enjoyable. I think I'm going back tomorrow to grab a few more of these. I want to get several of these before they're gone.

This is an excellent beer. I still like the maltier, darker stuff better (Celebrator, anyone?) but this is a damn fine beer that tastes and smells remarkable. Very impressive!!

Tilley4, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just before I open the top of this 24 ounce bottle, I see the words on the cap: "Use a bottle opener, pressure seal used". Kapop! it comes off, and sure enough, underneath the cap is a small amount of plastic with grooves that would fit over the bottle lip for an extra-tight fit. Obviously, this is bottle worth aging. It pours a nice copper color. The head is only medium in height, but extremely thick like a Dairy Queen blizzard. Very small bits of unfiltered goodness can barely be seen floating.

Aroma is typical of Sierra's main beers: hoppy.

Unlike the aroma, the flavor is a much more mellow version of their main beers (I just had a couple Celebrations, for instance). This has all the good flavor, all the hops, but without that strong bite in the aftertaste.

Mouthful is almost heavy on the carbonation. There are still 7-up bubbles coming up from the bottom of my glass as I type this. Despite saying that, it's fine.

Drinkability is very good. Without that aftertaste, and without waxing your tongue with each sip, you can really just enjoy the beer. However, it may make this beer less memorable? I'm not a big fan of hoppy beers, so it's very hard for me to expound on its virtues, or describe the differences from its brethren.

terrabyte, Nov 30, 2007
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,979 ratings.