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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.

3,072 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,072
Reviews: 1,443
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 167
Gots: 113 | 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
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Ratings: 3,072 | Reviews: 1,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Metalmonk
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Writing/drinking this in the midst of the current hop shortage is bittersweet. No pun intended, I swear. Didn't hesitate to pick this up the second I saw it...the bottle size alone is a selling point, even if it does remind of a 40 of malt liquor.

Pours a huge fluffy head that lasts a long while, with a creamy, cratered surface. Color underneath is a beautiful copper/amber, a wealth of bubbles marching toward the head. Beautiful lace formations make this one a killer just to look at.

Aroma gives off big, bountiful, herbal hops, made larger by the malty sweetness in the background. Solid and well-done, if typical for the style.

Citrusy, almost pungent hops hit the tongue quickly, and they're given support by a toffee-like toasty sweetness and a firm, substantial, buttery mouth.

A very direct and simple beer, yet with no lack of lure or character. Gets in there and gets the job done. It quenches the thirst, it satisfies any hophead's craving, and it definitely leaves you wanting more. At 6.7% (so says the 11th Edition label), it's not gonna kill you to hog the whole bottle for yourself.

Metalmonk, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of sraimondi
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one from a 24 oz. bomber.

Pours with a very large, rocky head which hangs on for awhile. Very plentiful belgian sheet lacing which is present throughout drink. Very attractive medium copper color. Smell is of pine hops and a hint of grapefruit. Taste is very balanced for an IPA. No doubt the hops win out, but the malt backbone is substantial and quite pleasing. Mouthfeel is quite good and round and quite full for an IPA. Drinkability is also very good.

This is a very good, high quality brew. It will appeal to hops lovers and non-extreme beer drinkers alike. Get this limited release while you can!


sraimondi, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Clear copper brew with a fair amount of bubbles an enormous head and a thick cascade of lacing all down the sides - truly gorgeous.

S - Some light malt, pine, hay, some biscuits and fresh ground peppercorns.

T - A strong amount of pine hops and white pepper, a bit of malt and biscuits. Aftertaste is a very mild bitterness with hints of lingering hops and pepper.

M - A very smooth beer, thin to medium bodied, very refreshing with a warming finish.

D - This is as easy to drink as SNPA - which is quite impressive. I will try to have this at least annually. Although it is simply an excellent APA, it is worth seeking out. I will have again.

mrasskicktastic, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st bottle in trade from BeerZach (thanks soo much). 2nd bottle purchased at the Boise Coop. Funny story, I walked in to the Coop tonight in my weekly countywide beer hunting trip. I bought all the beers I wanted. I left, and about 2 blocks away, I realized I wanted some rolls to take leftover ham sandwiches to work tomorrow ... I turned around and went back to the Coop; I found my rolls, and got in line. The guy in front of me had 9 bottles of the SNHA! This beer is NOT available in Idaho; I asked him how he got it, he told me he complained to Sierra Nevada that SNHA was not coming, in response Sierra Nevada shipped ONLY 1 case to Idaho and it went the Coop. He bought 9, I acquired 2, there is 1 more. I only paid $2.59 for a bomber.... damn good deal for a great beer no doubt.

Anyway ... here is the review.

22oz bomber for $2.59, shared with my fiancee from oversized red wine glasses ... Listening to Global House Culture V#1 "James Christian".

Crisp clear amber pour with a long lasting head with good lacing.

Beautiful hoppy aroma bursting with the first pour .... Fresh cut lawn with lime leaves and grapefruit peel. Deeper smell reveals good dirt and hay. Binding maltiness that melds completely well with the hops.

Taste is sublime and only gets better as it warms. Toasted pale malts .. just enough maltiness .. VERY well balanced ... Wow ... I am loving it. I wish I hadn't shared it with Brenda ... she says "yeah, it's good... nice pale ale." Hugely drinkable.

Now I am pissed off SN did not make this available here in the gem state. At less than $3/bottle, I would sit (for hours/days) and try and pick out the better beer between this and Hop Trip. Without looking at my review for Hop Trip, I would pick the Deschutes, but this is still FANTSTIC. Somebody needs to learn how to grow hops year round so good fresh hop beers are always avaliable.

Edit: If you were that guy in line in front of me at the Coop, please beermail me, I wanna say thanks.

JohnGalt1, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of beerogre
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the first sip to the last this beer was an absolute delight to drink. I thought I had missed out on both this and the Anniversary Ale but thanks to Big C liquors a few miles west from here on State Road 50, over in Winter Park, I managed to grab both these two on a trip over there this weekend (plus their last bottle of Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, but that's another story).

The hops are truely fantastic in this beer, but it's so much more than that. It's an overall beautifully crafted, well balanced beer. For some reason, I just kept on coming up with the thought of Avery's Maharaja when I was drinking this beer. Now I must go out and buy some to investigate why that was. Oh poor me, such an onerous task!

Don't pass this one by. Buy it, and get as much as your budget will allow. In fact, sod it, just overspend and report an exception.

beerogre, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of CVC
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Eleventh Edition 2007 Harvest Fresh Hop Ale.

Came in a 24 oz. bomber; served in a pint glass.

This beer pours a very nice clear copper color with reddish hues. The thick, white, long-lasting three-finger head must be noted. It lasted forever! And it left some sticky lace at the botton half of the glass. It smells earthy and grainy, of course--it's Harvest Ale! The taste is pretty much the same as the smell, but more nutty and slighty burnt. It's fairly thick on the palate. I find this beer very drinkable.

Well, long time, no see, Beer Advocate! This is my first beer review since January 2005. I was still drinking while I was away, of course, I just wasn't coming here to report it.
Anyway, let's continue:
I just realized that they are selling this stuff in bottles now. I always knew about the Harvest Ale--since I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada, and I'm aware of what they make--and I thought it was exclusively sold on-tap at the Sierra Nevada brewery. So, when I saw this I picked it up with the quickness. And I'm glad I did. Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and drinking this beer reminds me of the season. It just tastes like autumn. I love it. I had the pleasure of having this beer with my Thanksgiving meal, and it was a great pairing. 'Twas a great way to begin the holiday season. Especially at $2.99!

This was my first time having this beer, and I must say that it is another fabulous beer by Sierrra Nevada!

CVC, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of 1fastz28
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a reddish copper color with a pretty white head, that laces quite well. smells really good, lots of flowerly hops present. taste is odd.. it has a great hop first impretion, citrusy, bitter and well defined. but after that it drops off, it seems like it doens't have alot of body to it, i can't explain it. its a good beer dont get me wrong, but i dont see it as good as other people have rated it, maybe i got a bad batch, or my pallet isn't well defined enough

1fastz28, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of jdoncbus
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

(Purchased at Whole Foods for $4.99)

Bomber poured into oversized tulip. Deep amber color with thick, two finger head; not much carbonation & heavy lacing.

Smell is not too overpowering. Can make out the sweet hops in the nose, bit of citrusy orange mixed with some peppery spice.

Taste is impressive and a roller coaster ride. Hits the palate with some sweet, caramel malt where upon the roof of your mouth and back of your tongue are hit with some very dry hops. You can literally feel the liquid curl up in a ball and then release a wonderful bitterness; a cream dream for any hop head.

At 6.2% - I could drink this all night. I thought the Celebration Ale was my favorite SN offering - not anymore. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this one while it lasts.

jdoncbus, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 24 oz. bottle into chalice (should note 2007 release). Pours an amazing amber color that is crystal clear. Nice thick head with an almost creamy quality to it and excellent retention. Great lacing and layers left after each sip. Smell is good but not as strong as I expected. A definite hop presence with some grassy aroma as well. Taste is good, hoppy with good malt balance. This beer seems to have a different hop taste than other APA's or IPA's. Its a subtle and smooth presence. Moderate carbonation and a dry and oily aftertaste. Very smooth beer. Overall a terriffic beer. I dont believe its their best offering (gotta go Celebration there) but a strong one and deserving of the hype. I waited months to try this and was not let down one bit.

bunnyhustle, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of Finn
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a 24 oz. bottle, of the 2007 variety. Very appealing label.

Appearance: Pours a orange light copper color, very clear as well. A thick head of foam dies down to a substantial rocky head that floats on the top. Plenty of lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Grassy and earthy hop aromas. There's malt in there but you can't smell much of it.

Taste: Smooth caramel malts followed by a very refined hop "burn" on the palate. Pretty balanced flavor actually (although I guess "balanced" is a relative term, depending whether you're a hophead or not) though there's a lot of hops going on. Aftertaste lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Smooth (almost silky) mouthfeel, with average carbonation. Very nice balance in the mouthfeel department.

Drinkabity: Overall, a great offering from Sierra Nevada, though I enjoy this beer much more on tap. Quite worth a try, though I don't see myself buying this very often (unless it's on tap), simply because I can think of many IPA's with much higher drinkability.

Finn, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of kmo1030
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

clear coppery amber colored beer with a light khaki head.
the smell is filled with floral piney hops with a grapefruit tinge, and a bit spicy. i don't catch any malt, just this realy clean, light flowery hop character.
the taste is loaded with hops too, no big surprise. but these hops seems more herbal and medicinal than the aroma would have let on; no complaint, just an observation. the bitterness is pervasive other than the very begining where a bicuity caramel malt is present that really creates a nice overall complexity.
soft medium body with fairly active, but fine carbonation.
superbly drinkable, i put this bottle away as if it was a much smaller one. not at all abrasive, and hits all the right notes.

kmo1030, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of ohoove
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This for me was a bit different than the rest of the SN line. Was expecting more on the hops but actually seemed to be less pine and citrus and more of an english ipa. This is more of an american ipa light. Very tasty and highly drinkable, sessionable for sure. If one were to look up the definition of consistent the SN label would be right there. Would like to see this in 12's or 6's.

ohoove, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this in previous years, but don't recall previous years being THIS outstanding. This year's version truly is outstanding and is a hop head's delight.

The beer pours a lovely copper color with good head retention and adequate lacing. Nothing special, but the beer looks good. The nose is pretty impressive with citrus and leafy tobacco aroma from the wet hops (I assume). Not overdone, but this does smell like a well hopped beer. On the palate the beer replicates the nose, but here the leafy tobacco and bitterness from the hops are very noticeable. The bitterness builds as I drink more and more and is nearly mouthpuckering near the end. Quite impressive. Nevertheless, what strikes me about this beer is how well balanced it is, and how Sierra Nevada manages to keep the alcohol in check. The malt adds just enough sweetness to keep the beer interesting and drinkable, and frankly this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer finishes very nicely without an overdose of hops until I'm near the end of my pint. This is a very easy to drink ale.

This beer is similar to the celebration ale, but is a bit sweeter and then there is the leafy tobacco aroma and flavor from the wet hopping. In any event, this is an excellent beer from Sierra Nevada. If not particularly surprised by that, I will say that I'm nevertheless impressed. Very good beer.

John_M, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of clemtig76
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle purchased at Bevereage Superstore in Suwanee, GA for $2.99 - What a deal!. The brew pours a beautiful copper color with a nice fluffy head that leaves sticky lacing that slowly falls. The aroma is all hops, spicy and peppery with a little citrusy zest as well. Taste is all oily, citrusy grapefruit hops with just enough malt sweetness for balance but make no mistake, this brew is all about the hops. Good job from the folks at Sierra Nevada!

clemtig76, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of macster
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the huge 24oz. bottle a clear orange-bronze color. Produces a huge, thick and creamy head with superb retention throughout the entire glass. Rings of lacing remain after each and every sip. Just a beautiful looking beer.

Of course the aroma profile is all about the hops, a skill that SN does pretty damn well with many of their brews. Notes of freshly cut grapefruit and orange along with dried pine needles and Juicy Fruit gum greet the nose. Although the hops were in the forefront here, for a brew that is supposed to be featuring them I thought the hop aroma could have been a bit more agressive.

Mouthfeel was full, smooth and creamy with just the right amount of CO2 to make it lively.

Flavor began with a mild caramel, malt cereal sweetness which was quickly replaced with a moderate, but firm, crisp citrus, spice and slightly peppery hop bitterness. Nice long bittersweet finish.

Goes down real easy and is a well crafted special release. Would be nice to see it in sixers someday like their Anniversary Ale was packaged.

macster, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_light brown with a very fluffy head. Sheets of lacing abound

S_minor grapefruit hop notes

T_much better than the smell. Wonderous ammount of grapefruit hops. Slight biscuity malt balances it out well. Touch of sourness in the followthrough brings this to the next level

M_medium bodied

D_very good. Highly reminiscent of fresh hops and very different from the pale ale. Another winner from SN

sleazo, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of benito
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time I've ever had the grand-daddy of all wet hop ales. It's light copper in color with a long-lasting head; the bouquet is very flowery, with a strong, neutral (ie generalized) hop smell. Similarly, the biting hop start is pronounced and has a nice juiciness to it. There's a light tinge of alcohol on the finish; the aftertaste is bitter and enduring. You'll have to search for any malt presence to speak of, but that's not really what this beer is about is it? A wonderfully refreshing APA that is a great showcase for hops. There are better 'wet hop' beers out there, but Harvest Ale is a classic, unrepenting introduction to the beauties of the hop.

benito, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed orange peel with honey colored trim. I'm surprised that the beer is perfectly clear. Where's the haziness from the hop particles? The impressively bubbly cap, equal parts pale sandstone and pastel orange, is laying down lace as only a resin-filled fresh hop ale can. Forget the clarity, this is great looking beer.

Although the nose is wonderful, I expected more in terms of pure pungency. With this many fresh Centennial and Cascade hop cones on the loose, the aroma should be jumping out of the glass with reckless abandon. Edit: warming turns up the volume and allows me to grant the above score. The caramel malt is evident, as is the grapefruitiness of the C-hops.

I wish Sierra Nevada (and all brewers for that matter) could figure out a way to get 'fresh hop' flavor to last longer than a few months. Actually, a few months is probably pushing it. This bottle is an estimated six weeks of age and I'm sure it's lost a little in that time. It's still beautifully hoppy, although it's nowhere near scathingly hoppy. Assuming it ever was.

I like the specific recipe that Harvest Ale uses more than I like the recipes for Pale Ale and Anniversary Ale. It might be the freshness of the hops, but I have a feeling that it's the *Centennial* hops that make me love this APA as much as I do. The pale and caramel malt backbone is sturdy enough to stand up to the grapefruit and bitter orange pithiness and to give the beer some semblance of balance.

Things improve as each mouthful progresses because the malt sugars fade first, allowing the hops to slap the tongue around a little on the long, lingering finish. The mark of a great beer is that each mouthful is better than the one that came before. Harvest Ale is great beer. It's also compulsively drinkable beer, so I'm glad that it comes in a big, fat, 24-ounce bottle.

I'm not sure what else one could ask for in an APA mouthfeel. It didn't get my attention at first, but it definitely has it now. The beer is amazingly smooth and polished with a voluminous silkiness borne of a perfect amount of carbonation. Great job.

The single word that occurs to me when I think of Sierra Nevada is 'solid'. As it turns out, one of the original American craft breweries is also one of the best. Harvest Ale (11th Edition) is delicious beer that deserves to be released throughout the entire country, right alongside their standard lineup. Given its 'fresh hop' nature, I know that isn't possible, but it sure would make a lot of hopheads happy. This one included.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of Damian
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a 24 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
11th Edition

Poured a crystal clear, deep, mahogany-amber with a tight, khaki, one-finger, sea foam head.

The aroma was quite hoppy yet fairly well rounded. Citrusy, cascade hops prevailed over mild caramel malt and candy-like notes. As the beer warmed, some brown sugar came out as well.

The taste was overwhelmingly hoppy and edgy. The beer started slow (almost flavorless) up front before an intense, oily hoppiness kicked in. Crisp, cutting hops attacked and never gave my taste buds a rest. An intense hop spice flavor was apparent as well. The beer became harsh and biting on the back end and finished piney, bitter, tannic and dry. At first, I mistook this beer for having a reasonably high alcohol content but I later discovered that this sharpness was merely a result of the hops. As for being a "fresh hop" beer, I was not able to detect much of a difference between this pale ale and those made with dried hops. The only exception may have been that the hops in this offering displayed more of an herbal/medical quality

Mouthfeel was light, thin and fairly over carbonated.

Overall, I was disappointed with this beer. Hop heads may rejoice with this seasonal offering, but I found its overwhelming hop bitterness rather difficult to stomach.

Damian, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of Padron4KM
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle, ’07 edition.

Clear copper with a long lasting tanish head and sticky lace.

Sweet caramel aroma with a solid background of citrusy and earthy hops.

Flavor starts out with a carmel malt sweetness, followed up by a well balanced attack of juicy grapefruit and light sweet earthy hops, with a little spice in the mix.

Finish is long and grapefruity bitter.

Padron4KM, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of hiikeeba
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours up golden amber with gold highlights. A thick head lasts a long time. The head has a greenish cast?

S - fresh, grassy hops dominate.

T - Starts of with a hint of malt, but piney hops replace it. Leaves a nich hop tingle on the tongue in the finish. Very smooth.

M - Full mouthfeel.

D - Despite the aroma, deceptively smooth. More than one at a time? maybe. Very nice.

hiikeeba, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of wardough
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable beer. Great with spicy foods.

A: Typicaly for APA styles. Foams up pretty good and keeps some head.
S: Piney goodness
T: Definitely a West Coast Style. Hops dominate thoughout without any other tastes.
M: Very light on the palate.
D: A great session beer

A good above average harvest beer.

wardough, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 24 oz bottle from a recent trade with PBRstreetgang.

A: The ale is a brilliant copper color, deeper burnt siena color at the wider sections of the glass and orange at the narrower parts. The head on pour was huge, and luckily the Troegenator mug was more than able to handle the 4 fingers of foam. As a result of the foam explosion, lace clings to the side of the glass.

S: The ale has a well-balanced profile of maltiness and fresh hops. While both are in balance, neither one stands out and gets me fired up.

T: The bitterness of the hops is evident from the first sip. The piney and citrusy flavors grip the tongue and don't let go. The hops are not overwhelmingly strong but they do manage to block out any maltiness. Only as the ale warms does the finish reveal some cereal graininess. I like the hops up front but they lack a certain oomph.

M: The mouthfeel is nicely built on the hops. The bitterness that they convey is nice but a little to strong to be a great harvest ale.

D: As an APA, this is a nice drink. I'd like to see a little more wet hop flavor, as the uniqueness of the flavor makes for a great drink.

akorsak, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of jmbranum
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Edition, from the 24 oz. bottle.

Gloriously good. It reminds me of a fresh hop beer I had while at the Bridgeport Brewpub in Oregon.

The dominant thing here is not surprisingly hops, however, what makes this special is that the hops are more floral and aromatic than bitter. I can pick up bits of resiny pine and something sorta herbal... well the only thing I know to compare it to is, well, the smell of an herb related to hops which will go nameless.

As far as drinkability goes, I don't think I could have too many of these. I love this beer but I could have only so many before my tastebuds are blasted to smithereens. There's a lot going on here and it truly is that good.

jmbranum, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24oz. bottle - 2007 edition

Pours a clear copper color with a creamy eggshell head that thins. Thick, sticky lacing on the glass.

A faint hint of caramel malt among layers of fantastic hop smells. Citrusy, grassy, floral, and just extremely fresh smelling.

A nice, chewy, caramel malt base that somehow manages to survive among a complex blend of hop flavors. Citrus, floral, grassy, and plenty of IBUs to boot. Superbly balanced and fresh tasting.

Medium body, creamy texture.

Wow, what a great brew. Really showcases the flavors that can be produced with fresh hops, and does so with a masterful level of balance. The 24 ounce bottle goes down as fast as if it were just 12.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 16, 2007
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,072 ratings.