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Harlem Sugar Hill Ale - Harlem Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harlem Sugar Hill AleHarlem Sugar Hill Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 95
Avg: 3.32
pDev: 15.96%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harlem Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  6.09% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 95
Photo of hopsgirl35
4.48/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I poured it into my beer glass the apperence
was deep golden with a small amount of lace on
the side of the glass and a small head on top.

The aroma is a fruity hopness with a breaded malt
smell that over powers the hops.

The taste is a medium bitterness with a spicy
dryness. More of a malt finish.

The mouthfeel is more creamy with a hint of zest
going down.

Overall I like how it's not over powering in the
taste buds. A beer I break to when I'm not in an
IPA mood. One of the best american blond ales I've had this summer!

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Photo of Thrasher
4.13/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant gold with impressive, rich head. Appealing aroma with whiffs of sweet malt and light hops. This delicate beer is like Budweiser with balls. Mostly sweet, with a very light bitterness from the hops that follows through in the finish. The malts have a sugary quality, with some corn flavors - but still very appealing; some faint lemon traces. Easy to drink, just a damn good all-around beer. Reminiscent of Czech pilsners while remaining in ale territory. Probably a great summer brew but it's December now and I'm digging it just fine. I'd imagine anyone who likes beer (whether it be Busch Light or Samichlaus) would enjoy this. Here's hoping to hear (and taste) more good things from this new kid on the block.

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Photo of Andreji
4.07/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried during a night of jazz music @ the Dizzy club coca-cola in columbus circle.

Poured in an american pint glass, translucid and glowy orange hue with small creamy looking white head, very small but lasting.

Smell is dominated by by a certain citrus astringent feel although it is very pleasantly accompanied, however in a very discrete manner, by a certain honey nutty feel that just catches your nose discretely.

Taste is full of oranges, although some sour ones indeed, with a grassy very floral hoppy feel. not too strong but there nonetheless.

Not a bad beer, sessionable and refreshing. but nothing too far from the midline.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sugar Hill Golden Ale
$1.99 @ Whole Foods, Union Square, NY

Appearance: Clear amber body with golden highlights beneath a creamy head of slightly off-white. The head retention is quite good and it maintains a solid surface covering even after dropping. A sheet of lace is left behind with each sip, and although it slides back into the liquid most of it remains, rising up like a mountain range in the distance.

Smell: Grainy malt with a bit of yeasty fruitiness and some minor grassy hop notes. Clean.

Taste: The grainy malt dominates the flavor profile, accented by the yeasty fruitiness (apple, fig). The hops are spicy and grassy, helping the very firm bitterness to bring it to a dry and spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with a gentle zest on the tongue.

Overall: A decent beer with an interesting character. It's a basic American blonde ale and it won't turn any heads, but it's well-made and should hold its own with the best of 'em.

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Photo of dgthompson
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had this at a beer festival. Loved it and loved the woman who created the beer - she was very nice and the ONLY person out of about 60 breweries to actually come out from behind the table and talk to the people. My friend and I spoke to her for a good 5 minutes, very interesting - but, I fell in love with the beer even before she spoke to us. Hard to find by me, but I go out of my way to buy a couple of 6 packs every few months. Excellent head, look and taste. Find it and try it!

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours Golden with a small head and lace.
The aroma was subtle and it was pretty much hops,malts and some fruit hints.
The taste was simple. Mildly sweet,malty,hops and some fruity notes.
The feel was light,easy to drink with some mild bitterness and medium carbonation. The balance was very good and the finish was very clean with some grains.

Notes: Just my opinion,but I do not see this beer as "ghetto" or hip hop. I think of Harlem and I think Jazz,trumpets and fancy night clubs. At least that was the image Harlem had. Now,I suppose it is a lot different and constantly changing.I just do not think a decent beer such as this really needs any added images or personalities.Summer time brew and decent to stand on it's own.

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Photo of scootny
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice hazey blonde with a good sized off white head and decent retention. A few spots of lace here and there. Smell is light and sweet with a cereal grains and light English ale fruitiness. Some earth as well. Taste is much the same with a bit of honeyed malt and a nice firm earthy hop presence to balance it out. Flavors develop as it warms giving it nice depth and a touch more complexity. A bit of biscuits toward the end. Dry clean finish with a good carbonation to lend a light citrus aspect. Feel is well carbonated and almost creamy with a medium weight. Goes down easy and lends itself to any session you may find. Quenching and clean this is a beer that will satisfy the BA as well as the BMC drinker. Nice brew.

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Photo of Loki
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a great example of a lighter style beer. Would be great for a ball game, picknick, or park outing.

Clear Golden color, with a decent head. Light aroma, mainly malt with very subtle hints of citrus.

Clean, crisp taste of with a little malt for sweetness and trace amounts of hops. Average mouth feel with nothing exciting or different.

Great drinkability, especialy on those hotter days. Overall all an enjoyable beer from a small brewery. I can't wait to see what Celeste at Harlem Brewing Company comes out with next.

(Side note if you are looking for this in the Piedmont of NC the only places I have found it was City Beverage and GSO Wine Warehouse.)

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Photo of mummbearsfan
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew from Harlem Brewery was a good buy. The golden color was dark golden color just had me wondering at first if this was a hybrid beer between an amber and an adjunct lager.

The aroma of this brew was malty with just a hint of hoppiness. Tasting this beer I found it quite smooth and refreshing not too heavy on the pallet.

Overall I would recommend this beer for parties and having a few while watching the game.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into mini heffe glass at Spring 08 Long Island Craft brew festival by a employee of the company, name that escapes me.

A: A surprising cloudy amber gold but a dissapointing neglible head.

S: Tin ca with sublte sweet finsih

T: Comlex tartness that retreats before the aftertaste.

M: Tangy thinness, difficult to grasp at.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very malty beer. Sweet, malty, and a little dry at the end. The smell is almost like a buttery oak aroma. The mouthfeel is very creamy and it leaves a warming coat in your mouth. Not bad for $5 a 6'er. Tastes more like a $2 beer to me.


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Photo of socon67
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this since I've been in Harlem alot recently, and wanted to give this a try. The beer is actually brewed in Saratoga Springs, but I won't hold it against them.

A - nothing special. Typical look of a blonde ale.

S - Slight citrus taste. Also a bouquet of hops. Not strong, but I'd call it "floral".

T - pretty good. Again, a blonde ale is a relatively safe beer, so its hard to screw this up.

M - Fairly pleasant. You can enjoy this a slowly or as fast as you like.

D - Very drinkable. This would (no surprise) go well with soul food, or really any comfort food like chicken and some steamed veggies.

Give it an extra props for being one of the few breweries run by a woman. Celeste did a good job with this. Hey, it is a blonde ale so its not a stand-out. But I would absolutely go back to this one.

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Photo of plaid75
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hugh with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice clean grain with a smattering of floral hops.

The taste was also a clean grain with a bit of a peppery hop spiciness. Very nice doughy finish. Stronger than usual sweetness for a golden ale.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp.

Overall an enjoyable light ale. Very good session material.

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Photo of sbe1
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

NOTE: The Harlem Brewing Company's beers are contract brewed by the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company (makers of the wonderful Red Tail Ale).

Ordered a bottle of this at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan.

Appearance: Pours a nice gold color with no head.

Smell: Clean and hoppy.

Taste: Again, clean and hoppy with a touch of lemon, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: A little nip from the hops to tickle your tounge with a vaguely creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Not the best thing I've ever had, but a nice very drinkable beer.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.56/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful clear gold to deep gold producing 2+ fingers of frothy/foamy, eggshell white, shortlived head that leaves a little streaky lacing. Aroma is sweet & grainy malt with a hint of toast & biscuit, lightly fruity with honey & floral hops. Taste as with all blonde ales is delicate, but unlike many I have tasted this one is not thin with notes & hints of pale & faintly toasted malts, bread, honey, several spices: maybe a little cinnamon & ginger, pepper, floral & light citrus hops. Starts very sweet then cascades into a bitter dry finish. Aftertaste is dry & lightly bitter. Mouthfeel is light body with low-medium carbonation, starts sweet &smooth, finishes prickly & dry. Not bad.

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Photo of Newkie
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Straw to light brown in color. Hazy. Very thin, white head that doesn't stick around. Not a bad look.

S: I actually smell lots of dark malt with some apple scent and some dark fruit. Very musky. A yeasty tone underlies the nose. Overall, its not too bad.

T: Yeasty flavor at the start. On the sweet side. A rather darker, malty flavor is in there as well. No hop notes that I notice. Maybe some citrus tones. Not all that bad.

M: Has that sweet, lower carbonation taste. Could be a little better. The sweetness sticks with you through the finish.

D: Not a bad effort. I actually like sweeter beers, so this one was okay for me. I could see having 1 or 2 in a sitting. Would want something a little better to session though.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, biscuts. Taste is refreshing, malty, some hops are present as well as a biscut flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer on a hot summer night.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.52/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My local finally got some sixers in, as I'd been waiting to try it for a bit now.

"Taste the Music"

Props for the jazzy labeling. Maybe they can get Spike Lee & Wesley Snipes to endorse it in true "Mo Betta" character. Maybe Denzel can make a cameo. Snipes really needs the money I heard. :P

Now this stuff really twinkles the ivory! Crazy carbonation & a genuine golden shimmer. A half inch of ethereal eggshell-colored head that recedes on schedule.

Smell is half-way caramelized malt & an uncertain trust in cold steel.

Initial taste is cream, but it drops right into a total caramel base, a single slice of buttered toast, with semi-grassy addition to the mix for the finish.

Grainy, but the alcohol is smooth. Slightly thicker then it appears. Carbonation is lower then expected, which is the only big fault I could find. The name "Sugar Hill" is not an understatement.

I took out half the six in 25 minutes. :o

"Cause mo better makes it mo better." :)

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer comes from a centuries old African recipe...uh huh.Anyways found this brew for $3.99 at the local health food store and gave it a try,pours a nice golden color with a head that starts out nice but fades really quickly.I get a slight toasted malt aroma but not much more in the aroma.A malt accented brew biscuity and lightly fruity finishing pretty crisp and clean.This beer was much better than expected,not great by any means but for $3.99 cant beat it good brew for the hot and humid weather down here.

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Photo of AaronRed
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was excited to try this new beer, as I often look for lighter beers in the summer- especially for people who come over who are not used to richer more flavorful beers. This is nice beer for summer. Light and clear, the head stayed well, with some lace down the side. Not much of a smell, except for some sweetness. My first sip was not the best. As I drank this beer, I liked it more. There is a hop presence, and although this beer is lighter, it does not weaken. What bitterness there is makes this beer very drinkable. Malt and sweetness balance it out. Not a great beer, at least for me, but one that I would drink on a hot summer day.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn, if your girl starts actin' up, then you take her friend"
- Rapper's Delight, Sugar Hill Gang

Got to try a bit of this at the World Beer Festival in Durham last night. I met the founder of the brewery, who said it is currently being contract-brewed by someone upstate. Nice golden color, light floral aroma like a golden ale or high-class American lager. Very sweet, lightly malty palate. I was actually surprised at how sweet this beer is (I guess the name is pretty apt). Not really anything new, but a pleasant beer that would be good for a session on a warm day.

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Photo of Suds
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jazz age motif on the label, with an explanation that the beer is a variation on an African (?) recipe.
A hazy, straw colored liquid from a 12 ounce bottle yields a slight, webby head. The aroma is a mix of grain and yeast. Very faint hoppiness in the smell, well in the background. Overall muted and quiet aromas.
The taste is sweet, with a clean, distinct hop balance. It's well proportioned and finishes as a very refreshing and drinkable beer. Moderately high carbonation.
It's not outstanding, but still very good.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clouded amber gold. No head. Nose is a fairly firm metallic with a bit of sugar peeking about as well. Flavor is bitter with a lemon citrus edge. Sweet as well, but just a faint touch. Metallic is the word here as that is the most dominant feature. Feel is nice on the bubble and a bit thicker on the liquid. Overall though the metallic flavors that are there kind of detract I think. I can't say it is anything exciting worth trying.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear deep golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a small head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of biscuit and cracker malts in the nose along with some faint hints of berbal hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste some flavors of sweet malts along with hints of herbal hops, the latter of which contributes a light amount of bitterness that persists into the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and flavorful compared to some of the other beers in the style.

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Photo of alexwag
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always like to try a local beer, and this was a new one on me ...

A: Poured a slightly darker than Bud crisp copper with less than one finger of fizzy, quickly dissipating head. Slightly cloudy, not unlike today's hot and humid weather so looks refreshing.

S: Not much to speak off. Crisp and clean, but again, not unlike a macro, though with some welcome added hop snap.

T: Sings a note smooth and sharp, with some yeasty tartness and a little lemon zest.

M: Fizziness on the tongue with a nice creaminess (not too much) -- nice mix.

D: Nice for a summer day -- the yeastiness/touch of metal becomes drags a bit as you go through, but overall nice. Not a go-to but might buy again for consistent refreshment.

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Harlem Sugar Hill Ale from Harlem Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.