Farmhand Ale | Driftwood Brewery

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89
very good
62 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
164
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
15.21%
 
 
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12
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Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our interpretation of this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black pepper. We use a very unique strain of yeast from Belgium to add further layers of spice and complexity to this rare style of beer.

Added by Derek on 12-20-2008

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 164
Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been a staple all summer for me, just a great thirst quencher with a little more character than the typical pale ale.

Nose: Spicy! Lots of spice, from pepper to nutmeg to clove to steak spices. Some banana and apple/pear.

Taste: Crisp, light but fully mouth coating and nicely malted - spices both start and finish prominently, the pepper stays around for a while. Banana and apple, maybe a touch of peach? Not much breadiness for me, though what there is might be sourdough in nature.

Overall: Not a thinker, but a really enjoyable saison.

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Photo of OskarL
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a dense off-white head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing.

Smells of spicy pepper, pale bready malt with citrus and fruity notes.

Tastes of peppery yeast, bready, fruity, lemon with a tart finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium body with lots of small carbonation.

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Photo of Grunewald
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours clear orange with a clumpy, foamy head.

S - yeasty malt, apple, and a light salty smell (seaweed)

T - yeasty malt. light peaches and slight hops (apple)
that linger into the finish with the malt

M - medium carbonation and body and neutral finish

D - great yeasty flavor in the malt. I could have many of these.

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Photo of strangemusic
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been impressed with Saisons in general lately, here's one from Victoria's Driftwood Brewing.

The appearance is a clear dark amber, with lacy tan head (nice!) and evident carbonation.

Smell is of hayloft, malt, orange, banana, sea air, yeast and peppery spice.

The taste is bready, very smooth with a tang of hops and pepper, tart juicy fruit flavours, more hayloft, florals... it's complex, but not really eye-opening - all-around tasty though.

The mouthfeel is really odd! It's chewy-textured and very soft, but also feels light in the mouth... strangely balanced! Clean sip with a tangy finish.

Drinkability is quite good - had a whole large bottle to myself and enjoyed every drop.

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Photo of xuptygm
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish orange, very thick soapy head which recedes quickly leaving some lace but not much. I have to admit I was congested when drinking this so I do not have much to say for aromas. I gave it the benefit of the doubt with a four. A very complex and unique beer when it comes to taste. Coriander, tea, lemon, a touch of honey sweetness. A very unique malt flavor. Spicy pepper taste compliments the higher level of carbonation. A well balanced beer. Carbonation leaves a prickly sensation in the mouth yet the beer is very smooth. Overall a very easy drinking complex beer. My second favorite find from my trip to Victoria. I brought home a few bottles of this stuff. Well worth it!

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Photo of Methodd
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

650mL bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Hazy reddish/orange. Lots of frothy, clumpy white head that never completely dissipates. Lots of curtain lacing.

Smell: Faint. Sweet fruit, herbs, floral hops.

Taste: Refreshing. Citrus, spice, pepper and a bit yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Heavy carbonation. Lots of bitter after taste.

Drinkability: I’m not a huge fan of the style but good none the less. I think this type of thing would be more suited to spring and summer; for me at least.

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Photo of bishopgary
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich golden straw color, with thick 2 finger head. Great retention, slowly faded to prominent lacing. Hazy, just as a Saison should be. Glowing and effervescent.
S: Yeasty, slightly sour. Orange, pepper, clove and banana. Rounded out by a bit of malt. Somehow smells more Belgian than most real Belgians.
T: A little orange peel, and spice upfront, followed by what I would call a banana smoothness that leads up to a really good sour funk. Finishes with a peppery kick.
M: Great body, not heavy not light. Can't exactly call it medium either. Leaves your palate wanting more.
D: Really good, this could be dangerous session beer. The alcohol is well masked. One to look out for.

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Photo of astout
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great summer beer and a pretty decent example of the style although a little watered down from the belgian versions.

Pours a straw yellow colour with a decent frothy head.

Aromas of pepper and lemon dominate with a but of yeasty funk in the background.

Milky and smooth on the palate with lots of citrus upfront and a peppery kick on the back end although not as much as I would have expected. Light and very drinkable with moderate carbonation. Not as funky as some saisons but a very delicious summer beer for sure.

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Photo of noeldundas
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A drinkable beer for sure.

But as a Saison I really found it missed the mark. I've had it on tap at the Alibi room and in bottle and I find it not quite dry enough and somewhat lacking in character for a Saison.

In the bottle it comes quite clear, with a light gold/copper. Hints of pepper and fruit with malt. med.high carbonation and a slightly malty finish with low bitterness.

As I said, a good beer in it's own right, just not comparable to saisons of belgium or even better US versions (North Coast Merle) which I think is a risk of brewing around such distinctive styles.

FWIW - drank it on Aug 6th, best before date of Nov 09.

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Photo of beerayrton
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought for my second review i'd do one of my favourite British Columbia breweries, Driftwood out of Victoria.

Appearance - You get quite a nice rich copper colour, which is accented by a minimal head. It's not hazy at all, quite clear.

Smell - You get banana and citrus right off the bat in the front, with pepper in the back.

Taste - well, if you thought the smell was peppery, the taste hits you with it, but it's a mellow pepper. It's very present, but not so much so that it gets you over the head with a hammer. The taste gets rather yeasty, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel - With this beer you get a medium carbonation with a taste that lingers. Sour notes predominate the longer it's held in your mouth.

Overall - I like it. It's a saison that I love drinking anytime I get a chance, and it's very good, on the whole. It's not overly amazing, but definitely one of my favourites for a quiet night in.

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Photo of PacificNorthWester
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a nice zesty orange-yellow color in the glass with little foam. Nose of the beer yields notes of pepper, grass, light hops, and a hint of spice (very faint). Upon sipping the beer one is exposed to a nice tango of tang and pepper, resulting in a refreshing first sip. Over the course of enjoying this beer I particularly thought that the grass and pepper characteristics never over powered the other. Buy this for a refreshing break from the IPA's crowding the shelf.

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Photo of darryletlesballons
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been "checking in" on this beer every now and then for a few years now, as much a review of my partialities as of the beer itself. Still a favorite.

Visually appealing golden-amber beer with a full white head. I enjoy the gritty interplay of spicy clove and pepper on a sour base. Reminds me of a grassy Wit with more spice to bite, ending on the same dry "where-did-all-my-saliva-go" finish. Definitely the aroma of Belgian yeasts up front, setting the stage with a light sour grassiness and hints of tart apple followed by cloves. Not too much, not too little for flavour.

Until next time Madame Farmhand.

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Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.