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Hired Hand - Iron Fist Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hired HandHired Hand

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: womencantsail on 11-14-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

t0rin0, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Fist Brewing Company in Vista, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, spices, and yeast with a slight fruity aroma. Taste is of malt/grain, fruits, yeast and some spice flavors on the finish. This beer has a very high level of carbonation with very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison with some nice aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +12.4%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of grainy malt with light citrus notes and some dry hoppy notes. Taste is sweeter than expected with a large dose of caramelized malt with a dry finish which kind of clash with the sweeter malt notes. Body is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Sweeter then I like my saison but the dry finish is quite enjoyable.

Phyl21ca, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Iron Fist

A: The pour is a fairly dark amber color with lots of orange highlights. Not your typical saison appearance.

S: Keeping with the atypical nature, there's a big spice character to the nose. Coriander is the most notable with some white pepper presence as well. Lots of orange peel and a sweet floral note that's almost honey-like.

T: Smooth with a fairly well balanced spice character. Lots of sweet citrus, a real orange juice kind of thing going on. Some hints of tropical fruit as well as a mild breadiness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate, smooth carbonation to the beer.

D: Very different for what you normally expect from a saison. Not quite as dry and refreshing as I prefer, but still some good flavors.

womencantsail, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +12.4%

GRG1313, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yet another off-kilter take on the Saison style.

Attractive clear amber in the glass. Not much head retention but pleasant enough in the mouth. Wet cardboard smell. Belgian character very apparent at first sip. Definite candy flavor, thought beer is not too sweet. Has an odd perfumey taste, just a hint of plastic. Some hops, but within my sense of the style. I think it gets better as it warms up.

Seems a little pricey at $8.99. I would definitely try it again if I see it on tap. I have mixed feelings but Hired Hand at least gives you an interesting mix of flavors. A high five to Iron Fist. Ouch.

mactrail, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very spicy and citrusy. I get a lot of yeast notes, but I also get a lot of orange citrus, tropical fruit and white pepper. A nice smelling saison. The flavor is more of the same with a lot of wheat, orange citrus and Belgian yeast. I don't get much spicing in the flavor, but there is a little bit present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/02/11 notes. Shared by argo0 (RB) at a local tasting; thanks Aaron.

a - Pours a clear golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bananas, wheat, citrus, and some slight metallic notes, which bring it down in my opinion.

t - Tastes of bananas, spice, wheat, fruity malts, and citrus. A step up from the taste.

m- Medium body and low carbonation, smooth body.

d - A decent saison. Something seemed off in the smell, but the taste was pretty good. Would give another shot.

mdfb79, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a two-finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is an amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich copper color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of honey-like malt, some musty, spicy and quite fruity fermentation derived notes that suggest of white pepper, honeydew melon, floral pear and a touch of phenolic character in the finish. The fruit & sweet malt character plays the biggest role in the nose, which means this is quite a bit different than the archetypal Saison Dupont.

Perhaps not quite as sweet as I was expecting, but it definitely has a sweetness to it, especially towards the finish where it tastes of honey, floral fruit nectar, pears, honey-dew melon and tart, floral apples. There actually is a touch of tartness to the finish, this is definitely not a sour beer, but the hint of tartness helps to balance the chewy body and sweetness; though truthfully there is not enough of it to really balance this beer out. The finish has a spiciness that suggest of pickled ginger, black pepper, some turpene like clove and an ample earthy spiciness that has hints of grassy coriander to it. While this beer is not overly heavy, it is definitely chewy and viscous for a Saison. The finish has a touch of hop bitterness to it that adds a hint of a bite that lingers just a bit on the palate.

This is definitely not my type of Saison, I prefer dry, spritzy and light. This beer does have a complex spiciness and yeast character, but it just seems to be overtaken by the chewy malt body and sweetness. For some reason I was expecting quite a bit from this beer (given that I have never had anything from this brewery and it is a style that American brewers seem to mess up so often), but this definitely didn't scratch my Saison itch. Having said that, I am a completely stickler for Saison's, and because I love the style (in all its breadth) so much, I often can be a bit hard on examples; this really isn't a bad beer and I can definitely see that many will enjoy this.

Gueuzedude, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd never heard of these guys before, but seeing some of their beers at K&L Wine Merchants, who I trust to make good beer decisions, I decided to pick one up.

This one pours a hazy copper colour, perhaps more golden when held to the light, with a frothy and rather vivid head of pure white. Actually, the head seems a little too light and bright compared to the body, but that's one of its charms, I suppose. Lacing is spidery and webbing. Nice static carbonation when tilted. Pretty good looking beer, all up.

Nose is mild, with slight Belgian spice and just the hint of acidity. It also has a dry, biscuity savoury character to it, which is a little odd, but certainly not unpleasant, giving it a little more depth and strangely a bit of refreshing twang. Interesting.

Taste is also mild, but it fits nicely in style without being over the top. Slight appleskin acidity streaks throughout, but it is tempered and balanced with light haylike grain notes, and a touch of pepper on the back. It's crisp and refreshing.

While it doesn't have the classic "funk" of a traditional Saison, it has the essence of it down nicely—the simple characters, the refreshment and the bright, rustic genesis. It's not going to stand up to the brilliance of the most complex and refined Belgian examples, but I'd say this is an excellent new world interpretation.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed orange colored beer with a small white colored head. Seriously dark for the beer style.

Smell is malty with a strong coriander aroma. Herbal hop that is a little soapy. Nice floral scent, but I have smelled better.

Starts out dry and flowery with a decent spice note and a yeasty after taste. A bit extra malt than usual but just a touch. Nice floral flavor. Nice cl;ean basic Saison flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is good. Not quite Hennepin though.

Zorro, May 19, 2013
Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/9/2011. Pours hazy orange copper color with a 2-3 finger foamy and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of orange peel, pear, apple, grape, light banana, floral, grass, herbal, bread, clove, honey, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity of yeast ester notes with moderate malt presence; and good strength. Taste of orange peel, pear, apple, grape, light banana, clove, pepper, toast, brown bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of orange peel, light fruits, pepper, clove, toast, brown bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with very balanced malt sweetness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good saison style. Good balance and complexity of yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A bit too malty, but a nicely enjoyable offering.

superspak, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11/21/10

On tap at Iron Fist.

A: Dark golden with a creamy white cap.

S: Rich malt with prominent coriander and orange peel notes. I don't detect hops and there's a little alcohol. There might be some clove in there as well. Pretty light on the phenols and not that spicy.

T: Rich and malty with some dark fruit notes. Coriander is noticeable and an upper low bitterness is evident. Alcohol is noticeable in the lightly spicy orange laden finish.  Pretty tame flavor. Lightly sour in the finish.

M: Lower medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: A pretty straight forward saison and not that spicy. Iron Fist loves the orange and coriander it would seem.

HopHead84, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Something of a beauty, this brew is a brightly shining orange gold. It begins with a light haze that clears up to give a very polished brightness and clarity, all the better with its unusual shade. The off-white head is foamy and rocky, coming close to one finger while keeping it up pretty well, falling pretty slowly, and leaving more than a modicum of patches and webbing.
The smell shows off a bit of the sour before the sweetness comes in, a bit of earthy yeast and some pale notes of very gentle spices coming in with pear, tropical fruits and sour apricot along with a bit of tanginess along with citrus, herb and a very light dose of white pepper.
It's pretty much the same in the taste, a really easy drinking brew, with a touch more funk to it, but very slight. The sour, bitter and sweet notes balance well. This is a brew that doesn't show off the complete mastery of the style and its complexities, but is by no means shallow.
The body is light to medium, a little soft and easing off at the end. It flashes between sweet and dry and finds a middle ground. Ultimately, it could use a little more bite in the finish.

Brenden, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

CheapBeerBuzz, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Exiled, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of peensteen
2.25/5  rDev -36.8%

peensteen, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of djaeon
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from Iron Fist on 3/5/11.

A: Pours a honey amber color with a thin head. Decent retention & spotty "lacing", same as the bottle.

S: This pour from the growler has a much richer aroma than out of the bottle. There is a sweet earthiness, much like the smell of spent grain at a brewery, which is very bold right off the bat. In my opinion, this is a wonderful smell. The floral, spicy notes are also there.

T: The heavenly aromas carry through in the flavor. I'm tasting some Belgian style spicing, along with the presence of yeast.

M: Feels smooth in the mouth, and goes down easy. There's a mild floral bitterness in the aftertaste, but not unpleasant in the least.

D: I could drink this all Summer!

djaeon, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

App - Cloudy flame body with a gradient of orange to amber highlights. An ivory finger of dense creamy foam rests on top, leaving cakey rings of lacing behind. Excellent retention.

Candy-like fruit aromatics, which while pleasant and light, come across as somewhat artificial. Backlit by a nice floral malty sweetness.

Very malty palate entry with a touch of freshly chilled wort - a dark sweetness suggests Karo syrup, and toasted bread. Mild clean bitterness with hop flavor being light to none. Wet wood (cedar?) in the finish, which dries out fairly well. Some phenolics present as a mix of nutmeg, band-aids, and paper (suggesting some faint off flavors are present). Decent profile over all, but not particularly what I think of when the style comes to mind.

Creamy, soft, effervescent body - with a vague astringency.

A poor value, and a mediocre example of the style, even among domestic examples.

augustgarage, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of Dactrius
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Dactrius, May 16, 2013
Photo of beagle75
2.79/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a half-pint chalice.

A: Slightly hazy, light orange-amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Stone fruit is focused on apricot in the smell that stands above bitter almonds and weak butterscotch.

T: Begins off-dry, with a combination of early flavors that seem mired in chemical diacetyl that is only partly successful in generating fruity flavors when married with the malt and sugar. Drying nuttiness is observed into the middle, still apparently derived from the yeast. Bitterness is mild and stale, with lingering fruit that is clean compared to the rest of the profile.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation that seems to accumulate and lodge in the throat.

D/O: Inconsistent is a fair word to describe this beer, in the way it shows some appealing fruit alongside distracting yeast qualities. It could benefit from a more faithful Belgian yeast presence, rather than whatever it does have.

beagle75, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of dwagner003
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

dwagner003, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of vande
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

vande, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of magictacosinus
2.7/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the many beers poured at the December Albany Taproom bottle share. Not sure who brought this, but thanks! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a golden amber color with frothy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Doesn't seem too cloudy, so my assumption that there's minimal bottle conditioning at play here. Bubbles are good, almost in a pilsner type manner, but it loses a lot of gas over time. Remains pretty modest, but doesn't strike me as something rustic or glimmering enough that tends to make up the realm of these types of beers.

Smells pretty bizarre, however - and, this is coming from a saison, no less! Big notes of musty apple cider, green apple skins, funky pears, and then some banana, clove, golden cereal grains, white pepper, and lots of candi sugar. In terms of making a starter's kit saison, I suppose this is one common result you'd expect, but the results are less than flattering. Pilsen malts are becoming more common in domestically made saisons, and a lot of these yeasts they're using tend to be bulk Belgian yeast strains that produce banana and pear phenols with light spiciness, yet no assertive dryness when melded with with the malts. Apparently they're "domestic" malts, and while I'm pretty convinced these are not ones of the pilsen variety, they awfully resemble it. Very unbalanced, and lacks creativity that I usually approach farmhouse ales for.

Yeah, they weren't joking about this being malty - but nevertheless, there's no way that this is a farmhouse ale in its representation, and pretty much everybody at the table agreed. The cider notes come at full force, with a tart green apple flavor being most predominant, with some pears and melon that turn into a one-dimensional grainy, husky flavor with notes of pepper, banana, and cereal grains. Finishes with a light husky astringency, as well as a little bit too much carbonation. Feels wet, sweet, and cracker-like, but lacks the vinous, yeasty, dry elements that I prefer the most in the style. Not the worst, but definitely not memorable at all, with all things considered.

Not sure if this is really a saison (it's more like a Belgian-style pale ale out of whack), but in the end it's a semi-mediocre, slightly expensive offering for what it's aiming to be. By far the most forgettable offering of the night. I'll gladly try other beers from this brewery, but it looks like a lot of aspects concerning their yeast and malt profiles are kind of at conflict with each other overall.

magictacosinus, Mar 10, 2014
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Hired Hand from Iron Fist Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.