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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse AleFarm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 447
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 29.69%
Wants: 16
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jale on 01-23-2011

There was a time in old world France when nearly every family farm had a brewery. A necessary part of farm life was to provide a ration of beer to laborers, as beer was safer to drink than the water of the time. (Has to do with water carrying bacteria and alcohol killing said bacteria. Yay beer!) Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is slight in body, mildly sweet, and has a slight cloudiness from the simple un-malted grains similar to the period.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 447
Photo of andrewjraab
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy and cloudy yellow straw colored - not much head or retention.

S - Yeasty, lemons, dough, wheat.

T -Grains and yeast take the opening kick off, followed by a faint malts, cracker, nutty, dough. Low to medium bodied, this Finishes dry.

O - solid brew, not a big fan of this style, but this is a good brew to journey to for it.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank right from the can. Aroma is clean, and fleshy-fruited: pears and apples. Yeasty. Taste follows, clean and crisp, a little bit of spice in there as well. Refreshing and clean.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

- pint can. duvel chalice.

A: Palest of straw pour exit from the can produces a glass consuming white foam monster that dominates the vessel for a lengthy period of time. Beneath, a crystal clarity of brass coloring reveals an even pace of effervesce filling the glass. Big sloppy, soapy patches of lace smoother the glass. Turns cloudy on second pour.

S: Sweet aroma, white grapes, fresh wet citrus, with some fresh pear and apple juice fruitiness. Nice level of commitment, lasting duration.

T: Flavor of apple juice, pear, lightly tart and acidic with a gentle dry finish. Spicy, fruity sweetness, with a increasing tart and funky finish upon warming. Some light wheat, berries with some stemmy and spruce notes.

M: Crisp mouthful, light bodied.

O: Overall an easy drinking french style farm house style ale that is refreshing, lightly tart perfect for a hot summer day. Clean, crisp, multiple drinker again for those hot summer days and and back yard affairs with light chatter. Not gonna blow you away, but is appreciable for its easy drinking nature and approachable for new to style and just kicking back.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This pours a chill hazed golden tan with light foaming. Kinda muted, musty aroma. Coriander and a hint of cracked pepper come across as I sip, with a pleasing hint of orange blossom. Somewhat of a muddled mess over all.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a cloudy straw gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like citrus (lemon peel), hay, apricots and some earthiness. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some bready/grainy malt and a bit of an apple flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's crisp and easy to drink with a decent amount of carbonation. I thought this was an enjoyable brew, glad I got to try this! I got this for $3.29 a can, not sure how much the 4 pack was.

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Photo of DisneyDreamer29
4.78/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer is straw colored. It smells of citrus, pine, and a hint of other earthy smells. The taste has small hints of fruit in the background and strong flavors of wheat or grass. Slight bitter notes to offset the sweetness of the fruit. Very balanced. The body is light. Overall, a very drinkable everyday beer.

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Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer is crisp and golden yellow. It has a yeasty smell, leaving it with some mild fruit notes. It is a really smooth beer with citrus notes. Overall it's a pretty good beer and easy to drink.

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Photo of Maiora13
4.34/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can almost taste the history behind "farmhand" ale. The french style sets it apart from the more full Belgian style that Vivant is known for. Beautiful, light, and refreshing.

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Photo of carolynschaf
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a very yeasty scent, almost like bread. Which leads you to believe it will be a heavy drink but it is very light and crisp. It does have a cloudy appearance but goes down smoothly.

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Photo of lucasra1
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Overall this is a good beer because of the drinkability, but the flavors are hardy discernable. Lots of yeast on the nose making it stand out as a farmhouse ale. Crisp, light and refreshing. A very uncomplicated beer that most would enjoy.

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Photo of Sydney10
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color. Strong yeasty lemon aroma. A much lighter beer and easy to drink. The taste is a mixture of sweet and citrus. Lemon, apple, and pear are present in the taste. The sweetness is a honey flavor. Overall, enjoyed this mild beer.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an IPA glass....
A - Pours a hazy golden amber color with small head.
S - Aroma is mild and a little funky.
T - The flavor is also mild, slightly funky, a little tart.
M - Thin, low carbonation.
O - I feel like I'm drinking a Light Saison. The aroma and flavor is right but light, which makes this a very drinkable beer but not complex or interesting.

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Photo of TheStepChild
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like the spicy (yeast?) and sweet malt flavor with a light bitterness to balance off. Finishes a little tart or astringent but not in an unpleasant way. I like pairing this beer with some gouda cheese.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Earthy, quick-tasting beer. Yeasty. Spicy, grainy, estery, very "farm-like" up front but the flavor ends abruptly. Easy, sparkling water like finish. Decent beer. I'd like to try it again and see how consistent each batch of this is.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a standby of mine. A lemony, tart, citrus forward farmhouse ale/saison style which pairs perfectly with food or on its’ own. Pours a deep orange with a small white head and a cloudiness that gives this a hazy quality on the eye. The nose is all lemon with a little hay. Does not veer into sour territory but stays lively enough to stay interesting. Nicely balanced carbonation and little bitterness.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

i have heard so much good stuff about these guys so i was super excited to see one of their beers on a menu, but i was really let down by this. its loosely a saison, but it has a very generic white wine sort of yeast profile, a super light grain base, and unfortunately almost no carbonation at all. its real light golden in the glass, hazy and dead flat. the nose is that sharp 3711 type french saison yeast, but there isnt enough grain behind it to hold it up. i do like the lightness though for summer drinking, but without any bubbles its hard to get into it very much, and this yeast never warms up very well i dont think. dry and light, but also boring and a little sloppy in execution. i appreciate the mission of reviving rustic ale styles, but this is not something i care to have again. i will have to get my hands on some of their other stuff, as they do have an excellent reputation. maybe i just got the one bad egg...

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date. Pours slightly hazy bright golden color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, herbal, straw, grass, light clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, herbal, straw, grass, light clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, straw, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; with a nice crisp malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice saison style. All around good robustness, balance, and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of tjk545
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sour palate with a sour funky nose. I really enjoy this session beer. I like farmhouse beer and saisons, i like the funkiness. I get tired of pale ale. Good beer

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into a Brewery Vivant can glass.
5% ABV,

A - Farm Hand's fleeting white head sinks to a thin skim of foam above the still and hazy pale straw yellow beer, leaving it an attractive beer to sip.

S - Tart lactic acidity almost comes across the nose as a sour mash process (as opposed to yeast) giving way to cracker-like dry maltiness with a complimentary dry earth undertone and suggestions of bubble gum and lemongrass from the yeast.

T - Hoppier than expected, Farm Hand brings a lemony citrus twang to the delicately yeasty saison. Underlying biscuit-and-cracker malts pave the way for a refreshingly tart finish of lactic acidity.

M - Vibrant tartness starts and finish this delicate and refreshing saison while in between lands a kiss of hop bitterness that dials everything in just right.

O - Brewery Vivant's Farm Hand puts a truly unique spin on the saison style with a forward lactic acidity-like tartness that steals the show as opposed to the bigger Belgian overtones. The yeast nuances are there but subdued and soft, making this one hell of a good beer!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Updated review (08-03-2014):

On tap at Vivant. Good semi-hazy straw-yellow pour with a good head and retention. Very light, some straw, and faint backing acidity. Nose is lightly fruit. Very easy drinking. Wish it maybe had a bit more funk, and was slightly lower in alcohol, but very good.

Original review (09-20-2011):

16-ounce can picked up at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a clear straw color with a big, fluffy white head and nice lacing on the way down. The nose carried a bit of pilsner malt and that's about it. No yeast presence. No phenolics of fruit. Not very impressive. Flavor is similar with just a touch of pepper. Light body and high carbonation. A bit astringent and tannic. Not a big fan.

A: 4.0 / S: 2.5 / T: 2.5 / M: 2.0 / O: 2.5

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 2.50/16 oz can at Brewery vivant store
Unlabeled can at 45 degrees into pint glass
Aroma slightly sour
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing OK –small islands and broken rings, bubbles small to medium
Body medium yellow, cloudy
Flavor is somewhat sour, with, really, not much flavor. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Kind of like a weak fruit juice.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation.

This is Brewery Vivant’s interpretation of a French Farmhouse ale. Is it accurate? Don’t know. Is it good? Meh – it’s drinkable and not offensive. Would I seek it out or trade for it? No.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Straight pour from a 16oz can to a teku; no canning or freshness date visible, but I picked this up direct at the brewery about a week and a half ago. Oughta be plenty fresh.

Appearance (2.5): It pours out a hazy, bright yellow-gold body with about a finger of crackly, bone-white head that doesn’t stick around long at all. In fact it gets the hell outta town pretty fast, leaving almost no lacing. It’s generally really pretty, except that the head and lacing have almost no presence.

Smell (4.0): Huh, there’s some interesting stuff going on here. Cool, wet grass, a bit of honey and very fresh, aromatic, cracked grains (fresh-baked white bread, dusty oats and wheat corns), limeade and lemon zest, and apple-like esters. Lots and lots of dusty straw and light spice.

Taste (4.25): This is really a bright, vibrant continuation of the different pieces present in the nose: juicy, apple-like esters, citrusy limeade and snappy lemon zest, slightly herbal, grassy hops, modest but clear spice notes (black pepper, coriander, light clove), a touch of honey, biscuity, bready pale malts (common crackers, floury biscuits), and finally on the back end there’s a relatively strong, bright lemon character that’s tart, but not too bitter and not too sweet—just very clean, very bright, and zippy.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Exceedingly drinkable. It’s light and on the dry side from the very start, with an easy, swishy entry that dries out with a bready feel in the middle, followed by a clean, lemony finish. The carbonation is tingly and crisp from the start, and picks up moderately before washing out with a quick prickle and very smooth, soft foam.

Overall (3.75): This is a reaaally, really drinkable saison in the vein of classically bready, light, non-funky farmhouse ales. Crushable at 5% ABV with the easy, quenching mouthfeel, and the bright, full-character (but not taxing) flavor. My only serious gripe is the appearance—mostly on-point for the style, but without a lot of staying power. What can I say, I like lace. But other than that it’s pretty awesome.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.26/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Solid golden cloudiness with a cloud of pinkish yeast suspended in the middle of the glass, a little white foam but no real head, some large bubbles rising fast to the surface.

S: Lemon peel, five alive citrus drink, Belgian yeasts, umami, black pepper.

T: Light citrus like a lemon-citrus taste but its not very fruity, and not like my use of citrus in IPA’s or APA’s. It’s more of a white grapefruit that is taken to a less potent version, with some lemon juice added, then some black pepper and umami added.

M: Light body, medium high carbonation, very dry finish.

O: A great saison. I am really enjoying this one. Very light, not overly complex but keeps me wanting to drink it as a refreshment.

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Photo of Augusta3
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy straw yellow color with light bubbles
Aroma: thick yeast- very sour with some hints of citrus. Very old school European
Taste: Smooth and much better than I expected- very full and hoppy with some tart flavor
Overall: I really like this beer. It is very pleasant and I will definitely buy it again

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Photo of MSUEmilie
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a very light hazy yellow color to it and was served with no head or lacing on the glass.

There was quit a sour aroma to it that made the mouth water. You knew right away there would be some lemon flavor to this beer.

This beer turned out to be a sour malty lemon beer that finished very crisply.

One of the major contributors to this beers mouthfeel is its high level of carbonation. This gave the beer a very unique feel that I particularly enjoyed.

This is a very unique beer I really enjoyed.

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
81 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.