Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale - Brewery Vivant

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse AleFarm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale

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103 Reviews

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Reviews: 103
Hads: 430
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 14
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 430
Photo of fmccormi
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (2,087 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a pale yellow with a large, rocky white head.

S: Orange and peach fruit aromas mix with a mild spice and pepper. A low barnyard funk and a touch of sour aroma. There is a soft Pils malt aroma and a a light spicy hops aroma.

T: Fruit dominate the flavor as much as it did in the aroma with a medium-high orange an moderate pear followed by a nice touch of pepper. There is again a low Pils malt and moderate spicy hops. There is a low sourness and almost brett like funk. The medium-high bitterness carries into the aftertaste following a very dry finish.

M: Moderately-light bodies with medium-high carbonation. There is a light dry prickle from all the carbonation.

O: A well done Saison that is dry and refreshing with a good fruitiness and decently high bitterness. (793 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (238 characters)

Photo of EricCioe
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dull, flat straw with a quickly rising and falling white bubbly head. On the nose there are less than zesty lemons, wet grasses, and green apple. It's not bad but it lacks that extra-present vividness I like from beers of this neighborhood. In the mouth there are wet grains and grasses with a bit of zesty lemon and hop kick further back. Again, it's not bad but it lacks presence. The body is very good, though, light with nice carbonation carrying down the pretty good flavors for a clean finish.

Overall, this isn't my favorite saison by any means, but it is good enough to make me want to try other Vivant brews. If things were a bit more refreshing and a bit less muted, they might have something very good on their hands. As is, it's merely pretty decent. (776 characters)

Photo of pschul4
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

After that disaster of a Zaison I'm trying this one out.

A- Pours a light orange with a head that starts out large, but falls back quickly with no lacing at all

S- Thank god it doesnt smell like the last one. Strong farmhouse funk and some pepper bite. Not amazingly complex but way better than the Zaison

T- Whew, it doesnt suck. Light pale malt flavor and some nice peppery farmhouse funk. This is a good intro to farmhouse ale

M- Pretty flat but not awful

O- Vast improvement over the Zaison, I like his as a beginners Farmhouse ale (542 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of sweethome
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is rather effervescent - pushed up and out of my tulip glass. White head. Nose is lemon zest, hint of yeast.

Nice, crisp and carbonic entry. Flavors of lemon and light malts, some yeast. Snappy finish. Very crisp mouthfeel. I like the total package - from start to finish - this beer delivers.

If you like funk in your saison/farmhouse - this one may miss the mark. If you seek a flavorful and crisp drinkable ale, this is for you.

Well done. (450 characters)

Photo of joeseppy
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy pale yellow and a generous white head with merengue density that quickly ebbs.

Aromas of yeast, lemongrass, and sour mash.

Tart with essence of lemon. Mild pepper. Pears and white grape round this up.

Light-bodied with a spritz quality to it.

Sessionable saison. Cannot go wrong bringing this to any summer backyard gathering. Will be fantastic for the summer heat. Keeping the style in mind, Brewery Vivant made this easy going and thirst quenching as any farmhand would need. The style has been mastered well. (530 characters)

Photo of Avagadro
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Farm hand boasts an incredibly pale straw color, and is accented by noticeable haze and a stunning display of vigorous lacing. Its head erupts upon pouring, but quickly dissipates to a thin film topping the brew.

S: The nose is faint, but it sings of herbs de provence, cellar funk, and a touch of lemon zest.

T: Bone-dry and very light, with subtlety being key in this brew. As promised in the nose, hints of herbage, earthy funk, and bright citrus are all blended wonderfully. This brew does a phenomenal job of achieving what Saison DuPont does so wonderfully; delivering a beer that is both refreshingly light, yet loaded with flavor.

M: Very light on the tongue, a touch of astringency, and highly carbonated. I definitely agree that this brew needs a good dose of CO2, but this is overwhelmingly so. It is hard to enjoy this brew without instantly becoming bloated. Still, this is a flaw that is easily resolved, and is the only one worth mention.

O: A superb brew from a country that is known for making terrible farmhouse brews. Vivant definitely hit high marks with me on this one, delivering a brew that actually achieves the Farmhouse Ale's purpose of quenching one's thirst. This is the first Vivant brew I've encountered, but I am already impressed. Highly recommended. (1,289 characters)

Photo of SupaCelt
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed yellow with copper glints. A small head rises and falls. No lacing. Light. Simplistic. The color is quite lovely to me eye.

The nose is funky as expected. Very welcomed pilsner malt corny notes and perhaps light wheat character blossom. The slight dimethyl sulfate sulfur/can o' corn character adds its touch. Very farmy. A little unAmerican hopping for good measure. Farmalicious funkadelia.

The taste is light, yet complex and quite refreshing. A very drinkable malt base with definite farmhouse ale characteristics floating about within creates a strangely complex and very enjoyable flavor. Presumably German/Czech hops finish the swallow leading to the notably crisp finish while the lingering funky remnants continue to dance. This is a nice session selection for enthusiasts who can appreciate the style and history of this brewing.

The mouthfeel is light and appropriate within style guidelines. This is, and has generally been throughout history, a highly consumable beer made to refresh while not causing a staggering drunkenness. This is drinkability in fine form.

Overall, this is a solid brew. The style is relevant now and, as you well know, it is also rich in history as it hearkens back to a time when ales such as these could be found in all their uniqueness in farm houses across Wallonia. It is said that farm workers happily lapped them up while still managing to keep sharp for labor. This particular variety is very enjoyable to those who can appreciate deviating from the norm a bit. It is drinkable to be certain. This has serious gateway potential and is every bit as enjoyable as some of the more overly popular herd beers that consistently draw herd acclaim with seemingly less merit. Jump on a can of this or go get one pulled off the tap. Just don't expect an orange wedge covered in fruit fly feces to adorn your glass when you get it. (1,886 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.61/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Vivant, seriously guys. I love a saison, and this is not a saison.

It looks like a saison, it smells kinda like a saison, but it taste nothing like one. Way too sweet, no hay or barnyard smells, no fruity spice, just clover yeast bite.

I wouldn't order this again, it's not bad, but it's also not worth seeking out.

Vivant- make the beer as sexy as my server and I'll be back. (382 characters)

Photo of jale
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a becher glass.

A: Pours a clear light straw almost yellow color with a finger of white head.

S: Some sour grain.

T: Slight tartness followed by clean hop bitterness. A hint of earthiness. Dry finish. Not complex. Just a hint of some belgian yeast.

M: Nice carbonation Light body

D: Would drink another (336 characters)

Photo of LiquidBread219
2.61/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A= The appearance was a straw yellow in color it was light not really hazy. The head was really nice about the only good thing about this one retained well nice foamy head.

S= I expected a "Farmhouse Funk" smell but it really smelled like a euro lager. There really wasn't any of the other scents that I normally pick up on a Farmhouse Ale.

T= Tasted just like the nose a euro lager and it tasted kind of like a weaker euro lager at that.

M= Nice Carbonation, Lighter beer.

O= Overall, I really was excited to try this beer and it was a huge let down for me glad my friend gave me this beer I wouldn't buy this beer. I will however sample some of the other beers that I have from them. (689 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of ahking
4.17/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemony, candied apple aroma wafts from a slow pour to the glass. Highly carbonated, really makes the flavors dance. Tastes of lemon zest, cut grass, floral hops. A touch too sweet, but the carbonation keeps it crisp and refreshing. I really like. This style of beer and this one doesn't disappoint. A little too sweet but very drinkable. (337 characters)

Photo of Wadsey
2.12/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brewery Vivant's Farmhand

Served in New Belgium Tulip

A: Aggressive pour yields unacceptable head that looks nothing like a cloudy mountain, has no retention and leaves no lacing. Does not look like a Saison. Beer is hazy and pale gold with decent effervescence. 

S: Opens with a whiff of creamed corn, then lemonheads candy and earthy yeast. Sorry, no "horse blanket."

T: Sweet, toasted and crackery malts, a touch of spicy yeast, hay. A little tang. Definitely malt forward. There is something off in the malt bill that I find gross. It tastes stale. Finish is neither clean nor crisp. Still no horse blanket.

M: Medium body and low carbonation. Grainy and semi-dry. Mouthfeel is weak. 

O: I've been exploring Saisons lately, and that certainly cast the shortcomings of Farm Hand in sharp relief. Sloppy. 

Thanks hurfer for the opportunity.  (857 characters)

Photo of Badger6
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Vitale's Sports Bar in Comstock Park, MI, 21 Mar 2014.

A: Hazy, light yellow body. Almost no head, some lacing on the glass.

S: Sour smell, with grass, hay, and lemon. The yeasts are distinct.

T: Sour malts in the front, with a lemony note. Gives way to a grassy note, clean finish.

M: Light to medium body, prickly carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Beautiful example of a saison. Nicely balanced feel, and distinct, yet not overpowering flavor notes. Not overly complex, and relatively straightforward to drink, but in that it is a really great and enjoyable beer. (578 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a slightly hazy yellow with a standard head. No lace. Light bubbles.

S - apple, white grape, lemon, wheat and mild Saison yeast.

T - follows the aroma. Relatively sweet for the style.

M - light body. Watery. Slightly tart. Refreshing.

O - this isn't a great Saison, but it is a decent, light and fruity summer beer. (329 characters)

Photo of ebby82
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this from the brewery on my visit last week.

Pours a very hazy light color into a pint glass. A frothy head.

Aromas are of slightly funky Belgian yeast, a small hop presence, and a general sweetness.

The taste is light; very slightly acidic, a minimal hop presence, with a nice, tartness.

The mouthfeel is light, its not very carbonated, but this does not detract from my enjoyment.

Overall, less hoppy than I prefer with a saison, but very drinkable and enjoyable. (479 characters)

Photo of jwjon1
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Can to glass. Pale yellow, some haze. Not a ton of aroma, but lots of carb.

Taste: here comes that carbonation. Overwhelming. Fizzy yellow beer overwhelming. Makes ot feel quite thin.

If this is a farm house ale, could have fooled me... all forced carb on this one. Yeast dominates the taste, but not standard farm house yeast. More like a whit. Very bready. Differentiated from a whit in that there are some hops there, but more of a hopped whit than a saison. And I the back end, this beer is fairly sweet. Totally misses the style mark.

Where is the farm house? Not here. (578 characters)

Photo of Dave_in_GR
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance is a straw yellow with a huge foamy head that fades fairly quickly.

Smell is tart and sour, with maybe some lemon as well.

Taste is really crisp, with sour yeast and grassy flavors. A bit of a yeast aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is really clean and refreshing, light body with quite a bit of carbonation. Perfect for summer.

A great porch-drinking beer. (404 characters)

Photo of Lillenk
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was nice. A lot lighter in color than I was expecting but very clear (no haziness) with a nice white head.

Smell was pretty average. When I think of a saison, I usually think of very earthy, robust wheaty, grassy smells and there wasn't much of that going on at all.

Taste was pretty light. Not a ton going on. A little bit of the earth tones that one would expect but very dim and light.

Mouthfeel was very light. Quite a bit lighter than expected. It was very easy to drink but I don't think very typical of the style. (567 characters)

Photo of pb9613
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewery Vivant has been getting a lot of hype in West Michigan so I was excited to try their take on a saison.

Appearance: Pale gold with a simple white head. There is very little cloudiness from the yeast

Smell: Malt overtones with a slight hint of hops.

Taste: Light malt flavor with a hint of hops. This has a very subdued pepper flavor with very little tartness

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and quite a lot of carbonation. The lack of tartness and pepper makes this saison uninteresting.

Overall: I was excited to try this saison but ended up disappointed. I think this recipe came from a middle class farmhouse in Belgium who could afford the better things in life and not have to make their own beer. (706 characters)

Photo of knepper
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gaudy straw yellow; very clear until the last two ounces are swirled around in the can to release the dregs into the glass. Smells musty and lemony. Taste is crisp, tart yet balanced with some sweetness, floral and grassy, and the yeast gives that musty quality that I really enjoy. Cereal grains also come through. Overall, a great beer and one I look forward to drinking in the spring time. (400 characters)

Photo of cindiwindi1025
2.64/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

ordered a draft of this at Rockys in Grand Rapids. i have been to Bewery Vivant several times as i live close to it, but have never ordered this particular flavor because it is not a style I enjoy. thought i would give a shot.

a- light yellow, clear, no head or lacing, small amount of carbonation bubbles floating from the bottom to the top of the glass

s- smells good, very yeasty, malty, grassy...almost smells like a lager

t- nothing like the smell. bland straw is the big flavor here. theres a funky, earthy aftertaste that gets worse as the beer warms. not good. couldnt finish the whole glass, it was making me gag.

m- wet, low carbonation, almost flat feeling

o- not enjoyable, will not order this ever again (721 characters)

Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
81 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.