Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 445
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 14.29%
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
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 445
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.

 631 characters

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.

 2,087 characters

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.

 712 characters

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

 314 characters

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.

 514 characters

Photo of Tylergross1
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a very good beer, a french styled ale with a little sweetness to it as well. It is a lighter beer that seems a little cloudy but is actually very smooth and very crisp. Well thought out recipe and very tasty. I liked the cans as well, has descriptions of the recipe and their interpretation of the beer.

 311 characters

Photo of gogreen99
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Hazy light yellow in appearance with minor amounts of lacing when poured into the glass...minimal sour smell which make their way to your mouth in the pre taste but finishes clean with hints of lemon in there....overall one of my favorite beers. Highly recommend.

 263 characters

Photo of WillKorn
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have had this beer many times on tap and in the can from the store and it consistently tastes very good every time. It has a very unique flavor that is very difficult to explain, but to me it has a nice balance of a malty taste along with a subtle sweetness to top it off.

 274 characters

Photo of Badger6
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
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 zeledonia
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 14 November 2013 at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor.

Pours a a very pale light straw color. 96% clear. Brought with little head, leaves no lacing on the edges.

Smell is faint. As in, I can barely smell it. There’s the faintest hint of grain. But mostly, I get nothing.

Taste is quite nice. I don’t know what this beer is, but it has a light tartness that reminds me of a Berliner weisse. The grainy, wheaty background support that. But there’s a spiciness that surprises me, reminiscent of a Czech pilsner.

Feel is outstanding. Light body, prickly carbonation that elevates the beer well beyond what it would be without that vibrancy.. Dries out and gone at tjust the right time.

Not sure where the smell is; otherwise this is a stellar beer. The feel adds as much as it does in any beer.

 798 characters

Photo of Oscar_The_Rauch
3.32/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

16oz can poured into a tulip glass

A: Hazy golden yellow. Pours a good amount of head at first then fades to about a 1/2 finger.

N: Bright, sour yeasty notes with some grass/hay, lemon peel, and apple skin.

T: Confirms nose. Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and some fleshy white grapes followed by a grassy finish.

O: This is a simple, refreshing saison that is easy to drink, but has enough going on to give it the right amount of complexity for what it is. This is definitely NOT a "thinking man's saison", but I don't think that's what they are going for. Call it a "lawnmower saison". Call it a "front porch saison". Almost every beer has a time and a place.

 693 characters

Photo of William_B
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not my favorite Belgian Saison style beer crafted from the Belgian countryside. However, a decent and flavorful beer that I do look forward to after a day of working outside. I find this beer very refreshing.
Some reviews have commented on this beer being overly carbonated. I disagree. For the style, this beer is on the money for its balance of carbonation lending itself to refreshing. The authentic ales brewed locally in the Belgian countryside by farmers and their families often push the limits of alcohol content and consequently carbonation because of the process and ingredients used.
Brewery Vivant is expert at upholding the traditional brewing processes perfected through the centuries in the Belgian countryside and abbeys. I believe Vivant's Zaison is a better example of a traditional Saison. Farm Hand Ale is less complicated and a good example of an ale one may discover at any random Belgian farmhouse.

 921 characters

Photo of jwjon1
2.43/5  rDev -31.9%
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 +4.8%
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 chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Ann Arbor, MI.
Hazy yellow gold with a good bit of visible carbonation. Smallish head.
Easy drinking with only a touch of funk.
T: lightly yeasty and fruity flavor with a clear apricot note. Has a nice sweet/tart balance but clearly leans to the tart side.

O: refreshing and very drinkable version of the style with a good bit of complexity.

 353 characters

Photo of PincheNorteno
4.45/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my household's standard summer beer, I highly recommend it.
Appearance- Pours a golden yellow with a bit of haze. Low to moderate head. Carbonation works its way beautifully up the side of a pub glass.
Smell- Grapefruit, hay, crispness of Vivant house yeast, cereals.
Taste- Simple, fresh, straight forward grassy cereals and dry tart yeast. The nose of this beer is lively, it will make you smile. with As the beer warms, the batley flavor blooms in a good way. You will fully appreciate this brew if you are hot, sweaty, and thirsty.
Mouthfeel- Refreshing. There's decent carbonation here it's definitely not flat. It's balanced, not thin or thick. If you're parched this beer fits your palate like a glove.

Overall, this is a solid beer. Beginners will find it accessible and drinkable, experienced drinkers will appreciate the quality of Farmhand from start to finish.

 883 characters

Photo of knepper
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
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 GuzzLah
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
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 SerialTicker
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into my itty bitty sampler mug at World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Appearance: Yellow. Maybe a slight haze, I don't really recall. Head bubbles away pretty quickly. Decent.

Smell: The funk you'd expect from a Saison, maybe with some banana notes as well... bready.

Taste: Follows the nose. I'm not normally big on "funky" beers for the most part, but Vivant never seems to do me wrong. The Belgian "twang" is there significantly at the start, but the finish is extremely refreshing, which bumps up the rating a tad.

A respectable beer. Good, not great. A super refreshing beer with a nice finish.

 630 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Saison from a can? Yes, please! Farm Hand pours a golden apple juice color; a vibrant shade of yellow casts over it with a transparacy all throughout while a mild chill haze abducts the center of the brew. Very volatile on the pour - a big, soapy, bone-white cap froths up quickly and shows decent retention, albeit poor lacing.

The aroma is "farm-y" indeed, with a nice collage of scents coming together; musk, cheesy funk, light apple skins, thick yeast, bready malts. Seemingly effervescent and crisp, although I wish there were a larger fruit compontent. The funk of the brew isn't on par with Brett, it's more muted, less tart, and actually a little bit more damp and musty. Nothing super powerful or robust, but still a solid collection of refreshing saison aromas.

Farm Hand is a little more vibrant on the palate, esepcially when talking about the fruitiness. Funky apples, lemon zest, and white grape skins are the first things to hit my tongue. They're far from sour, but still provide a subtle, yet sharp hint of tartness that only gets stronger as the beer gets warmer. The taste confirms the fact that this beer is definitely a nice, refreshing choice for a hot day.

More bouts of musty funk hit immediately after the fruit spike, along with some wet woody (though I don't believe this ever touched wood), faint, spicy esters, and even a touch of barnyard. Again, not quite reminiscent of Brett, but this brew still has a decent funk to it. It's dry as hell in the finish, like licking a cactus, with a highly carbonated, thin body and a crisp mouth feel.

In a market that's saturated with tons of great saisons, this one doesn't quite stack up. It does, however, still provide a nice, simple example of the style with a pleasant amount of yeast, funk, and fruit, while remaining readily available (in Michigan, at least) and highly affordable. Nothing excellent, but a great choice for what it is.

 1,915 characters

Photo of Bjohnston
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Another one received from jrbrukt in Cuzco's NOOB BIF. This one pours a cloudy pale golden color similar to a Belgian wit. It had a thick white three finger head that disapated quickly. Aroma is somewhat muted exhibiting faint malts, some slight pepperiness and citrus. Taste follows the aroma with a somewhat of a citrus rind at the front of the mouth, punchy carbonation cleans the palate and invites another taste. I like it alot, just wish the yeast was more expressive.

 474 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz can shared with my father-in-law, pours a super pale straw color, hazy, with a bubbly white head that fades very quickly. Aroma is fruity, tart, a bit sour, grassy. Tastes are interestingly different, tart & refreshing, not much for flavor, faint peach & grape perhaps, lemon, grassy hop, peppery finish with some astringency to clean the palate. Thin body, higher carbonation helps it a bit. Overall, I'm not sure what to think of this, with nothing to compare it to other than its Belgian counterparts. Good for a hot day, but I probably wouldn't get it again.

 567 characters

Photo of Thaddeus
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light yellow, with an average sized frothy head. Light bodied beer with a thin, lively mouthfeel.

Aroma & Taste: Citrus and "barnyard" notes to it with light malt. A sour beer with a slight sweetness to it. Light beer that would be good for a day in the sun, which is what it's styled after.

 304 characters

Photo of MichaelNickerson
3.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - slightly cloudy, pale yellow with a frothy foam

Smell - extremely sour and citrus aromas with some bread yeast notes

Taste - smooth, lemony notes followed by a domination of yeast qualities

Mouthfeel - somewhat oily with high carbonation. Extremely smooth and slight crisp, refreshing qualities

 310 characters

Photo of finstadp
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I am not a big beer drinker, I was pleasantly surprised with the Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant. The appearance was yellow and murky. It had a sour aroma. The flavor was very full and hoppy. There was a strong yeast flavor coupled with a tart flavor as well. I very much enjoyed this beer and thought the can style for their craft beers was very intriguing.

 386 characters

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