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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: 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.

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Photo of oline73
3.29/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque yellow color with a fist of white carbonation that fades to a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Mild malt with some herbal and slightly tart hints.

Taste: This is a very light and crisp beer. Mild citrus notes and lots of herbal yeast notes. Just a bit watery with an herbal finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tons of tingly carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Nice and light, this is an easy drinking beer. Nothing wonderful about it, but it's not bad either.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chad for this extra.

A. Pours a shockingly pale straw color, almost pilsner-like. A nice round finger of crisp white head emerges. Good retention at about a half finger. Plenty of bubbles rising up through the beer from the bottom of the glass. Good lacing. The only thing I ding this on is appearance...looks too cidery as it is super clear and very pale.

S. Very very grainy. Some mild apple and pear flavors and even some Belgian spice, but grains are all over this one. Surprisingly, it works out ok, but this smells quite a bit like a vienna lager with a pinch of apple juice.

T. Follows the nose pretty closely, except that more saison-like qualities begin to emerge. As with the smell, there is a very grainy flavor profile, but a little bit of hop, Belgian yeast, and apple and fruit flavors emerge with subtle notes of earth and grass.

M. Crisp, refreshing, well carbed, and light bodied. The saison qualities, however, are a little thin and watery. Almost drinks like a cider.

O. It's pretty different from most saisons I have had and not a bad beer by any means. But it's distinctively grainy and a touch thin, lacking the bolder and spicier flavors that are typical of the style. Still, it is refreshing and very easy drinking, much like a pilsner-saison hybrid. I'm going to give it a soft recommendation...it's fairly pedestrian, but is just different enough for me to stay interested, if only for one glass.


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Photo of n2185
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with three fingers of white head that fades into a dense cap with good lacing.

S: Crystal and biscuit malt-like aromas up front a hint of tart fruit and spices. A bit bland smelling.

T: Light Belgian spice notes up front with crystal malt and biscuit-like flavors following. There are slight notes of fruit throughout with a dry, bready finish.

M: Light body with high carbonation, this beer is very light and dry, which is nice.

O: An alright saison overall, though it lack depth of flavor and aroma.

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Photo of jale
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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

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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 TheSack
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Came in the usual Brewery Vivant 16 oz. can.

Served between cellar and refrigerated temperatures in a wide-mouth wine glass. Beer poured out a hazy straw yellow with a three inch white head that dissipated quickly. A fine head remains throughout sipping.

Smells immediately of sweet yeast and bread followed by an oaky, floral, and dry white grape (almost a Chardonnay). Leaves little astringence with a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

I immediately taste light, sweet cereals, yeast, and mild banana notes, followed by that big white wine flavor. Pretty straightforward here. Finishes with a lingering bread/yeast combo.

Simple and to the point. A nice refresher with a wine-like elegance. Let it warm up in the glass a little to pull out the yeast flavors.

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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

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Photo of prototypic
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Farm Hand pours a very light straw color. Backlighting gives it a yellow-ish look. Carbonation is quite active, yielding a fluffy white head that stands over two and a half fingers tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly. Lacing was sticky and thick. Not bad.

The nose is pretty good. It’s a little on the weak side. It kicks off with a mix of earthy and musky notes. Belgian yeast is noticeable, but I wouldn’t mind a little more. Light fruit notes of apple and pear are noted. Smells a little malty and sweet. Alcohol is masked well and isn’t noticeable. It’s pretty good. More strength would help.

The flavor is pretty consistent with the nose. It’s a tad fruity up front. Apple and pear are the most notable. It is earthy and grainy throughout. There’s a bit of a musky flavor that’s nice. It’s not funky though. Belgian yeast is flavorful and adds a bit of a spicy flavor to the mix. Alcohol seems light and is masked extremely well. It’s pretty good stuff. Finishes earthy with a spicy yeast flavor.

Farm Hand has a light-medium body. Carbonation is active, but the bubbles feel light and smooth. It’s not quite smooth, but it’s not bad. Given the low abv, this stuff goes down easy. A 16 oz. can is a nice serving size. I do like the can.

Farm Hand is an okay release from Brewery Vivant. It isn’t bad by any stretch, it just seems like it needs a little more of everything. More aromatics, flavor, body, the works. All in all, it just seems a little light for a Saison. Ramp up everything a little and it just might shine. Not bad though. Definitely worth a try. I’m still taken aback by drinking Belgian style ales in a can. I like that!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I didn't wanna have a free can hangin' around the homestead, so it's gettin' cracked right the hell now. It pours a cloudy pale straw topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises coriander, dry wheat, lemon zest, light clove, and a touch of sweet flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, with the lemon coming through a bit stronger, the wheat coming through a bit funkier, and the slightest possible hint of earthy Belgian yeast. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry-ish finish. Overall, a generally enjoyable little saison-ish brew, nothing really special or emblematic of the style, but a nice option for a canned farmhouse ale.

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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.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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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 mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jon for this one.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, very light yellow color with a foamy white head that has pretty nice retention. Foamy lacing forms on the sides and reduces rather quickly.

S: Right away I almost get an apple juice aroma, followed by some wheat, honey, and some light spices.

T: Better than the aroma, none of that apple juice. Lemon and lemon zest, some light spicy yeast, and faint wheat/grainy malt.

M: Light to medium bodied, smooth and pretty easy drinking.

O: An easy drinking saison, but not overly amazing. Would be nice on a hot day relaxing though.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can
Served in a Tulip glass

A - It pours straw yellow and is slightly hazy. I got plenty of off white head.

S - Mild funk with some grassy notes.

T - I get some grass and lemon.

M - Crisp with some biting carbonation.

O - It's a solid beer. I've had better, but I wouldn't turn one of these down.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Hazy yellow with a persistent, frothy head.

Smell - Soft and fruity with aromas of wheat, apple, and faint spice.

Mouthfeel and Taste - Light bodied and medium carbonation. Just off-dry flavours of wheat, nutmeg, and soft fruit.

This beer is good, but not incredibly flavourful. It would make a perfect hot day thirst quencher with just enough complexity to remain interesting. If you are imagining a Belgian saison, this is a bit thinner, and a bit more subdued.

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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 FosterJM
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

663rd Review on BA
Can to Tulip
16 oz

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one.

App- A very light yellow with a lot of haze behind it. A very large long lasting two finger head with a ton of lace and cling.

Smell- I don't think it was pear but it was close to that sort of scent with a little yeast, a little sweet sugar.

Taste- A very nice little saison. It was a nice wheat base with that yeasty vibe, on the back end a bit of an earthy, grassy note. I wouldn't call it funk though. A little damp and soft.

Mouth- Light bodied and high carbed. A nice soft feel on the mouth with more yeast and damp at the end.

Drink- This was a nice tasty little beer. Saisons are always a favorite of mine and this was different out of a can. Not on the same level as cynical but close. If I were to go to MI, I'd have this one again.

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Photo of pschul4
3.57/5  rDev 0%
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

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