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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

106 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 455
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 29.69%
Wants: 17
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States | website

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: 106 | Hads: 455
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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Photo of mactrail
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale golden in the pint glass. Rather sharp. Modest fragrance. Not the usual thicker, richer Saison. It has more of a clean, simple taste. Acidic fruits. Not much malt and apparently no yeastiness. Head is nice at first but dissipates. Not a star among so many interesting beers in this farmhouse style.

A tangy quaff. On tap at Monarch's in Grand Rapids.

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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 JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can picked up at Oades in East Lansing... poured into my slim tulip... the brew is very pale straw with a bunch of nucleation bubbles.. head is short lasting.

Nose shows bits of pear and underripe apple.. something that I associate with coriander.. grassy notes.

Flavor has not much of what I think of as a "European Model"... but the bones are there... wet hay... sorta dry lite toasty malt... a bit of lemon and cilantro stem .. very dry pear essence..

Body and carbonation are both light as should be..

Saisons can be all over the place... I think this one should be firmly stamped in the group that we should be paying attention too... I would buy it often if I had access.. if for no other reasons as it is refreshing and I expect the folks at Vivant to continually dial it.

Well done.

3.5/3/3.5/3.5/4.5

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Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Farm Hand pours a light, slightly cloudy pale yellow color with a very frothy white head that rises quickly as I pour, but also disappears just about as fast. The lacing is pretty decent and leaves some nice foam landscapes on the sides of the glass.

The smell is slightly sweet and lemon grassy with some spice and a slight tartness. It smells quite nice, but not as exciting as other examples of the style.

The flavor follows suit with a nice slightly sweet, grainy and lemon grass like flavors that are spiked with spice and tartness. Very clean and refreshing, but lacking the nice farm field like character that the best examples of this style normally have.

The body is on the lighter side of medium with a refreshing amount of carbonation. The finish is tart, spicy, dry and refreshing.
This is a very drinkable brew that would be a great beach beer, especially with the tallboy cans. While solid, it really didn’t excite me too much, but it definitely makes me interested to try more of this newer Michigan brewery’s beers.

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Photo of liamt07
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from the brewery, 473ml into a tulip.

Clear golden orange, very loose, soapy and quickly dissipating white head. Minimal lacing and retention. Nose has some grains, very mild spicing, saision yeast notes. Light pepper. A bit of wheat, lightly tart. Taste has some cookie and biscuit notes, wheat, somewhat tart/lemon-like flavours as well. A bit of zitrus zest. Tart and light, and a fairly quick finish. Medium low carbonation. Not a bad beer by any stretch, quite refreshing. Good on a hot day.

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

Poured from the can a pale yellow color with two fingers of thick white head. a good amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma of lemon zest upfront along with grainy wheat notes and grass.

The taste was much like the aroma. A combination of lemon, wheat, earthy notes and grass.

Lighter bodied and quite dry with a sharp carbonation.

A decent Saison from Brewery Vivant.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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 Jason
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, no freshness date.

LOOK: Mildly hazed pale yellowish straw, head suffers but some lacing stays

SMELL: Lemon zest, nutty yeast, grapenuts, bread crust, parsley, esters

TASTE: Crisp, snappy, rustic, grainy, dried hay, animal feed, lemon peel, nutty, bone dry, plums, estery

First few sips my palate was smack around a bit. The full depth of the grain used starts coming through, the unmalted grains really to make their mark on the palate. Very refreshing and something completely different from the normal to what "farmhouse" ales are commercially available right now.

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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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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.

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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.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can thanks to makdeco. Poured into pint glass. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've had a saison from a can.

A- Pours a very slightly hazy, but mostly translucent light yellow with tons of fast rising carbonation bubbles. A little over a finger of head forms when pouring it that recedes to a thin layer a little bit less then a quarter of a finger of head that has nice retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Wheat, lemon, a little bit of honey, and some hay. About average aroma strength.

T- Lemon zest, mixed with honey, wheat, finishes with some light lemon bitterness followed by a slightly sweet aftertaste of lemon and honey.

M- Fairly light, slightly too carbonated but not bad, refreshing, easy to drink.

O- This was a nice saison to drink, however there wasn't anything that made it stand out too much. I liked the sweet aftertaste of this however I did think it was a tiny bit overcarbonated and the smell was fairly average. I did enjoy this saison and I would definitely drink more. A fairly nice experience for my first saison from a can.

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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.

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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 david131
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- A hazy orange liquid with a bit of a gray aspect. The white head is quick to rise and fall leaving a small ring and a small splotch.

S- Lemon, farm blanket, and some light fruit. Definitely not the most outstanding take on the style, but it is enjoyable.

T- Bready with some lemon zest, fruit, and a touch of horse blanket. Simple. Effective.

M- Creamy smooth with just the right amount of carbonation and a nice, dry finish.

D- A very enjoyable beer that I would love to see widely distributed in cans- especially in the summer months.

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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 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 ElizabethCraig
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back a can of this from our Michigan trip.

Aroma was mild malty with a slight lemon citrus note to it. Aroma starts malty and goes to a sweet, slightly strawlike malt scent. Light and pleasant.

It's a semi-clear beer, slightly cloudy, with a white head - notable size for its pour into a small sample glass. Pale yellow color, like summer sunshine. Nice visible effervescence.

I drank some. Sweet mild malt, finishing to a mild sweet malt foavor. Very little hops flavor (to contrast with my husband, he tasted strong hops and no malt) other than a slight bitter earthy note right on the top. Finishes hoppier as it warms.

A nice, mild, light easy-drinking ale - I would have liked to have had more hops character come through, through by no means would I turn down an additional glass... ;)

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2/4/11.

Light yellow in color with no head and hardly any carbonation.

Smells of banana, lemon zest, wheat, and a buttery character.

The taste is much like the smell with the addition of some spice and some grassy pine hops.

The mouthfeel is solid for the style. Slightly less than medium in the mouth but still has a full feel.

This is session worthy and gets quite a bit better as it warms. Not the best saison I've had and may be off from the normal style...but I like it.

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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.

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.