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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
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 447
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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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 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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 centurian62
2.72/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I generally find it hard to rate local brews with low scores, but this one was not in my wheel house. I actually enjoy farmhouse style ales but this one was a bit too bitter for me. The aftertaste left way too much bitterness and lasted way too long. I had to choke down the pint as I paid for it and I wasn't going to waste it. Generally when I think of Saison or Farmhouse Ales I think of fruity or spicy beers but not this bitter. It was lackluster at best and not in the style of a good farmhouse or saison in my opinion. This was the 2nd time I tried it and there, unfortunately, won't be a third time.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

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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 twiggamortis420
4.26/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can courtesy of mseguin pours a slightly hazed yellow color with a surprisingly fizzy head that fades in a matter of seconds...I don’t remember the other two cans of this doing that.

Nose seems to do a nice job of displaying lemony, tart yeast over a delicate and grainy malt backdrop. Just a touch of grassy hop aroma.

Taste is nice...sharp yeast and lively hops along with an earthy, biscuit maltiness. It is definitely at its best when fresh to give it the added complexity the hops bring. It is super drinkable...and I think it is my favorite of the 4 Vivant offerings I have had thus far. I could easily throw a 4-pack of this down without getting bored with it. In fact, there is a good possibility this is my favorite saison in a can! I really like how the malt is a touch earthy and the yeast is the main character that is on display...and the best part: no spice additions!!

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Photo of mjshearer1
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold and bubbly.

S: Fruity Belgian notes predominate.

T: Nice and light, a little sour, lots of Belgian fruit, finishes clean.

M: Light body, good carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this. I haven't had very many saisons, especially saisons with a Belgian twist, but this is definitely something I'll be getting more of later.

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