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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale - Brewery Vivant

Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse AleFarm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

280 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 280
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 16.06%

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jale on 01-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 280 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of morimech


3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale yellow color with slight haze. A massive head forms and settles to a thick cap. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Does not smell Belgian or for that matter, interesting. Pale malt is all that is detected. Hate to say this but it smells like a pale lager.

Pale malt flavor with just the slightest hint of Belgian yeast. Not much for esters or phenols. It is dry so that much I enjoyed.

Light body with lively carbonation. A little too thin to warrant a good score.

An uninspiring attempt at a Saison. Nothing off-putting but not interesting in the least.

Serving type: can

10-23-2011 19:53:47 | More by morimech
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice golden amber color with a huge, towering head of white that refused to part ways no matter what you did. Really just superb looking with tons of lacing down the sides of the glass and a rich and proper looking appearence. Nice elements of light clove, peach, hints of grain and fresh grasses and a nice little spicey punch to it. Warming brings out the wonderful light tart notes through the air that carry over so well into the flavor. Not over done at all, in fact it seemed to fit perfectly as the mellow sourness played off of the rich grainy and frsh flavo

Serving type: can

10-18-2011 01:35:26 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of buschbeer


3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: can

10-16-2011 14:36:44 | More by buschbeer
Photo of DJSpidey


4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is, by far, my favorite from Brewery Vivant. I have had it on tap at a beer event, on tap in their taproom, in a growler (from their taproom), and in cans; all have been equally tasty, and I am a fan of it. Although it is not a Belgian completely, it reminds me of one. It has more flavor-and character- than an Oberon (from Bell's--also a favorite) while going down very easily; I can see drinking a lot of this on hot days--and it comes in cans, too.

It pours cloudy, and has that wheat'ish flavor with mild Belgian hints; although I am presently a big fan of American IPA beers, I really like Farm Hand Ale (which is almost 180 degrees from an IPA).

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 03:58:07 | More by DJSpidey
Photo of LiquidBread219


2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Serving type: can

10-12-2011 22:20:27 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of cindiwindi1025


2.55/5  rDev -28.2%
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

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 02:04:02 | More by cindiwindi1025
Photo of prototypic


3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 02:59:30 | More by prototypic
Photo of Thorpe429


2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

16-ounce can picked up at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a clear straw color with a big, fluffy white head and nice lacing on the way down. The nose carried a bit of pilsner malt and that's about it. No yeast presence. No phenolics of fruit. Not very impressive. Flavor is similar with just a touch of pepper. Light body and high carbonation. A bit astringent and tannic. Not a big fan.

Serving type: can

09-20-2011 10:40:46 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of indiapaleale


4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - bright golden in appearance with a solid stream of bubbles heading upwards. Head it a good inch or so of tiny bubbles all smashed together. Not a bad looking pour by any means.

Aroma - grainy, cereals, some definite yeasty spiciness along with some hints of citrus. It has a faint bit of sourness to it as well.

Taste - the sour graininess is what I taste first followed by the spiciness from the Belgian yeast used with this beer. It's a very refreshing combo and the finish is very dry. Their is some hints at lemons and oranges and a bit of sweetness here and there. The spiciness and light body of this beer is what really make it great. This was a beer brewed for the folks that worked the fields during the summertime. I've come away satisfied and my thirst is quenched so I'd say its certainly done it's job.

Overall - not the easiest style to do well. Brewery Vivant has put together a very solid saison with Farm Hand and if you dig this style you should certainly give this one a shot. It's a perfect beer for warm weather...and not so bad the rest of the year either.

Serving type: can

09-17-2011 00:38:32 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of Mitchster


3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.69 for a 16oz can at BevCo. No ingredients or stats on the website or can. 5% ABV.

Pours out to a very pale cloudy golden, forming a very thin soapy head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Brisk carbonation, true to style. The aroma is a of pale malt, freshly cut hay, faint spicy phenols, green fruits like apple, kiwi, and pear and a touch of Saison funk. The mouthfeel is brisk with a light body and a piquant acidity. This saison is a drinkable, true to style version with a nice bitterness to offset the hay with a nice tart spice overlaying the whole thing. Just a touch of ruddiness, which is something I've come to expect in saisons, but something that I don't like about the style. In order to get the required spice, you have to ferment these guys warm, and as a result can get some higher alcohols and plastic/PVC tastes as well, so it's a difficult thing to balance.

Again, Saison's aren't one of my favorite styles, but this is a good example, and at $2.69 for a pint, I would much prefer to drink this over the other import saisons available which cost much more. I'm also glad they package in pint cans...now I can take a Belgian style ale on my tubing trips down the river!

Serving type: can

09-04-2011 03:07:10 | More by Mitchster
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Serving type: can

08-26-2011 23:50:11 | More by Avagadro
Photo of zoso1967


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: can

08-17-2011 01:50:05 | More by zoso1967
Photo of woodychandler


4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Today being New Beer Sunday and being unable to procure any new AMLs, I have decided to make it New MichiCAN Beer Sunday in honor of the day's founder, Malty, who resides somewhere in The Great Lakes/Wolverine State. These (among others) were sent to me by GrappyPunk and I have been waiting for an appropriate time to Crack & Glug them open.

From the CAN: "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line."; "If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "Belgian tradition. Local mission."; "FRENCH STYLE FARMHOUSE ALE 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. Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is light in body, mildly sweet and has a slight cloudiness from the use of simple un-malted grains similar to the period."; "COMPLIMENTARY FOODS Chicken, fish, pasta, Camembert or other soft cheeses. Visit our website for more."; "GLASSWARE Tall, slender glass which will show off the beautiful color of the beer and allows for pleasant sipping."

The Crack went as planned, but the Glug was perhaps a tad heavy-handed as I did not realize how active a beer this was going to be. Man, the foam came up MUCH more quickly than anticipated and even broached the lip of the glass, much to my chagrin. Once things settled to a state of normalcy, I had a finger-and-a-half of rocky bone-white head that looked like JacktheRipper's avatar - dense and smiling up at me. The color was a testament to truth in advertising - it was a cloudy lemon-yellow and the whole thing looked like a lemon meringue pie. The nose was quite musty, almost cheesy in its intensity. Me likee! I have yet to get onboard with Andrew Zimmern, but Anthony Bourdain and his lack of disdain for sharp, "stinky" smells and flavors and rubbery mouthfeel speak to me. I am a US Navy retiree and that kind of thing does not put me off, but Zimmern's grilled horse heads push my upper limits. The nose on this beer might be too much for some, but I dug it. Mouthfeel was big, full, even creamy and the initial slight tartness followed by a light wheat-like sweetness were like a palate cleanser. Look, Ma, new taste buds! Finish tended towards dry and it was an absolutely refreshing beer that would be phenomenal with some soft cheese on crackers under the umbrella on the beach. Put this in your cooler and give me a call! I'll be right over, honey honeys in tow.

Serving type: can

07-31-2011 21:43:29 | More by woodychandler
Photo of FosterJM


3.55/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: can

07-24-2011 17:29:55 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ElizabethCraig


3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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... ;)

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 11:59:34 | More by ElizabethCraig
Photo of ebby82


4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

Serving type: can

07-20-2011 17:23:49 | More by ebby82
Photo of ssimpson89


3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big, foamy, soapy head. Golden straw color with lots of small bubbles. Looks like a light beer.

Yeasty aroma with a slight ammonia smell.

Tastes of lemon zest. Light and funky, not sure this is a good thing. Missing the sweetness mentioned on the can.

Light, almost watery mouthfeel. I does have a nice crisp finish with good carbonation.

It was OK, but not in the same league with the best American brewed Saisons.

Serving type: can

07-16-2011 03:28:23 | More by ssimpson89
Photo of Lillenk


3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 01:26:24 | More by Lillenk
Photo of EricCioe


3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: can

07-06-2011 01:37:50 | More by EricCioe
Photo of pb9613


3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Serving type: can

07-03-2011 15:01:59 | More by pb9613
Photo of mikereaser


3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewery Vivant Farm Hand
A - Pours a clear pale yellow with an inch of bright white foam that faded fairly rapidly. 4
S - there is an aroma of lemon and light grains, not alot else going on 3
T - Bready, grain, lemon zest, there is a bit of pepper and its sort of soapy 3.5
M - crisp carbonation, light bodied to medium bodied 3
D - I'm just not a fan of this one at all. Its ok, but not one I would pick up again. There seems to be some sort of astringency in the flavor. 3

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 04:54:27 | More by mikereaser
Photo of britbrew10


1.85/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is a lemony saison with an almost offensive, polarizing taste.

I wanted to like it because I enjoy Vivant's other canned offerings and their beer at the brewery is great. This one however is a huge disappointment.

P.S. Gives me a real dirty Busch Light type of buzz.

Serving type: can

06-06-2011 03:27:11 | More by britbrew10
Photo of Wadsey


2.1/5  rDev -40.8%
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. 

Serving type: can

06-04-2011 02:34:30 | More by Wadsey
Photo of ahking


4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Serving type: can

05-23-2011 02:01:22 | More by ahking
Photo of david131


3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: can

05-06-2011 03:39:59 | More by david131
Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
81 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.