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Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,183 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,183
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 32
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 10-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,183 | Reviews: 544 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of calise1122

New York

4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yellowish gold with a nice bone-white head that starts about two+ inches and slowly crumbles down to a thin cap leaving nice lacing on its way.

Pineapple! Sure, there are other aromas kicking around, but as I pull my nose away I am left with the sweet smell of pineapple lingering on.

Hoppy taste built on a strong malt canvas. Really well balanced; grapefruit, lemon, pine, bread.

Medium-to-full body, easy to drink, glad to have these at the local beer store!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 21:43:52 | More by calise1122
Photo of meatyard


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear (very slight haze), golden yellow with a short white head that falls quickly leaving some lacing.
Smells of lemon and malt sweetness.
The taste is balanced hop and malt profile with a light bitter bite at the end.
Mouthfeel is medium and nicely carbonated.
Drinkability is very good.

I don't think of a Harvest Ale being an ESB but this is a good beer that is also sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 00:35:03 | More by meatyard
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a small head and a light,bubbly lace.

The aroma of hops and oranges/fruits.

The taste of malts,hops and citrus hints.

The feel was smooth,some spice,with light body and a high carbonation. This was easy enough to drink.Some mild bitterness in the finish.

Notes: I do not see myself buying this again and I don't say that because I did not like the brew. I just felt it was pretty average.
Sometimes average is good and sometimes one expects more for the style/Brewery. Decent,but better finds in this style are available.(Fullers ESB)

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 03:14:04 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of mikereaser


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I recieved this years bottle from a case swap in PA.

A - Pours a golden/orange color into my pint glass with a little foam that quickly dissipates.

S - A hint of citrus and grassy hops

T - The citrus hits me big time with some nice hoppy flavor

M/D - I really enjoy this one and could get myself into trouble drinking many of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 02:18:16 | More by mikereaser
Photo of generallee

New York

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: It has a bright golden color with a slight chill haze and a small creamy white head. It fades to just a very thin covering that still makes some nice lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has a hop filled nose with piney/citrus notes and a hint of caramel and toasted grain.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a good malty backbone with light toasted notes as well as a mild almost fruity sweetness. This is balanced by good bitterness from the hops which add some piney/citrus notes. In the finish I picked up more of a herbal tea like hop flavor that slowly fades off the tongue. It has a solid medium body with good carbonation and a slightly slick texture.

Notes: I wasn't expecting a ESB for a harvest beer but it was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 22:52:28 | More by generallee
Photo of hero27


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Graciously given by IBUnit63 in LNBA BIF, thanks man!

Pours a surprisingly clear gold..damn, with the smell as soon as I popped off the cap, I expected something a lot darker. Regardless, the lace forms nice waves on the glass..
Very clean hop flavor, great use of mild spice, crisp citrus fruits, and bready pale malts..
Creamy, smooth mouthfeel..perfectly carbonated and smooth as all get out..ahhh, good stuff.
Extremely drinkable, especially for an ESB. The bitterness & great hop flavor is there, but it doesn't hold back the smoothness of this one bit.
Another very fine brew from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 02:37:00 | More by hero27
Photo of Bounty628


2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is brewed in the ESB (Extra Strong Bitter) style and it seems to be a bit out of place when conceptually thinking about what a harvest ale should be. To me, a harvest ale should be more about a roasted and filling while almost warming style of a beer, not an ESB on the very pale side that really does little to stand apart from the fray of other ESBs on the market.

With an ABV of 5.2%, Harvest Ale maintains a moderate amount of alcohol but the taste is certainly deceiving as the bitter aspect of the beer seems to be misguided almost as an abundant alcohol flavoring more than anything else.

Harvest Ale pours a very bright yellow straw color and is remarkably over carbonated. The carbonation gives way to a light yet bountiful white head that tends to dissipate much more than it laces the glass.

Once poured, there is little in the way of a noticeable nose to the beer. Faint hints of citrus can be detected off in the background but again there is a feel that something is off with this beer. There is a mild hop background once again to the beer, but nothing that is overly impressive.

The taste of Harvest Ale is tolerable, but again seems to be misplaced. The citrus is noted in the taste more than it is in the aroma and there is a bitter and hoppy component to the beer that seems to be working more in contrast to one another than in unison. Also present is a strange sweetness to the Harvest Ale that once again seems to not fit into the right mix of what the beer perhaps should have been.

Once again, for a Harvest Ale this beer seems to be just too light. There is a very smooth and flowing mouth feel to the beer that holds true throughout. The high level of carbonation upon the pour carries its way throughout the offering and perhaps if the carbonation was toned down a bit this beer would have been a bit better of a story to tell.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 01:38:49 | More by Bounty628
Photo of CrellMoset


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear bubbly golden-yellow bodied beer with a one-finger foamy snow-white head of average retention that leaves some sticky, fluffy lacing as it recedes. Carbonation is active and plentiful.

Aroma: Pleasant, with lots of citrus (grapefruit and orange zest), faint tropical fruits, and pine. A good west coast hop profile from an east coast beer.

Taste: Nice. A good amount of bitterness, spicy and mellow, a good pale malt backbone - lighter in roast than most harvest ales, which actually lets the hop notes stand out more, I think - and similar hop notes to what was in the nose, citrus, pine, some leafyness. Very Cascade-like. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slightly oily, medium bodied, with a nice seasonal-appropriate level of crisp effervescence that balances the tastes well. Leaves a bit of a sticky after-feel.

Drinkability: A perfectly decent and drinkable harvest ale with a surprisingly low level of alcohol, a good array of fresh, oily hop notes, a pleasant aroma and mouthfeel ... yep, not Southern Tier's best, but definitely a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 22:52:01 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of deereless


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow, almost the color of a light honey, thin layer of foam across the beer - 3.50, S: Some very earthy and musty aromas which I can assume are largely the result of the 'fresh' hops used for dry hopping, quite citrusy, possibly some grapefruit and pineapple - 3.75, T: A touch more bitterness than I'd expect from an ESB, grapefruit, nice balance of caramel and malt, the back of the tongue really jumps alive which again points to the bitterness - 4.25, M: Quite smooth - 4.25, D: If I wasn't going to grab an IPA and wanted to take in some hops, this may well be the beer I'd grab - 4.00

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 01:07:56 | More by deereless
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Lrrr for this one.

Emerges from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass a bronze golden color. A small white head forms and is backed by some decent lacing.

Aroma is fresh hops. Citrusy and a little grassy as well. Mostly grapefruit in the nose. A touch of caramel malt and a touch of graininess.

Fruity and slightly hoppy flavor. Some good caramel comes through as well. A good dose of fresh hop flavor seems to be the predominant flavor here. Light bodied and crisp with a bit of hop bitterness in the end.

I gave this all 3's because this really wasnt an ESB (in my humble opinion). Perhaps I am wrong, but based on the other 15 or so examples of ESB I have had, this one is nowhere close to the others. Too light in color, lots of fresh hop aroma, light bitterness, light body. If this were an APA, I would give around 4.2. But, with style in consideration, I dont think this fits at all, but I really enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 17:03:49 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Pencible


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clear gold with a bit of white head. It smelled like apricot and orange hops with light yeast and a bit of malt. It tasted like bittersweet citrus hops with a bit of floral hops and honey malt. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, an a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a pretty good, clean flavor and nice body. It was more of an IPA than an Octoberfest, and there wasn't anything terribly unique about it. But it was still easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 00:07:27 | More by Pencible
Photo of Wasatch


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to jctribe25 for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little foamy/fizzy white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some spices. The taste is bitter, malty/hoppy, with some slight spicyness. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 01:19:30 | More by Wasatch
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this from Cloverleaf.

A: Pours a light, gold body with about a one finger, white head with pretty low retention and decent lacing along the side of the glass.

S: A slightly, sweet, malty smell with hints of some hop bitterness that was pretty complimenting of each other. A fairly balanced smell.

T: The taste was a little bit off-balance. A bitter and hoppy spiciness was attributed to the taste of the beer with a fairly sweet, malty backbone that made itself more evident in the aftertaste. The hops did a decent job of making themselves more evident than the malts.

M: A fairly, full-bodied mouthfeel that was pretty smooth on the palette. While the carbonation seemed a bit thin, overall, it was not too bad.

D: A pretty decent mouthfeel and taste combination makes this beer pretty easy going down. The lacing is nice and the flavor of the beer seems to come out more as you drink it. A decent brew definitely worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 20:39:32 | More by maddogruss
Photo of ClockworkOrange


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Blue Point shaker glass from a 12oz. bottle. Appears a clear golden yellow color with about two fingers of thick white foam. Aroma is dominated by fresh hops with lightly toasted grains present as well. Very nice. Tastes of bitter, piney hops, citrus fruits such as lemon, and mild bready grains. medium in both body and carbonation. Body is fuller than the color of this beer would lead you to believe. Finish is crisp and slightly dry with a pleasant lingering bitterness. A very well done beer that has session written all over it. Don't pass this one by.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 14:53:09 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of beachbum1975


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to try this one, so I bought a sixer at my local beer and wine store. My label varied greatly from the one pictured on BA currently.

A: This beer poured a crystal clear, light brown/yellow in color. The white head dissipates quickly leaving some lingering lacing.

S: Surprisingly large mix of grapefruit, bitter orange rind, trailed by some caramel sugary sweetness. Very nice and pleasing, I'm excited to taste this one now.

T/M: As expected from the nose, I got a big citrus profile, mostly a grapefruit. A big wave of bittering citrus is followed immediately with nice, sweet caramelized malts and finally a small warming finish... Smooth and slightly sweet, with a little sparkle of carbonation. Good stuff.

Highly sessionable for me. Try this one if you get the chance!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 14:09:19 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden colored and clear, with a crazy thick white head that has some staying power. Lacing is strong.

Aroma is big with grapefruit, sweet and tart at the same time, with some caramel sweet malt behind it. Taste is also bursting with tart citrus flavor. This tartness is joined quickly by a bitter hop and carbonation burn that linger for some time. I don't get a lot of malt with this, just a big grapefruit pucker. Hey I'm not complaining, but this is an interesting style designation for this beer.

Medium bodied, and somewhat thick in the mouth. All adding to the experience. This is an interesting beer to drink. I'm glad to have the chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 18:56:43 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of Bitterbill


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

This pours a clear light yellow gold with a 1 finger head of foam with some lacing.

The smell has a big fresh hop nose to it. I also get a light graininess.

The taste..well that surprised me. The fresh hop nose that I got is here in the taste but the supporting cast of grain, bready/earthy malt, and nice fruity flavours offsets it and brings it more in to style. Nice. The more sips I take, the less I notice the hop presence and I'm digging it.

Close to medium bodied with a light carbonation, this one is growing on me fast. Drinkability for me is huge on this one. What a delightful brew!

Bottom line: Yum! I had my doubts when I took my first whiff but my first taste *told* me that this is a well crafted ESB. Look, my glass is empty already. Bummer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 16:54:55 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Rootdog316


3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly orange-ish gold with a medium sized, sudsy head (that dies back fairly quickly.) Aromas are fairly crisp... pine and citrus, but they are kind of subdued. While those hops dominate the nose and would make you think you were headed down the IPA path, flavor is more consistent with an English ESB... kind of a sweet honey and bread malt body with a bitter hops to hold it in check... it stays nice and crisp throughout and is pleasant enough.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2008 21:46:57 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised when I poured this beer out because I was expecting some sort of Oktoberfest or something really malty. Instead I got a really nicely yellow beer with some fragrant white head that dies down quickly. I definitely like the color for this style, a lot more Pilsnerlike but with a slightly unique touch of amber too it. Smells hoppy like a west coast IPA with good balance. The taste is rich and hoppy but well balanced by the malt. Grassy hops that finish very clean. I'm usually not a huge fan of overly bitter beers, but this is so clean and full of flavor. A little watery towards the finish, I'd like some more malt there to really get the full experience. Mouthfeel is a perfect balance of carbonation on a medium body. I want some more.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 02:11:51 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of sawbones420


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight 4's. Everything about this beer is just good.

While I might drink this out of a pint every once in a while, I've been drinking these straight from the bottle because I actually prefer the taste.

Sexy packaging is standard for Southern Tier. Looks orangey brown in the glass with a good head and solid lacing.

Smells surprisingly hoppy with a touch of spice. Taste is similarly hoppy. Harvest ale? Certainly not emulating a fest beer, this could easily pass for an American IPA. No matter. A great deal of grapefruit citrus up front that prickles on the back of the tongue in a good way. Leaves a dry slightly resiny hop character in your throat, but well balanced with some lingering sweetness on the middle-tongue.

I've been veering away from hoppier beers the past two years or so, but this reminds me that hops done right can be top notch. I was expecting a maltier autumn brew, but I can see myself picking up a few sixers of this before the winter stuff starts rotating in.

Just keep me away from that spicy pumpkin flavored shit people call beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 02:22:40 | More by sawbones420
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From Growler (Skibbo's, The Bronx)
Poured into pint glass an amber yellow with a half inch of white foam head that had good retention and spotty lacing. Has a great hoppy smell with grapefruit and some hints of pine. Taste leads off with grassy malts and citrus flavor with a mild bitterness. Very good a bit thin, I thought it would taste a bit stronger due to the strength of the aroma. Minimal carbonation and crisp feel make this an extremely drinkable brew. I will enjoy every drop of this Growler, and will most likely get a few more whlie it is available.

Happy Birthday Hyland! I bet it's good with Chinese delivery food Hammer.

Serving type: growler

10-03-2008 00:43:16 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of pershan


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, honey-amber with a thin white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of fresh, piney hops - so far so good for an ESB. The taste was very clean and crisp, with a nice balance between the malt sweetness, hop flavor, and hop bitterness. It would be very easy to drink a lot of these.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 18:23:47 | More by pershan
Photo of Goregazm

Rhode Island

3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance: This beer has a brown-yellowish color, much like apple juice. It pours with a foamy head that dissipates fairly raipdly and leaves some slight lacing.

Smell: Gives off a sweet and sour smell, almost like a citrus-apple mix.

Taste: Tastes more bitter then the smell would indicate, but not too strong. The aftertaste isn't as good, sort of a sour/bitter mix. The hops are definately predominant.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice, foamy feel in the mouth. Feels thicker then an average ESB, but nothing too heavy.

Drinkability: This is a decent beer to drink with a snack, or while sitting back relaxing. I wouldn't drink this with dinner, but maybe beforehand to get my taste buds rocking. Not my favorite ESB, but not the worst I've had either.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2008 06:33:21 | More by Goregazm
Photo of orbitalr0x


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my glass a light golden yellow with a small white head on top. Good clarity overall. Looks like a fall sunset. Aromas start with crisp, slightly toasted grains and caramel. Herbal, somewhat resinous hops are there with a slight citric aroma as well. Mildly fruity.

First sip brings crisp, somewhat toasted caramel grain malt upfront along with a mildly fruity flavor. It moves into herbal, earthy hops that kick in the bitterness midway through. Flows down with a touch of spiciness and a clean, crisp finish that's slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter and more drinkable side with a really nice creaminess that goes all the way through each sip. Overall, a refreshing brew with a nice hoppy bite that goes down easy. I could see a six pack of this going very well with a crisp fall evening. Thanks to afterexile for the chance to sample this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2008 02:34:24 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Douglas14


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an unimpressive yellow color with a good head that leaves a little lace. The appearance is easily the weakest point. The aroma is heavily of hops. The taste is the same; dominated by hops with a great bitterness to it. Pretty good beer, definitely happy I was able to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2008 03:10:44 | More by Douglas14
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.