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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

1,352 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 41
Gots: 92 | 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: 1,352 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I needed another bottle to finish my mixed sixer at Rick's, so I picked this guy. Exciting, I know. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, cotton, flowers, and buttery biscuits. The taste holds notes of banana, orange peel, hoppy bitterness, and wheat. The body is light, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid offering, one to grab again if I ever need to finish another mixed sixer.

TMoney2591, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of brystmar
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: light gold with tons of frothy head. Massive carbonation bubbles up from the bottom. Generous amounts of lace adorn the sides of my glass.

S: hops up front, malt, citrus & tropical fruits too.

T: from the name & wheat pics on the bottle I expected this to be a wit, so I was obv surprised when it showed itself to be somewhere between a pilsner an an IPA. Hops up front again as this beer is bitter start to finish. I typically don't enjoy very bitter beers but this is quite pleasant.

M: smooth, light, & oily with lots of carbonation.

D: easy drinking, could throw back a few of these.

brystmar, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy straw-like gold, with a billowy foamy head. Leaves being nice bright white lacing.

S: Very grainy, a hint of buttery graham, malty.

T: As the nose would lead on, malty up front, but also a great hop bite to it. It's sweet, but not overpowering, with that hint of gram tipped off from the smell. Probably the best ESB I have had.

M: Has a great frothy and smooth texture.

D: Incredibly high. Thought I might get sick of it, but it's a delicious beer with an ABV below 7%.

mostpoetsdo, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Gehrig
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden-amber body with two lush fingers of off-white foam; nice lacing from decent duration. Big hopped-up nose, far bigger than I expected--orange peel, grapefruit, and peppery bitterness, with a hearty resiny aroma--beautiful.

Oily, resiny is all over the taste--gritty hop flavor is right up my alley. Matched by ample citrus flavor--grapefruit, orange, and tangerine--this is fabulous! I'm equally impressed with the texture, more IPA than ESB to me, really hearty and heavy.

This really came up on me sideways. I honestly didn't know that this was an ESB beforehand and, to be honest, while sampling thought this was an IPA. Pale Ale lovers should enjoy the heck out of this. Again, I have been commissioned to tout the greatness that is Southern Tier, for they have crafted a fabulous beer that ought to be a staple of the Fall. I am so glad that the brilliant Neil St. Piccadilly had a few that they had failed to sell, for Harvest Ale is simply superb.

Great beer, a must try.

Gehrig, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of BierFan
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin off-white head on a slightly hazed golden orange/yellow body. Thin bands of lacing.

Smell: I believe this bottle has a few months on it but it still has a fresh and vibrant fruity hop aroma. Grapefruit and mango?

Taste: More pine and resiny flavors coming through than I got in the smell. Still pretty fruity. I expected higher bitterness. Bitterness seems kinda mild.

BierFan, Feb 12, 2010
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden with orange highlights. Small white head above a pool of oils. Small patchy laces.

Pine, resin, floral, grapefruit. Some sweet toffee and biscuit.

Sweet toffee biscuits at first. Spicy resinous pine and floral and citrus rush in. Balanced but on the hoppy side. a nice spicy resinous bitterness with a touch of grapefruit rind.

Smooth, slightly dry, light, crisp and refreshing.

Highly drinakable. A great refreshing hoppy harvest brew. A great hoppy yet balanced APA/ESB.

CHILLINDYLAN, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes at MacGregor's (10/2/09)

A - poured clear, light honey with a short-lived white head. 3.5

S - light honey, pears, hint of orange juice and citrusy hops. 4.0

T - light pale malt sweetness is dominated by grapefruit and mildly piney hops. Slight herbal bitterness in the finish. 4.5

M - light, crisp, bubbly and spicy. Very fall-like. Very smooth. 4.0

D - a pleasure to drink. excellent. 4.5

DmanGTR, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at Mugs Alehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in September 2009.

A: Golden amber color with no head. Not sticky.

S: Grapefruit and butternut squash believe it or not.

T: Orangey at the front, burnt popcorn/sharp cheese/bitter finish. Malty undertones.

M: Dry with very light carbonation.

D: The best feature of this beer with only a slightly bready aspect.

Overall, I've had better from Southern Tier. Maybe I had a bad batch (or the guys at Mugs use dish soap to clean their glasses!) or maybe ESB is just not their thing.

hoppymcgee, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My sister sent me some Harvest from my hometown brewery. Clear golden yellow pour with a nice thick white head and great lacing. Really big nose for an ESB. Lots of pine, grapefruit and grass with just a touch of bread dough. Taste is quite like the nose, with lots of bitterness from the hops to nicely compliment the biscuity malt. Fruitier than most ESB's with a hint of tea also. Nice dry finish and a mouthfeel that reminds me of a cask ale. A very unique and drinkable ESB.

beerdrifter, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant glimmering golden, white head fizzes a bit but settles nicely,a ring and some stringy horizontal strands of lace appear with a wispy centre. Nose is sweet tangerine, mango, peach, tropical fruit marmalade. The big smell is impressive - wow! Taste is citrus rind with big hoppy first impressions, bold yet very drinkable. This tastes like a stone fruit orchard passed through it, with a dash of spice. Mouthfeel is sharp, earthy malty edges, bitter aftertaste is dry. Very pleasant interesting presentation but again there's a spicy backdrop I'm getting that I can't quite put my finger on, not quite nutmeg or cinammon but moving in that direction. Another fine brew from Southern Tier, you really can't go wrong with this brewery.

ThatWineGuy, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up as a single in WI. Pours a pale, clear golden color with two inches of white head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. I have noticed that most of these harvest ales are very pale and this one is no exception. Nice hoppy aroma of pine, grass, and citrus. A touch of graininess as well. The flavor is likewise hopcentric. Bitterness is a bit high for an ESB, I would put it at APA levels. There is a bit of bready malt that helps balance the pine and citrus flavors. Nice smooth body and carbonation. Nicely compliments the flavors in this beer. I would consider this one of my favorites when it comes to these harvest ales. Slightly more balanced and drinkable.

morimech, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of Natural510
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color, with only a small ring of lacing...no head worth mentioning.
Scent is faint; a bit of fresh hops with a light, breaded malt.
Flavor consists of a lightly toasted malt and a light floral hop with a fairly bitter finish. Overall vegetal/grassy flavor to the brew.
Crisp and a bit tangy in the mouth. Smooth like butter.
As mentioned several times above, very light in its characteristics. Certainly more could have been done with this recipe. An unfortunately average offering from an otherwise excellent brewery.

Natural510, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of cbros
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light pale straw color with no carbonation activity after the pour. I am not getting any head or cling to the glass after the pour. I am getting subtle alcohols notes in the smell. There is a good hoppy bitterness that is backed by a citrus, orange maybe, note to finish. It has a nice mouthfeel if you like the bitterness that is associated with ESB's. Overall an average beer, probably something I wouldn't get again but it was nice to have an opportunity to drink it. Received this as an extra from billab914 and I am thankful to try any Sothern Tier offerings.

cbros, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of Otesanek
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a dogfish pint glass, the weird shaped one with the truck on it from the midwest destruction tour last summer. 1/2" white head settles down to a tight ring of suds, leaving no lace. Bright rich golden color, very clear, with a scattering of lazy bubbles rising. The aroma is a bit mild, fresh hops and a light orangey citrus, no real malt character coming through. The taste hits me with tangerine hops, lightly sweet, kinda reminds me of those little orange bubble gums that came in those mini juice cartons. Good sturdy bitterness to balance out the sweetness. The alcohol is actually a little noticeable, which isn't the best quality in a smaller session beer... Finishes with a good juicy bitterness and a faintly grainy toastiness. Mouthfeel is nice and clean, with a deep lingering bitterness. This beer drinks nice and easy, a little shallow though. 9.99 a sixer is a dollar fifty high, but whatev.

Otesanek, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of younger35
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just received this brew in a recent trade with BeerTruth. When I lived in Chicago I searched high and low for this bastard. I could never find it. Finally! Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super clear light yellow with a respectable one finger bright white fluffy head. A sort of spotty cap remains with a thin collar that leaves a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- Fairly fruity and bright as this brew is full of hoppy goodness. Pineapple, orange peel and grapefruit are all very apparent. The nose is fairly simple and honestly I get maybe the slightest tinge of caramel and that's it.
Taste- Starts very bright and hoppy with a nice florally and citric bitterness. Loads of sweet orange peel, grapefruit and pineapple flood my mouth. Something like crab apple and lilac are flowery and fragrant in my mouth (is that possible?). A bit of alcohol is evident in that bitterness and a very tiny bit of toffee comes through in the finish.
Mouthfeel- Nice crisp feel from the sharp carbonation and medium body.
Drinkability- Off the hook. This is a super tasty 'fresh hop' or 'wet hop' and done really well. It's not brashly bitter but it has a nice fruity hoppiness that is really tasty. I feel that a lot of ST's beers have taken a turn for the worse lately but this one is still good (or got better maybe, this is my first time trying this). Thanks much Adam!

younger35, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of billab914
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer I keep stocked pretty much as long as it last on the shelves. This might be my favorite harvest ale, something that I look forward to each year.

Pours a light gold color with a modest amount of head. Good clarity and overall a very nice looking beer. Hop aroma is fantastic, I love the smell of this beer. A lot of sweet citrus aroma that is very appealing. Taste is also very good, lots of sweet citrus hops up front with some bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly creamy finish. Very drinkable, I could drink this beer all night.

billab914, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from calise1122 in a recent trade. Thanks so much!

Poured into my pint glass. This bottle exploded in foam upon prying the cap off. Took a few minutes to pour this one. Big billowy off-white head on top. Great retention. Left tons of sticky lace on the glass edge. Scents of honey, flowers, mild hops, and biscuits characterize this one.

The mouth is a little thinner than expected, though that may be due to the huge carbonation explosion a few minutes ago. Mild body, little carbonation on the tongue. This is fairly tame beer. Some sweet honey-kissed biscuits and mild fruity tones start it off, but this finishes with a slight dull bitterness that I like. Hop presence isn't as bold as I expected, but it make itself known.

I'd like to try a bottle of this that isn't compromised by a carbonation bomb; I think I could get a better handle on it. Still, there's enough here to let me know that this is a beer I'd have again. Recommend.

Onenote81, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of boralyl
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours 1inch of foamy white head. It has a pretty good retention and leaves a little lacing. The beer is a golden straw color, clear, and has lots of carbonation bubbles visible.

S - A nice mix of citrus and grassy hops stands out the most. There is also a light malt sweetness apparent.

M - Light in body, crisp and clean in the mouth feel. It has active carbonation that suits the style.

T - At first I didn't know this was an ESB. It starts out with some light malt sweetness. It's followed closely by some grassy hop and then some citrus juices come through near the finish. It finishes just a bit bitter. This has more hops that ESB's I've had in the past.

An excellent session beer, without having to sacrifice flavor. Reminds me a little of their Hop Sun. This one took me by surprise, I'm a fan.

boralyl, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of gatornation
2/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured way to light it was a pale yellow color like a pils with a small white head it all dissipated and left just a flat yellow liquid in the glass ..not impressed the smell was faint in all areas faint hops and malt no real aroma here just plain..the taste was more of the same not a strong or bitter brew not hoppy or malty pretty much tasted like a budwieser ..just awful..do not recommend this one at all

gatornation, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awesome, simply awesome. This beer really kept me guessing the whole way through and I was pleasantly surprised. I picked up a six pack at Glenville Beverage when we were visiting my in-laws in NY. I checked the import section and grabbed a couple of German Imports that I didn't recognize seeing anywhere in MA. At the register my wife saw the little shelf with about 8 or so seasonal beers with Southern Tier's Harvest right in the middle. She was much more curious than I was I told her it was listed as an ESB on BA and the clerk at the register said it's really good "it's like a hoppy ESB" according to him, so we gave it a shot and boy were we happy we did.

Poured this one into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Comes out a very pale yellow gold color with a slight haze to it. I was actually really dissapointed on first glance till I took a 2nd look at it. There was a really thick frothy head to it with lots of different sized bubbles, almost a creamy frothy look. A good chunk of the froth goes away about a fourth of the way through the drink and a ring stays on the edges with a skim of froth across the surface. You get a little bit of lacing that sticks in small patches all over the glass. You can also see in the haze what looks like citrus zest floating around all over. The smell is great. Hops dominate the smell here. Primarily citrus hops smell, dry hopped, much like the famous "hazed and infused" by Boulder. The taste is also phenomenal. Still pleasantly hoppy with again primary citrus hops. Likely some pine hops but I'm thinking mostly citrus dry hops. The malts are clearly present, but the taste is dominated by the hops. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expected, it strikes me more like an IPA than an ESB, it has some bitter bite to it from the hops, but all in all pretty darn good. This one extremely drinkable beer, willing to go with flawless for drinkablity. Very little to pick on about this beer, maybe it could have been a little maltier and heavier but overall it's a pretty well thought out brew. This could easily be a year round beer. I like Southern Tier going hoppy for their fall seasonal, good idea on their part.

AndyAvalanche, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of cooncat
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review ... decanted into my SA glass.

A medium pour produces a brilliantly light golden colored brew, with a huge, moutainous, rocky white head .. looks like whipped egg whites! It isn't going anywhere either. Beautiful to look at. Lacing is impressive.

Nose is hop centric, with citrus notes coming through primarily, with a little pine in for good measure.

Taste follows the nose in that the cascades citrus presence is notable and pleasant. Malt balance is there, with sufficient bready and biscuit flavors to keep this from being a one trick pony. Mouthfeel is medium, which supports the malt comments. I'm now half way through the glass, and the whipped egg head is still there, with tons of lacing on the glass. This is one very drinkable beer, and would be an excellent session brew. The hop forward taste makes it a good pairing with robust cheeses and spicy dishes.

Another winner for Southern Tier. This ESB should become an all year offering; yes, its that good. Seek this one out. I'm glad I bought and entire case!

Na Zdravje!

cooncat, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of RobbieB5555
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I poured this beer I was a little disappointed, I expected more. The head was almost nonexistant and the color as very light -- almost orange. I really expected something more golden with a more pronounced head. With that said, it does leave a nice lacing in the glass. The aromoa is very pleasing and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste, and after all that is really what's most important. The taste of hops really came through and the finish very pleasant. This beer is easy to drink and I am looking forward to drinking another tomorrow with the fried turkey dinner I am preparing.

RobbieB5555, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harvest ale comes out of the bottle a lot lighter in color than what I would expect. It's a pale gold, and besides the head, looks very still. The head is nice, typcial of an ESB. The color is white, and it only has a small formation. Lacing sticks all over.

The aroma is quite nice. The hops seem to have a mostly English character. The first thing that comes to mind is a leafy, woody hop presence. As it warms, there is a bit of citrus. Not far behind is a bit of ale fruitiness, and although it is mild for an ESB, I appreciate the balance leaning towards the hops here. This is something nice if your looking for a hoppy aroma but want something new besides the typical citrus/pine of US hops.

The taste is very hoppy and bitter up front, and has a very light touch of caramel in the finish. I would prefer a bit less bitterness in this beer, just to simplify everything. I like that the malt character is light as the color suggests, the simplicity works here.

The mouthfeel of this beer is a lot bigger than the color suggests. Carbonation is nice and light. This is made to be a sessionable beer, and I drank both of my bottles consecutively. I wish there was a bit less bitterness, as that would really put this beer over the top.

jeffthecheff, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of becktone
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 9-16-09

Eye: This one pours a fizzy yellow beer with nice head formation but retention is poor, could be this glass though, its not seen much use yet, not really broken in. This thing looks just like an American macro when poured...yellow color might be a few shades darker but it is still incredibly clear and this small, diminished trace of a head makes it look just like a BMC. Its the aroma that makes it otherwise though. This is one of the most clear and pale ales that I've ever seen, simply amazing. I mean clarity of this beer is ridiculous...it astonishes me, I can't get over how clear this thing is....quite amazing, very impressive.

Nose: : Hoppy to the nose. Not quite citrusy or floral as you'd expect from any widely used American hop. Kinda piney and woody, resiny and sappy. Definitely not cascade here. First thought was amarillo but I'm pretty sure that thats not right either. By the name "Harvest Ale" I was expecting something more along the lines of an Oktoberfest, however this must be a hop harvest that the name implies. All in all pretty nice aroma, it don't jump out and bully the nose but it is a pleasant aroma.

Tongue: Hop flavor right up front. Floral and light fruity tones make up the hop character. This isn't a hoppy beer, and its not all that bitter; however, the body is so light that it gives it a much more bitter perception than it actually has. Although there was no grapefruit in the aroma I'm getting some in the flavor. General bitterness fills the palate when the brew first hits the tongue, once the beer startes to go down the gullet some light malt sweetness comes through only to be replaced by more hop character. Not sure what the hops are in this brew but I definitely like the way that they're working. Very nice.

Feel and Drinkabilty: Light on the palate with lower levels of carbonation. This is one incredibly drinkable beer. Not sure of the alochol here, but I feel that this one would make a good session. This almost drinks like an American macro, its that easy to drink, its much tastier and all the more drinkable than that swill. The carbonation isn't obnoxious as in BMC brews. This is a nice beer to just sit back and enjoy or have with food, or just to session. Light and refreshing, can't beat that.

becktone, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of scottg
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold color with a thin off white head with lots of little bubbles rising up the glass. Very floral and citrus hop aromas. Flavors of sweet citrus-grapefruit and orange- honey and apricot with a lemon rind bitterness in the finish. Medium carbonation and body, a clean, crisp and dry beer.

scottg, Oct 27, 2009
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,352 ratings.