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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

1,341 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,341
Reviews: 556
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 41
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,341 | Reviews: 556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldYoda
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light clear gold into a standard pint with minimal head and lacing. Looks like a summer pilsner sitting in the glass.

Smell is some citrus hops and a sweet whiff of malt. I don't get much else out of this.

Taste pretty much follows the smell - some citrus hops and a bit of maltly sweetness.

Mouthfeel is too thin for my taste - I expected more from an ESB. This seems much more like a summer seasonal than a fall beer.

Drinkability is excellent. Sessioning this would be fine.

Not a bad beer - just not what I expected it to be. I'd like a little more out of my beer on a chilly fall evening.

OldYoda, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours an inviting cloudy orange with 1/2 finger of white foam. Looks and smells like fall.

Smell is hoppy/fruity, but moreso on the former.

Pervasive hop taste throughout mixed with mild sweetness. Bitterness lingers long after the finish. Modestly carbonated in the mouth. Taste is good, but the close if difficult, making this not quite as drinkable as other ESBs out there - for example a Red Hook. But a well made beer.

KTCamm, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of gdfan47
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a nice inviting brown, a little lacing and and a nice frothy head
S- Hops, that nice fresh fall smell that I like, a little pine, a touch of citrus
T- refreshing, crisp, more like an APA/IPA than an esb. Less malty than most ESB's ive had.
M- not overly carbonated, goes down really smooth
D- Can barley taste the alcohol, just like I like it. Extra refreshing, easy to drink

overall a great refreshing session beer, not overly complicated but well done.

gdfan47, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of david131
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark yellow/ pale orange clear liquid with a thin white cape that leaves decent lacing. Looks rather weak.

S- Oats, orange rind, marijuana, and a bit of mint. Everything smells great except for that annoying oatiness floating around in the aroma.

T- Sweet orange candy, and some nice citrus hoppiness with a good malt backing.

M- Dry and clean on the finish with a carbonation bite.

D- A nice take on the style and this drinks really nicely. I am beginning to notice that I enjoy Southern Tier's more basic offerings over their Imperial Series.

david131, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of gory4d
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden with a three-finger head that dissipates into a thin cap, leaving lots of lacing down the glass. The smell is fruit sugar, biscuit, greens. The taste is sweetness, grain, a bitter dandelion finish: nothing too complex, but quite pleasant. It's a little thicker than you'd expect, highly carbonated. Easy to drink, but slowly.

It's a decent beer, but with less of a malt backbone than I like in an ESB.

gory4d, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Harvest is, in my opinion, a tad bright and sunny for a fall-themed beer; a little more depth in colour might have been a little more becoming. Although its tone, it must be noted, is not without a little pumpkin blush. Its head is thin but waxy and as result tacks on a lacing so adhesive I'm starting to doubt even water's ability to pry it off.

Something about this aroma makes it come across as very hearty, which is probably the most appropriate characteristic for a harvest ale. The malt base seems rather substantial (and nourishing) as it exhumes the scent of fresh-baked bread, hot out of the over cookies and mounds of toffee. The hops, too, are in exceedingly ample supply.

In fact, it's hard to say what I appreciate more. This has the blessing of being both heartily malty and also incessantly hoppy. The malts are so thick and chewy and pleasantly sweet, like rich pastry. The hops, supposedly English varieties, are wickedly zesty. A great deal of American qualities are also tasted, fresh pine and candied grapefruit. They may call it an English ESB but there's no fooling, this is as hoppy and ballsy as any American IPA.

The mouthfeel isn't as sensational as the beer on the whole but it need not be. It does its job. Its light, clipping bitterness provides a little snip on the palate and lightly lingers with a pleasant earthy fruitiness all the while staying unimaginably quenching and quaffable. Why didn't I buy more of this? Even with no shortage of good IPA's on the market, including this brewery's own, your damn right I'm wishing this was available year round!

If Southern Tier wants us to understand one thing about themselves it's that they can brew fantastic beers tremendously well. Apart from a couple lackluster offerings in their year-round lineup - which is to be expected - this brewery is responsible for a number of my favourite stouts and hop bombs. If they keep slugging out more of these first-rate ales I'm going to be needing more fingers (and maybe toes) to count all of my favourites on.

biegaman, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of Florida9
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Thin, pale yellow in color. Large, foamy white head with minimal lacking. Extremely clear.

S: Fruity. Floral hops and biscuit malts.

T: Starts with a fruity sourness or twang. Moves into some citrus hops followed by a straw or biscuit flavor. Lingering hoppy finish with a light, but noticeable, bitterness.

M: Thin, light weight and medium carbonation. Dry.

D: A much lighter beer than I was expecting. I am even more surprised to see this one listed as an ESB given how light it is. Never the less for being on the lighter side, this beer does have a good bit of flavor, but is not overly aggressive. An easy drinker and a good session beer.

Florida9, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of BeerPhan86
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light, clear golden orange with a one finger white head.

S - Citrusy hops, light breadiness, sweet malt and perhaps some honey.

T - Citrus hops dominate but balance well with toasted malts and biscuit taste. Very light tasting and well balanced, refreshing! Hints of tangerine and grapefruit linger.

M - Light bodied and medium carbonated.

D - Very sessionable. Light abv and taste.

Very tasty for a lighter ale. I was expecting a more spicy taste like the other fall styles. A pleasant, hoppy ale for autumn.

BeerPhan86, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of far333
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw yellow, very clear with a low beige head that doesn't rise up much and settles out quickly.

Aroma of tangerine hops and honey.

Initial flavor of citrusy hops, subtle corn and honey malt undertones, flavor morphs to piney hops, with a lingering grapefruit flavor. Above average bitterness, but still very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is a little watery upfront, finishes crisp and tingly. Tasty beer, pretty drinkable. Not quite on the style.

far333, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of pmcadamis
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Editing this one (1-17-2013... no date on the bottle): Trying it again tonight after several years.... saw I gave it a fairly low rating and was shocked. I'm really enjoying this one the second time around.

A - Still not much of a head, but there is a bit of nice lace on the glass. The color is almost identical to the color of the label on the bottle. Cloudy and yeasty.

S - Sharp hop notes jump out of the glass, followed by a spritz of citrus and a crisp cracker or crusty bread note. Round "Belgian-esque" yeast aromas. Musky.

T - Yeasty, bready, and quite hoppy. This one hides its ABV extremely well. I would never have guessed that this was above 6%. Big time biscuity with floral British style hops (although thoroughly American in the level of hoppage. Tasty.

M - Medium-full. Extremely balanced with a big hoppy finish that is not overly bitter, but leaves just enough malt in the mix to balance this brew perfectly.

I had to go back and change everything about this review. I don't know why I didn't like this one the first time around. Bad bottle? Bad timing? Bad food pairing? Who knows. I LOVED this beer tonight, and I really enjoy ESB's in general as a food/session beer. This is a winner for sure.

pmcadamis, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of kshankar
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a nice white head..not too big. Decent retention. Minimal lacing

Aroma is of citrus hops with a malt backing

Taste follows this aroma. I get a good dose of the hop flavor profile with a nice amount of the malts coming through, balancing fairly well

Mouthfeel is oily/slick with a light to medium body. Carbonation is there, but not overpowering

Drinkable..flavor profiles balance well, mouthfeel is good.

kshankar, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of birchstick
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - clear, golden yellow with an average head after an aggressive pour

S - smells awesome. There are some sweet malts and loads of citrusy, grapefruit hops.

T - taste follows the nose. This is a nicely balanced ale--some toasted and caramel malts that interact with citrusy hops to form a solid-tasting brew. There is also a weird cookie-ish tasting malt in this as well that seems a little out of place but doesn't disrupt the taste too much.

M - 3 goes down smoothly, albeit a little thin. Very average mouthfeel.

D - this is a pretty solid ale. I was very impressed at first, but found that as it continued to warm some weird flavors came out (the cookie-tasting malts). However, the hops are more bold in their presence than their malt counterparts. Good beer - I would definitely purchase again.

birchstick, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale gold color with a two-finger head into my fluted glass. Very nice color.

Aroma is full of citrusy hops that dominate the nose. Very nice choice of hops for this beer.

Taste is full of citrusy hop aroma once again that unearths a very mellow bitterness underneath with a feel of biscuity malt. Very nice and subtle.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering citrus hops and biscuit flavor. A bit sweet towards the end. Otherwise, seems balanced.

Very nice for the style and easy to drink on a cold fall day. Certainly worth a try.

Brad007, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one on 22 September 2009, as a celebration of the Fall equinox. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.

Bright, slightly hazed golden color, reminiscent of the aura the earth seems to take on on an autumn afternoon. Quite gorgeous and fitting, really. Gives rise to a small, quickly-dissipating off-white head that leaves just some faint traces of lacing behind.

An aroma as bright as the color issues from the glass. Fragrant hop notes abound: floral, somewhat piney, a tad citrusy, and mildly earthy. Quite a bit English in the hop character, though kicked up a few notches to give it some American flair.

Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated, the flavors throw back to the aroma, with a pronounced hoppiness that is balanced well by a base of biscuity grain. The hop bitterness leaves the finish a bit dry, with a lingering herbaceous, hay-and-grass hop fade.

Certainly a pleasure to drink, this would make a perfect beer to sip on while sitting outside and watching the leaves fall, and with the hot Georgia summer lingering well into autumn, it is a great thirst-quencher as well. A great beer to straddle the seasons.

superdedooperboy, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden on 9/18/09.

A - Clear golden/amber body with moderate carbonation and one-finger creamy off-white cap that reduced to a quarter inch ring of retention and left some spotty lace around the glass.

S - Fresh wet hops with plenty of citrus notes and a hint of floral characteristics. Malt character suggests sweet caramel and toasted grans. Subtle alcohol notes also enter into the mix as the liquid warmed up a bit. Quite a zesty aroma overall.

T - Melange of fresh, oily hops with a bold citrus character as well as a backing of sappy pine and some floral attributes. This got quite sappy as the liquid reached room temperature.

M - Wet and sticky with a light oily texture and medium body. Carbonation is moderate overall. Subtle alcohol warmth on the palate. Finishes with lingering bitterness on the tongue.

D - This is one flavorful Harvest Ale, especially fresh on tap. It also produced some tasty hop burps. One of the best of its kind for sure.

ffejherb, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of bbeane
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... golden color with 1/4 inch white head that almost recedes completely, not leaving much lacing

S- After a couple swirls of the glass, a hint of sweet citrus, but mostly strong smell of hops

T- Good, but not all that complex... very little sweetness, mostly just a hoppy

M- Light bodied and pretty light carbonation. Hoppy flavor lingers in your mouth, clinging to your palate

D- Very drinkable and tasty, though IMO, it isn't the typical fall beer, nor does it in anyway taste like it should be called harvest


bbeane, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of jaxon53
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorites from Southern Tier that isn't in a twenty two ounce bottle. Served this chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Harvest ale pours out a golden straw color that has great clarity. A hard pour resulted in a finger and a half of bright white fluffy head. Head faded rather quickly into almost nothing. Very little lace was left behind. Noticed some small bubbles floating to the top of the glass.

Smell: Quite hoppy. Plenty of citrus fruit in the nose. Maybe a bit of pineapple in the background. Slight pine notes as well. Malt is all but hidden behind the hop aromas.

Taste: Again, big hops shine through first. Citrus fruit, pine, it's all in there with some floral undertones. Malt almost stands up to the hops but falls short. Bready and dry. Slightly spicy, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium. Smooth and slick with some bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability: Great drinkability thanks to the 5.7 percent ABV.

jaxon53, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at Big Z beverage in Huntington, NY and served in a standard pint glass.

Clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head of foam that left a sheet of lacing all down the glass.
The smell is grassy/piney hops.
The taste starts out with a citrus sweetness, similar to a tangerine, before a dry bitterness finishes things off.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Moderate abv and good taste makes this brew very drinkable.

JoeyBeerBelly, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into pint glass with a small head that split after a little bit.looks okay.alot of citrus hop aroma in the nose,a little bit of biscuity sweetness.nice balance between the citrus/piney hops and malt sweetness.very clean finish

mouthfeel is medium bodied,very easy drinking.really nice fall release that strays from the pumpkin ale/oktoberfest norm.

wyattshotmaker, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of Gmann
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a wispy pure white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of nice juicy hops, nice citrus profile, very fresh aroma. Pretty much all hops. The taste is more of the same. A good grapefruit citrus hop flavor, some lemon and pine, and a barely noticable malt body however it does a good job balancing out the hops. The brew has a moderate feel, tingly carbonation and only finishes slightly bitter which is surprising considering all of the hop flavor. This is a very enjoyable brew, probably a bit hoppy for the style but it works well. Recommended.

Gmann, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of DawnL
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden/light amber in color with sticky lacing.

Citrus hops on nose with a slight pine tingle.

Piney on the palate, but not overly - till has a good amount of citrus and some chewy oat. A little spice kick to the brew. As it warms, definite, integrated pine notes come through the citrus nicely.

Oaty mouthfeel.

This beer is a little one noted for my taste. It lacks some complexity. It would make for a very nice session beer.

DawnL, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be "bright." That may make you think it is light on flavor but that would be far from the truth. This will sound silly but the mouthfeel on this just makes you happy. There are strong hop flavors but they are balanced out by a crisp, clean flavor that makes this a superior beer. Once you drink it you will know exactly what I mean. Try it for sure.

Wheelinb, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of batty
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light yellow-golden with white head. pretty minimal head and only after a pretty vigorous pour. some nice lacing.

S: malt and hops. more specifically, a bit of flowery hop and maybe some munich or vienna? and a touch of rye.

T: taste follows smell pretty well. not my favorite, but well done i suppose.. wouldn't classify it as a ESB by any means, but i suppose it does have more of those characteristics than any other style, hm. definitely touch of sweet front, followed by a pumpkin ale-reminiscent flavor (the pumpkin, not the spices). Get a definite rye-type flavor in the middle and grain huskiness, which blends very well into the floral/spice hop medium-long ending.

M: good, but not incredible. smooth, but a bit thin.

D: quite refreshing, clearly made to be able to session. quite crisp, but not over-carbonated by any means.

good for what they were going for, and pretty unique in general. smooth and drinkable, tasty but not too special. i was looking for more of an marzen-type beer (style is not mentioned on the bottle), but obviously well-made.

edit: upon reading other's reviews, I must say I'm a bit confused - but I stick to my review (it's the last of a sixer, and all have tasted the same, so no palette-problems on this one). I'll have to check this out again sometime to see if it's the batch or if my taste buds really are that different from others!

batty, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of NoahSYGG
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer. It is super citrusy hoppy. It is slightly cloudy. It has a great hop aroma. It has a nice 2 finger head with nice lacing. It is nice and sweet to balance the hoppy overtones. This is a wonderful beer for any hop head. It focuses on my favorite aspect of the hop,flavor and aroma. If you come across this beer, pick it up.

NoahSYGG, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of quincyships
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is whack. No, it's wiggety-whack. Smooth, smooth, smooth ESB body with very light color draws you in (unless you're tipped off by the drippin' fresh hop aroma) and the hop bite throws you off the bridge, until the smooth finish makes you realize you're on an awesome beer bungee. The only logical reaction is to climb back up and jump again.

Appearance: crystal clear, almost too-light looking

Aroma: Am I in the hop field?

Taste: In spite of what you saw and smelled, this beer has an awesome balance. It's wicked hoppy but not over the top. I want to make this.

quincyships, Sep 17, 2009
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.