1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,535 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,535
Reviews: 573
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 46
Gots: 158 | 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:
Beer added by: John on 10-19-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,535 | Reviews: 573 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Siegmund
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams PP

A - Light amber, up through an almost pinkish yellow at the bottom of the glass. I poured a little to gentle, so the head was a bit thin, fading to a thin lace on top.

S - Some citrusy, hop notes. I'm reminded of a good, fruity IPA on the nose.

T - The taste follows the smell. Again I'm reminded of an IPA. More balanced though. After the hop hit, there is a great malt base behind. Great lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - A bit more carbonated than I usually like, but nothing out of control.

O - Very good beer. This is a beer I could see myself drinking a few of at a party or ballgame.

Photo of zeledonia
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4 August 2011.

Pours coppery and clear, with one finger of cream-colored head. Head sticks around long enough for me to get a few sniffs in, then it's gone, leaving a ring of foam around the surface. Not much lacing.

Smell - this has fresh English hops, so says the ST website. But to me they smell just like non-fresh English hops - hay, some vegetable stems, and a light bitterness. Despite being a "wet hop" beer, this feels more malty than hoppy. Bready and light grain.

Taste - a balance of grassy, lightly bitter hops and some filling-out malts. Everything here is playing a role, and while a team of role-players may be solid, it doesn't wow you. It's smooth and well-balanced, but that's most of what I have to say about it.

Mouthfeel - medium-light body, but with a chewy rich feeling. Carbonation is medium-low, as it should be. Mouthfeel is right on.

It's partly the style, but I find this beer to be rather, well, meh. It's balanced, and it tastes fine, but nothing's jumping out at me. It's not super flavorful, or full of subtle complexity, or refreshing, or anything else.

Photo of jera1350
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Happy Gnome.

Pours a coppery color with a trace of foam around the top. A bit of lacing clings to the pint glass.

A blend of earthy hops with malt and some spice notes.

There is a pretty balanced attack here of hops and malt. The problem is, they seem to fight each other a bit and don't have much cohesiveness. The hops are quite earthy and a bit spicy. The malt adds a sweetness to balance. Not bad, but doesn't mesh real well for me.

Medium bodied with a little harshness from the carbonation, but not too much.

Overall, I think this is a decent beer, but one that I don't need to revisit. The flavor just didn't do a whole lot for me, but it wasn't bad by any means.

Photo of coachdonovan
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/3/11, this one admittedly sat in my fridge for at least a month before consumption. Pours a hazeless amber with a tinge of brown. Sandy head sits about one inch tall; it doesn't do anything terribly interesting but at least it doesn't completely disappear.

Hoppy aroma brings to mind an American pale ale; not sure I understand the ESB classification here. Taste is Cascade-y hops with the requisite amount of sweetness from a Southern Tier beer. Carbonation was a little low for my liking. This is very drinkable and a refreshingly flavorful alternative to Oktoberfests. I'm sure it's even better fresh.

Photo of Jammies
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden orange with a thin layer of foam. The foam dissipates after a short while

S- a light citrusy smell with a faint grassy odor

T- A grassy undertone and smooth finish. Can taste a hint of the malts on the finish

M- Light and watery. The malts roll off the palate

O- not a bad beer. Nice and light with a great flavor. I would definitely purchase again.

Photo of draheim
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled 7/29/2011) poured into a tulip. Clear amber color, 1-finger off-white head.

Aroma is floral hops and pale malt.

Taste follows nose: pale try malt balanced by some hop bitterness. Nice balance, and the water in this beer is a key ingredient too.

Photo of woemad
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes, part of my big backlog this summer.

Consumed on-tap at Jones Radiator in Spokane.

Orange-amber in color, with a decent amount of white foam that left lots of lace.

Tasty smelling beer, with sweet, caramelish malt notes and some citrusy hops. Smelled well balanced.

Very well-balanced beer, with malts and hops about equal, with both dialed in to deliver lots of flavor without being overwhelming. The slightly nutty malt flavor sets it apart from, say, a more warm weather session beer.

Moderate carbonation, somewhat light bodied.

Super drinkable beer. An excellent session beer for fall. I'd seriously have considered sticking with this for happy hour if there hadn't been so many other choices to try.

Photo of lovindahops
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never has and STBC harvest before so I am interested on this combo of a fall seasonal/esb

A- halloween orange... literally with not much lacing. Glows with a hearty look

S- ok there is a ton of stuff going on here.... 1) zesty, spicy, and herbal 2) piney hop scents 3) grainy and slight biscuit theme 4) grapefuit citric exit. This may be one of the most inclusive scents I have ever experienced. For that, I'm impressed and will grade pretty high

T- very sweet malt is spiking the immediate taste experience. Caramel pine notes are really the main experience as the brew settles in. Again, a ton of things going on here. Very sweet and earthy

M- good carbonation and thick flavor for and esb

O- this won't pass my favorite esb (beast bitter), however, this is way more unique. Seems like harvest is a "mad scientist" type brew with all the flavors going on. I will come back to this every single fall!

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange, with a white head - little retention.

Smells of citrus - grapefruit and orange, with rich floral notes.

Very lively in the mouth the hops are forward, awake, fresh, alive. Taste buds dance with sweet and bitter orange, grapefruit, balanced by lively sweet - bitter floral taste. Taste fresh and lively like a fall harvest. Very interesting in the hops not being overly bitter, yet very prominent.

Photo of uustal
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale, yellow amber with a slight white head. A citrus kick of an aroma. Lemon peel, orange and grapefruit. Hints of spicy hops too. Flavor begins with crisp, bitter kick of earthy and pine hops. Transforms into a sweeter citrus blend. A more traditional fall malt comes next. Mostly caramel and some toasted grain and then some spicy hops and a bit more citrus bring it home.

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown-copper with two fingers of rapidly diminishing suds.

Nose gives bright floral hopping that fades fast followed by very mellow toasted sweet grains -I like. Hopping really disappears in the smell after the head gives out.

Flavah!: Similar spice character of some marzens, but has an interesting tussle with the hops and loses. Decent malting balances well with inoffensive bitter hops- gives a wee bit of the toasty warmth I would expect from the nose, but I don't think it can compete with the hopping and carbonation . . . until it warms up, then the toasty comes through more, with a hint of caramel. Feels like an American Ale take on an Oktoberfest, which is what I think they were gong for.

Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rather autumn-like orange-gold with a thick, bubbly head. Fresh, resinous, leafy hop aroma...zesty tangerine sweetness and not a whole lot of malt, though some grain peeks through as it warms up. Flavor is a bit more earthy and floral upfront. Bitter hop oils, fruit, and some pine...on the brighter side of things with a somewhat spicy kick. Solid medium body, slick and smooth. Kind of an ESB/APA hybrid of sorts.

Pretty good fall seasonal offering, taking a different angle than most breweries.

Photo of dahlen22
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light orange and well carbonated.

Aroma: Hops, citrus fruits, and a bit of pines.

Taste: Crisp, spicy to start, then comes in the grapefruit and mandarin oranges and hops and finishes with a zest and the warming alcohol.

Overall: Not a true "Fall" beer, but a decent offering. Warming enough for the cooler months in fall, but the citrus was a bit overwhelming and kind of gave me sour stomach after two. If you want a true harvest-style beer, pass this one up. Better suited for the summer IMO. Cheers!

Photo of harrymattcody
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

The pour was a an amber color with a small layer of foam on tap that dissipated after a few minutes but was able to lay down a little lace throughout the glass. Aromas are anchored by citrus fruits but also have a slight hint of sweetness, maybe caramel malt. Hops occupy most of the flavor profile with their citrus flavors but I also get a fair amount of caramel as well. Harvest ale feels creamy and fairly heavy in the mouth. Maybe a little too much for me, but still decent.

Not my favorite wet hop ale but still a solid offering that I try to knock back every year.

Photo of keanex
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear copper body with an almost 2 finger light tan rocky head which leaves residue on the side as it dissipates. A thin tan coating remains on the top.

S: Slight caramel malts, citrus hints, and hops make a light but pleasant aroma.

T: Caramel and citrus foretaste with a hoppy finish. Very tasty and balanced. Easy to go down. Hoppy aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with medium fresh carbonation.

O: Probably my favorite beer of the season. Absolutely easy to down with a wonderfully balanced taste and pleasant aroma.

Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Maggie's on the River in Watertown NY

A: served a dark amber color with a nice head that fades to good lacing.

S: Fresh grain aroma with citrus aroma and bit of malt sweetness.

T: Mild flaver of malt sweetness with a bit of citrus. Fresh grain with a nice bitterness and a fairly dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp, clean and refreshing. Good balance, no real hint of the 6.7% ABV.

O: Easy drinker, tasty beer. A good seasonal beer. Another solid beer from Southern Tier.

Photo of sixerofelixir
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Pours a nice, bold gold. Very few carb trailers, but a whitish head rears back to a ring and sticks. Smell is a sweet, floral hop and good bread. Taste is very good - a good mixture of jagged hops with a nicely toasted malt backing. Effervescent & lively. Drinks well, a keeper. Very similar to GI's harvest offering.

Photo of rab53
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent head retention. Light hop aroma. Nice hop presence with just enough malt to balance. Light to medium in body. Smooth carbonation. Overall, not the best example of a 'harvest ale'. it is quite quaffable. Nice as a palate break in between darker maltier beers.

Photo of xnicknj
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at varga in philly

Pours a clear auburn with dark golden tones, thick white head rests on top, nice retention, leaving huge layers of lacing.

Leafy hops in the nose coupled with light citrus, bread crust and caramel. Decent balance between both sides.

Bitter up front with a nice dose of hops, leafy with some citrus. Touches of orange peel before a decent malt bill kicks in with bread crust and caramel. A little sweet towards the finish, which is bitter and dry.

Medium body and carbonation, sticky, a little chewy and drinkable. Solid fall beer which strikes a balance between the seasonal element and the style.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red-orange body with an abundance of head. No lacing.

The smell has a respectable amount of hops, mostly pine. Bready malt adds a strong backbone.

The taste has a crisp and slightly bitter hoppy bite. Malts are bready and finishes with grain.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp.

The smell and taste are both decent but simple. It's a good representation for the style and an easy drinker.

Photo of curasowa
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper color with one finger of head that fades quickly to a ring with little lacing.

Aroma: Grapefruit and other citrus hop notes over a base of toasted caramel malt.

Taste: A good malt base adds some sweetness and a nice, medium body, but the main act is the hops. Bitter from start to finish, with a definite English, noble hop type character kicked up a notch by a piney, slightly resinous American style hop profile. Bitterness predominates on the finish which is fairly fast.

The Rest: A great interpretation of an ESB. The combination of a tradational English hop profile with a more assertive American profile is a nice take on the style. Quite tasty!

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Bottled on August 4, 2011.

Appearance: Light orange with moderate head and light lacing.

Smell: Biscuit and tea, citrus and spicy hops.

Taste: Great balance of biscuit, toast, tea, citrus, and floral & spicy hops. Ends somewhat bitter.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, very creamy body with a nice dry finish.

Overall: A very impressive Americanized ESB overall. Definitely one of the better ones around.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nicely balanced, and unassuming ale.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Southern Tier identity design over a simple light brown background illustrating the brew name with an illustration of emerging grain. Notes how many varieties of hops and malts (not which but how many…). Shows 6.7% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pale to medium amber pour, nice frothy head with medium retention, fair surface memory and nice touches of lacing.

S - Nice hoppy nose, rather rich but with a nice fruity mellow softness over caramel...

T - …which is exactly what the mouth highlights. Very nice grassy-citric hop profile riding over a rich bready maltiness… Nice soft bitterness in the finish woven back to the malted hops.

M - Medium/light body with soft carbonation… smooth with a nice finishing tiny bite.

O - Hmmm, if "the key to an ESB is balance" this is right on target, very quaffable with a nice sense of malty, rich hoppy range without anything strident…

Notes: Very nice seasonal surprise from ST, I should have picked up this one last year...

Photo of mpyle
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App - Pale amber color, good clarity. Coarsely bubbled in the liquid, but the head itself was white, creamy, and with moderately good retention.

Smell - earthy pine hop aroma, a bit of copper penny, and hints of caramel

Taste - Fairly hoppy from the start, with a bitter component from fairly early on. Malt lost beneath the hops. Hop flavor not very exciting. Finish is distinctly bitter, but not harshly so.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, no astringency, but a slight hint of alcohol warming.

Overall - A decent bitter beer, but would like to see a more assertive malt presence.

Photo of JRed
3.11/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Transparent orange in body with bubbly white head. Smells of grains, corn, and slight honey. Tastes of grains, slight honey, sone malt sweetness, grass, and hop resin. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A pleasant autumn beer but a terrible aroma and cheap malt taste make for an average experience.

Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,535 ratings.