1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,349 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,349
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 41
Gots: 90 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,349 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of washburnkid
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6er yesterday after seeing its popularity in the forums. I got home and noticed it was an ESB, and was a little bummed it wouldn't be the fresh, hoppy beer I want in a harvest ale, but it did not let me down!

A: A nice nearly clear golden color. The head is white and bubbly. ST's website promised a deep ruby color, and it wasn't even close. But there was a nice cap and ring of retention and tons of lacing, so I'm not disappointed!
S: Nice piney hops on the nose. Aromas are fresh AND refreshing. Some fruity esters really come out of the pour but mellow out. There's a grainy barley sense to somewhat balance out the hops.
T/M: Nice hop bitterness here. Pine in the back and pretty earthy up front, though not at all dirty. Very clean and crisp. The floral hops linger forever in my mouth. The medium body has an almost syrupy consistency but it's also tingly and drying and overall very smooth.
D: It's hard not to want to gulp this beer down. It is refreshing, hoppy, and quite delicious. I'm glad I bought a 6er, but it definitely won't last long.

washburnkid, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of dgherm
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this baby. After seeing a number of threads on the forum with people seeking this beer out, I bought a sixer of this on a recent beer run. After buying it, I was dissapointed to see on this website it was classified as a ESB. I like ESBs but Harvest to me means a hoppy APA or IPA.

Guess what, this a nice hoppy brew. Mine poured a bright yellow orange, with a foamy white head. Faint lacing remained on the glass as I worked may down the glass. The smell was of bitter hops.
Nice sharp hop bite was evident in taste. Nicely carbonated. I could gulp down a few of these in session.

Nice hoppy beer to enjoy as the days become cooler. I'll be looking for this beer again next year.

dgherm, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Harvest Ale poured very light straw, with little-to-no head and only light lace.

The sweet citric smell is the highlight of this ale. The flavor is weak and the feel is unsubstantial with up-front sweetness and a slight lingering bitterness. On the other hand, it was refreshing and smooth.

A "harvest" ale should be bready and complex; howerver, Southern Tier's is pale.

MetalHopHead6, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of david18
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a very good beer. I was told by the bartender that it was a wheat ale but I assumed, by the name harvest, that it was a fresh hop pale ale. although this is called an esb this is really like a pale ale. Great hop aroma, great bitterness and all around very good beer. A nice change from a brewery with so many extreme beers.

david18, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of UDbeernut
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap poured into a pint glass

a: light amber with hints of gold, small head with almost no retention. light lacing cap

s: lots of floral hops, slight ready undertones

t: crisp bitterness, slight caramel. Floral hop flavor on the finish

m&d: light to medium bodied, a very drinkable beer and something different than an APA.

UDbeernut, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of hackomal
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- thin Head very pale color. One of the lightest fall beers I have ever had

S - citrusy hops with a slight malt aroma

T- Very different than what I was expecting. The smell had me beleiving that this was going to be bordering a pale ale. citusy hops are dominant, but there is a very noticeable bready creamy taste. good beer with a different flavor than expected almost a cross between an APA/ESB

M - Very creamy with a lingering hop

D - Verydrinkable and a nice change compared to most other fall seasonals

hackomal, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of dogfishandi
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle, chilled, poured into ST pint glass. pours a clear golden color, beautiful looking creamy head, with a nice amount of frothy lacing, looks like it was just poured from the tap. great head retention. weak color, nice head.

fruity hops in the forefront, pineapple, citrus, tropical fruits, slight bready, malty undertones. hops definately rule the aroma.

lots of hops in the taste too, more like an ipa than an esb. the tropical fruity hops definately coming on the taste as well. pineapple, orange, citrus, its all there. a little malt coming in to balance things out. has a nice, not over the top bitterness in the finish.

light body, good carb. resiny, sticky mouthfeel from all the hops, creamy almost as well, very nice.

really enjoyed this beer for what it is, which isnt much of an esb, more like a light ipa. very sessionable and easy drinking, nice for watching the bills kick some ass this year.

dogfishandi, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of jabel9
4.93/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Harvest. This is my favorite time of year. The northeast weather is starting to cool, leaves gaining the fall colors, football season about to begin and Southern Tier releases the Harvest Ale. This is an exceptional brew. A light golden color that surprisingly sits a bit heavy in mouthfeel. The floral hops create an amazing smell which complements this brews extraordinary taste. You can't just enjoy one, as each after the first just exponentially get better. This brew awakens taste buds that have laid dorment since last fall's Harvest. The only thing better than enjoying a Harvest is enjoying it off a tap with friends. Cheers!

jabel9, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle

A-Bright golden clarity with a decent white head and sticky lacing. Hardly looks like a fall harvest offering to me.

S-Strong grapefruit citrus hops predominate

T-Interesting, based on the nose, I was expecting more of an IPA like brew, but this is quite different. It begins with a hop malt mix that features semi sweet bready malts and citrus hops washing across the palate with a waft of alcohol. Bitter astringent finish which is very nice. This is a surprisingly big tasting beer for the ABV. Damn nice effort.

M-This has the mouthfeel of a much bigger beer, slighly oily, well balanced carbonation, and medium mouthfeel, this is very well done.

D-This is a quite drinkable effort from Southern Tier, and probably the best beer that I have had from them. There is not much that says autumn here for me, but a solid beer to enjoy any time.

caddybuyer, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright golden orange pour with a lasting foamy white head , lost of lacing left , medium carbonation . Aroma of citrus zest and light floral notes, with a hint of pine . Flavor of light toasted caramel malt , orange and citrus , with some piny resin , nice level of bitterness . Medium body with a clean mouthfeel . Nice hoppy finish . Very good and sessionable . A very good brew from Southern Tier .

WakeandBake, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of FrothyBeverage
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a rich golden apperance, some what standard. Had a very unique smell to my nose. Reminds me of mango sherbert. It had a very complex taste with a multitude of flavors. Sweet, bitter, fruity were the main tastes. Nice bubbly mouthfeel. This was a solid beer, would drink again.

FrothyBeverage, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of naterock
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Large Mug with one finger of head and a straw-like yellowish gold color. looks like a budweiser.

Smell will confuce the hell out of you. Lemon peel, Orange, grapefruit, a small amount of caramel malt and a piney hint. the hop florals are really the showcase of this beer.

Taste is completely different than the smell. The best way to describe it is woody and leafy with a citrus aftertaste. really reminds me of a autumn afternoon.

Mouth is crisp and perfectly carbonated with a slight oily finish. Drinksincredibly easy. One word to describe this beer is: suprising.

naterock, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Clear golden yellow color. Two inches of half frothy, half creamy head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Fresh and clean smelling. Pine and lemon hops in the nose, very nice. Pretty much neutral malt character.

4.0 T: Floral and herbal hops are the biggest flavor. Malts are mainly neutral with a bit of biscuity character.

3.0 M: Light body, too light for my liking. If it were heavier, it would be a damn good brew. Good carbonation, good otherwise.

4.5 D: Very drinkable. Easy to put down. I probably should have given a bigger penalty for the lack of body, but this is so damn drinkable.

DavoleBomb, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Copper in appearance with a nice retaining pillowy head.
Smells floral and fruity, hints of apricot.
The flavor profile had a pronounced european hop twang coupled with a light english style malting.
It was bitter at times but I didn't mind, being that its an Extra Strong Bitter.
Mouthfeel medium bodied. Drinkable? Sessionable. Overall a good brew. Nice to see another good interpretation of the style.

Stinkypuss, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of jgasparine
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An Extra Special Bitter INDEED!

A- Poured a bright (clear) yellow with a thin, white, well-retained head. Active carbonation was not apparent when the glass was viewed from the sides or the top.

S- The nose is packed with moderate aromas of honey, orange marmalade, earth and straw... there are some retrained tropical fruit aromas playing around in the nose as well.

T- Most prominent are earthy citrus hops, which are nicely balanced by big flavors of pale malt. These flavors are surprisingly big for a beer with 5.2% ABV. Tastes a bit bready as well.

M- Nice medium body... oily... with the softest carbonation (cabonation almost isn't there). Works nicely with this beer.

D- Oh, so drinkable! I am astounded by the big aromas and flavors packed into such a low-alcohol beer!

jgasparine, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up two 6-packs of this in Columbus, $9.99 each. First off it must be said that this is not an ESB (the style currently entered on BA). This strikes me as an APA or something of that ilk. The beer is crystal clear, golden colored, with a thin 1-finger head that laces onto the glass. The aroma is all amarillo hops, at least as far as I can tell. Based on smell alone I don't think I could distinguish this from Gumballhead (which is not a bad thing). I'm getting lots of citrus like grapefruit, orange, and maybe some non-citrus mango. The taste is nearly equal to the smell, and again it reminds me a lot of Gumballhead. Lots of sweetness from the hops and abundant malt based on mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste which seems to come from the hops again. The body is on the thicker side for such a light looking and smelling beer. This is a big winner from Southern Tier, definitely worth a repeat.

TurdFurgison, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of qchic
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh, it's an ESB. Regardless, it poured a golden straw color lighter than I expected. With the modest white head it looks like a pils. Plenty of citrus/pine hops and stone fruits in the aroma. Same goes for the flavor, with earthy hops dominating. Malts give it balance and there is a touch of banana. With a medium body and oily mouthfeel, this is a great way to ease into fall as this one reminded me of my favorite summer APA's. I'm always glad to see this one on the shelves. Get it while it's available.

qchic, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of Finn
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Date on case of bottles: 8/03/09 This is VERY fresh, apparently.

A hard pour into an English pint glass reveals a golden pale colored ale, with great clarity, and a very thin white head on top.
It smells of grass, citrus, pine and earthy hops, with a nice hint of the malt behind it. The flavor of this beer is well balanced, but nonetheless quite hoppy. Little bit of a bitter hop bit blends with mild sweet malts. There is a slightly coarse character to the hop flavor, but it doesn't detract very much. This is a tasty beer.
The modest body and carbonation help to make this an extremely drinkable brew. Not anything over the top, but very nice fresh hop character, in a superbly balanced pale ale.
Super session beer.

Finn, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of xhcadamx
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - hazy gold with a huge cap of frothy white head. tons of lacing

S - a mix of west coast hops with biscuit malt

T - very strong hop presence but not overwhelmingly bitter. Well balanced with the malt flavors

M - not a lot of carbonation and was somewhat thick and medium bodied.

D - I have had two southern tier beers so far and both were way above expectations.

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful hop scent that balances the malt aroma nicely. It boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. The taste is good. It has a bitter and earthy flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and bisquity. It has a nice breadlike quality. The mouthfeel is great. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a really good seasonal. I've heard of it mentioned the last couple of years, but could never get any. This is a fine drinker.

xhcadamx, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of GruvisHops
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 12 oz. brown bottle. Hazy, golden body with 1/4" creamy head. No lace.

S: Mix of citrusy, west coast hops and grassy/herbal European hops on a bed of pale malt... nothing overwhelming.

T: Good, solid, but not great. Again west coast hops are the dominate flavor.

M: Medium, but appropriate.

D: Smooth, refreshing.

GruvisHops, May 29, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from Wasatch, Thanks John!

A: Pale gold in color with a ridiculous head, good lord, I tried pouring as carefully as possible and i still have about four inches of dense white head. Awesome! Tons of bubbles in this one. This head won't go away! Excellent lacing.

S: Good floral hop characteristic, I can smell this from quite a ways away. Pretty solid malt backbone in there too. Quite similar to a pils, at least to me. Has some other quite Belgian smells to it as well. Interesting.

T: After wading through all that head, there is a huge honey flavor here, with a citrus bitterness that complements it nicely, a slight hint of booze, but honey, and citrus are about all that I can pick out right now. Pretty mild, but nice balance and very tasty.

M: The head on this thing felt like soap foam on my face, but the mouth is medium/medium strong carbonation, dry, and extremely refreshing. Very nice.

D: I could easily session with this one. I don't think ESB is an appropriate title for this beer, but I can't think of anything else. This is a really great beer all around. I'd love to find more of this. Thanks John!

pokesbeerdude, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.

Pours a dark yellow-gold, a bit hazy, with a very thing off-white head that leaves beautiful lacing.

Nose is orange blossoms and a bit of resin, with some biscuity malt coming through also.

Taste begins with a bit of orangey citrus and sweet biscuity malt on the font of the tongue, with some spiciness coming through from the hops also. With the swallow, a light bitterness from the hops sits on the palate, especially the back of the tongue, and the biscuity malt sweetness swells again before giving way to the spicy hops. Bigger flavor, light on the palate. Paradoxical kind of beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, moderate carbonation.

Fantastic sessionability, light, but delicious.

JohnQVegas, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, seethru gold body that is gives off a little head that dies quickly. A mild fruit aroma of apple and pear along with some citric, tealike hop notes. Smooth and medium-bodied with fruit notes ranging from pear to citric (orange, banana (lightly)). Contains some graininess and sweet malt sensations that are balanced for a pleasant drinking experience as it passes the tongue and contains a grat, prickly dry backbite. I must say that this didn't remind me of an ESB at all as the hops are much more dominant than anything else (a mislabeled IPA?). Still, another good beer from Southern Tier.

clayrock81, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of gabrielsyme
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a sixer of these in September and didn't realize I still had a bottle left, glad it was still fresh as this is a great beer.

Appearance is pale golden, clear, with persistent white head.

Aroma is all floral hops - yum.

Taste is primarily bitter, with some orange flavor and a fair amount of malt backbone. Mouthfeel is relatively light despite the bitterness due to the moderately high carbonation.

gabrielsyme, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Harvest Ale is a hazy golden ale with a fluffy white pillow of a head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing. There are small particles near the bottom of the glass. The aroma is fresh and fruity. It yields powerful pine resin, tangerine and grapefruit. There is a slight starchy malt presence in the nose. It is soft and medium bodied in the mouth. There is barely any fizziness and the finish is dry. The bitterness is not as intense as the aroma suggested it would be. Still, the hops are pronounced with the same elements as the aroma. It is juicy and fruity and fresh and bitter. The balance in the flavor is a bit on the treble side, which makes this focus primarily on the bright, lemon peel quality and not on any spice or rumble. It's simple. This is an excellent session ale! Where did that 6-pack go?
(rated Oct 30, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.