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Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Harvest AleHarvest Ale

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

1,156 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1156
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%

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: 1,156 | Reviews: 544 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dgherm


4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 13:28:06 | More by dgherm
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 01:39:42 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Kendo

New York

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

The 2007 bottle looks slightly different than the older one pictured here -- it's all orange with no yellow around the name of the beer, which is in black lettering now.

A: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is lighter in color than expected: golden honey, with a small white head that settles quickly to leave a smidgeon of film on top. Plenty of bubbles continue to rise throughout, but there's very little lacing left behind.

S: First impression is grassy wet hops and a strong presence of pine -- sap or resin, even. There's something sweet too -- reminds me a bit of that JuicyFruit gum smell, but also citrus rind, especially lemon.

T: Dominated by juicy, resiny pine sap and grassy hops, but it's not overwhelmingly bitter --some malt seems to provide balance or a foundation for the hops. A slightly lemony and grassy flavor lingers in the aftertaste for quite awhile. Finishes very dry, crisp and clean -- all in all it's almost pilsner-like in that regard, but for the juicy hops that initiate the taste. I was surprised to see from their website that they use Amarillos in both the kettle and for dry hopping. Given that finish, I would have thought that Noble hops were used to finish it off, as it's got a bit of zesty spiciness to it and didn't remind me of what I think of as Amarillo hops -- not that that's a bad thing, it just surprised me a little. . . .

M: Well-carbonated but in a slightly prickly or spritzy way, so it's not obnoxious, and it helps to leave a dry, clean finish despite an oily coating of the mouth with hop juice. Body is light-to-medium in heft.

D: Very good. This one goes down easily.

Notes: Not sure about the style on this one. BA lists it as an APA; Southern Tier's website calls it a "Classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order" (I think it's too hopped up to be called "English style," however); and it reminded me in many ways of a pilsner (not sure whether that's a German or Czech pilsner). Whatever it is, I like it. Could make a great Fall session beer for hopheads. Another success story from Southern Tier. . . .

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 13:50:58 | More by Kendo
Photo of DefenCorps


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 6-pack of the 2007 offering purchased at The Village Pump, College Park MD for $8.99

A: A crystal clear yellowish-orange brew that looks fairly light, steady stream of carbonation contributing to a thick, beautiful head that leaves a nice lace as it subsides slowly

S: Hops. This is my first wet hop beer and i think i can tell the difference between a "regular" hop and a wet hopped beer. There's a fairly strong citrus aroma but with a twist - there's some grassy notes in there

T: The balance is in favor of the hops but the grassy characteristics do add to the brew. This is a *very* tasty beer, difficult to put down

M: The carbonation feels good but the stand-out part is the thick, persistent, resiny taste. Thoroughly enjoyable

D: Excellent. I find it difficult to put the glass down. A thirst quencher that doubles up as a sipper, depending on what you are in the mood for.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 03:42:47 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of jackorain


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

A-nice straw yellow color crystal clear. Stark white head. Struggled to get a i inch head form an aggressive pour. But decent retention

S-citrus hops, tengerine, grapefruit, biscuit malt very nice

T-Very nice bitterness up front. grapefruit and tangerine from the nose. Biscuit malt, a touch of sweetness, like simple syrup. A really nice apa

M-Medium body, great mouth coatingquality. Seems like a,little wheat malt malt ahs added some body here.

D- great I wish I had more

Overall-An apa that drinks like a little America ipa. Fantastic freah hops throughout. Top nothc brew

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 00:50:53 | More by jackorain
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 JohnQVegas


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 22:43:17 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of Soneast


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

On tap at Dexter's Pub in Madison.

Pours a hazy, golden wheat color, with a 2 finger thcik, cream colored head that looks more like jet-puffed marshmallow cream than it does beer. Very dense and creamy, leaving a slick of lace all the way down the glass.

The aroma is very intense and pungent, full of citrus scents, lemons, oranges and some grapefruit but somewhat accentuated by a nice little spiceyness. Not a lot of malt character, except for maybe a touch of caramel.

The flavor is hop-centric, without being all that bitter. Clearly a lot of late boil hop additions and a ton of dry hopping going on with this beer. More citrus centered, the gamut of citrus fruits are noted, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, but there is also enough of a malt presence to give the beer a good, creamy body with a slightly sweet, almost honey-like flavor to help tame the hops a bit, and not push this into IPA territory.

This beer just feels so good, with a creamy texture and inoffensive carbonation, the hop is the highlight of the beer, but the bitterness is kept in check. An amazing beer, that I would not hesitate to drink again!

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2009 17:14:01 | More by Soneast
Photo of boralyl


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2009 02:22:26 | More by boralyl
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

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

Excited to try this one on for size. This drinks like a solid, hoppy pale ale with those signature edges of ESB bitterness. Some toffee and some tea underline the fresh, quality, tasty hops (mostly of the citrus variety with herbal bits).
A really nice option when you want something with lots of hops without the serving being too heavy. There's a refreshing quality to Southern Tier's Harvest Ale. It's a bit of a shame that this isn't available year round but it's something to look forward to at the end of summer. It's also a nice reminder that Pumking is just around the corner! Mmmmm...Pumking.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 04:41:25 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of StLThrash


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

12 ounce bottle picked up in a six-pack from The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, MO. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Wow, what a beautiful beer. Crystal clear amber, with an awesome 2-finger frothy white head with excellent retention. Significant lace ring after ever sip. One of the best looking beers I've had.

S - Floral, sweet, citrusy, some malt backbone. Reminded me of more of a pale ale.

T & M - Reminiscent of a hoppy pale ale. Nicely carbonated with a surprisinly juicy mouthfeel. Slight hop bitterness, but not quite to the point of an IPA. Does remind me of a pale ale, not an ESB.

Overall - a very smooth, drinkable beer - and a great fall seasonal. Southern Tier has another hit!

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 14:32:30 | More by StLThrash
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Fairly pale yellow color. Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Looks kind of like a macro.

S: Fresh hops. Is this really an ESB? This is almost like an IPA light.The hops smell so good what else do you need.

T: Starts off with a nice mix of hops and grains. The taste really reminds me of brewday and I love that. So I love this. In fact if you homebrew take the taste and smell in the air and this is that beer. Really great. Don't know about ESB though.

M: Medium body. Very crisp.

D: This beer is great. Tons of taste and low ABV. This is the kind of beer I want to have a keg of. Really well done by southern tier. I know they have a reputation for their big beers but this one is worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 01:46:00 | More by aerozeppl
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 JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

09-19-2009 21:18:25 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of BMoney575


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

Sampled on 10-19-09

Pours a pleasant golden orange color, with a filmy white head that leaves behind nice rings of lacing. A few bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell is awesome, tons of sweet hops and a candy malt to back it up. I was expecting Oktoberfest, and this is much different.

Taste is sharply bitter, with flavors of citrus and a little pine at the end. Very clean, with a very subtle sweet malt character. Something different.

Mouthfeel is good for the style, thinner with good carbonation to keep it light.

Drinkability is outstanding, a fantastic bitter session beer.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed, and will have this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 22:20:04 | More by BMoney575
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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%.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 01:09:06 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of dayswonder


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

An awesome fall beer! The color of this beer is a nice caramel/amber color. The smell is pretty hoppy, but some allspice too. Perhaps that comes to mind because of the name harvest.

The taste is delicious. It is a wonderful fall beer that keeps the hops at the forefront. This is not often done or at least I haven't found this happening often will the harvest beers. Mouth feel is definitely creamy and smooth. If I had more to drink I would drink a few more of these tonight. Very drinkable and will be bought again.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 21:32:19 | More by dayswonder
Photo of elgiacomo


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

12oz bottled August 23, 2010.

Pours slightly hazy copper amber with a two finger white head that leaves some lacing and holds a good foamy cap.

Aroma is citrus, floral, and grassy hops, bread and caramel, good strength.

Flavor features a good citrus hop zing, some light spice, good bread/caramel malt balance, mild sweetness, medium bitterness, finishes mostly clean with some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is low to medium bodied, medium carbonation, easy drinking.

A tasty, refreshing, and delicious ESB!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 20:52:03 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of keanex

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 00:54:03 | More by keanex
Photo of John

New York

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

Sampled on tap at MacGregor's 18 Oct 2003. Two Imperial pints on special for $2.25ea. Hell yeah! Another fine offering from Southern Tier. Their fall seasonal is an immediate classic brew in a class all it's own. Clear copper, steady off-white head. A tad lighter than the ST IPA. A brew that begs to be drunk...with an irresistable drinkability. A perfect combination of solid malt and precise hop balance combining Cascade and Styrian Goldings. That combo lends an awesome hop profile thats blends classic oily/piney Goldings with citrus/fruity Cascade. A sought after fall seasonal worth its weight.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2003 03:12:23 | More by John
Photo of bjohnson


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

A: Pours a very clear amber straw like color with an initial frothy half finger white head. Dissipates quickly leaving a film on top. Frost-like lace left on the glass.
S: Citrus and floral hops, mostly orange peel, lemon zest, and grapefruit. Grassyness in the hops also.
T/M: Decent jolt of grapefruit and orange peel flavored hops right from the outset. Mild malt notes fall in behind but only support the hop flavors. Strong bitterness strikes the tastebuds and lingers in the aftertaste. Leafy hop notes sting the tongue. Nutty malt with a slightly buttery mouthfeel. Nice dry finish leaves the tongue parched. Very smooth and thirst quenching. Lightish body
D: Another winner from Southern Tier—seemed bitterer than the IPA—must be those fresh harvested hops. I’d purchase this again if I saw it at the store. Great example of a hopped up pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 22:03:44 | More by bjohnson
Photo of williamherbert

New York

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

The first time I tried this beer in 2006 I really disliked it, but I'm gonna give it another go'round.

The look is a bright, clear golden color. (Not orange or pumpkiny.) Minor white head. The chill of the glass leaves a haze. Looks light and thirst-quenching. Only a little lace leaves its mark on the glass.

The smell is a nice, mild wet hop aroma with a bitter pilsnerish malt. Hops are of a woody, bitter sort. Malt is bitter with slight roasted-ness. It is flowery and fragrant, with a hint of sour apple.

The taste is a very pleasant burnt and bitter malt flavor dominating the brew, like a kolsch or German beer. But that is combined with a top layer of flowery and woody hops. The malt is really really bitter; the hops are very fresh and moist. The balance is outstanding.

The feel is watery but with a minor bitter bite. Smooth finish, buttery but not oily. Overall it's very bitter, yet flowery. Incredibly drinkable. A fine, fine autumnal harvest ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2007 04:07:18 | More by williamherbert
Photo of johnmichaelsen


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

How I wish ST would make more beers with this level of alcohol. Their high gravity beers just wear me out, but as this beer clearly shows, they are quite capable of making very good lower alcohol ales.

The beer pours a surprisingly lighter gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get the anticipated citrus with some underlying sweet malt. On the palate this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer is remarkably well balanced, with very nice use of the wet hops IMO. Not only does the beer have a nice hoppy bitterness, but the wet hops give the beer an extra added dimension of flavor as well. In addition to the citrus, there's some underlying earthiness as well that is quite nice. The beer is slightly sweet from the malt, but that sweetness is nicely countered by the hoppy bitterness. This beer is medium bodied and is a joy to drink. It's the kind of beer I could see myself just gulping down if I wasn't careful.

This beer was very popular at Mahaffey's last night and I can see why. Just an excellent harvest ale from ST.

Edit from 9/7/12. Tried again, and was reminded quite vividly that this beer differs from year to year. The current version is decent, but pales in comparison to the beer I sampled back in 2008 (unfortunately).

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2008 14:11:47 | More by johnmichaelsen
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 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
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,156 ratings.