Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,344 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPASierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV: 6.7%
Beginning gravity: 14.7 Plato
Ending gravity: 3.9 Plato
IBU: 66
Malts: Pale and Caramel
Yeast: Top-fermenting ale yeast
Bittering hops: Pacific Halertau
Finishing hops: New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross

Added by Todd on 05-07-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,344 | Ratings: 3,091
Photo of mattcrill
2.12/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Let me qualify this review by saying I'm a big SN fan...that being said, this beer disappoints me.

Aroma: slightly catty and skunky. A "lager-like" yeasty aroma and a touch of spiciness. Also, a bit of DMS which is disturbing.

Appearance: Hazy brick red pour with a sticky off-white cap.

Flavor: Saltine crackers, biscuity, earthy hops, and some spicy floral flavors. A brush of alcohol but this flavor is really lacking. Just a little malt and hops and really nothing else.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high carbonation. A bit of a carbonic bite with some lingering hop oiliness left on the palate.

Overall impression: This one is lost on me. If it's truly the S. Hemisphere hops then it looks like I'll be drinking/brewing less hoppy beers and using my good ol' N. Hemisphere hops. To me, all the "less than desirable" flavors seemed mostly malt driven (DMS, saltine crackers, etc). I'm giving SN the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they rushed this to market or I just got a bad bottle. Either way, I won't be hitting this again soon. I need to go brush my teeth with some Bigfoot.

 1,085 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.29/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

2010 model pours ruby with a clumpy head that leaves a consistent lacing

Very medicinal and earthy on the nose, with quite a malt presence and a whiff of menthol. Was anticipating something more..perhaps this is standard for hop profile used in this beer.

Tastes like she smells. Very medicinal and rough. Aftertaste a bit like the good old days of sneaking a Newport cigarette. Bitter lingering sensation is not altogether pleasant...a bit of candy cane mixes with the malt.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkabilty depends on how my drain feels about the remainder of this bottle.

 607 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
2.34/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark cloudy orange with a small white head leaving decent lacing down the glass.

Smells of a little grassiness with a slight citrus/tropical fruit aroma.

Taste is very one dimensional. Very astringent earthy bitterness overpowers everything else and no other flavors really stand out.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

A huge miss from a usually solid brewer. I'll try another next year a little fresher, but this was so bad, I don't think it'll help much.

 477 characters

Photo of tone77
2.38/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a weizen glass. Has a rich amber color with a 1 inch head. Aroma is very hoppy. Taste is very bitter and overpowering with hops. Very bitter in the mouth. Drinkability is not good. I struggled to finish my 24 oz. bottle. As a lager lover this beer is just not for me.

 299 characters

Photo of BB1313
2.44/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

I don't know why I really couldn't get into this one! I'm a big SN fan and I had high expectations. This one was too bitter for me and trust me, I love bitterness. Something in the taste dept. wasn't doin it for me. All of the flavors seem diminished. Not juicy or anything. It's definitely a nice effort and I know there are plenty of people that appreciate this brew, just wasn't for me.

Freshness wasn't an issue, just couldn't get into it, and I really wanted to.

 468 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.46/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a two finger cream head that fades slowly and leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor starts almost sweet but like any IPA the hops are here but not overpowering. Slight bitter, lingering finish. $2.99 for a 24oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma also $4.25 for same bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 394 characters

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
2.46/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Glowing Copper. Like a shiny new penny. Light carbonation. It has a slight head that disseminated quickly.

Smell: Not a ton of character. Resiny aroma hops. Fresh tasting and snappy.

Taste: Strong bitterness. I taste plum and wild fruit. Juniper and berries. A bit grainy. The malts aren't very complex. I taste piney resiny hops. Delicate spiciness This ale goes down bitter with a slight sugary finish. It needs a better malt profile like that found in any of the other Sierra Nevada beers to balance the extreme bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium. Chewy. Not a lot of malt character.

Overall: Personally I would rather pick up a 7 pack of Torpedo. Good balance of aromatic and bittering hops. I would probably discourage drinkers from trying this unless they feel like drinking a hop bomb.

 805 characters

Photo of jwhancher
2.48/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Re-reviewed on 7/31/13:

Bought a bottle down in Total Wine, DE. 22-oz bomber with no bottled on date. There's a code, but I don't know what the heck all the jumbled numbers mean. It is a 2013 edition, so I figured it was fresh at the time. A little later after checking the internets, I realized this one was brewed sometime around April 2013. Sierra Nevada: PLEASE PUT A FRESHNESS STAMP ON YOUR BEERS, PLEASE!!!!

Anyway, I poured the beer into a tulip for re-review.

A: Might have some chill haze. Appears a ruby orange with nice off-white head with lacing that sticks to glass sides quite nice.

S: Hops have faded. Some faint orange zest. Lots of malt sweetness and maybe a little tiny citrus hop note. A shame. The hops are why I bought this beer. I messed up. Should've passed on this one. Only wish I knew it had been sitting on the shelf for way too long.

T: Bitter with very little hop flavor and sweet malts.

M: Ample bitterness with a medium full feel due to sweetness of malts. SN seems to have kicked up the specialty malts to balance with the abundance of hops. With the hops now faded, I'm left with too sweet a malt beer for a fresh hop ale.

O: Again, I'm disappointed. This is strike two for me with this beer. As my previous review was killed due to dirty tap lines, this one suffers from a beer that cleary stayed on the shelf too long. These two things are stuff that really frustrates me in the craft beer craze. Bars who want to beer craft beer bars need to clean their lines regularly and retail shops need to move merchandise quicker or remove dated releases once old. And breweries really should stamp bottled on or freshness dates on their beers!

Review from 6/24/10:

Had a pint at Mad Mex. Pours an amber, copper color. Smells kind of off. Not sure if the tap lines were clean. Smells like vanilla; not getting any hop aroma for a wet hop beer. Ok: after checking other reviews it turns out what I might be getting is simply what was put into the beer. Strong grapefruit aroma present. The taste is just like the aroma. Strong grapefruit-like. More malty than hoppy or bitter. Mouthfeel not good. Tastes a little sour. I'm not really digging this one at all. I think either I had a bad batch or I just don't like this one. A rarity of a Sierra brew if what I had was the real deal. Would much rather prefer their fall wet harvest ale. Note: once I try this one again I'll re-review.

 2,418 characters

Photo of kitch
2.53/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

2015 version. A 22oz bomber with a packaged date of 27th April 2015 i.e. day 99 for this 100-day IPA and poured into an IPA glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a clear amber ice tea colour with a big three finger off white cream head that lasts a long long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Aroma: Its all quite light as nothing stands out. Just some light caramel malts and maybe just a bit of apple, pear and pine.

Taste: For an IPA, this is rather malt driven. Initially sweet caramel and candied sugar followed by slightly bready, buscuity malt. It finishes with some floral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: I prefer SN’s other IPA offerings over this one as the malt is overpowering here. The aromas were also a little light for me.

 785 characters

Photo of Steasy66
2.72/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into 20oz glass
A- Amber with generous white head.
S- A bit lacking to be honest, not much here
T- Hint of citrus, a bit onion/garlic, very sweet, a bit of bitterness, nothing spectacular.
M- A bit thick given the ABV, decent carbonation.
O- Really lacking in the nose, weird hop flavors, not very good.

 310 characters

Photo of bobhits
2.72/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Priced at 12 bucks for 72 oz, cheap for a great IPA, but Sierra has set the bar pretty high on value to dollar (ignoring their 10+ doubles which haven’t been great).

Copper rust colored, with rather nice clarity. A good bit of bubbles in the bottle, some lacing, and some head. Nothing special here, darker than the average IPA.

A funky English like hop profile here. There’s almost an element of rust and metallic notes here. Light thin malt profile is apparent and balances things.

Earthy and somewhat funky hops up front giving way to a light caramel malt, and finally finishes bitter. There’s a certain spice and zest to these hops that I can’t really describe. This is no American ipa in flavor, but you can tell Americans dreamed it up.

Bitter, spicy, and truthfully a touch hard to drink.

I think their normal wet hop beer is amazing, but these hops aren’t my thing. Still worth picking up a bottle every few years or having on top when offered.

 972 characters

Photo of n2185
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear copper with two fingers of off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S: Orange citrus with touches of pineapple and grapefruit on the nose. There are also some resiny pine aromas in there. They're all fairly subdued, though--I really had to swirl and stick my face in the tulip to smell them.

T: Lots of bitter, grassy, resiny pine flavors dominate the flavor profile. The finish is also quite bitter and almost has a bile-like quality to it. The bitterness lingers around well after the sip.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, this beer is pretty dry and crisp, but the lingering bitterness doesn't help.

O: Unfortunately this one's a bit of a miss for Sierra Nevada. I loved their Estate fresh hop ale in the fall, but this one is just too one-dimensional and bitter.

 848 characters

Photo of JeffBlue
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

(22oz bomber 4-27-15, revisited) Not sure what it is but this is many steps down from the other Harvest varieties. For me it was very malt forward which isn't bad, but not what I look for in an IPA. There is also a mustiness that just doesn't belong. Freshness perhaps?

 269 characters

Photo of SmashAdams
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Not sure what happened here. I expected bright fresh hops and I am not getting any. Smells like a lager. Taste is dull and all I get is bitterness. Maybe this beer was beat up by the liquor store? Date on bottle is 4/27/15. nb

 226 characters

Photo of SaisonFest
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Fresh bottle served at 55f in a samual adams perfect pint glass, paired with a tombstone veggie pizza that i added pepperocini peppers from a jar onto, and some Gouda cheese. no crackers.

Visually i would say the color lies in the middle range for an IPA, a deep sunburst orange throughout. Plenty of sticky lacing, the cap fades after a few mins. This could go either way.

nose is a mixture of mellow orange citrus and floral notes, nothing abrasive on the nose and nothing overpowering.

flavors are approachable, nothing astringent, just rounded orange, flowers, and everything is mellowed out by a backbone of caramel. This one borders the line of Pale ale and IPA.

Body is moderate-heavy, not sticky though. I like them really light for pales and IPAs, so this is off my mark.

 785 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange color with average head with average lacing and average carbonation. The dominate smell is crisp fruity citrus hops and mild malts. First taste is light, sweet, and somewhat hoppy. Lighter tasting than I thought it would be based on the aroma. It could use a stronger malt backbone. It had a bitter finish and I have drank many ESBs that tasted about the same. Not a pae to me. To much bitterness for a Pale.

 429 characters

Photo of gabedivision
2.99/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a deux deux bottle to a SA Imperial Snifter glass.

Pours a clean copper red with a 1 finger head that turns to a bubbly lace. Super bland smell, light malt, almost grainy, faint hops, disappointed. Again on the taste, grainy, faint bittering hops, light malts, tangy, a tad citrusy. Light and medium on the body, feels good in the mouth light carb, crisp, very bitter. My buddy bought me this bottle and i thank him, however, this just wasnt that good, if i didnt see the bottle i wouldnt believe Sierra Nevada let this leave its plant, nope, not a fan.

 566 characters

Photo of maestrotmbg
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

decent head out of the 24 oz. bottle that is very long lasting. The color is a pleasing red-orange but there is almost no aroma at all. This seemed odd considering the very hop-forward flavor and the whole concept of the beer. The hops are quite bright and intense the instant the beer is in your mouth but the flavor seems to almost disappear within a few instants. There is very little mouthfeel and a very bitter aftertaste from the large amount of hops.

 457 characters

Photo of marcpal
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure why two entries in for this beer, but the picture shows the bottle I had so heres the review.

I expect a lot out of SN and this one wasnt bad, but not great. 24oz bottle poured into pint glass on miserably hot day.

A: Poured bit cloudy auburn color with a thick meringue head. Retention and lacing bountiful

N: Floral hop smells are the first thing with a whole lot of grassiness and citrus. I like hops but this was a lot for a pale ale. Vacant of a matching malt nose.

T: Identical to the smell, all grapefruit and grassy hops with little to no malt balance. Perhaps it was too much of the grapefruit but it covered everything else up in this beer.

Whether it was the hot weather and the overbearing pininess of this one Im not sure, but it wasnt all that great as I had hoped. Or is it that Im not a fan of these NZ hops?

M: Hardly any carbonation in a good way but the oily citrus hops are what is left on the palette.
Long lasting taste.

D: Didnt think it had the balance it needed, would far prefer the celebration to this one.
Wont seek out further, not a favorite from these guys. Far from a bad beer, but a little one sided.

 1,150 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a light copper color and has a plentiful, spongy head.

S: Smells more like bready malts with the hops lingering in the background as well as some light fruitiness.

T/M: The hoppiness here is light, not as potent as a lot of other IPA’s.

I’m not sure what I was expecting but it’s very traditional tasting. The best part? It’s cheap as hell. For a beer that flies its ingredients around the world, I’d expect the price to correlate, but you’ll find no argument here. Even if it was crap, a few bucks for a giant bottle of IPA is totally worth it. The fact that it’s decent is that much better. This won’t take the cake for king of the IPA’s, but it’s probably the best value per ounce you’ll find anywhere. And its ingredients are richer than you are.

 813 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am a big fan of Sierra Nevada. I had no idea they made another beers… let alone three or four other beers! Heck, they could make ten others. I was just aware of their regular Sierra Nevada, and their Torpedo that I discovered while in Kentucky for Thunder Over Louisville. But I wasn’t aware of the Harvest. Let alone that the harvest was a series of beers.

The beer pours out like an IPA… smells like an IPA. This beer better tastes like an IPA.

The beer is VERY smooth on the front of the palate. It then starts to get carbonated about halfway through, then smacks your mouth with bitterness toward the end of the swallow. Then you wait… you wait for the bitter aftertaste to leave. But it doesn’t. And that’s okay… The bitter aftertaste is what I expect from an IPA.

The beer doesn’t have a big ABV, but that’s okay. Not all beers need a big ABV to be good. Having had the regular Sierra Nevada, I still think that one is better… but still, this beer is good. I just can’t get over that aftertaste. Maybe one of the longest aftertastes I have ever experienced. Good stuff!

 1,102 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At Tylers in Durham. I had high hopes after Northen Hemisphere which was fantastic, but this was a letdown. A big letdown. It doesnt smell like much. Alot of balanc. no real hops to be found. The dominant flavor was bitterness, but thats even a stretch. It just seemed a bit light compared to its northern counterpart.

 318 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.06/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 edition. Bottled: Apr 22, 2011 (I believe)

A: Pours a rusty copper ale with excellent clarity. Single on two fingers of peanut head falls over several minutes to a thick quilt of the same which clings to the sides as a sheeted lace product.

S: Floral and soapy hops are at the forefront here. Plenty of grapefruit rinds are backed up with a light, crystal malt profile. The malts are biscuity and dry. Smells: okay.

T: Malt is the first thing I taste: sweet, caramels and hints of oxidation (cardboard). this is quickly and assertively overtaken by bittering hops and low intensity flavoring hops. Some resiny flavors, but not very inspired IMO. Finish has a hint of corn on it.

M: Medium body with quite hi carbonation. Wish the carb was a little lower. Finish is dry.

O: I've had this in previous years, I don't believe this year's batch is up to par. This one is one dimensional in the hop profile (bitter and resiny). The malt is oxidized (cardboard). The beer has potential, but this year is not quite as good.

 1,025 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm a little surprised to see where this beer sits ratings-wise on this site. It had some nice aroma, but that's where the majority of the hop-character in this beer seemed confined to me. It was very malty and not very hoppy in flavor for an IPA. OK, but not going out of your way (to say New Zealand) for.

Color was nice; this beer was a pretty rich amber gold color and was clear and brilliant with good head formation. Aroma was lightly floral and citrus hop notes, which set high expectations for what I might get from the taste. And this was disappointing...far more malty than hoppy, the hop aroma gave way to not much bitterness, nor any of the citrus or floral notes I was hoping for. Mouthfeel was reasonably crisp. All-in-all the beer was enjoyable, although all the maltiness unbalanced by much hop in this beer made it less drinkable than other high quality IPAs.

I'd weakly recommend this beer.

One final thought - at least part of craft beer's appeal is its local-ness and the assemblage of somewhat humble ingredients into something great. While I know other brewers (DFH for instance) have procured exotic ingredients for their beers, somehow jetting to New Zealand and jetting back with a plane-load of hops a week later seems somehow at odds with what got craft beer to where it is to me. Not condemnation, just my thought.

Had this on-tap at Roman's Pub in St. Francis.

 1,393 characters

Photo of Croft
3.09/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled. Floral hop smell at opening but loses aroma in glass. Finger and a half of head that doesn't disapate. Amber and clear in color. Mild bitter in taste and hop bite sticks to the tongue. Carmel hit on the front end and rounded hop and malt taste in the back end. Nice beer

 279 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 3,091 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.