Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest AleSierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale
389 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest AleSierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jmoore50 on 09-05-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 |  Reviews: 304
Photo of blaheath
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt amber in color with subtle aromas of flowers and pine. Medium bodied/carbonation, moderate bitterness, toasted malts, with a resinous/spicy hop mouthfeel and a dry finish. Very drinkable but too pricey to get more than one. I hope that Sierra can bring these prices down in the future for the estate beers.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright orange-amber with a thick white head.

S- Earthy, leafy hops, pomegranite, pear, red apple skins.

T- Cranberry and pomegranite fruitiness, and resinous hop quality. Well balanced with just the right bitter kick into the finish.

M- Great carbonation, medium body.

D- A wonderful beer, my favorite of the harvest ales series. Shame it's overpriced.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this bottle at State Line Liquors in Elkton MD, shared the 24oz w/ tenderbranson69 -poured chilled into a willybecker.

A - A deep copper like a worn penny w/ excellent clarity-visible carbonation is evident. The head of ecru is about 3 fingers thick- very full and appears 'whipped up'. The lace that results is well clinging.

S - A mild pine scent w/ hints of sweet grass and mild herbal aromas w/ light biscuit notes from the malt w/ light ale yeast esters.

M - A crisp medium bitterness is felt w/ a mild dry leafy texture + slightly bitter middle w/ light grassy and mild sweetness keeping it more balance w/ light astringent tinges noted and mildly resinous texture in the dry finish

T - A subtle spiced taste w/ crisp medium carbonation and moderately high bitterness w/ tastes of pine, grassy and herbal hop notes w/ gentle toasted malt that is countered by a hint of pepper and mild earthy spice w/ a dry citrus element. The finish is lightly sweet and mild toasted malt under an herbal hop flavor w/ subtle alcohol flavor. The hops while full-on in the flavor contribute a more spiced or bitter taste than any pine or citrus as the residual taste settles on the palate.

D - A pretty tasty Ale, I appreciate what went into this but more bitter hops than flavor. I consider this very drinkable and it is hard not to expect more when you know all the effort and unique elemnents from the terroir. I think what you end up getting is a very focused and well made beer -solid.

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Photo of tempest
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle for $8 from Abe's Cold Beer and was very excited to try this beer after all the success SN has been having this year (especially with the Keller Weis). Overall, this was a very spicy IPA. The appearance was a darker amber than you usually see, and the flavor was a little thin through the middle. The hops tasted like peppercorns (the main spice) and orange peel, while the malt provided a crust-like backbone. This would be a great beer for relaxing on a porch and drinking a few bottles, though the price and availability makes that difficult. Worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a deep clear amber with nice two finger head that disappeared quickly and left little lacing.

S-Underplayed piney, citrusy hops with biscuits. Not bad, but the nose is a bit weak.

T-A bit of a hop bite, but not much, more malty than expected with a decent finish of floral and piney hops, but very understated.

M-Light and thin with sharp carbonation.

D-The beer itself is drinkable, but at 10 bucks a bottle it is very cost prohibitive.

I'm a big fan of SN, and honestly expected more from this. Maybe my expectations were to high going in.

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Photo of smanders
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label proclaims this is the 1st release of Sierra Nevada's Estate Brewers Harvest Ale. Our own hops, our own barley...6.7 abv%

With all of that being said, this SN pours a beautifully, rich caramel color with a billowing head. Lacing is substantial and quite intricate. The nose provides the usual SN hops with a bit more citrus than you're accustomed. You'll be enticed to drink this in gulps if you go by the super fresh aroma.

The taste is a mellowed-out ale with the familiar "bite" of hops quickly lessened by a smooth sweetness. Lingering grapefruit is appreciated as the warmness of the alcohol starts to take hold.

As much as I enjoyed this beer I'd be inclined to think it's a tad overpriced compared to similar offerings. I know a lot of land/work/investment went into making this ale, but I'm sorry to report (at least from a bottle) that I'm just as happy with SN Anniversary/Celebration/PA at a much smaller price tag.

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Photo of lenin2040
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slighty deeper amber color than SNPA, not huge head or much reteention. milld nose. mouthfeel is smoother, less carbonated than torpedo or SNPA. a little spicy. typical SN pine nice balanced bitterness lingers. slight booziness oozes through midway. very drinkable. love the concept, but maybe not entirely worth the price given cheaper similar options from SN

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Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 - tasted 10/11/10 Pours a dark orange with copper tint and nice off white head.

Nose is really pleasant fruit and malt with nice esters light apple, pear and stone fruit but very "fresh" in character.

Mouthfeel is rich and very creamy. Very well balanced and leaves you really wanting to drink it. Mouthfeel is of quality, just like the dated 2009. (This one is without the date of 2010 but with an extremely well designed new label). "

The flavors on this just rock. Big, bold, assertive, rich and impressive. Big fruit front palate with a very rich and elegant character that grows to a wonderfully full and rich bitter hop pine.

Finish is all rich, fresh and green bitter pine and really long lasting. This is a first rate effort; a wonderful drink; great with lots of food profiles and perhaps one of the nicest SN brews I've had. Layers and layers of flavor and character and really just "tastes expensive" and "high class." Better than the 2009 in my opinion.

* * *

2009 - Pours a clear and bright copper with orange cast and a nice white head, although it fades a bit quickly.

Bright lemon juice nose with hints of pine; a really lovely perfumy citrus pine character.

Mouthfeel is medium to full and with a rich and creamy "half and half" character. Mouthfeel is quality.

Flavors are rich, full bitter pine and pine resin but with quality and character. Perhaps a bit single dimensional but well balanced and a real quality character to it.

A very well made beer. Very drinkable and appealing with a full hop flavor quality that's rich and drinkable.

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Photo of jdg204
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was out buying some brews to celebrate my promotion earlier today and I came across this gem of an ale. I just had the Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale a few weeks ago and was excited to try my second variety.

A: Lovely amber with a fluffy, frothy, slightly off-white head which has good retention and leaves good lace.

S: Heavy floral pine and grapefruit deliver a nice aroma.

T: Subtle grapefruit and lemon are the up front flavors with a very hoppy, floral finish providing a solid balance for the brew.

M: Medium body with good carbonation and a nice frothy texture.

D: Another solid brew from SN which is worthy of their name. I was impressed at how the estate grown ingredients certainly did deliver a unique experience from the other Harvest Ales. This was a solid first effort in terrior which I'm sure will soon be copied and expanded by other brewers. While I enjoyed Southern Hemisphere Harvest a bit more for it's robust and unique take on APA (the style that fits this one as well), the effort behind this brew makes it a must try for all brew lovers.

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Photo of m1ked
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear bronze amber with a healthy 2 inch off white head that recedes leaving significant sticky lacing on the sides, and a mottled covering. A rare bubble streamer here and there.

S- A very aromatic piney herbal with some light sugary malt. There is a fruitines to it, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it is like the pear/pineapple I get from an ice wine. Its good.

T- I get that pear/pineapple hit real quick in the front, then I get the herbal piney hops that mingle with some biscuit malt flavor. Overall very mellow but with alot of good well balanced flavors.

M- Feels rather light with large bubbled carbonation (at least that is is it feels). Some bitter aftertaste.

D- Wow this is really nice. It seems like SN has really been cranking out alot of good stuff. They're not just the ol pale ale anymore. I love this concept. I imagine/hope some other breweries embrace this concept. I could drink several of these.

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Photo of TheFlern
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber color. Creamy colored head that pours a little less than a half inch. The head fades over time but the lacing is good.

Smell: A nice hoppy character here, it smells pretty darn bitter. Something else is there that i can't put my finger on, I want to think it is the yeast (this is a good thing imo).

Taste: Very much like your typical Sierra Nevada. The hop flavor is craddled nicely within the barley. This is a great pinnacle of American IPA style.

Mouthfeel: This is what I would consider a dry beer. Not much malt sugars here to make it sweet. We get lots of bitterness from the hops while the barley and malt is just enough to soften the edges.

Drinkability: For me you are just as good going with this or regular sierra nevada. This costs more so imo the drinkability is less because you get less for your buck.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a huge SN fan and was excited to find this at my local liquor store. A bit pricey, but for an amazing brewery, I figured I'd buy a couple.

Served in a Duvel tulip

A: Beautiful deep amber with mahogany hues. Succulent 2 inch, fluffy white head that lasts for quite a while. Carbonation is perfect, not too powerful and not too weak. Looks just like a beer should, seductive and inviting. Picture perfect for me.

S: Not a ton of aroma. I do get some definite cascade hops with a hint of grapefruit and some pine. The malts are there with some caramel sweetness and some faint breadiness.

T: Solid tasting brew with a nice blend of hop and malt balance. I taste mostly cascades with citrusy grapefruit character going to a more piney flavor. A bit earthy as well. The hops aren't that strong for an IPA. The malts are a bit more exciting with some nice light caramel flavors and a hint of breadiness. Just enough malty sweetness to keep it interesting. I would like a bit more flavors from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied. Smooth, crisp and finishes clean. Classic Sierra Nevada.

D: This was an excellent beer. I like the idea of an "Estate" ale. I would definitely buy it again, but unfortunately the 10 dollar price tag brings down the drinkability just a touch. If this were 6 bucks, I'd give it a 4-4.5. Despite this I'd buy it again. Can't wait to try next year's batch.

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Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber/copper color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger light yellowish beige soapy head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Clean crisp citrus hop aroma with some earthy pine and oily hop resin. Slight caramel malt presence with a bit of biscuit and graham cracker. Very floral with hints of citrus peel and grapefruit.

Pretty hop forward with a lot of floral and dry pine notes but this one has a stronger malt backbone than most west coast DIPAs, especially ones from this brewery. Hints of caramel sweetness as well as some biscuit and graham cracker. Very well balanced but the soft floral bitterness does linger over the malt backbone into a sweet yet slightly bitter dry hop finish. The ABV is very well masked with only the slightest hint of alcohol warmth. All in all a really nice beer. I prefer this one to the Southern Hemisphere.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big 24oz bottle picked up last week at the COOP.... Paid about $10... but probably a bit less. Poured into my Derlium snifter... sharing this one with Brenda.

2 finger white head leaves nice lace and a great cap... the brew is a surprisingly reddish color .... very clear.

The nose is fairly resinous... though in an odd way... reminds me of a wet hop beer (is it?)... A little bit of lite caramel to add a bit of maltiness... but there is still a fair amount of pale malts to push the hops forward.

Flavor is a bit bitter out of the gate... bready pale malts combine with some lite caramel and a touch of toasted malt... then melts into some "green" sorta pithy grapefruity hoppiness... fairly dry on the finish.

Overall.. this is okay... even pretty good... but that said, it is way to damn expensive for what it is. I appreciate the idea of an "estate" ale, but Jesus, the estate is too pricey.

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Photo of pinotboy007
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If one were to line up the ESB, Torpedo, Anniversary Ale and this Estate Ale it would be challenging to distinguish one from the other. Of course, they're all delicious!

A - Clear, French Rosewood colored brew with a nice, khaki-colored head piled above the rim that takes its sweet time settling to a thick bubbled layer. Tons of lace, too. Beautiful ale!

S - Piney, with leather and malt.

T - Much like it smells but has a sophistication that makes you think you're on to something special. A touch of citrus and peat, but has a bit of oakiness added to its nice leather and hop oil, but not so hop-laden you need oxygen administered in the nearest clinic.

M - Splendid richness while refreshing. Smooth as hell going down with a touch of nice fizz. Wow.

D - Pricey, but for an IPA, this is as drinkable as it gets because the ABV is in-check and it's probably food friendly, too.

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Photo of racer2k
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 24oz. bottle into a pint glass

A - Amber / Copper color with thick cake batter colored head which leaves behind plenty of lacing as the head recedes. A nice layer of thin foam sits on top of this beer

S- The smell of freshly harvested hops, citrus, pine and a slight malty character. A balance of sweet and malty aromas.

T- This beer brings is a characteristic fresh hoppy beer taste which begins sweet and finishes malty. There is a very nice hop resiny character to this beer. The wet hops are excellent!

M - Moderate carbonation and mouth feel which is very creamy and resiny from the hops. This is an excellent beer!

D - Wet hopped IPAs have been one of my favorites for several years and Sierra Nevada seems to lead way each year.

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Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally grabbed a 24oz. bottle from The BeerMongers in SE Portland today... reviewing for lunch!

- A clear dark copper/rust color... fluffy eggshell colored head, lots of lacing.

- A very grassy and mellow scent... spicy pepper, zesty lemon peel, caramel, and a slight musty smell... farm equipment.

- Rich caramel flavor... smooth and clean... hops are up front yet balanced... this ale is food! Wonderful grassy and pine hops... like a beer stew.

- Slightly chewy and tooth grating... bitterness leaves dry...

- Very smooth, and good. I like their Anniversary Ale better than any of their harvest ales... but this is a winner of a harvest ale. I would however not pay this much for it... I'd rather stick with their other cheaper harvest ales.. though I like this concept, and don't let the pricing affect my judging of the resulting product...

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Photo of beertunes
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into 10oz glass. Poured a pleasant copper color, slightly darker than most of the style, with a minimum of just off-white head that had minimal retention and lacing.

A pleasingly sharp hop scent greeted the nose, and as usual with SN, the malt foundation is well hidden. For me, the flavors were not as bold as the aroma had led me to expect. The flavors were exactly what I expect in a quality IPA.

The body and drinkability were typical for the style. This beer is certainly worth trying, and I applaud SN for doing as much in-house as they can, but overall this is just an average IPA. Try it when you see it, but not worth effort to obtain.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= pours a great an amber color that is completely translucent with a really great long lasting three finger head that falls slowly to leave great lacing. The head is thick as hell and merangie like. Awesome.
S= pungent. I can smell it from a couple feet away. Really has a great hop aroma mixing pine aand lots of grapefruit. Very small amounts of caramel malt is detected but the big show is the amazing hop aroma.
T= very nice. Doesn't have the same extreme bitterness I've been getting from ipas as of late. Really sweet grapefruit punch. Some good pine and resin taste is in it as well. The hops are really the showcase as an ipa should be. The aftertaste is quite biscuty and crisp. A little lingering bitterness.
M= soft. Smooth and creamy. Quite the lasting bitterness but nothin too intense. A little sticky sweetness.
D= the fact that this is an estate beer makes it even more amazing. This is exactly what the brewer intended me to taste and I love it. Great work SN a smooth clean ipa from a fine estate.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a gorgeous clear copper color with a massive frothy tan head. This crazy rock head means means business, and refuses to dissipate from its slab but when it does it leaves some cool lacing. Aroma is citric, piney and slightly earth. In the flavor, the hop bitterness dominates with a tasty caramel maltiness peeking through. There is a nice woody and earthyness to this brew.
Feel is super smooth and soft only to be interrupted but a slight carbonation tingle. The hop bitterness is pretty solid and consistent but I had no problem downing this 24 ounce brew. Very drinkable.

Oh and considering the fact that this is an estate made beer is pretty fuckin cool!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

24oz bottle, scooped at Jenny Street Market

cool-concept, overpriced bottle

appearance: poured into an unbranded tulip, clear copper-amber body, light beige ring

smell: freshly hopped, herbal and spicey, lots of sweet caramel malt

taste: very fresh hops - piney and rather spicy, fresh herbs and quite floral, grapefruit peel, spicy orange. quite tasty - not sure if its my favorite in the series though

mouthfeel: great mouthfeel, light bitterness, very fresh

drinkability: high

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a wide tulip glass. The color is a rich red-amber with a big fluffy head. Lots of lacing down the sides of the glass. An attractive looking beer and a classy looking bottle. Nice presentation.

Lots of piney, citrusy, hops fill the aroma of this beer. A little vinous with some fruity ethyl notes. Nothing exceptional, but still well done.

The taste is very robust. Lots of malts, smooth malts, mixed with some hop bite. The hop bitterness is there, but not overwhelming. It makes a brief flash after the wave of malts and then mixes back into the rest of the flavor.

The mouthfeel of this beer is actually very creamy and smooth. Especially for an IPA. Highly drinkable. Goes down very easy. The alcohol is noticeable every once in awhile, but for the most part it is well hidden.

I really like the idea of an estate brew, which allows the brewer to have complete control over everything that goes into the beer. Also, while I find this to be a great beer, and one that I would seek out again, the price tag is a little steep. In my area they're going for about $10-$11. If this was closer to $6 or $7, then I would be picking up quite a few more while I can. All in all, I highly recommend this beer. The price tag is a little steep, but it is definitely one of SN's best.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, revealing a clear ruby amber color with creamy thick head. Smells like hops and gym socks, honestly, with hints of boiled chestnut. There's something earthy but unappealing about the smell that doesn't attract me. It could be the hop type, though, so there's your grain of salt.

The taste more than makes up for the smell. It starts out smooth and chestnutty, transitioning to the floral hoppiness hinted at in the smell. A creamy and borderline medium-thicknessed mouthfeel makes it easy to drink and the carbonation adds a nice acidity to the bitter finish. Gentle malt flavor is interlaced throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I concede that this is a well-done American-type IPA and would easily drink more if the smell weren't as off-putting. With a clothespin, it's amazing. I look forward to Sierra Nevada's future estate harvest brews.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Nice white, foaming IPA-ish head upon pouring with sticky, oily lacing. Beautiful citrus/grapefruit aroma bursting from the bubbles making up the head as the head reduces. An above average tasting IPA made exceptional by the journey to the glass. I'm a believer that reviews should be made on the merits of the beer only, not based on price or anything else, but this beer must be an exception. What Sierra has done to bring this estate beer to market on this scale deserves a standing ovation and the respect of anybody who considers themselves a craft beer drinker.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale is a wonderful experience. It poured dark copper with a massive head, and it left a spider web of thick lace on the glass. It was a perfect looking glass of beer.

The smell and taste exploded citric hoppiness and caramel maltiness. It was remarkably well balanced. The feel was thick bready and chewy.

Out on the deck on a late-summer afternoon, Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale provided "happy." This is the kind of beer that demonstrates how good life can be.

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Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 389 ratings
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