Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,517 Reviews
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPANorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Added by jmatthew on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 3,635
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This one definitely lived up to the hype. Easily my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. It is selling really well around this part of Texas - it keeps selling out at certain places and then gets restocked several days later, making its availablility sketchy at best.

Poured part of a 24oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - This is a really beautiful beer. It is a transparent golden-amber-copper-orange color, and it produced a foamy 2 finger white head. It left a lot of lacing the further along I drank - you could count the number of times I sipped by counting the rings.

Smell - Very floral and herbal from the fresh hops. There is a slight scent of crackers, biscuits, or bread from the malt, hidden all the way at the back of the scent. The fresh resinous, oily hops truely take the center stage. There is a slight sweetness in the scent as well, but I don't know where it is originating from.

Taste - As expected, the fresh hops dominate here - but that isn't all that is going on. This is far from a one dimensional beer. The malt is the first intitial flavor, and it lasts for only a split second. The hop flavor comes on strong and is very floral and grassy in nature - bitter, but not in a way that puckers your lips. The bitter is balanced with a fruity sweetness, but I can't pinpoint where it is coming from. The flavor is amazing.

Mouthfeel - The beer is light to medium bodied. It coats the mouth - kinda oily. It has a near perfect carbonation level for my preference, and it cuts through the bitterness and oily texture extremely well. Goes down smooth. Real smooth.

Drinkability - I could easily drink this beer all day long. The ABV is low enough to be sessionable, and the flavor just makes me want to keep coming back for more.

I am glad I have three more bottles. I am probably going to have to get more. If it is available in your area, you should definitely pick this up. Boy, it is tasty. The only downside is that it is seasonal - if only hops could be harvested year round. Oh well, it gives me something to look forward to next year.

Best. Sierra. Nevada. Ever.

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Photo of littleshamrocks
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

24oz brown bottle with 11th edition 2007 printed on the top of the label. Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a light copper color with a large, creamy, off-white head. Sparkling clarity with moderate carbonation. Head slowly settles, leaving an impressive amount of lace. The smell is of Hops. At first dank and resiny, but then citrus and pine. Also, sweet malts and fruity esters. The taste is as advertised, grapefruit rind with loads of hop bitterness. Even with such an assertive hop presence, the malt backbone is strong enough to help with the balancing. Has a long, hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with somewhat of an oily texture, lively carbonation, and a dry, almost chalky finish.

I have been hearing about this beer for years and finally had a chance to try it. Overall, it is a well crafted beer with an obvious tilt toward the hops. In fact, why is this not considered an IPA? I think this is the first "wet hop" brew that I have had and I must say it is different. Kudos to SN for all of their effort in the production of this jewel. One of the most hoppy-bitter APA's that I have ever tried and happily, since this is a 24oz bottle, I am ready for round # 2.

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Photo of pwoods
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review based off notes.

On-tap at Dilly Deli on 10/20 poured into a pint.

A: Poured a deep copper, almost bronze. 1/2 finger head looks to be the result of a gentle pour. Decent patchy lacing throughout.

S: Fresh floral and grassy hops. Smells really crisp and fresh. Getting just a bit of earthy malts.

T/M: Fresh hops all up front with controlled bitterness. Enough earthy, woodsy malts to keep a nice balance. Semi light body and decent carbonation keep this refreshing with a bit of creaminess on the back half.

D: One of the better Pale Ales I've had. Very easy drinking, perfect with my dinner(Fish n' Chips), and would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle purchased for $4.99 in Columbus, then poured into a Boston Beer Company lager glass. The first seriously good attribute is the huge frothy and rocky head, making cumulus clouds on top of the beer and leaving tons of lacing on the glass. The beer itself is crystal clear light copper color. The aroma is pungent with hops, much more so than the Harpoon wet hopped ale I tried 2 days ago. The flavor has some sweet balance with the hops, although it might be that some of that sweetness comes from the resinous hops (not sure). It's a delicious mix no matter where the flavors come from. This is a must-buy, a very good deal for 24oz of top-shelf beer.

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Photo of peabody
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a crystal clear amber with lots and lots of offwhite suds and the bubbles are still coming. Head retention is over the top here. Good lacing.
Smell is sweet hops and creamy lightly roasted malts.
Taste is caramel and grapefruit but not the sharp bitter kind. There are no strong flavors here, they are nicely blended where it is hard to discern exactly what one is tasting.
Almost no aftertaste cause this one leaves you clean and wanting the next drink.
Drinkability is very high here. I mean 4 bucks for a 24 oz. 6.2%er is a very nice change.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
11th edition 2007 batch
A- This beer has a caramel-brown body that is crystal clear with a sea of big bubbles. There is a lumpy beige head that last for the full beer pushing up more and more big bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft floral hops aroma that has a green smell to it followed by a light toasted malt hint.

T- This beer has a soft caramel malt flavor with a smooth mellow floral hop taste to follow. The finish is a soft punch of green bitterness that lingers.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish.

D- This beer has some subtle hop flavors that are more muted than I would expect for 8,000 lbs of wet hops. The bitterness really comes through and is a bit more than I would like without a big flavor of hops. There is a quality to the hops that may be just my imagination but it has as unique flavor like MSG that makes me anxious for the next sip. Perhaps that is the mystery of the wet hops, but it is still tasty.

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Photo of Phatz
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow! What a surprise. I never expected a Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada to completely awe me. I was floored. This is *great* beer!

Appearance: Served a clear amber copper with a thick creamy off white head.

Smell: Explosive west coast cascade hops fill my nose. It is rolling around around in hop meadow with sunshine on your back and a cool breeze. What does that smell like... this. Just take a whiff for yourself. Citrus floral fresh hop bitterness.

Taste: Fresh green zesty hops with a malt to balance creates perfect harmony in the mouth. Spices and sweet caramel and wood with the citrus herbal hops. Terrific!

Mouthfeel: Bitter and dry, with and overall zesty lively feel, and a medium full body to back it all up.

Drinkability: This is a nice way to get a hop fix in the Fall. Very easy drinking if you like your hops.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of FatSean
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love hops. It's the best part of a beer as far as I'm concerned. I love this beer. It was poured from a 24oz bottle into a 20oz tulip-style pint glass. Somewhat coarse head lasted a bit longer than I expected. The color is golden, and the scents are to die for.

It's just like the label says, you get way more nuances in the hop scent and flavor. It's a biggish beer and tends to overpower simpler food, but I could still session one of these.

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Photo of redneckchugger
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured form 24 ounce bottle into my crystal mug.
Poured a beautiful amber with nearly two inches of head, ring after ring of thick clingy lacing.
Smell is piney, citrusy hops.
Tastes is all hop goodness, grapefruit, pine, hint of caramel, and enough malt creeping in there to remind me that this in't a full blown ipa.
Mouthfeel is excellent, bit thick, kinda oily, slight booze burn, slighly carbonated, very creamy very drinkable.
Perfect beer for ...hell anything.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Clean ambery-orange color, quite clear revealing a moderate amount of fast-rising cabronation. Pours with a thick 1.5 inches of frothy yet creamy head that settles quite slowly and leaves some fingers of sticky lacing.
S: A good amount of citrusy and piney hops hit the nose right away. Subtler notes of caramel and a clean grassiness, too. Fairly simple and solid, pleasant and unobtrusive.
T: Piney hops and a slightly oily taste at first. There are sweetish caramel flavors that appear quickly, as well. The citrus hops make their appearance towards the midtaste and are combined with a slight smoky taste, like a roasted sweetness. The finish is a mix of smooth, earthy malts with oily piney hops again. A tasty hop flavor throughout, with a nice malt flavor to balance it out, as well. I think the hops could lean away towards the citrus flavors a bit more to enhance the taste.
M: Very crisp and satisfying. Plenty of hop bitterness, but it leaves no lingering harshness in the mouth. For a hoppy ale, this is great.
D: Very drinkable. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of blackie
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: A generous off-white head grows from a moderate pour into a small snifter, falling very slowly and showing nice retention and good lacing. The beer is a deep amber in color. Not anything to fault here.

s: Straight awesome hop aromas upfront, striking resemblance to red grapefruit and pine, with a light-moderate caramel grain presence considerably concealed by the hops. Obviously very fresh, and quite clean/crisp. Smells very "Sierra Nevada"...maybe the Cascades.

m: Carbonation on the high side of medium and comprised of small bubbles, with a medium body. Very smooth and cleans up perfectly.

t: Great, seamless progression within each sip and swallow. A hop-tilted balance of clean but grainy caramel malt and tropical pine hops leads into a crisp, piney hop flavor and very pleasing moderate-high bitterness in the finish. Hops dominate throughout, expectedly of the piney grapefruit PacNW variety. Can't say exactly what the wet hopping does, but everything seems very fresh and crisp and the beer carries one of the more pleasing hop profiles I've come across. I would like more malt, but I can't hold it against SN, as this beer is designed to showcase the hops.

d: Very easy, each finish well preparing me for another sip. Thinking generally, I believe a very slight increase or variance in the malting is all this beer needs for some easy 5s. On the other hand, this particular beer may be best as is, glorious hops way forward. I will definitely be purchasing another.

bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rusty orange color; beer is bit translucent. Has a thin head that laces away, but the lace stays for a long time...Aroma is of hops and pine. Has a slight sweetness to the taste, but I get a little distracted by the higher degree of carbonation....has piney aftertones and left a bit of an oily feel in my mouth.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of a 24 oz. bottle a clear burnt orange color into a SA Boston Lager glass. Two fingers of thick, white head. Good retention and lots of lacing on my glass. Aroma is of hops of course. The hops are citrusy, piney, floral and spicy. There is just a touch of caramel in the background.

The taste is sharp, citrusy, oily hops. The pine is more subdued than in the aroma but it is there. Nice biscuity malt helps to balance this beer out a bit, though it is far from what you would typically call a "well balanced beer." A lingering citrus rind bitterness is present well after the beer leaves your mouth. Mouthfeel is medium and oily from the hops with a pleasant carbonation level. Pretty easy to drink. A good beer and the original wet hop beer.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour is beautiful burnt orange with a huge off-white head on top. Monster lacing. Very unusual for an APA. Smell is hoppy, but not overly aggressive, light citrus notes.

Flavour is much hoppier than the nose, up front at least. The hops start off with a strong citrus bitter and spicy effect, but then the malts are able to assert themselves. The flavour stays hoppy, but this is not an aggressively over-hopped beer. Decent lingering malty tones on the finish. Not bad stuff in general, and quite good for the style.

The mouth on this is nicely hoppy, though not unexpected for the style, but it has a bit more texture than usual, which is apparently normal for wet hop beers, I like the effect. Drinkability, just about dead on average.

Overall: A good but not spectacular brew by the folks at SN. I like the balance that is achieved here, though I don't know how much the wet hops used actually end up noticeably affecting the flavour, for my mouth at least.

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Photo of HombreWing
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz bottle

Eyes: A beautiful orange ...bright ..tiny bubbles continuously swimming "north"
Nose: Hops so citrusy's spicy !
Tongue: A beautiful profile of malt and hops. They dance together w/ nary a one stepping on each others feet. Balanced
Texture: While the malt balances nicely, there is some sticky/sandy feel from lots of hop oils
Mouth happinesss: tastes like more !

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

24 oz bottle

A: Crystal clear amber under a huge chunky head due to too vigorous of a pour on my part. Head really sticks around due to my pour. It eventually dies down to cover to the top of the beer with a decent amout still clinging to the sides of the glass to remind me where it was.

S: Nice hoppy nose. Not overpowering at all. Nice piney with a certain citrus bite. Good balance but a little lacking.

T: Though the smell was a little short, this beer makes up for and then some once you pour it into your mouth. Incredible taste. This may be one of the most impressive tasting beers I've ever had. Balance is not the word for how this beer feels and tastes. A very nice malt sweetness up front flows smoothly into a hop bitterness to finish. The bitterness is not overpowering at all. Some hints of a citrus fruitiness but nothing specific that I can pin my finger on. You can really taste the hops in this one which is exactly what you should expect. Not like eating a hop bud, but like eating hop soup where the base is a mildly sweet beer. Incredible. If I could give a 6 for taste, I would.

M/D: Meduim bodied with surprisingly little carbonation noticable on the palate. For an APA, you feel like you are drinking a slighly heavier beer, and I think this is a good thing. Drinkability is way up there with this one.

One damn fine beer. I could probably drink one after another if my life depended on it, or if I just had more than one 24 oz. bottle in the fridge. If you see this one, pick it up, you will not be sorry.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very, very nice oarangey bronze color-looks like fall in a glass. Moderate aroma-newly mown grass. Faint toasted malt. Decent amount of hop flavor up front though not overly bitter. Nice malty sweetness right there in the finish. Again a mellow toasted malt character. Good body. Overall a very enjoyable beer. I could see a lot of this in one sitting. Compared to SN's other recent efforts ie the IPA, Anniversary and Brown ales this is far superior. Nice job.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice deep amber color. Really good head retention.

S: The smell on this beer is amazing. As they say on the label wet hopping on this scale is "insane" but it really pays off here.

T: While not a real hop head I apprechiate this. Wonderfully complex. Nice earthy taste. The best way I could put it is this is the taste I will associate during the boil during brewing.

M: Nice medium body. Just right for the style.

D: I got the last bottle at the distributor. Too bad because this is a really enjoyable beer. Hopefully next years will be as good.

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

Light amber tinged with gold. Good head, good retention.

Smell is grassy hops, very earthy. Twang of grapefruit and pine. Sweetness buried somewhere down in there. Good and floral.

Taste is floral and fruity. Chewy grapefruit and orange rind. Bitter and sweet at the same time. Unique flavor, quite good.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful deep amber color, excellent head retention and very heavy lacing. Very nice hop aroma, without a lot of citrus or pine. Smells fresh! Duh! Very smooth hop flavor, just the slightest amount of bitterness. Balanced by a hefty malt body. Very smooth, very drinkable. I was expecting more of an over the top DIPA kind of flavor, but this fresh hop ale is very well done!

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle (2007 edition) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper color with a thick off-white head. Excellent head retention throughout as well as great lacing.

S: Lots of oily piney hops. It smells fresh and clean with lots of incredibly fresh earthly flavors.

T: A flat-out delicious beer. It's very different than any other beer that I've ever had but it's exceptional. The burst of fresh hops in the mouth is hard to describe. Some of the flavors found include orange, grapefruit, pine and this is expertly balanced with some biscuity malts. It's ever so slightly sweet just the right amount of dry and hoppy bitterness. If you love hops you will undoubtedly love this beer. It's an explosion of fresh hops to the palate.

M: The mouthfeel could be the best part. The beer coats the mouth in tons of fresh hop oils which contributes to an incredibly creamy mouthfeel.

D: I loved this beer. I was really looking forward to this beer after watching the video on Sierra Nevada's website about how they truck the fresh hops down to Chico and brew the beer within 36 hours. It did not disappoint whatsoever.

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Photo of Tolann
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - red with a big head. Slow to settle, and lots of lacing.

S - clean hops, sweet. a lil piny.

T - balanced bitterness. not too harsh. hangs on your taste buds. The hops stand out most. a simple taste.

M - medium body and smooth. warms the back of your mouth.

D - I'd like to have another please! This is easy to enjoy. Its a simple and true beer pure to the hops featured here.

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Photo of orfeu
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tawny, crystalline amber. Steady, driving streams of carbonation. Ecru foam, all fat, chunky, pock-marked and sticky. Floral, citrus, and pine aromas are fresh and fully present, yet more understated than brash dry-hopping would produce. Bitter grapefruit pith and lemongrass. Slightly sugary background. Lightly toasted bread in the aftertaste, with grassy, piney, raw hop burps. Fuller mouthfeel than expected, with a medium-heavy slickness to it. Most certainly a fresh-hopped brew to be reckoned with, and by far the best I’ve ever tasted. Love the 24-ounce overgrown stubby bottle, too.

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Photo of troutmask96
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At long last, Sierra Nevada has bottled their infamous Harvest Ale. I happened upon this beauty at Bottleworks in Seattle, and loaded four bombers into my basket. This is a unique brew in that "green" fresh hops are used in the brewing process, which creates a beer that is almost sticky in its oiliness. What a wonderful treat to finally have in bottles...

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Photo of msolar
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer, highly recomended. We did a pumpkin-beer lineup and threw this into the mix, too. It held up as one of our favorites.

A - Bronze, amber, nice head
S - Citrus notes
T - Cinnamon
M - Crisp. A bit of the citrus zing.
D - Good - could drink a couple more right now...

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,635 ratings.
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