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

3,636 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,636 |  Reviews: 1,517
Photo of kkipple
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another year, another wet hop brew from our pals in Chico! Grabbed this the day after it landed in my town. Just the facts, you say? Alright. I put this 24 ounce bottle twice into a Paulaner Weissbier glass because I'm cool and avant-garde like that.

A. Shockingly clear copper, GORGEOUS, fat, chunky, lacy, pitted, dense light tan head. Superb lacing and I can read the text on my monitor through the glass easily. Seriously, not sure how they do it.

S. Reeks of sweet toasty malt and dank, resiny, pine hops. I actually smelled this as soon as the cap was popped. Pungent and dry, citrusy and orange-ish, this is firing on all cylinders. Brown sugar and I'll be, a hint of vanilla in there, too. A bit o' booze as well. I like this lots.

T. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you, the wondrous "wet" hop. This beer is wonderful. Rich malt gives way deferentially to the real star, the green and earthy hop! Pine tree sappy, dry and "green", bitter (but not medicinal), and in well-nigh perfect balance with the light caramel and toasty sugar malt. There's a lot going on here, but this review is taking up valuable drinking time. Apparently Sierra used only Cascade and Centennial here, but boy do they shine. Shine on, you crazy hops.

M / D. Full, pervasive carbonation avoids being sharp or fluffy, letting you put this one back with ease. Medium body, finishes quite deliciously hoppy and a bit dry, with only touches of alcohol here and there. Drinking all 24 ounces was really not a problem... okay, in fact it was too easy.

Man, these Sierra beers just keep getting better and better. The 13th Wet Hop Harvest is marvelous, and a steal at the $4 price going at my local beer-pusher. This is one of the best buys of 2009. Buy it soon, drink it fresh!

 1,769 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Rich dark amber with frothy root beer float like head that leaves massive lacing lines.

Smell: Citrus, tropical notes, spices and toasted malt.

Taste: Mix of pine, toasted malt, tropical notes, citrus and spice. The best part about the beer is that it doesn't begin malty and then turn hoppy or vice versa; just a nice mix throughout, although nothing really stands out. Leaves a long bitter aftertaste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat smooth medium body, nice dry finish.

Overall: Very nice Wet Hop.

 583 characters

Photo of Dotcubed
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

How many breweries put in the effort to produce such a crystal clear fresh beer?

This thing is amber, clear, and sparkling. If those hops are so special then why the hell is it so clear? Why not leave in some sediment?

Lace clinging well. Smells nondescript, but that doesn't mean much.

Tastes like an IPA muted down a bit. Hops are well expressed & balanced with the malt. Grapefruits. Mild gateway bottle to people getting into IPAs. Lingering "resins" of the hop give it an intense bitter finish that isn't overwhelming.

This one tries to showcase the fine nuances of fresh ingredients and I think it accomplishes that. However, I'm concerned that once these sit on the shelf too long no one will like them.

Well priced, adequate percent alcohol, and good size make this a easily consumable delight.

 810 characters

Photo of jbhuxley
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 24oz bomber into a shaped pint glass.

Pours crystal clear golden copper in color with 1 1/2" of chunky, almost white head. Good retention. Leaves behind webby lacing.

The pine smell is not only dominant but almost overwhelming. The citrus is there but it is barely detectable behind all of the pine. The citrus provides a bit of sweetness, but not much.

I don't think I've ever had a beer this piney with so little bitterness. It has the pine presence of a big DIPA, but lacks the bitterness. It is very herbaceous and dry with a long finish. The taste is unfamiliar but quite likable. Overall, this is a very fresh twist on an APA.

Quite a lot of carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky and almost oily.

This brew has some qualities that I would expect to find in a big beer, however the relatively low ABV allows room for more than one.

 847 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into an english pint glass.

A - Nice deep amber with a 2 finger off white head.

S - Hops, pine, citrus, some fruit.

T - Another solid harvest ale from sierra nevada. Crisp, hoppy, piney, sweet towards the end. Such a nice beer.

M - So crisp, so smooth, just the right amount of carbonation to it.

D - Such a spot on beer, everything is so right about it. I get excited for all their harvest ale releases.

 440 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange amber color with a light off-white head that quickly subsides to a light ring and leaves a moderate amount of sticky lacing.

Aroma is very strong with notes of spicy, earthy hops upfront, along with a clear scent of citrus and just a touch of pine at the back.

Taste starts off with a citrus burst of fresh lemon and grapefruit. The piney hops make their presence known shortly after and light spices are present throughout, right into the aftertaste. A little caramel can also be detected.

Medium body with light to medium carbonation. Another solid offering from SN and I have no complaints. I'll be coming back for more.

 646 characters

Photo of jacobseyb
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A=Deep amber copper color, with a nice "glow". Ample thick tan head that dissipates to a nice crown

S=nice pine and pineapple notes with some alcohol and malts creeping in on the back end.

T=crisp pine flavors with gentle sugar sweetness on the back

M=light oily feel, with crisp light carbonation, nice warming

D=greatly drinkable, could easily drink 3 or 4 not overpowering in any aspect but nicely flavorful in most.

 424 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a beautiful dark copper with an oily consistency and a nice dense off white head that is retained for a while. It recedes to a thick mat.

S - Nice flowery hop smell, pines and some sweet malt hints, caramel maybe. Mild grapefruit sweetness and citrus feel, very mild.

T - Malt sweetness initially with some mild caramel hints a bit roasted. Then a perfectly balanced but still SN style hop character comes in and overtakes the mouth with pines and some grapefruit sweetness and also citrus hints. Very attractive and warming beer.

M - Oily and smooth, medium bodied with nice CO2

D - Warming and refreshing at the same time.

 683 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful light brown with a wispy white head. The 13th Release has a fresh northwestern hop smell, similar to the regular SN Pale Ale, but more intense. Refreshing! Flavor is a nice balance of bready malt and pine hops.'s there too. Bready bitterness perfected. Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated just right.

Overall - Inspiring beer! Really, close to, if not as good of APA as you're going to find out there.

 427 characters

Photo of twigfarm
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not going to get into a detailed review here - just my impressions. Please see other entries for more in-depth write-ups.

We just got the 13th Release of this ale in on Thursday,10/08/09, in 24oz. bottles (I work at a large liquor store with a great beer department in CT) so my sample is about as fresh a bottle as I'm going to see out here on the east coast. Poured into a typical straight-sided, slightly flared pint glass (which happened to be branded Sierra Nevada), this ale had a very attractive orangery hue with a nice, firm, three-finger head when poured not-too-aggressively. Head retention was decent but would probably have been better had I used a 20 oz. tulip-shaped glass - my favorite vessel for seriously tasting & drinking beer.

Right away my initial impression was that this was a much better balanced IPA than their Torpedo offering which in my opinion is ALL grapefruit and very little else. The Wet Hop Ale had a very well-balanced citrus/grapefruit taste with a really nice hint of mandarin giving it that extra something. Much more complex than the Torpedo, it reminded me more of an English-style IPA than of an American, depending on your definition of the two. This ale had great "bounce" in the mouth with a wonderful mouth-feel that may have been due - in part or in whole - to the use of wet hops. This is one of my first "wet hop" ales so I'm not entirely sure this is a result of their use.
I love all things hops & IPA and the Harvest Wet Hop Ale is a winner in my book. It's interesting, keeps your interest and in my opinion definitely merits a strong "A", especially considering the price/performance ratio (24oz. bottle retails for $4.29 in our shop).

Is there a downside to this brew? Absolutely not!. Pick up a bottle & enjoy!


 1,780 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 16 oz nonic..

A: Pours an amber color brew with a rocky head that dissipates very very slowly. also leaving some good lacing

S: earthy hops bringing forth aromas of pine and sweet candied citrus.

T: follows the nose. begins with sweet oranges, pine, and some spice. finishes with oranges, lemon, spice, and an earthy quality

M: a medium bodied beer with a refreshing light carbonation. also not near as astringent as other examples of this style. finishes off-dry

Overall, this beer exudes freshness. I have never held an actual hop so I don't have an idea of what a freshly picked hop would smell like, but I got an idea that this is pretty close. My favorite thing about this beer was the earthy notes in the aroma and taste

 744 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 13th Edition

Pours out a deep ruby red with a thick white head. Great lacing all the way down. The scent is barely apparent with my terrible nose. The taste has a very nice hop bite upfront. The freshness of the hops is very evident and much appreciated. The mouthfeel is great, very smooth and just the right amount of carbonation. Sierra Nevada does it again with another great Wet Hop Beer.

 399 characters

Photo of wd40
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The clarity if this beer is impeccable. It pours a honey colored amber with a thick lingering foam that leaves a lot of lace on the glass. The smell is herbal hoppiness mixed with a little sweet maple syrup. The taste is pleasantly bitter with a very dry finish. The hop profile is unmistakably Sierra Nevada, but there is less pine smell and flavor than in their standard APA. Mouthfeel is just about perfect and the overall drinkability is great.

 448 characters

Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a couple bottles at The BeerMongers in SE Portland. Great prices!

- Dark ruby amber clear ale... creamy off-white head, down to a thin layer of lace-maker.

- A rather rich caramel profile, some bitter pine spice... hops, and more noticeably buried hops.. something I have notices with wet-hopped brews... the flavor is in the taste and aftertaste.. doesn't show up so much in the scent.

- Rich caramel malt, and chewy pine hops in abundance.. fruity citrus layer underneath. Love the bitterness in this brew. Wonderful floral and citrus notes in the belch.. that is where most of the hops are hiding...

- Chewy and teeth grinding bitterness... and good!

- All around, SN makes some of the best Harvest Ales around in my opinion, and this one doesn't disappoint. The Estate was great, and so is this.. in it's own way.

 830 characters

Photo of Knecht
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle into a tulip pint glass. Pours a beautiful two-finger head that is white and even, and lasts for a while. The beer is a lively, dark copper color that has me salivating before I've even tried it. The aroma is dominated by floral hops, but also has some traces of pine and maybe even a bit of citrus.

On first taste, I am overwhelmed by fresh, spicy, floral hops that linger on the palate long after I have swallowed the beer. The hop flavor is about as fresh as I've ever tasted in a beer, which seems to validate the painstaking "wet hop" process Sierra Nevada undergoes to brew this ale. This is a real hop bomb. However, do not take that to mean that it is unbalanced; there are some very nice malt undertones that hold the bitterness in check, while still allowing the hops to take center stage. The beer is slightly heavier than medium-bodied, has nice carbonation, and is crisp and fresh. Truly outstanding.

I could drink this beer all night long. It was definitely brewed for hop-heads (which I most certainly am) but it maintains excellent balance as well, making it all that much more enjoyable. This is an exceptional beer, and for the price (I found the 24 ounce bottles for $3.69 each), you should go out right now and pick yourself up enough to last you until the 14th release next fall.

 1,329 characters

Photo of northaustin
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a schnifter. pours a dark amber/copper color with two fingers of fairly even white head which disappears nice and slow and leaves a nice thick even lacing all around. looks great.

smell: hop glory!! very crisp and fresh. a nice mixture of pine and citrus with a noticeable sweet malt bill tucked in the background.

taste: very smooth. the hops dont make as big of an appearance as they do in the smell but it does round off with a nice oily note in the end. what im getting is a nice balance of malt and hops when i was kind of hoping for a mostly hop taste.

mouthfeel: goes down smooth in the beginning and leaves a nice dryness in the back of the throat. very pleasant.

drinkability: very sessionable, very affordable and damn good tasting.

 767 characters

Photo of BeerNuggets
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a glass

A- Dark almost burnt orange coloring with a strong head

S- citrusy with cut grass and with a strong smell of malt

T- more malty than I had expected with some crisp citrus flavors . more lemony than grapefruit

M- very heavy on the tongue

D - This is a steady beer that I could continue to drink. Not one of my top harvest ales, but I would not kick it out of bed.

 400 characters

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

Appearance: Orange-amber-copper with a decent foamy head

Smell: Hops, citrus with toasted malt and a hint of oats

Taste: Carmel oats and toasted malt with subdued hop citrus and pine; it actually tasted like a liquid nutter-butter

Mouthfeel: Relatively smooth with a lingering bitter finish

Drinkability: Complex but not robust, the other flavors tend to mask the overall hoppiness. An interesting brew but not the typical flavors one would associate with a Sierra Nevada.

 476 characters

Photo of ToddT
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clear amber color with a large beige head. Head has some nice legs and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Mild aroma of pine hops with a malt and caramel undertone.

T- Bitter bite of hops from beginning to end balanced on the back of the malt and caramel flavors. The bitterness of the hops builds slowly until the finish which is dry and clean.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation. Such a nice, clean finish.

D- Oh, so drinkable with no hint of the 6.2% ABV. I could session this and then regret it the next morning.

A nice solid beer, should be easy to find and try and it is worth it.

 600 characters

Photo of ectomorph
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I guess the 13th Release reviews go here.... 24oz bottle into a tall mug (in pieces).

A - Crystal clear copper/ruby body with super-carbonation rising from the bottom. A full 2 finger thick tan head forms from the tightest of bubbles fades slowly in clumps.

S - Fresh cut grass, pine needles, and grapefruit hops aroma. Some sweet fruity pineapple and molasses are followed by a very faint bread note. Mouthwatering.

T - Stiff bitterness up front opens up into piney resinous hops. Grassy, bitter citrus, and thick oily hop flavors galore. There is a caramel sweetness present from the malt, but this brew is a green hop bomb. Excellent.

M - Medium body and excellent carbonation combine to make one smooth drinking IPA.

D - For an IPA, this is high marks. Not palate (or judgment) destroying, but a nice kick in the pants.

 830 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a clear deep copper color with a 1 1/2 inch of white head that recedes slowly. Sheets of lacing coat the glass the whole way down.

S: Nose is of pale malts caramel malts, and some citrusy hops.

T: Taste is high in citrus hops up front, some carmel malts fill out the middle with a bit of a floral bite in the finish.

M: Medium body, light to medium carbonation, crisp clean feel, goes down easily, nice balance

D: This is easily one to sit with for a bit, goes down easily, nicely balanced a touch maltier than other versions of this style, but still worth a try.

 586 characters

Photo of cvfish
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a deep copper color that produced a fluffy light tan that had good retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas of this beer had the pale and caramel malts that I would have expected from the color of the beer, and the citrus and pine hop was what I expected from IPA category

T - The taste of this beer was kind of how I expected, the hop component was a bit overwhelmed by the sweet pale and caramel malty taste, but it had enough citrus and pine taste on the back end of the beer, I would rate a moderate hop character

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a light of moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was the 13th release of the beer was another home run from Sierra Nevada, I know this is for the 12th, but I will transfer it if they say that these are different beers

 843 characters

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

Served in a nonic pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear burnished copper/orange color with a ΒΌ" off-white head that persists well. Sipping leaves sticky foam and lots of lacing. Even towards the end of the beer there is some sticky foam and leggy lacing.

Smell: The aroma is full of spicy character with citrus, hints of pine, and floral notes all backed up by rich soft caramel from the malt backbone.

Taste: The clean crisp flavor pretty much matches the nose, with some citrus, and faint pine along with a spicy and floral character. The hops are supported by a nice caramel malty sweetness that balances and compliments the hops. There is just enough malt that the hops are showcased but do not dominate the mix.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with adequate persistent carbonation. The finish is fairly long and is a smooth as can be with malt and hops trailing of into the dry bitterness that invites another sip.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable APA that I'll definitely have again. I could easily have had a few more given the right time and circumstances. This beer was also a nice complement for the taco salad that arrived at the table about half way through the beer.

 1,290 characters

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

Poured from tap uber fresh at TJs in Paoli.

A: A medium amber orange with a one finger just off white head. Nice full glass lacing.

S: Spicy hops with hints of citrus, pine, floral notes and some malt sweetness.

T: Damn how I love this beer, just so solid. Hops flavors start with a citrus grassy piney flavor and a hint of some floral characteristics, coupled with a hefty bready malt sweetness that just balances this beer to the max. The hops are the show here, but since this is an APA they stay lighter and in check with the nice malt flavors. Finish is nice and smooth with minimal bitterness.

M: Nice, smooth, medium coating and no hint of alcohol.

D: High, enjoy em.

Again a really solid beer from SN. This is just so drinkable and enjoyable that it's crazy. It almost leans on an IPA, but the smoothness keeps it firmly planted as an APA. Well done.

 865 characters

Photo of adamette
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from the 24 oz. kind of stubby bomber that I bought at Heinen's for $5.49 two days ago. "2008 12th Release" is announced near the top of the label. It is possible that it was marked down since it was last year's release. It is also possible that this beer has lost some of its hop presence. Of that I cannot be sure.

A Medium brown body glows a vibrant orange in front of direct light under a robust, generous off white head that is meringue like as it clings to the inside of my Samuel Smith pint glass. Nice look. I like the huge head and it makes me think/wish/hope that it remains fresh. 3.5

S Hops but not strong grapefruit type hops that I get from Sierra Nevada some times. They are there but smell as if they may be well balanced by other ingredients in the beer. 3.5

T/M Like a basic brown ale with a big hop presence. The hops in this beer appear in the middle of my tongue and create an effervescent feel that I find refreshing. I suppose that it could be due to the "wet hop" nature of the brewing process. This is a very interesting beer that anyone should try at least once. As I continue to sip I perceive that it is a very special beer indeed. 4.5

D Very good indeed, maybe one of the most drinkable for a beer which features hops (an ingredient that I think can easily be overused). My first pint was gone before I finished typing this line, a good sign about its drinkability. 4.5

Notes: Interesting beer Sierra Nevada and one that every Beer Advocate should try.

 1,506 characters

Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,636 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.