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

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1,502 Reviews
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop AleNorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jmatthew on 10-15-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,502 | Ratings: 3,558
Photo of dedrinker
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yeah, not overly hoppy, but thoroughly hoppy from start to finish - just barely enough malt backbone to support this freshly piney, cedar tasting/ smelling beer. Reddish color, like an ESB or Red. It's a shame that "fresh-hop" or "wet-hop" style beers can't be made year 'round, but I guess that is the joy of it. This style of beer is the prime example of why America is not wrong in evolving their own style of beers that showcase the considerable flavor/ aroma additions beers can benefit from with more aggressive hopping regimes. I generally tend to drink more malt accented beers, but when the depth of juicy dank fresh hops is present on the beginning, middle, and finish of the beer without seeming bitter or overly sticky, or unbalanced, then I have to stand at attention and salute.

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Photo of roan22
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was so excited about getting this fresh harvest ale the day it was tapped in Exton, PA. It was slightly more resin-y or oil-y than I remember it being last year. It tasted more alcohol-y as well. So I had a pint of the 2005 version (which the Drafting Room had as well) to compare, and I liked the 2005 version better. Aging this beer a year makes the taste improve remarkably.

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Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden brown color with a light brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a mild sweet malt aroma. A pleasent floral hop aroma is present. Some slight citrus notes are also present. The fresh hop aroma is very pleasent.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Floral and citrus hop flavors dominate. It has a mild sweet malt flavor also. This beer is not bitter, just very hoppy in a subtle way.

This beer is crisp. It goes down refreshingly smooth, leaving a citrus hop aftertaste. Carbonation is perfect.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It is very good, and not overly aggressive.

Overall: I am very impressed with this beer. Usually, I am a little unsatisfied with Sierra Nevada. This is definately an exception. If you see this beer, drink it. Outstanding.

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Photo of rayjay
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, yeah baby. Just came out on tap today at the brewery. Pours a robust dark copper color, small firm head and nice looking lacing. Nose is full of freshly broken-up hop flowers in their full glory. Really bitter bite, accompanied by a full body like most other SN ales. Fruity and piney but the bitterness predominates. Hops galore. Unique because all the hops punch you in the mouth at first, but fade away before the aftertaste kicks in. Big hearty body reminiscent of fresh baked bread. Nothing overly astringent or assertive, just resins and oils and bitterness and full flavor. Beautiful. Perfectly balanced. The finest beer Sierra Nevada makes.

Seek this out now. I don't want to see any of those bad mid-summer next year reviews, this MUST be consumed fresh. Put this on your must-drink list today. Cheers!

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Photo of hero27
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Iowa..

Pine needles, grapefruit, and a good amount of citrus aroma.
More bitter than expected, with plenty of hop bite, a creamy mouthfeel, and great lingering hop bitterness.

Overall, this is like a very tasty middle ground between the SNPA & their Celebration Ale. This never seems to be available anywhere in my area, so I'm glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, a 1/2 inch off-white foam head sits atop an irridescent orange-amber ale of beauty. Nice lacing throughout the pint.

Nice malty nose with some citrus and earthy hop notes pulling through. t has a balance of not too sweet nor overpowering of piney fresh hops. More subtle than I anticipated.

Oh the flavor, nice rich malt upfront with some citrus filling in, only to be overtaken by some earthy and very bitter hops. A very tasty brew that keeps Sierra Nevada in my book of favorites. The aftertaste is a pleasant bitterness of evergreen...damn bitter!

Nice mouthfeel and a hefty medium body, my guess for the ABV would be around 6%. This stuff is a pleasure to drink fresh on tap, it's got my vote!

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Discovered on tap at the Ginger Man Houston. Well, well.

An almost luminous quality emanates from the crystal-clear orange-copper body of this most pleasing SN seasonal. Fruity, perfumy hop-derived aromas waft up from the generous head, with a mild evergreen quality developing later on. The flavor begins with soft malt and a fleeting sweetness that interact with the flavor of fresh hops. This quickly gives way to a bracing bitterness that flashes across the tongue before lessening abruptly into a medium finish. The finish contains a bitterness that borders on astringency without becoming unpleasant.

Rare enough and downright good enough that you shouldn't pass it up if the opportunity should arise.

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Photo of carln26
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Gingerman in New York. It poured a deep copper color with a tan fluffy head. The head left a nice delicate lace as I sipped the beer. The nose has a lot of citrus hop aroma, a little bit of hop flower with mild caramel. Citrus and floral taste. Nice mild caramel back. I have the Celebration Ale in the bottle, and this is a more subtle beer. Fresher taste (I realize a fresh tap should be that way), but I really like the way the hop flavor comes across without a huge amount of bitterness.

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Photo of chargerfanjess
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep red with a creamy off-white head. Immediately as it’s poured, hops aroma hits me. Spicy, floral/piney, and especially hoppy aroma is refreshing... Maybe hints of apple. Spicy flavor fills mouth with bitter hops and notes of pine. Nice bitter finish lingers. Alcohol is subdued but noticable. Malt characteristics barely noticable but present. Finishes very bitter. Extensive lacing through whole beer as head diminishes slowly. Very lightly carbonated. Excellent and refreshing beer. Light moutfeel but not watery.

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

I was very surprised to see this at one of our locals I had never seen it anyway in Georgia. This beer has a nice hoppy aroma with pine and orange. I couldn't really tell that this was brewed with "green hops". The aroma was very similar to Celebration, but not as hoppy. There was excellent lacing and a nice, firm head. The body was clear with a nice amber.orange color. There was moderate hop bitterness initially that became stronger. There was more of a malty smell and flavor than Celebration. The finish was long. It has a medium dry mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crisp, golden amber pour unleashes a dense and creamy off white head that retains majestically and leaves thick lace everywhere.

Aroma is a sweet perfume of dripping green hops, resinous and oily. There's a semi-sweet malt presence but this nose is all about the hops.

Nice golden malt entry leads to complex hop flavors that are fruity, citrussy, and remind me of bubblegum. There's a piney level to the bitterness that is very sprucey. Well balanced and delicious.

Body is perfectly medium, smooth, and oh so quaffable. I could drink this any time, anywhere. Too bad they don't bottle it.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never expected to see this beer as far east as Iowa, especially in a state such as Iowa. As it turns out, though, this beer is a Sanctuary exclusive in Iowa.

The beer pours to a pale golden color with a bit of an amber. The head is huge and creamy, cascading all the way up the glass like a nitro pour or a cask ale. Looks quite exceptional.

The smell is also huge with a green cascade smell. Very flowery and citric with a bit of a malt. I love the smell of fresh hops.

The taste is no exception. Has a bit of a caramel sweetness with plenty of fresh cascade hops. A bit citric and spicy, only slightly grassy. It reminds me of a lighter, fresher version of SNCA.

I love this beer. Even better than the only other fresh hop beer I've had (Great Divide Fresh Hop), but probably only due to the draught pour. I only wish these beers would come more than once a year.

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Photo of jaluria
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark amber colored beer with an off-white colored head that lingers for some time and leaves behind some lacing. Aromas of hops, grass, and dried fruit seem to be present. The taste is more like a cross between an Amber Ale and an American IPA. The first few sips make the beer seem well balanced with a nice malt presence that grows into a hop bitter taste. However, as the beer warms, the hops begin to dominate the malt with a fruity aftertaste that is enjoyable and evolving. The hop profile in this beer is closer to that of an IPA or even a Double IPA than a regular pale ale. Good drinkability.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap, first time I've been able to try it, side by side with the Celebration. Pours a very dark copper, darker than the Celebration, with a finger of off-white head, nice retention, and huge excellent lacing. Nose is all hops, mainly piney and resinous, but with some lighter floral notes too. Taste is wonderful, a slightly caramel malt upfront instantly bombarded with huge flavors of hops, fresh and green and piney tasting, some slight grapefruit, a nice lingering bittereness, absolutely superb. Medium bodied with a nice smooth mouthfeel, fairly active carbonation. This is a great pale ale, less hoppy than the Celebration, but with a fresher greener hop flavor. Great beer for hop lovers, wish they bottled this one, would pick it up in an instant.

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Photo of sloejams
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For some reason, I expected a beer with subtle hop character and limited flavor. I was all sorts of wrong on that. Initial scent is nothing but hops. Bountiful, beautiful hops – oh, how I love thee. It’s very aromatic, quite floral – a little pine smell. The color is a dark dark brown, not terribly pretty. What it lacks in beauty is made up in taste. Truly amazing flavor: full of hoppiness – evenly distributed, well proportioned. The mouthfeel is perfect, finishing with a nice creaminess. This is a top-notch beer, find it and drink it!

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

I had this on-tap at Father's Office.

This is much darker than the usual "pale" pale ale- deep amber with good head retention. The nose is filled with citrus, pine and grass aromas from the generous quantities of hops. Cascades are out in full force here, along with their regular West Coast pals. The extra bitterness combined with a hearty caramel malt backbone makes this the barley wine of pale ales. This is a terrific seasonal release from a brewery that knows a thing or two about pale ales.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Hollingshead.

A - a sunset amber color with a smallish head that went down as i imbibed. Darker than i would expect, but nice.
S - Piney hops with citris hit your nose, a bit punchy.
T - a pleasant bittery hop with a nice subtle malt backbone, finishes a bit dry.

Overall a solid pale ale and nice drinkable brew. I just cannot ascertain much of a difference between the harvest and celebration. Subtley different.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of SN's fall seasonal at Hollingshead's Deli and enjoyed a couple pints while watching the Chargers/Chiefs football game.
SNHA had a clear dark copper color and scattered light carbonation that rose lazily to the base of a dense off-white head that bore up well and left thick sheets of lace.
The nose showcased the hops punch this APA-on-'roids has. Lots of citrusy hops aroma mixed with the hearty caramel malt notes for a real enticing brew. The taste initially had a solid malt base which also carried a slight earthy note. Then came the rush of Cascade hops, all citrus peels with a lighter inclusion of pine sap. Finishes drily after starting off with a full-bodied creaminess.
SN's Harvest Ale is one big bad-ass American pale ale. It has a great aroma and taste in which the malt and hops complement each other to the fullest. Drinkability is damn near off the scale. Great stuff worth seeking out.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thankfully on tap at Old Chicago in Eden Prairie, MN, served in a 25 oz. mug. Very dark bronze color, nice creamy tan head that lasts for about the first half of the beer. Smell is nice sweet, fresh hops, floral and sharp, with some malty sweetness going on in the background. Taste was great, I like it better than the SNPA that has been a benchmark of the style for years. The hops are robust and tangy, this was a nice surprise to find on tap at a place like Old Chicago (Their Minnesota beer of the month was Budweiser Select...). Highly drinkable and enjoyable, I would've gotten more, but there were still a number of good octoberfests on tap.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's somewhat hard to believe that this beer is classified only as an American pale ale. It packs a serious hop wallop... definitely enough to stand up against any IPA, or even some double IPAs.

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale is one of those beers that is so hoppy & dry-bodied that it leaves you thirsty, with cottonmouth, after you're done. Probably not a beer you'd want to drink all night, but it is quite an experience while you're having it.

The trademark familiar Sierra Nevada blast-of-cascade-hops is right up front and present in this beer. Delicious floral aroma... lots of heavy lacing in the pintglass.

The truest way to describe Harvest Ale is that it is basically an amped-up version of their flagship beer - the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. More hops, darker color, stronger scent, more bitter, more bite.

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Photo of carlosd74
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at The Grey Lodge in Mayfair, Philly. I made a rare Monday night out just so I wouldn't miss this rare keg. Good decision because it was kicked in under a week.

Beer starts with a two-finger head which is tight and cream-colored. There was not much lacing with this one.

It was an amber color with less carbonation than I've come to expect from Sierra.

Beer had a solid malt profile with the typical citrus hop flavor coming through. As the beer warms some esters hit the palate but not much.

The mouthfeel is just perfect. Tight as a nun's @$$hole. Beer finishes dry with a raw hop oil taste on your tongue.

All in all it was worth seeking this out. It doesn't seem as complex as their Celebration Ale...which I eagerly await.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the table clear amber with an off-white and well lasting head which worked it's magic to coat the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma was fruity with a light grassy character. A nice caramel maltiness emerged as the beer warmed and the hop aroma increased quite a bit over time.

The flavor was fruity at first when the beer contacted the palate. The further in time you travel, the more the bittering takes over the pint. By the half glass point the bittering was ruling the day and was ready to tackle the world. The bittering was resinous and grassy and the nice malt flavor woked well with it for a nice balance to keep the hops from kicking you in the head.

The finish was dry with a lasting resinous grassiness bittering with caramel well into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation well done to give a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel. Bring a toothpick to get the grassy hop flavor out of your teeth. The bittering, while not over the top, lasts very long and strong. Another pine please!

Pint, make that two pints, at Tylers in Durham, NC, yes, that is correct, we have the beer on tap in NC...HA!

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Photo of bditty187
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is clear with a coppery-dark brown hue. There was a beige head and at the apex the foam was two-fingers in height, I poured my pint from a pitcher so I regulated the head. Anyway… the head had great staying power; the foam didn’t really move much. A thin cap lasted for awhile as I slowly sipped away the beverage. The subsequent lacing was webby and well-organized. This is a pleasant looking pint.

The nose displays a firm level of hoppiness with pine and citrus vibes. There are also fruity notes, some alcohol hints, and a pleasant malt backbone, a bit in the distance. As the beer warms the nose further develops, all the previously mentioned sensations become louder and rounder. Nice. I hate smelling beer in a bar but to review this one I had no choice. It wasn’t smoky but it was still less than optimal for me. I believe some of the nuances are lost. Still, it is obvious this beer has a hoppy nose. It is inviting even with moderate potency.

The palate is great, I can sum it up as simple as that. Juicy hops throughout. Bitter in the middle and this sensation lingers well into the back, very nice. This is a beefy APA! Ample caramel malt with just a kiss of toffee cookie, the malts balance this beer very nicely. Okay, balance in the sense that the hops don’t crush my palate with relenting force. I love the juiciness and the complexity of the hops. The crisp alcohol at the back is like icing on a cake. I am surprised at the firm bitterness. All in all, this is a very tasty beer, it really is, but I do think some of its cult following is due to the fact it is a draft only beer. Whatever the case, I look forward to my couple pints every fall. Damn good stuff.

Medium in body, firm but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well and that is all I can ask for.

Hop burps always help the drinkability of a beer! This is a very enjoyable quaff. It is tasty and refreshing… it was kicking ass with my black bean and chicken quesadillas and I bet it would have been great with a cheesy cheese burger! The long aftertaste didn’t let me forget the flavors. Yet another wonderful beer from SN, it is fairly complex for the style. The hop depth really elevates the palate over a typical APA or even an IPA. I sampled mine at the Crescent Moon in Omaha… get some before it is all gone!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10/06/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a pint glass.

Appearance- Amber in color, 1/2 inch head with above average lacing.

Smell- Equal parts of both hops and malt. Comparable to their regualr ale, but with some more floral hops.

Taste- Slight fruit flavoring in the hops. Maybe a touch of lemon. Again, this tastes similar to their pale ale except with more attention to the hops.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch overcarbonated. Slight bitterness.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. Almost carries over into the IPA category. Fairly well rounded. Would definitely get this one again.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived looking good with a deep amber color. The head was medium and lasted well, while leaving some nice lace behind.

The smell is also good, with hops coming through strong on top of a solid malt base. The taste is good too, but seems a little plain by comparison. It's not too far off from their regular pale ale with some extra kick. The mouthfeel is good, and it's very easy to drink.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,558 ratings.
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