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

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Ratings: 3,636 |  Reviews: 1,518
Photo of gillagorilla
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ChipChaight
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StephenRich
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is one of the United States' most prolific craft breweries. Since 1979 they have produced a range of beers which constantly demand the highest regards of beer drinkers and beer professionals alike. Lucky for us, because of their commitment to quality delicious beers, they are readily available throughout the United States.

In their Harvest Series of beers exists the Wet Hop, a unique American Pale Ale which uses fresh, not dried hops in the brewing process, the very first of its kind in America. Sierra Nevada harvests Centennial hops fresh from their estate in the Yakima Valley WA, and ship them that same night to the brewery in Chico CA - that's an 11 hour drive. The very next morning those still fresh hops are rushed directly into the brew kettle creating an extraordinary and unique pale ale - a dream for true hop aficionados.

The Wet Hop comes in a 24 ounce wide bottle (approximately 700ml) with the vintage year labeled on the neck, and is 6.7% abv. It pours vigorously immediately showing lots of carbonation, life and excitement. It lifts a generous pale white, slightly creamy and fluffy head almost two inches high showing lots of bubbles; slowly but surely it faded down to a medium film over the beer.

The beer itself is a pure American Pale Ale; copper to orange with lots of golden amber hues, superbly opaque with bubbles roaring within it, and a deep yellow shimmer ringing around any light that touches it. It leaves a thick lacing along the edges of the glass as the head fades suggesting a thick and rich body and mouthfeel.

Its smells excellent, really just as I would have expected. Because the hops were not dried, the aromatic flavors within had not concentrated in power and bitterness leaving the fresh, creamy and lively character of the hops themselves. It comes at you with light caramel malts, bready and biscuity pale malts, mellow tropical fruits, sweet citrus and floral hay fields. A couple people I was with while enjoying this were shocked at the lack of hop power, but I am certain that the fruits, citrus and floral aromas are exactly what the hops are bringing. You have to consider what happens when you dry herbs out, the flavors become extremely concentrated and potent, which is what we are used to - but the fresh version will always be more delicate and natural. Compare the flavor of fresh rosemary to dried - the dried is very robust, aggressive and one dimensional. The fresh rosemary though will be soft, round and soothing.

When you get into the beer the hops show themselves with more brashness than in the aroma. Right away round bitter hops crisply bite your palate allowing the smooth caramel and lightly tart tropical flavors to pour though. Touches of pineapple, mango and citrus float across your tongue and cheeks while the sparking carbonation helps pale and caramel malt sweetness glide across your entire mouth.

Now that the hops are apparent it is a bit easier to understand the aroma. The citrus light scent shows grapefruit and orange peel in the body, and fresh floral aromas bring grass and field freshness to the beer. Overall the beer is quenching and mildly complex, but more so perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel is very soothing and satisfying showing both creamy malts and hop bite; a very pleasing characteristic.

The finish is fresh, bright, distinct and herbal - it makes for the perfect finish to this wet hopped pale ale. I really enjoyed this beer and without hesitation would go for it again, however hop heads looking for that robust and aggressive hop explosion should look elsewhere - this beer has too much balance to play that game.

 3,646 characters

Photo of BdM
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MrHirschybar
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle, slightly larger than a normal bomber.
Poured to a New Belgium globe/snifter

A - Fluffy white/off-white head that left solid lacing. Murky red copper color.

S - Bread, peppery, biscuit, and citrus notes

T - Citrus with light medium malts, light biscuit, grassy finish with the malt and hop bitterness lightly lingering.

M - Light to medium body, medium carbonation, light alcohol heat in the finish

D - Smooth, easy drinking, enjoyed this and thought I would definitely session it with the 6.7% ABV and a nice price of $4.99 for the bottle which I thought was 26oz bought at a BevMo..

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just from smelling around the nose of the bottle it smells like a garden. Pours a pretty straightforward copper with tons of carbonation and a medium frothy head. The carbonation looks a little overwhelming but the head and color look very professional and clean. The aroma out of the glass is complex but subtle: a mix of pine, grapefruit, mint, and earth. A little bit of everything going on here. The real surprising thing to me, though, is the overwhelming earthiness of it- it really smells like I'm in a hop garden smelling the hops off the vines.

The first sip is rich and buttery with hop flavor. There's a decent bittering hop addition here.. probably around 50 IBUs but it's very balanced by the flavor. I find it a little hard to describe, since a lot of the normal, identifiable hop flavors are there but there's an extra something. The best adjective is again, "earthy"- almost like they're adding some fresh grains of paradise or some unique spice to the beer. This is the first wet hop beer I've had so maybe that's something unique to the technique. There's a comfortable malt presence in the background that adds balance and flavor- a touch of caramel that lingers with the bitter from the hops after the hop flavor has subsided.

Maybe it's the size of the bottle, but I'm a little intimidated in terms of finishing this beer right now. Since the beer is so loaded with flavor from every side it's a lot to gulp down after a while, despite its amazingness. Overall, I'm very happy I bought it.

 1,514 characters

Photo of C_Adams
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tobelerone
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super clear, copper-colored, with a huge off-white head and excellent lacing. Top notch appearance.

Highly aromatic; citrusy, with lemon and grapefruit up front. Floral, herbal, bursting with fresh hops.

Flavor is pleasantly bitter; with more lemony citrus notes. Minimal sweetness; malt is fully buried. Fresh and vibrant tasting. Vague saltiness in the finish.

Long and lingering bitterness in the aftertaste obliterates the finer points of the hops to a certain extent. Medium body, medium to low carbonation, good creaminess. Definite west coast hop bomb here. Delicious and unapologetic. Gotta be down with the bitterness to enjoy this one. Balance fully tilted in the hops' favor.

 689 characters

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Heeenrik
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of heygeebee
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First day in country, so I guess fresh....

A - copper, one finger pillowy white head. Lovely. Good spotty lace.

S - pine, sweet, marmalade, hops.

T - very lively, but slightly dull earthy hops, contradiction, I know. Add marmalade... Moderate malt.

M - medium bodied, light to medium carbonation.

O - unsure as to why I have not had this before, but very very well made. Be interesting, but not possible, to do a north vs south comparison.

 444 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz bottle into a pint glass. 11/13/08.

Pours a clear copper-amber color with a huge four finger beige head. The head dropped slowly leaving lots of sticky lacing. Head retention is excellent. Aroma is fresh hops, both piny and citrus. There's also a good amount of malt. Aroma seems a bit subdued, not as much hops as I'd expect.

Taste makes up for the aroma. Plenty of fresh piny hops and grassy hops, grapefruit, and orange. Very floral and earthy. Sweet toasted caramel malt balances out the flavor profile. The finish is slightly bitter, but not harsh, and lingers for a while.

Feel is very nice. Slick and oily yet very smooth. Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good. The alcohol is well-hidden, and the bitterness doesn't linger for too long.

Overall, a very nice fresh hop ale.

 842 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a cream white yellow tinged cap. This cap was rocky, chunky, and loaded with coarse bubbles, it somehow reminded me of a dollop of shaving cream. Retention was well above average and left a glorious display of lacing. The body displayed a mix of pumpkin orange, golden yellows, and soft brown hues.

S: zesty citrus hops with a peppercorn or two, a mildly pungent green nugget aroma. This beer also boasts toasted pale malts with chunks of caramel as the prominent smell. I find the nose pleasant and was gladly surprised with the smells of toasted pale malts

T: the hop bitterness is not as extensive on the palate. The frame work of this beer is based on toasted malts. This is complimented by a buttery biscuit bread character, with a few swirls of caramel in the loaf. These flavors mingle well with the basket full of earthy, piney, crisp-citrus, and spicy hops. What helps round this brew out is the ever so soft oily residue left on the tongue

M: body is mild and hardworking. Fits the profile of the brew well and remains active in the glass. I am having no quarrels about sipping or gulping this brew

D: another winner from Sierra Nevada and hop lovers will get plenty out of this, as well as the malt mongers. Tasty brew!

 1,238 characters

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

Foamy bubbles like the top of a bubble bath are a light tan head and jump to two fingers. Lace is thick and consistent as the head slowly subdues. Body is an attractive orange amber glow. Hops are sweet and gummy on the nose with notes of spearmint, anise, green tea, and wet wheat. A zesty, prickly hoppy freshness enters the mouth. Like walking among hop bushes at harvest time. This beer is crisp and refreshing with tingling mouth hue throughout. The bitter is even and long carried by a thick resin like feel on the tongue. This nectar like elixar should be a real winner with the hop heads. Nicely drinkable.

 614 characters

Photo of salthemonster
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 713 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper and crystal clear. Head was almond color before it left behind a thin covering of teenie tiny bubbles.

S - subtle spicing with an earthy hop and malt presence.

T - much like the nose, very earthy. Slight bitterness with a floral finish.

M - smooth with medium carbonation. Smidgen of aftertaste.

D - very pleasant offering from the fine people in Chico.

 368 characters

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

Pours into a pint glass a nearly flawless clear orange with a thick and creamy billow of foam remaining at about a half-inch throughout, as well as clinging and leaving beautiful lace the whole way down.

The nose carries with it citrus aromas, that of pungent flowers, as well as a good whiff of hop oils.

The taste starts with assertive piney hops bitterness followed by the more citrus hop notes and phenols which balance nearly perfectly with the slightly sweet alcohol and malt tastes.

The fairly thick mouthfeel (sticky) is significantly lightened by the generous carbonation. This brew is a deliciously drinkable beer, and if the ABV was not an issue, could easily be drank en masse.

 692 characters

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

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle.

Clear light amber color with a dense off-white head. Left lace all the way down the glass.

Strong hop nose with piney notes (Chinook hops?). Malt aroma in the background.

Sweet malt on the first taste, then the hops overtake the taste buds with a balanced bitterness. Finishes a little dry.

Lively on the tongue, and the hops leave a slight metallic aftertaste.

Very drinkable - good balance between malt and hops.

 448 characters

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

2012 Vintage

A: Pours a crystal clear deep copper to amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall dense off-white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a couple of small thick patches and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate flavors of citrus/orange peel and pine hops over the top of caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of caramel malts with some light amounts of sweetness followed by fairly intense flavors of citrus/orange peel and pine hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

O: Easy to drink because of the pleasant wet hop flavors and well hidden ABV - enjoyable and one I will look forward to getting again next year. Overall the flavors are well balanced with a good amount of complexity.

 1,025 characters

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

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a NB Globe Glass
A- A clear and deep reddish amber, foamy 2 finger copper head, good lacing and great retention, great appearance
S- Very Earthy and floral, caramel malt sweetness with pine and citrus hops far in the background
T- More of the same from the nose, very herbal and earthy, a little spicy, with some more hoppy bitterness than the nose suggests, interesting finish with caramel sweeteness on the front of the tongue and grassy floral bitterness on the back and mouth
M- Medium body, ok carbonation, has some slickness to it, herbal bitterness bites a little but is balance by a smoothness of the caramel malts
O- This one has a huge herbal, earthy characteristic to it which inspires me to try a Torpedo-Ruthless mix come spring time and do a side-by-side. Another very good option from SN.

 834 characters

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

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru light amber with a dense 2-finger creamy head. Rings of lacing are left from top to bottom.

Fresh lemongrass and mint aromas with some light malts lingering in the background. Fairly intense bitterness and a dryish finish lend to a somewhat puckering feel. Intense lemongrass and mint hoppiness with some herbal notes as well. The malt stays out of the way and shows off the interesting hop profile. Good stuff.

 446 characters

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

Fourth beer at the "Why Is There Beer?" tasting on Oct. 27, 2009 at Brickskeller. Paired with the St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition to demonstrate two extremes of hops flavor--this one being the all about hops example.

A: Amber colored, fantastic head
S: Slightly sour, but the bitterness of the hops is already coming through
T: A pale ale with a hearty hops flavor

This was the first time I had drank a wet hop beer. This particular brew involves picking the hops and getting them into the boil within a few hours, which is amazing to me. The result is not just a very hoppy beer, but one in which the hops taste almost raw and unrefined. Takes a few sips to get used to, and this isn't really a beer to enjoy for much longer than that, at least in one sitting, but even so this is a fantastic beer. Makes me proud to be an American.

 836 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

66th review on BA
bottle to pint

App- To me it was the carbon copy of apple juice except it had a two finger head on it. Very low carbonation in the glass though.

Smell- Super hoppy with a grassy undertone.

Taste- Hoppy, bitter with a small bit of citrus like a lemon peel.

Mouth- Leaves your mouth with that feeling of being soggy. Just a lot of liquid on the palate.

Drink- Was a good beer. I liked it. Something different in an IPA style.

 446 characters

Photo of projectflam86
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 12th release Harvest Wet Hop Ale.

A- Pours an amber copper color with a thick creamy off white foam head that leaves sticky lacing.

S- Lots of pine and citrus hops in the nose with a very noticeable spicy malt.

T- Slight initial bitterness with some pine and floral flavors. A big malt backbone shines throughout and in the finish. Caramel, bread, toffee, spice, and sweet malt all roll into one to help balance the bitterness of the hops.

M- Medium body with good carbonation.

D- I realize that this brew is probably a bit old for an IPA. I think that some of the hop flavor may have faded a bit, but the malt has really begun to shine and it makes for a very interesting flavor.

 693 characters

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