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 feloniousmonk
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: clear and bronze, under a light, thin, creamy tannish head.
Aroma: now, we're getting somewhere, fresh, fruity, ...citrus, grapefruit, peach, apricot, ...piney, floral, complex, and arousing.
On the palate, brisk and bold, grabbing and dominating the senses,a great hoppy blast with every swallow. Warm and toasty on the tongue, palpable hoppiness, hops never stop popping!
Great tasting, full bodied, with a long, fresh, hoppy finish.
My first encounter with this brew that I thought I'd have to travel to California to try, and now I'll have to return to the pub to satisfy this hop-craving I've developed!
In fact, it reminds me of the time two years back when I bought a new acquaintance a beer, and he had no choice, offered that he'd have whatever I had. So, I bought him a SN Celebration. Before he was halfway done with the pint, it started gurgling out of his mouth, and he offered no explanation for why it fled his lips.
Next time I saw him, he was drinking Rolling Rock.
If I bought him a pint of this, I'm thinking he would've hurled when it first met his lips.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a crystal amber-copper color with a thick, small-bubbled, foamy head. There are smells of hops and slight spicing all over the nose, and some sweet malt aromas under it all. Citrus and grapefruit abound, with plenty of resinous, dank, pitch notes. The beer has a sweet caramel malt backbone that does a very good job of platforming for the low, steady assault of peppered hops flavors throughout the brew, as well as the tangy tropical fruit and citrus notes, especially grapefruit. The beer is light and creamy in mouth, which has a great feel for the flavors riding it. The beer also has a fantastic lacing as you make your way through the brew, with decent head retention, too. A peppery and hoppy aftertaste that lingers through the finish, with a shift to just hop bitterness all over the tongue and roof of your mouth. Delicious for hop heads like me. Heavy flavors are balanced by the light body, and the ABV makes this one an easy drinker.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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 drabmuh
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the 13th release, I'm not sure I should add just another release to the list so I will refrain this time. Beer released in 2009. Beer is poured from a bottle into a goblet. Beer is amber / copper in color and forms a thin white head that falls away leaving a little lacing on the glass. Minimal to no haze at all.

Beer has a mild aroma, really mild in fact. Almost nothing to note. A vague sense of hops, maybe some malts, a pretty clean smelling beer.

Beer is bitter on the back end but only slightly. The mouthfeel is a little thin. Not a lot happening in the midpalate or front mouth areas as far as this beer. Second taste time, some funk in there as well. Not a well balanced hoppy ale, sorry SN. A slight miss IMO. Drinkability is fine, although the bitterness builds on you. Its mediocre, I expect more from you SN.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pint 8 ounce bottle on January 2, 2015.
2015 tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 1 pint 8 ounce bottle on January 3, 2016.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24 ounce bottle, 2011 version poured into a tulip glass.

A: Clear bronze/amber body with a slightly off-white head. Very bubbly, creamy and thick looking head that left huge sticky lacing and a great retention cap the entire time. Seriously, this is just a killer looking IPA.

S: Pine, sap, hop resin, slight bitter citrus notes (orange and lemon peel). A nice bitterness comes through along with a faint caramel malt aroma. The focus is certainly the bitter hops.

T: Bitter hop notes all over the palate, through and through. Pine, floral notes, hop resin, orange oils and more caramel malts towards the back end. The finish is sticky with a earthy and dry distinct bitterness.

M: Bubbly and creamy, a bit thicker than I'd personally like for an IPA. Quite dry and sticky in the linger, not bad but there's a few things off about it.

Eh, this was okay for me. I can appreciate the concept of the hop harvesting and such but I think I've become more akin to a citrus IPA profile, as opposed to this brash pine and sap bitterness. It's good but it's tiresome after a while. I didn't even end up finishing the bottle.

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Photo of stevoj
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2014- Rich amber body with huge fluffy head, light hoppy aroma. Hops dominate the taste, although some nice malt backbone is evident also. Dry mouthfeel and finish. Tasty (3.8). 2015 - knocked 1 off on appearance, slightly metallic finish (3.5)

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Sierra Nevada shaker pint. Pours a medium bronze amber with a fine one finger light khaki head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel, slightly toasty malt, citrus and pine hops. Flavor closely follows aroma, dominated by a rich caramel, lightly toasted malt, blended citrus and pine hops, lightly resinous. Medium bodied with light creaminess, nice mouth feel. A well balanced wet hop ale with a non-herbal, but flavorful hop component, almost reminiscent of a well hopped English IPA, although the hop varieties are typically Western US. Nice lingering resinous hop finish. Sierra Nevada IPAs never disappoint and this is a fine one. Not as intensely herbal hop flavored, but beautifully balanced and satisfying. Missed this Northern variant over the last few years. These don't sit on the shelf long.

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Photo of Gavage
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Harvest 11th Edition in a 24 oz bottle.

Appearance: pours a nice amber color with a 3"+ head that last a while before slowly falling to a thick surface foam. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: big hop bitterness leaps out of the glass. Some caramels and fruity sweetness round it out.

Taste: the bold hop flavors are up front but not offensive. The oily bitterness is well balanced with the caramel sweetness. Pears and ripe green grapes provide some fruitiness and there is a definite dryness lingering around.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry from start to finish. Medium bodied. Long aftertaste as the dryness and bitterness stick around for several minutes.

Drinkability: phenominal is all I can say. I think this is my favorite Sierra Nevada beer. Easy to drink, great tasting, and one everyone should get there hands on.

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

Oh my, I think I'm in love. The hops are big, but are so perfectly balanced that I could drink this all night. I mean damn, lots of beers can throw tons of hops at you without making a great beer (I'm thinking of Weyerbacher's Hops Infusion). Other hoppy beers just don't feel right on the tongue, being too sticky or oily or sharp. But the 2007 Harvest is right on the money with big, complex citrus flavors rolling all over your mouth, all while being wonderfully drinkable.

2008 UPDATE: There's an intense citrus and pine hops hit at firsy, but it quickly fades to mellower grapefruit flavors. Still a great beer, but I found last year's beer to have a fuller hop flavor. Still worth a try. Very tasty.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a fan of the Harvest ale. Found this at Jaq's in Topeka.
Pours a good copper body, very consistent. Yet the head is splotchy at best. Off white/tan bubbles clump in some areas on the surface, but don't seem to have much body to them. They fade to nothing.

Nice pine and citrus aroma, just the right strength to not overwhelm. Slight hints of clove and coriander as well.

solid flavor. Pine is dominant, followed by a citrus burst and covered with subtle spices. Sharp bite at first, then slowly gives way to a buttery feel and sweetish finish. As it warms, the sharpness is rounded out and it settles down. Overall a solid brew

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, not just IPA's, and the cost-point only improves the rating on this brew. IMO one of the top value buys you can make in the craft beer world. Seek out as many as you're willing to go through before the hops start to fade. The gentleman's Enjoy By haha. Cheers.

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

Bottle dated 2263 - September 19, 2012. Poured in to tulip.

A - Dark orange, amber in the middle. Translucent. One finger of thick, dirty-white head. Great lacing.

S - Musky, earthy hop aroma. Some pine, spice and fresh cut grass along with a light citrus aroma are also present. A slight caramel malt backbone adds some sweetness.

T - Moderate bitterness up front with a big spiciness present. Earthy, pine-y and grassy notes come through form the hops along with lighter citrus flavours. A slight sweet malt background adds some balance and lighter toffee notes.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation. A lot of sticky hop oils.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ArrogantB for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, citrus, pines, some spicyness, and caramel. The taste is a hop bomb, some malts kick in later with a slight sweetness, nice citrus/pine tones, and nice touch of spices/caramel. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. Medium body. Very drinkable, a mighty fine brew from SN.

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Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick, frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very nice, malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and Carapils malts along with a fantastic hop nose. It's well balanced and the hops are incredibly fresh. The taste is great. It has a kick ass hop bitterness that's so damn fresh tasting. The malt bill is incredibly balanced adding just the right amount of body and sweetness. It goes down quick and clean and leaves a nice residual hop presence. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one fantastic IPA. What a hop bomb!!

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

Bomber from Vendome I purchase after the store held a beer tasting, on to this beer:

Poured into a mug, it's a deep cooper-orange color with excellent head retention. As a pale ale using fresh hops, the hops in this beer are crazy! It starts bready with a touch of caramel, which is then puished aside for lots of bitterness. Grapefruit and piney notes are most noticable of the group. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. With the hop presence as big as it is, it's more of an IPA than a pale ale.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

13th release.

Poured a copper color with a small, white head. Smell is hoppy, but not the pine and citrus I was expecting. Taste is very well balanced, with lots of caramel and biscuity malt to go with a strong hop flavor. I am once again not getting much pine or citrus in the taste. It is more of an earthy hop aroma. A very well put together IPA.

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

A. 24 oz bomber. Poured into a 20 oz. steeler pint glass. Huge rocky, pillowy head on an amber brown body.

S. Smells of earthy hops. Some doughy yeast in there as well. Traces of malt sweetness.

T. Piney resinous hops. Caramel malt that is bready in character. Bitterness lingers along with a roasted grain flavor. Some pineapple fruityness.

M. Medium bodied and slightly creamy. Crisp carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

D. A damn fine beer. Tasty and quaffable. Clean and well executed. Layers of hop goodness. Recommended.

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Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a three finger pillowy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an herbal and earthy hop with some oily citric notes.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal character with some resiny hop and pepper character. A light graininess was apparent in the background.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side with a slight astringency and some medicinal tingle at the finish.

Overall a tasty and very drinkable APA. However, a bit more body would have gone far to temper the medicinal herbal hop notes.

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Photo of dar482
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a clear ruby red color with a huge white head. It looks almost like a cranberry juice.

The aroma has sweet grapefruit, orange peel, tons of sweet caramel malt and breadiness, along with lots of pine, grassy note, very green.

The flavor follows a hint of orange and grapefruit peel in the front, and then it rolls onto a sugary caramel sweetness. It's quite chewy and really gives the beer tons of body. It then smacks with a deep rich green pine, resin, slight earthiness. It lingers for a while, but it's great that the sweetness hits before it to balance it slightly.

This beer is basically a red IPA/amber ale. Still extremely drinkable and simple, but hoppy and tasty (and cheap at $4.50 for a bomber).

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer- Complex and fresh tasting with a lot of nuances of the hops on display. Great to see that this was bottled. Pours a dark orange with a grainy looking head that settles to a thin cap and some light lacing. Lots of citrusy hop aromas, tangerine and lime especially, and some floral notes. Beautiful. There are some honeyed malt notes that are an appropriate balance for the vibrant but not in-your-face hops. The taste is robust, and because they are fresh hops there are some vegetal notes up front, including a touch of asparagus and herbs. There is also an added note of pine. Some sweet malt throughout. I love the fresh taste and the interplay of different hop components. Smooth and clean in the mouth, this is absolutely delicious.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle into a pint glass and then some. NHHWHA has a dark golden look with some bronze type tints. A significant amount of lace sticks to the glass all over the place, spraypaint like. Smells like wet hops with muted citrus and a nice bready build. This comes off hoppy in a earthy and different way. Taste is quite nice and one of my favorite wet hopped beers of the season. Getting a nice amount of citrus backed by pine with some caramel and bread. I like taste of this, alot. Feel is approaching medium with some spritz, drinkability is insane. I like the big bottles of this two. This is one i'll be scooping up a few more of before they are gone. I think southern hemisphere got this beat by a bit though.

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

Poured from 24oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange hue with a crystal-clear body and two fingers of pillowy ivory foam. A nice looking beer.

Smell: funky, somewhat spicy hop aroma sitting on top of a slightly biscuity malt base. The overall effect is very fresh and rather autumnal. I like it.

Taste: slightly floral and funky hop flavor with a pretty mild malt base. Bitterness is strong and comes on quick, but finishes surprisingly mildly in comparison. I like this beer quite a bit.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation. Its bracingly bitter flavor prevents me from describing this as creamy, but it has a good feel nonetheless. Well done.

Overall: the somewhat dry, nutty and biscuity nature of this beer get in the way of ultimate enjoyment for me, but I do appreciate the role those characteristics play in making this a seasonal harvest-time ale. Not my favorite beer, but quite good despite that.

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12th Release - 2008 Vintage.

The sun burnished gold of a rolling wheat field blends into the orange gloss of pumpkin and butternut squash, it is an appearance most befitting for a 'Harvest' themed ale. Although allusions to Dutch post-Impressionist paintings are solemnly used in beer reviews, a reference to Van Gogh's 'Harvest in Provence of Wheat Field with Sheaves' is both accurate and appropriate. Besides, how many ways are there to say 'orangey gold' anyways?

Ok, so now I've got to come up with something in place of 'it smells frickin awesome!' for the aroma... actually no, that will sum it up quite nice - this does, indeed, smell frickin awesome! The aroma contains all that is delicious with IPA's, and not just trace hints either. It is a fully blossomed bouquet of caramel coated cookies and pine soaked citrus.

The wet hops seem to have done a little more for the aroma than for taste. Not to say there isn't plenty of hops in the flavour but it doesn't seep into the senses like it continues to with my nasal sinus. What the hops have contributed is a green leafy kind of bitterness, with a wet grass like character and the taste of flower petals, pine bark and citrus pith.

Although clearly cast with the main role, hops don't carry the production entirely on their own. The malt bill is a delicious makeup of finely toasted, lightly crisp wafers and breads that flavour the beer with wads of toffee and heaping spoonfuls of caramel drizzle. This sweetness plays a very important role in terms of drinkability: it must counter the beer's bitterness. As usual, Sierra Nevada has found just the right balance.

Indeed, I come for the hops but I stay for the malts. Each sip treats me to a hefty, husky, heavyset mouthfeel that is so thick and gooey with caramel I constantly catch myself licking my lips and smacking my gums. I might suggest they start bottling in 36 ounce bottles because the 24 ounces I started with have very quickly depleted.

Just as red-wine connoisseurs have the Burgundy region in France, hop heads have the Chico estate in California. Not only the 'New World's' first brewery to start liberally hoping their beers, Sierra Nevada also claims to be North America's first brewery to ever release a beer with 100% fresh picked 'wet' hops. This means Sierra Nevada not only re-acquainted us with tradition but also introduced us to innovation.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at the Hop Leaf, Chicago
This beer is a clear amber color, and it has a surprisingly long tasting tan head, at least for a draught beer. There is a fresh, herbal, hoppy character to this beer, and there is a hint of caramel to the nose as well. The taste is sharp and herbal, but there is perhaps a bit more malt character than is in the Celebration, I get note of caramel and biscuits. Of course this beer is about the hops, the hoppiness is quite sharp, definitely with an herbal quality to it, and it is just pungent. The sweet caramel like flavors of the malt mix with and, accentuate the orange-bergamot notes from the hops. The finish is fairly bitter, though this is a mix of traditional bitterness, and a contribution from the herbal hoppiness that is found in this beer. This is quite tasty, though it is perhaps a bit too green and herbal, though of course this is what this beer is all about.

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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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