Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Farmhand Ale | Driftwood Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BA SCORE
3.99/5
Very Good
172 Ratings
Farmhand AleFarmhand Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
driftwoodbeer.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our interpretation of this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black pepper. We use a very unique strain of yeast from Belgium to add further layers of spice and complexity to this rare style of beer.

Added by Derek on 12-20-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,271
Reviews:
63
Ratings:
172
pDev:
9.52%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
22
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by cbnz:
Photo of cbnz
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of headlessparrot
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours from a bomber into the glass an orange-copper colour, faintly hazy, and capped by two fingers of frothy white, large-bubbled foam. The head recedes to a finger fairly quickly but persists there decently, and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell is peppery, yeasty, earthy. Slight fruity esters--apple in particular. Lots of malt, and a faint funky sourness. Orange peel, lemon zest, perhaps some clove. Slightly soapy, but not unpleasantly so. Grainy with a bit of smell I generally associate most with rye beers.

Taste is the smell, redux. Slightly soapy, though again not unpleasantly. A touch of funk, a bit of sour. Cracker, rye (is there rye here in the grist-bill?), slight clove, citrus. Peppery spice. Carbonation is high-moderate, and the body is quite full. Yeasty, slightly vinous, slightly milky? Drying on the finish.

As far as saisons go, this isn't revolutionary. But it is pretty enjoyable, interesting, and shows some complexity. I've heard it said by a few people that Driftwood is giving Bellwoods and Dieu de Ciel a run for their money as "best brewer in Canada." I don't know if I'd go *that* far on the evidence of this beer, but it's certainly a nice, delicious offering.

 1,209 characters

Photo of cam477
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of trail77
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nomoon
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of BCborn
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chickenm
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours orange-copper and has an off-white head with low retention. Nice fruity aroma with spices and yeast. Spicy taste with citrus, pepper, sugar, and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is a little watery. Very drinkable though, this is another solid beer from Driftwood.

 259 characters

Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jpbebeau
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of JonnyBeers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of intoxabroad
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber, brought back from a visit to Kelowna earlier this 'summer'.

This beer pours a hazy, medium golden orange colour (very fall foliage-esque!), with two fingers of roiling and foamy eggshell white head, which leaves some random splotches of dissipating cloud lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet wheat grain, banana chips, clove and white pepper spice, a touch of vulcanized rubber (I know!), and tame earthy yeast. The taste is quite fruity - banana, apricot, some orange pith - mostly overshadowing the more demure wheat malt, balanced all by a nice even spiciness - clove, black pepper, some funky yeast - as well as an earthy, leafy hoppiness.

The carbonation is very soft, just a tingly frothiness abounding, the body a full, robust weight for a farmhouse ale, decidedly smooth, and somewhat slick. It finishes clean, and pretty dry, the grain and spice staking their final claim.

Given the very autumnal weather that we've been having for the past few weeks, my harvest mentality has definitely set in (California grape shipments are imminent!). As I am a few levels removed from any actual harvest, this beer definitely helps out, in that regard. Overall, it is a solid example of the style - very flavourful, and everything resting in equilibrium - spicy, fruity, and yeasty. It's got it all, and at a pretty normal ABV, not to mention being easy as pie to put back.

 1,420 characters

Photo of Tmappin
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Metalmonk
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this one at Salt, a cheese-tasting room in Vancouver, B.C. Was impressed with it then and hope to be now. Note: brewed with all the usual stuff (water, barley malt, hops and yeast) and then black pepper. Hmm.

Bountiful two-finger head of latte-like foam with a rush of bubbles up through a copper/sunset/amber color. Head never totally disappears and lace clings to the glass in a thick wall. Very Belgian indeed, as far as its looks go.

As per style, yeast forms the basis for the aroma, bringing various herbs and spices to mind, and sure enough I'm getting black pepper. It's not overdone, and I ain't sneezing, it seems to be added in just the right amount to offer a bit of extra personality. Some mellower fruit elements creep in as well.

Speaking of mellow, the flavor delivers a gentle, delicate mixture of herbal, spicy and lightly fruity characteristics. Yeast plays a part in the profile and some fresh-baked wheat bread and toffee/butter hints follow through behind it. Reminds me of Van Steenberge's Bruegel in a way, in its gentleness and subtle flavors.

Fittingly, the mouthfeel is silky and soft, just right for the flavors, although it might be a tad thinner than it could've/should've been.

A wonderful saison, which has become a popular style for North American brewers to tackle as of late. Thankfully it offers something more subtle and less spice-driven than its modern counterparts on this side of the world while doing its representatives from the original homeland proud -- reason enough for any Belgian and Belgian-style fan to seek it out.

 1,576 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Derek's bottle and he has confirmed better on tap. Good summery beer, altough not great for style, yellow with bubbles and creamy, soapy head, lacey. Peppery white, although it says black pepper. A little funky tasting, yeasty aroma, and a little lemon.

 253 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lighter copper. Big pillowy head settles fairly quickly to a thin ring of film. Lacings are spotty. Loads of bubbles floating to the top.

Wonderful yeasty aroma with a really refreshing fruit character, almost pineapple-like.

Mmmm. Refreshing right up front with some very subtle hopping. Light biscuity malt takes over, given a bit of an edge by the lovely yeast flavours. Finally the black pepper comes through, really nice and a great contrast to the initial refreshing sweetness. Finished quite dry, peppery notes linger for a good while.

Excellent mouthfeel, carbonation really piques your interest and the smooth body doesn't disapoint.

A fantastic beer, should have brought back more!

 704 characters

Photo of CWVegas
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of jcubz
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - hazy copper orange, 2 fingers of soapy head, dissipated slowly leaving random lacing
S - very fruity with apricot, orange, yeasty esters, and subtle clove sipce
T - fruity blend of peach, apricot, and banana quickly gives way to clove, ginger, pepper, and bready malt, extremely flavourful
M - big body carbonation, very tart the spices really get into your nose
D - so rich in summer fruits and spices that I can imagine people waiting for this to be ready come summer, big kick in flavour and feel, but a pleasure to drink at any time in my opinion

 554 characters

Photo of 1stOffender
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of souvenirs
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note to self: this one deserves a rereview.

43 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Farmhand Ale from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 172 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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