Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale | Brewery Vivant

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82
good
118 Reviews
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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse AleFarm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
There was a time in old world France when nearly every family farm had a brewery. A necessary part of farm life was to provide a ration of beer to laborers, as beer was safer to drink than the water of the time. (Has to do with water carrying bacteria and alcohol killing said bacteria. Yay beer!) Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is slight in body, mildly sweet, and has a slight cloudiness from the simple un-malted grains similar to the period.

Added by jale on 01-23-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
118
Ratings:
486
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
28.53%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
49
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 486
Photo of DisneyDreamer29
4.78/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer is straw colored. It smells of citrus, pine, and a hint of other earthy smells. The taste has small hints of fruit in the background and strong flavors of wheat or grass. Slight bitter notes to offset the sweetness of the fruit. Very balanced. The body is light. Overall, a very drinkable everyday beer.

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Photo of defilli2
4.6/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first beer from Brewery Vivant. It had a light caramel color to it, almost golden. Was not a clear beer though, cloudy and natural looking. It had strong and full aromas, I could sense fruits and a crisp touch. Very carbonated when drinking it, I could taste the wheat and the grains in it. Very refreshing, very good. Would drink again.

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Photo of taylorzeee
4.55/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A light beer with a grainy, straw like smell with a hint of fruit. Very carbonated on the palate with a wonderful golden color. It has a really different taste that some may think is too strong, but I enjoyed immensity. It wasn't too fruity or too hoppy, very nice!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Today being New Beer Sunday and being unable to procure any new AMLs, I have decided to make it New MichiCAN Beer Sunday in honor of the day's founder, Malty, who resides somewhere in The Great Lakes/Wolverine State. These (among others) were sent to me by GrappyPunk and I have been waiting for an appropriate time to Crack & Glug them open.

From the CAN: "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line."; "If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "Belgian tradition. Local mission."; "FRENCH STYLE FARMHOUSE ALE There was a time in old world France when nearly every family farm had a brewery. A necessary part of farm life was to provide a ration of beer to laborers, as beer was safer to drink than the water of the time. Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is light in body, mildly sweet and has a slight cloudiness from the use of simple un-malted grains similar to the period."; "COMPLIMENTARY FOODS Chicken, fish, pasta, Camembert or other soft cheeses. Visit our website for more."; "GLASSWARE Tall, slender glass which will show off the beautiful color of the beer and allows for pleasant sipping."

The Crack went as planned, but the Glug was perhaps a tad heavy-handed as I did not realize how active a beer this was going to be. Man, the foam came up MUCH more quickly than anticipated and even broached the lip of the glass, much to my chagrin. Once things settled to a state of normalcy, I had a finger-and-a-half of rocky bone-white head that looked like JacktheRipper's avatar - dense and smiling up at me. The color was a testament to truth in advertising - it was a cloudy lemon-yellow and the whole thing looked like a lemon meringue pie. The nose was quite musty, almost cheesy in its intensity. Me likee! I have yet to get onboard with Andrew Zimmern, but Anthony Bourdain and his lack of disdain for sharp, "stinky" smells and flavors and rubbery mouthfeel speak to me. I am a US Navy retiree and that kind of thing does not put me off, but Zimmern's grilled horse heads push my upper limits. The nose on this beer might be too much for some, but I dug it. Mouthfeel was big, full, even creamy and the initial slight tartness followed by a light wheat-like sweetness were like a palate cleanser. Look, Ma, new taste buds! Finish tended towards dry and it was an absolutely refreshing beer that would be phenomenal with some soft cheese on crackers under the umbrella on the beach. Put this in your cooler and give me a call! I'll be right over, honey honeys in tow.

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Photo of PincheNorteno
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my household's standard summer beer, I highly recommend it.
Appearance- Pours a golden yellow with a bit of haze. Low to moderate head. Carbonation works its way beautifully up the side of a pub glass.
Smell- Grapefruit, hay, crispness of Vivant house yeast, cereals.
Taste- Simple, fresh, straight forward grassy cereals and dry tart yeast. The nose of this beer is lively, it will make you smile. with As the beer warms, the batley flavor blooms in a good way. You will fully appreciate this brew if you are hot, sweaty, and thirsty.
Mouthfeel- Refreshing. There's decent carbonation here it's definitely not flat. It's balanced, not thin or thick. If you're parched this beer fits your palate like a glove.

Overall, this is a solid beer. Beginners will find it accessible and drinkable, experienced drinkers will appreciate the quality of Farmhand from start to finish.

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Photo of mfarnick
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed farmhand. It was nice to have a refreshing classic beer. Color of this beer is slightly golden with slight carbonation.
Aroma was filled with yeast
Tasted like a classic ale with yeast, malt, and a slight fruity taste underneath
This is a great beer to casually sip on and enjoy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into a Brewery Vivant can glass.
5% ABV,

A - Farm Hand's fleeting white head sinks to a thin skim of foam above the still and hazy pale straw yellow beer, leaving it an attractive beer to sip.

S - Tart lactic acidity almost comes across the nose as a sour mash process (as opposed to yeast) giving way to cracker-like dry maltiness with a complimentary dry earth undertone and suggestions of bubble gum and lemongrass from the yeast.

T - Hoppier than expected, Farm Hand brings a lemony citrus twang to the delicately yeasty saison. Underlying biscuit-and-cracker malts pave the way for a refreshingly tart finish of lactic acidity.

M - Vibrant tartness starts and finish this delicate and refreshing saison while in between lands a kiss of hop bitterness that dials everything in just right.

O - Brewery Vivant's Farm Hand puts a truly unique spin on the saison style with a forward lactic acidity-like tartness that steals the show as opposed to the bigger Belgian overtones. The yeast nuances are there but subdued and soft, making this one hell of a good beer!

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Photo of Kristie_Duve
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was light in color with lots of carbonation. It had a smooth taste and was easy on the palette. Classic tasting with a few notes of distinctive flavors.

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Photo of Maiora13
4.34/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can almost taste the history behind "farmhand" ale. The french style sets it apart from the more full Belgian style that Vivant is known for. Beautiful, light, and refreshing.

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Photo of mjshearer1
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold and bubbly.

S: Fruity Belgian notes predominate.

T: Nice and light, a little sour, lots of Belgian fruit, finishes clean.

M: Light body, good carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this. I haven't had very many saisons, especially saisons with a Belgian twist, but this is definitely something I'll be getting more of later.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy pale yellow and a generous white head with merengue density that quickly ebbs.

Aromas of yeast, lemongrass, and sour mash.

Tart with essence of lemon. Mild pepper. Pears and white grape round this up.

Light-bodied with a spritz quality to it.

Sessionable saison. Cannot go wrong bringing this to any summer backyard gathering. Will be fantastic for the summer heat. Keeping the style in mind, Brewery Vivant made this easy going and thirst quenching as any farmhand would need. The style has been mastered well.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.26/5  rDev +18%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can courtesy of mseguin pours a slightly hazed yellow color with a surprisingly fizzy head that fades in a matter of seconds...I don’t remember the other two cans of this doing that.

Nose seems to do a nice job of displaying lemony, tart yeast over a delicate and grainy malt backdrop. Just a touch of grassy hop aroma.

Taste is nice...sharp yeast and lively hops along with an earthy, biscuit maltiness. It is definitely at its best when fresh to give it the added complexity the hops bring. It is super drinkable...and I think it is my favorite of the 4 Vivant offerings I have had thus far. I could easily throw a 4-pack of this down without getting bored with it. In fact, there is a good possibility this is my favorite saison in a can! I really like how the malt is a touch earthy and the yeast is the main character that is on display...and the best part: no spice additions!!

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Photo of patre_tim
4.26/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Solid golden cloudiness with a cloud of pinkish yeast suspended in the middle of the glass, a little white foam but no real head, some large bubbles rising fast to the surface.

S: Lemon peel, five alive citrus drink, Belgian yeasts, umami, black pepper.

T: Light citrus like a lemon-citrus taste but its not very fruity, and not like my use of citrus in IPA’s or APA’s. It’s more of a white grapefruit that is taken to a less potent version, with some lemon juice added, then some black pepper and umami added.

M: Light body, medium high carbonation, very dry finish.

O: A great saison. I am really enjoying this one. Very light, not overly complex but keeps me wanting to drink it as a refreshment.

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Photo of WillKorn
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have had this beer many times on tap and in the can from the store and it consistently tastes very good every time. It has a very unique flavor that is very difficult to explain, but to me it has a nice balance of a malty taste along with a subtle sweetness to top it off.

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Photo of Edith0703
4.24/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bittersweet tasting. Yellow hazy appearance with really crispy flavor. Light body, taste is better than aroma. However the taste with strong yeast flavor, not really my type of beer.

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Photo of knepper
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gaudy straw yellow; very clear until the last two ounces are swirled around in the can to release the dregs into the glass. Smells musty and lemony. Taste is crisp, tart yet balanced with some sweetness, floral and grassy, and the yeast gives that musty quality that I really enjoy. Cereal grains also come through. Overall, a great beer and one I look forward to drinking in the spring time.

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Photo of ebby82
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this from the brewery on my visit last week.

Pours a very hazy light color into a pint glass. A frothy head.

Aromas are of slightly funky Belgian yeast, a small hop presence, and a general sweetness.

The taste is light; very slightly acidic, a minimal hop presence, with a nice, tartness.

The mouthfeel is light, its not very carbonated, but this does not detract from my enjoyment.

Overall, less hoppy than I prefer with a saison, but very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of ahking
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemony, candied apple aroma wafts from a slow pour to the glass. Highly carbonated, really makes the flavors dance. Tastes of lemon zest, cut grass, floral hops. A touch too sweet, but the carbonation keeps it crisp and refreshing. I really like. This style of beer and this one doesn't disappoint. A little too sweet but very drinkable.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Farm hand boasts an incredibly pale straw color, and is accented by noticeable haze and a stunning display of vigorous lacing. Its head erupts upon pouring, but quickly dissipates to a thin film topping the brew.

S: The nose is faint, but it sings of herbs de provence, cellar funk, and a touch of lemon zest.

T: Bone-dry and very light, with subtlety being key in this brew. As promised in the nose, hints of herbage, earthy funk, and bright citrus are all blended wonderfully. This brew does a phenomenal job of achieving what Saison DuPont does so wonderfully; delivering a beer that is both refreshingly light, yet loaded with flavor.

M: Very light on the tongue, a touch of astringency, and highly carbonated. I definitely agree that this brew needs a good dose of CO2, but this is overwhelmingly so. It is hard to enjoy this brew without instantly becoming bloated. Still, this is a flaw that is easily resolved, and is the only one worth mention.

O: A superb brew from a country that is known for making terrible farmhouse brews. Vivant definitely hit high marks with me on this one, delivering a brew that actually achieves the Farmhouse Ale's purpose of quenching one's thirst. This is the first Vivant brew I've encountered, but I am already impressed. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a standby of mine. A lemony, tart, citrus forward farmhouse ale/saison style which pairs perfectly with food or on its’ own. Pours a deep orange with a small white head and a cloudiness that gives this a hazy quality on the eye. The nose is all lemon with a little hay. Does not veer into sour territory but stays lively enough to stay interesting. Nicely balanced carbonation and little bitterness.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed yellow with copper glints. A small head rises and falls. No lacing. Light. Simplistic. The color is quite lovely to me eye.

The nose is funky as expected. Very welcomed pilsner malt corny notes and perhaps light wheat character blossom. The slight dimethyl sulfate sulfur/can o' corn character adds its touch. Very farmy. A little unAmerican hopping for good measure. Farmalicious funkadelia.

The taste is light, yet complex and quite refreshing. A very drinkable malt base with definite farmhouse ale characteristics floating about within creates a strangely complex and very enjoyable flavor. Presumably German/Czech hops finish the swallow leading to the notably crisp finish while the lingering funky remnants continue to dance. This is a nice session selection for enthusiasts who can appreciate the style and history of this brewing.

The mouthfeel is light and appropriate within style guidelines. This is, and has generally been throughout history, a highly consumable beer made to refresh while not causing a staggering drunkenness. This is drinkability in fine form.

Overall, this is a solid brew. The style is relevant now and, as you well know, it is also rich in history as it hearkens back to a time when ales such as these could be found in all their uniqueness in farm houses across Wallonia. It is said that farm workers happily lapped them up while still managing to keep sharp for labor. This particular variety is very enjoyable to those who can appreciate deviating from the norm a bit. It is drinkable to be certain. This has serious gateway potential and is every bit as enjoyable as some of the more overly popular herd beers that consistently draw herd acclaim with seemingly less merit. Jump on a can of this or go get one pulled off the tap. Just don't expect an orange wedge covered in fruit fly feces to adorn your glass when you get it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Updated review (08-03-2014):

On tap at Vivant. Good semi-hazy straw-yellow pour with a good head and retention. Very light, some straw, and faint backing acidity. Nose is lightly fruit. Very easy drinking. Wish it maybe had a bit more funk, and was slightly lower in alcohol, but very good.

Original review (09-20-2011):

16-ounce can picked up at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a clear straw color with a big, fluffy white head and nice lacing on the way down. The nose carried a bit of pilsner malt and that's about it. No yeast presence. No phenolics of fruit. Not very impressive. Flavor is similar with just a touch of pepper. Light body and high carbonation. A bit astringent and tannic. Not a big fan.

A: 4.0 / S: 2.5 / T: 2.5 / M: 2.0 / O: 2.5

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Photo of DJSpidey
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is, by far, my favorite from Brewery Vivant. I have had it on tap at a beer event, on tap in their taproom, in a growler (from their taproom), and in cans; all have been equally tasty, and I am a fan of it. Although it is not a Belgian completely, it reminds me of one. It has more flavor-and character- than an Oberon (from Bell's--also a favorite) while going down very easily; I can see drinking a lot of this on hot days--and it comes in cans, too.

It pours cloudy, and has that wheat'ish flavor with mild Belgian hints; although I am presently a big fan of American IPA beers, I really like Farm Hand Ale (which is almost 180 degrees from an IPA).

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice golden amber color with a huge, towering head of white that refused to part ways no matter what you did. Really just superb looking with tons of lacing down the sides of the glass and a rich and proper looking appearence. Nice elements of light clove, peach, hints of grain and fresh grasses and a nice little spicey punch to it. Warming brings out the wonderful light tart notes through the air that carry over so well into the flavor. Not over done at all, in fact it seemed to fit perfectly as the mellow sourness played off of the rich grainy and frsh flavo

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - bright golden in appearance with a solid stream of bubbles heading upwards. Head it a good inch or so of tiny bubbles all smashed together. Not a bad looking pour by any means.

Aroma - grainy, cereals, some definite yeasty spiciness along with some hints of citrus. It has a faint bit of sourness to it as well.

Taste - the sour graininess is what I taste first followed by the spiciness from the Belgian yeast used with this beer. It's a very refreshing combo and the finish is very dry. Their is some hints at lemons and oranges and a bit of sweetness here and there. The spiciness and light body of this beer is what really make it great. This was a beer brewed for the folks that worked the fields during the summertime. I've come away satisfied and my thirst is quenched so I'd say its certainly done it's job.

Overall - not the easiest style to do well. Brewery Vivant has put together a very solid saison with Farm Hand and if you dig this style you should certainly give this one a shot. It's a perfect beer for warm weather...and not so bad the rest of the year either.

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
82 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.
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