Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale | Brewery Vivant

BA SCORE
82
good
123 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse AleFarm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States
breweryvivant.com

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:
123
Ratings:
502
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
14.09%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
52
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 502
Photo of tjk545
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sour palate with a sour funky nose. I really enjoy this session beer. I like farmhouse beer and saisons, i like the funkiness. I get tired of pale ale. Good beer

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Photo of jaasen64
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can thanks to makdeco. Poured into pint glass. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've had a saison from a can.

A- Pours a very slightly hazy, but mostly translucent light yellow with tons of fast rising carbonation bubbles. A little over a finger of head forms when pouring it that recedes to a thin layer a little bit less then a quarter of a finger of head that has nice retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Wheat, lemon, a little bit of honey, and some hay. About average aroma strength.

T- Lemon zest, mixed with honey, wheat, finishes with some light lemon bitterness followed by a slightly sweet aftertaste of lemon and honey.

M- Fairly light, slightly too carbonated but not bad, refreshing, easy to drink.

O- This was a nice saison to drink, however there wasn't anything that made it stand out too much. I liked the sweet aftertaste of this however I did think it was a tiny bit overcarbonated and the smell was fairly average. I did enjoy this saison and I would definitely drink more. A fairly nice experience for my first saison from a can.

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Photo of bwood06
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I decided to go to dinner at Brewery Vivant since I was in town for work and had not been there in quite some time. I thought this beer would be best to start the evening out with so I settled down to order food and got this as an appetizer.

This beer pours a hazy, golden color that has light carbonation visible. The white head is frothy in nature and dissipates quickly to a thin ghostly layer that is consistent from edge to edge with creamy edges. 3.75/5 The aroma is quite light with unmalted grains, herbal & grassy hops, and a slight musty hay note. This is a very simple aroma that is well balanced but is somewhat boring. 3.5/5 The flavor profile starts out with a bit of light white bread and butter before transitioning to notes of peach and pear. These fruit notes are quite unexpected and lead in nicely to hay, moss, and grassy hops. There is a bit of lemon fruit (not peel) that comes out as the beer warms, providing a nice light sweetness and tartness to the profile. Also, as the beer warms, a bit of clove makes its way out. The bitterness is very light and does not linger. 3.75/5 This is a medium bodied beer with a light carbonation tickle up front, but no drying whatsoever. Rather, it is thirst quenching and wet. 4/5 This is a good, albeit not great, farmhouse ale that is simple and straightforward with a nice surprise in the form of the peach, pear, and lemon notes. It is well balanced betweens sweet and bitter. 3.75/5

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Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Saison from a can? Yes, please! Farm Hand pours a golden apple juice color; a vibrant shade of yellow casts over it with a transparacy all throughout while a mild chill haze abducts the center of the brew. Very volatile on the pour - a big, soapy, bone-white cap froths up quickly and shows decent retention, albeit poor lacing.

The aroma is "farm-y" indeed, with a nice collage of scents coming together; musk, cheesy funk, light apple skins, thick yeast, bready malts. Seemingly effervescent and crisp, although I wish there were a larger fruit compontent. The funk of the brew isn't on par with Brett, it's more muted, less tart, and actually a little bit more damp and musty. Nothing super powerful or robust, but still a solid collection of refreshing saison aromas.

Farm Hand is a little more vibrant on the palate, esepcially when talking about the fruitiness. Funky apples, lemon zest, and white grape skins are the first things to hit my tongue. They're far from sour, but still provide a subtle, yet sharp hint of tartness that only gets stronger as the beer gets warmer. The taste confirms the fact that this beer is definitely a nice, refreshing choice for a hot day.

More bouts of musty funk hit immediately after the fruit spike, along with some wet woody (though I don't believe this ever touched wood), faint, spicy esters, and even a touch of barnyard. Again, not quite reminiscent of Brett, but this brew still has a decent funk to it. It's dry as hell in the finish, like licking a cactus, with a highly carbonated, thin body and a crisp mouth feel.

In a market that's saturated with tons of great saisons, this one doesn't quite stack up. It does, however, still provide a nice, simple example of the style with a pleasant amount of yeast, funk, and fruit, while remaining readily available (in Michigan, at least) and highly affordable. Nothing excellent, but a great choice for what it is.

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Photo of William_B
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not my favorite Belgian Saison style beer crafted from the Belgian countryside. However, a decent and flavorful beer that I do look forward to after a day of working outside. I find this beer very refreshing.
Some reviews have commented on this beer being overly carbonated. I disagree. For the style, this beer is on the money for its balance of carbonation lending itself to refreshing. The authentic ales brewed locally in the Belgian countryside by farmers and their families often push the limits of alcohol content and consequently carbonation because of the process and ingredients used.
Brewery Vivant is expert at upholding the traditional brewing processes perfected through the centuries in the Belgian countryside and abbeys. I believe Vivant's Zaison is a better example of a traditional Saison. Farm Hand Ale is less complicated and a good example of an ale one may discover at any random Belgian farmhouse.

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Photo of Jason
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, no freshness date.

LOOK: Mildly hazed pale yellowish straw, head suffers but some lacing stays

SMELL: Lemon zest, nutty yeast, grapenuts, bread crust, parsley, esters

TASTE: Crisp, snappy, rustic, grainy, dried hay, animal feed, lemon peel, nutty, bone dry, plums, estery

First few sips my palate was smack around a bit. The full depth of the grain used starts coming through, the unmalted grains really to make their mark on the palate. Very refreshing and something completely different from the normal to what "farmhouse" ales are commercially available right now.

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Photo of MSUEmilie
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a very light hazy yellow color to it and was served with no head or lacing on the glass.

There was quit a sour aroma to it that made the mouth water. You knew right away there would be some lemon flavor to this beer.

This beer turned out to be a sour malty lemon beer that finished very crisply.

One of the major contributors to this beers mouthfeel is its high level of carbonation. This gave the beer a very unique feel that I particularly enjoyed.

This is a very unique beer I really enjoyed.

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Photo of carolynschaf
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a very yeasty scent, almost like bread. Which leads you to believe it will be a heavy drink but it is very light and crisp. It does have a cloudy appearance but goes down smoothly.

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Photo of barczar
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is musty, with light horse blanket notes, a hint of pepto, grains, and lemon.

Flavor is lightly acidic, with a slightly sweet grainy malt backbone and a peppery, dry finish.

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Photo of HensonJ3
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good beer, nothing amazing. Very wheaty flavors. Light caramel look. Carbonated but simple enough in flavors to where you can drink more of it. May order again depending on the situation.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an IPA glass....
A - Pours a hazy golden amber color with small head.
S - Aroma is mild and a little funky.
T - The flavor is also mild, slightly funky, a little tart.
M - Thin, low carbonation.
O - I feel like I'm drinking a Light Saison. The aroma and flavor is right but light, which makes this a very drinkable beer but not complex or interesting.

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Ann Arbor, MI.
Hazy yellow gold with a good bit of visible carbonation. Smallish head.
Easy drinking with only a touch of funk.
T: lightly yeasty and fruity flavor with a clear apricot note. Has a nice sweet/tart balance but clearly leans to the tart side.

O: refreshing and very drinkable version of the style with a good bit of complexity.

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Photo of GuzzLah
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a slightly hazy yellow with a standard head. No lace. Light bubbles.

S - apple, white grape, lemon, wheat and mild Saison yeast.

T - follows the aroma. Relatively sweet for the style.

M - light body. Watery. Slightly tart. Refreshing.

O - this isn't a great Saison, but it is a decent, light and fruity summer beer.

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Photo of liamt07
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from the brewery, 473ml into a tulip.

Clear golden orange, very loose, soapy and quickly dissipating white head. Minimal lacing and retention. Nose has some grains, very mild spicing, saision yeast notes. Light pepper. A bit of wheat, lightly tart. Taste has some cookie and biscuit notes, wheat, somewhat tart/lemon-like flavours as well. A bit of zitrus zest. Tart and light, and a fairly quick finish. Medium low carbonation. Not a bad beer by any stretch, quite refreshing. Good on a hot day.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can a pale yellow color with two fingers of thick white head. a good amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma of lemon zest upfront along with grainy wheat notes and grass.

The taste was much like the aroma. A combination of lemon, wheat, earthy notes and grass.

Lighter bodied and quite dry with a sharp carbonation.

A decent Saison from Brewery Vivant.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a clear golden yellow with a two finger white head. Very little lacing.

S - Aroma is Belgian yeast, lemon, and wheat.

T - The flavor is light Belgian yeast, bready malts, and some very faint fruitiness.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This a very average Saison. The flavors are light and very easy drinking. Would make a nice warm weather beer.

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Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer is crisp and golden yellow. It has a yeasty smell, leaving it with some mild fruit notes. It is a really smooth beer with citrus notes. Overall it's a pretty good beer and easy to drink.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can picked up at Oades in East Lansing... poured into my slim tulip... the brew is very pale straw with a bunch of nucleation bubbles.. head is short lasting.

Nose shows bits of pear and underripe apple.. something that I associate with coriander.. grassy notes.

Flavor has not much of what I think of as a "European Model"... but the bones are there... wet hay... sorta dry lite toasty malt... a bit of lemon and cilantro stem .. very dry pear essence..

Body and carbonation are both light as should be..

Saisons can be all over the place... I think this one should be firmly stamped in the group that we should be paying attention too... I would buy it often if I had access.. if for no other reasons as it is refreshing and I expect the folks at Vivant to continually dial it.

Well done.

3.5/3/3.5/3.5/4.5

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Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Farm Hand pours a light, slightly cloudy pale yellow color with a very frothy white head that rises quickly as I pour, but also disappears just about as fast. The lacing is pretty decent and leaves some nice foam landscapes on the sides of the glass.

The smell is slightly sweet and lemon grassy with some spice and a slight tartness. It smells quite nice, but not as exciting as other examples of the style.

The flavor follows suit with a nice slightly sweet, grainy and lemon grass like flavors that are spiked with spice and tartness. Very clean and refreshing, but lacking the nice farm field like character that the best examples of this style normally have.

The body is on the lighter side of medium with a refreshing amount of carbonation. The finish is tart, spicy, dry and refreshing.
This is a very drinkable brew that would be a great beach beer, especially with the tallboy cans. While solid, it really didn’t excite me too much, but it definitely makes me interested to try more of this newer Michigan brewery’s beers.

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Photo of pschul4
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

After that disaster of a Zaison I'm trying this one out.

A- Pours a light orange with a head that starts out large, but falls back quickly with no lacing at all

S- Thank god it doesnt smell like the last one. Strong farmhouse funk and some pepper bite. Not amazingly complex but way better than the Zaison

T- Whew, it doesnt suck. Light pale malt flavor and some nice peppery farmhouse funk. This is a good intro to farmhouse ale

M- Pretty flat but not awful

O- Vast improvement over the Zaison, I like his as a beginners Farmhouse ale

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Photo of mactrail
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale golden in the pint glass. Rather sharp. Modest fragrance. Not the usual thicker, richer Saison. It has more of a clean, simple taste. Acidic fruits. Not much malt and apparently no yeastiness. Head is nice at first but dissipates. Not a star among so many interesting beers in this farmhouse style.

A tangy quaff. On tap at Monarch's in Grand Rapids.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This pours a chill hazed golden tan with light foaming. Kinda muted, musty aroma. Coriander and a hint of cracked pepper come across as I sip, with a pleasing hint of orange blossom. Somewhat of a muddled mess over all.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a cloudy straw gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like citrus (lemon peel), hay, apricots and some earthiness. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some bready/grainy malt and a bit of an apple flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's crisp and easy to drink with a decent amount of carbonation. I thought this was an enjoyable brew, glad I got to try this! I got this for $3.29 a can, not sure how much the 4 pack was.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

663rd Review on BA
Can to Tulip
16 oz

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one.

App- A very light yellow with a lot of haze behind it. A very large long lasting two finger head with a ton of lace and cling.

Smell- I don't think it was pear but it was close to that sort of scent with a little yeast, a little sweet sugar.

Taste- A very nice little saison. It was a nice wheat base with that yeasty vibe, on the back end a bit of an earthy, grassy note. I wouldn't call it funk though. A little damp and soft.

Mouth- Light bodied and high carbed. A nice soft feel on the mouth with more yeast and damp at the end.

Drink- This was a nice tasty little beer. Saisons are always a favorite of mine and this was different out of a can. Not on the same level as cynical but close. If I were to go to MI, I'd have this one again.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 14 November 2013 at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor.

Pours a a very pale light straw color. 96% clear. Brought with little head, leaves no lacing on the edges.

Smell is faint. As in, I can barely smell it. There’s the faintest hint of grain. But mostly, I get nothing.

Taste is quite nice. I don’t know what this beer is, but it has a light tartness that reminds me of a Berliner weisse. The grainy, wheaty background support that. But there’s a spiciness that surprises me, reminiscent of a Czech pilsner.

Feel is outstanding. Light body, prickly carbonation that elevates the beer well beyond what it would be without that vibrancy.. Dries out and gone at tjust the right time.

Not sure where the smell is; otherwise this is a stellar beer. The feel adds as much as it does in any beer.

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
3.62 out of 5 based on 502 ratings.
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