Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale | Brewery Vivant

BA SCORE
82
good
509 Ratings
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
Ratings:
509
Reviews:
125
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
14.09%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
53
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 509 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of scruffwhor
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good head and strong foam for all sixteen ounces. Mild haziness to this pilsner colored ale. Hay and sunshine on a somewhat foggy morning.

Somewhat ripened green apples, unmalted barley, a little lemon zest, and barely malted barley. Smells like a farm house with an orchard a few acres away.

Taste starts tart with lemon and green apples. The middle is more of an umalted barley flavor. The palate is tart and twangy. Makes me think of a French beer. Somewhat tart and viney like winey, but lower in alcohol. Making it easier to drink a couple after a long day in the fields. Glad I tried it.

 597 characters

Photo of BDeibs
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barnzy78
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz can shared with my father-in-law, pours a super pale straw color, hazy, with a bubbly white head that fades very quickly. Aroma is fruity, tart, a bit sour, grassy. Tastes are interestingly different, tart & refreshing, not much for flavor, faint peach & grape perhaps, lemon, grassy hop, peppery finish with some astringency to clean the palate. Thin body, higher carbonation helps it a bit. Overall, I'm not sure what to think of this, with nothing to compare it to other than its Belgian counterparts. Good for a hot day, but I probably wouldn't get it again.

 567 characters

Photo of n2185
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with three fingers of white head that fades into a dense cap with good lacing.

S: Crystal and biscuit malt-like aromas up front a hint of tart fruit and spices. A bit bland smelling.

T: Light Belgian spice notes up front with crystal malt and biscuit-like flavors following. There are slight notes of fruit throughout with a dry, bready finish.

M: Light body with high carbonation, this beer is very light and dry, which is nice.

O: An alright saison overall, though it lack depth of flavor and aroma.

 534 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Bung
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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

Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's Farm Hand a couple days ago for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. It's another unusually warm day in Michigan and a Saison sounds like a good choice to get the night started with so lets see how it goes. No canning date. Poured from a 16oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- Just like all the other Brewery Vivant cans this one looks pretty good with some bright red highlights and a scene of a person working on a farm. It poured a slightly hazy pale straw yellow color with two and a half fingers worth of head that died down very quickly to a thin ring that eventually faded to nothing. The color was nice and true to the style, but i wish it had better head retention, it faded really fast like most AAL's, slightly above average looking.

S- The aroma starts out with a good amount of malty wheat aromas that are followed by a slight fruity aroma. After that comes a pretty noticeable hay and straw aroma and a half and half mixture of herbal and grassy hops showed up towards the end. It smells true to style but it was a little bland and not that interesting.

T- The taste isn't that similar to the aroma. It starts out with a good amount of pale malts that impart a light grainy and malty flavor after that I get a light lemon flavor followed by a pretty noticeable grassy flavor. At the end I get some herbal flavors along with some grassy hops, it had a very low amount of bitterness on the finish and was slightly tart with a grainy aftertaste. The taste was inline with how a Saison should taste, but it wasn't that interesting to me.

M- Smooth, crisp, dry, light bodied, with a higher amount of lively carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty true to style and I didn't mind then higher amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was ok and I thought that it was a slightly above average Saison, it had a lot of attributes that a Saison should have but they just didn't blend and come together as nicely as they could have. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it went down pretty smooth and was light in body and in flavor so drinking a couple on a hot day wouldn't be out of the question, but the flavors doesn't do a great job at holding my attention. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel I thought it worked well with this beer and it was pretty Saison like. What I liked least about this beer was the lack of complexity when it came to the flavor, to me that's what separates a good Saison from a mediocre Saison. I might buy this again if i need something in a can that is easy drinking for disc golf but I can think of more then a couple other Saisons that I would much rather have. This is worth a try for a fan of the style or someone looking for a lighter beer for a hot day, but the lack of complexity doesn't make it that memorable. This wasn't a bad Saison but it wasn't a great one either, it was pretty much right in the middle, if it had a little more flavor, more complexity, and was a little more rustic, it might be a pretty good Saison, but as it stands now I wasn't too impressed, this brewery is good but they have yet to wow me, but I still haven't tried their Belgian IPA, so I'll to wait till I try it to full form an opinion on this brewery. New Hollands Golden Cap is still my favorite Saison, I like it much more then this Saison.

 3,327 characters

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of teamwiggum
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

 1,087 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of hollywood_15063
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
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!!

 893 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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.

 1,915 characters

Photo of morimech
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale yellow color with slight haze. A massive head forms and settles to a thick cap. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Does not smell Belgian or for that matter, interesting. Pale malt is all that is detected. Hate to say this but it smells like a pale lager.

Pale malt flavor with just the slightest hint of Belgian yeast. Not much for esters or phenols. It is dry so that much I enjoyed.

Light body with lively carbonation. A little too thin to warrant a good score.

An uninspiring attempt at a Saison. Nothing off-putting but not interesting in the least.

 570 characters

Photo of GreenMind
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lukass
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of PatGreer
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can
Served in a Tulip glass

A - It pours straw yellow and is slightly hazy. I got plenty of off white head.

S - Mild funk with some grassy notes.

T - I get some grass and lemon.

M - Crisp with some biting carbonation.

O - It's a solid beer. I've had better, but I wouldn't turn one of these down.

 306 characters

Photo of skaboom420
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
3.62 out of 5 based on 509 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.