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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale | Brewery Vivant

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BA SCORE
82
good
119 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:
119
Ratings:
495
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
28.53%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
49
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 495
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!

 266 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of NatoMasochism
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 pint can. Ignored the glassware recommendation and poured into large tulip. Paired with barbecue chicken sandwich. Honestly, I think this beer is mild enough to pair with just about anything.

Excellent representation of the farmhouse/saison style. It's an easy drinker when you can't decide what to grab from the beer fridge. Unfortunately, this was my last one and will have to wait till my next trip to Michigan before I can restock. Last time I was at the taproom, they said their plan is to remain local and not increase their distribution footprint. :(

 570 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Brewery Vivant Farmhouse Saison.


Haven't had a whole lotta saisons in my day so it's always nice to pick one up from a local brewery. Admittedly , Vivant has never really blown me away but I haven't had a whole lot outta them. Hoping for the best, but likely expecting something a bit above average.


Look - From the pint sized can poured slowly into a dimpled pint glass. Beer pours a slightly murked golden with a big frothy sticky and thick white head that sticks around and leaves immediate lace amongst slight decay. Carbonation appears to be about moderate with this brew. Lacing is sparse, though still thick and soapy.


Smell - The nose isn't overly prevelant. It does have the typical farmhouse character with a bit of a berlinner like twang but there isn't much in the way of funky ness. The yeasts are clearly Belgian with a bit of the mustard seed.


Taste - Taste follows the nose almost 99%. Mostly moderate amounts of Belgian style yeastyness with a quick and moderately present shot of tartness. A bit of hay and Belgian whorehouse. Again, not a huge flavor so this review likely won't be all that long.


Feel - Feel is the best part of the beer. The body is moderately full with a supremely creamy over all mouth feel. The flavors remain much the same and the brew swallows with a moderate Belgian funky factor.


Overall - A pretty average brew that won't blow anybody away and certainly isn't even the top ten in the style. Needs the flavor amped up a touch or three. At $2.99. Pint I wouldn't buy it again, but it's fine as a lower abv session drinker. As always, try it for yourself and come to your own conclusion..

 1,642 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy and cloudy yellow straw colored - not much head or retention.

S - Yeasty, lemons, dough, wheat.

T -Grains and yeast take the opening kick off, followed by a faint malts, cracker, nutty, dough. Low to medium bodied, this Finishes dry.

O - solid brew, not a big fan of this style, but this is a good brew to journey to for it.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank right from the can. Aroma is clean, and fleshy-fruited: pears and apples. Yeasty. Taste follows, clean and crisp, a little bit of spice in there as well. Refreshing and clean.

 181 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

- pint can. duvel chalice.

A: Palest of straw pour exit from the can produces a glass consuming white foam monster that dominates the vessel for a lengthy period of time. Beneath, a crystal clarity of brass coloring reveals an even pace of effervesce filling the glass. Big sloppy, soapy patches of lace smoother the glass. Turns cloudy on second pour.

S: Sweet aroma, white grapes, fresh wet citrus, with some fresh pear and apple juice fruitiness. Nice level of commitment, lasting duration.

T: Flavor of apple juice, pear, lightly tart and acidic with a gentle dry finish. Spicy, fruity sweetness, with a increasing tart and funky finish upon warming. Some light wheat, berries with some stemmy and spruce notes.

M: Crisp mouthful, light bodied.

O: Overall an easy drinking french style farm house style ale that is refreshing, lightly tart perfect for a hot summer day. Clean, crisp, multiple drinker again for those hot summer days and and back yard affairs with light chatter. Not gonna blow you away, but is appreciable for its easy drinking nature and approachable for new to style and just kicking back.

 1,122 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 219 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 600 characters

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.

 313 characters

Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 196 characters

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.

 179 characters

Photo of carolynschaf
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 194 characters

Photo of lucasra1
3.26/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Overall this is a good beer because of the drinkability, but the flavors are hardy discernable. Lots of yeast on the nose making it stand out as a farmhouse ale. Crisp, light and refreshing. A very uncomplicated beer that most would enjoy.

 239 characters

Photo of Sydney10
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color. Strong yeasty lemon aroma. A much lighter beer and easy to drink. The taste is a mixture of sweet and citrus. Lemon, apple, and pear are present in the taste. The sweetness is a honey flavor. Overall, enjoyed this mild beer.

 241 characters

Photo of spacecake9
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 364 characters

Photo of TheStepChild
3.99/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like the spicy (yeast?) and sweet malt flavor with a light bitterness to balance off. Finishes a little tart or astringent but not in an unpleasant way. I like pairing this beer with some gouda cheese.

 203 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Earthy, quick-tasting beer. Yeasty. Spicy, grainy, estery, very "farm-like" up front but the flavor ends abruptly. Easy, sparkling water like finish. Decent beer. I'd like to try it again and see how consistent each batch of this is.

 238 characters

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.

 409 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

i have heard so much good stuff about these guys so i was super excited to see one of their beers on a menu, but i was really let down by this. its loosely a saison, but it has a very generic white wine sort of yeast profile, a super light grain base, and unfortunately almost no carbonation at all. its real light golden in the glass, hazy and dead flat. the nose is that sharp 3711 type french saison yeast, but there isnt enough grain behind it to hold it up. i do like the lightness though for summer drinking, but without any bubbles its hard to get into it very much, and this yeast never warms up very well i dont think. dry and light, but also boring and a little sloppy in execution. i appreciate the mission of reviving rustic ale styles, but this is not something i care to have again. i will have to get my hands on some of their other stuff, as they do have an excellent reputation. maybe i just got the one bad egg...

 931 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date. Pours slightly hazy bright golden color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, herbal, straw, grass, light clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, herbal, straw, grass, light clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, pepper, wheat, cracker, straw, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; with a nice crisp malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice saison style. All around good robustness, balance, and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,483 characters

Photo of tjk545
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
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 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!

 1,087 characters

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

 785 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 2.50/16 oz can at Brewery vivant store
Unlabeled can at 45 degrees into pint glass
Aroma slightly sour
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing OK –small islands and broken rings, bubbles small to medium
Body medium yellow, cloudy
Flavor is somewhat sour, with, really, not much flavor. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Kind of like a weak fruit juice.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation.

This is Brewery Vivant’s interpretation of a French Farmhouse ale. Is it accurate? Don’t know. Is it good? Meh – it’s drinkable and not offensive. Would I seek it out or trade for it? No.

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Farm Hand French Style Farmhouse Ale from Brewery Vivant
3.61 out of 5 based on 495 ratings.
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