Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 10-19-2003

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Reviews: 600 | Ratings: 1,722
Photo of jabel9
4.92/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Harvest. This is my favorite time of year. The northeast weather is starting to cool, leaves gaining the fall colors, football season about to begin and Southern Tier releases the Harvest Ale. This is an exceptional brew. A light golden color that surprisingly sits a bit heavy in mouthfeel. The floral hops create an amazing smell which complements this brews extraordinary taste. You can't just enjoy one, as each after the first just exponentially get better. This brew awakens taste buds that have laid dorment since last fall's Harvest. The only thing better than enjoying a Harvest is enjoying it off a tap with friends. Cheers!

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Photo of cincodm
4.92/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Sam Adams pint glasses...

A-Looks like beer, so I assume it is.

S-HOPS!!! Oh boy, I am going to drink the sh*t out of this.

t-In a word...Fantabulously Awesome!!! I love me some hops and this one has just the right amount. Very similar to Nugget Nectar in flavor, and similarly to NN, it tastes more like an IPA than the intended style. I taste citrusy hops up front and a touch of sweetness at the end, with a subtle alcohol flavor. I reviewed another beer on here that was too thin but had good flavor so I gave it a "like it but don't love it rating" because of the mouthfeel, but this one tastes so good I love it. I was only going to have one, but this 6'er is gone.

m-Not great, too thin, but the taste more than makes up for it. You can actually swish it around and release more flavor and get little foam because it is so thin.

d-I am seriously going to drink all 6, and I am not inviting anyone over to share with. I am so sick of Marzens and Pumpkin beers at this point that this is a welcome departure for the season.

I would 100% recommend this to anyone, even non-hopheads.

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Photo of mckajd03
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I think my first words were, "Oh, man that's good!" This is one crazy drinkable beer. I could easily have three without blinking. I have no idea where they get off classifying it as an ESB, because it's nothing like any ESB I've ever had. It's more like a pale ale or even IPA. The hops are so floral and citrusy- a nice hint of clementine. But there's also this sweetness that is what makes it so drinkable. It is in no way overpowering, but it's what makes it a bit harder to categorize. I'm not sure if they changed the recipe from last year, but judging by the comments, it seems a lot of people like this season's batch.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.89/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got about a finger of bone-white head with low retention from the pour. The color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow. The nose was spicy and citrusy, specifically, cinnamon and orange zest and I was put in mind of potpourri, plus my mouth started watering. The mouthfeel was medium, approaching full and I got a really tangy orange flavor in the mouth. The finish was more piney and lingeringly hoppy. Shazam! Boy, was this a good beer. I really recommend it.

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Photo of dick783
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice gold color with an orange hue and a pure white head on top that stays. The smell is deliciously earthy. Lots of piney hops with a bit of citrus hidden in there. And it tastes just like it smells. That piney hop flavor is everywhere, but balanced well enough with the malt so that its not overpowering. The mouth feel is good and full, with just the right amount of carbonation. It finishes with a pleasant, bitter aftertaste that lasts. Excellent beer for the fall.

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Photo of corey0212
4.69/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly-clear golden/yellow color, smallish soapy white head fades out really quickly, leaves a ring of various sized bubbles around the glass, a few patches of lacing. Smell is wayyyy hoppy! Juicy grapefruit on the nose, some pineapple, and a soft doughy sweetness. Very hop-forward taste, but it isn't quite as explosive as the nose would suggest, and that's a good thing. Slight piney taste, and all very expertly balanced with the sweet malt. Medium-bodied, slightly creamy, and a just-right amount of lingering hop bitterness. 5.20 ABV?!! Fantastic drinkability here. I'm picking up a case of this, without a doubt. This is the kind of beer you'd want to drink outside, leaves burning, with the hot and sticky summer just a distant memory. Love this!

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Photo of jsh420
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours bright golden yellow with a 2 finger head that coats the glass with lacing

smells of citrus hops - has ipa all over not esb

taste - wow... this is by far ST's best beer the offer in a 12oz (too bad its a seasonal) - to me it seems like hopsun with more citrus/lemon hops

mouthfeel is light crisp and refreshing - what more could you ask for

drinkability is outstanding - i will be going back to the store for more

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger fluffy white head and has a georgeous golden rod honey color.
It has a very nice citrus, floral sweet smell.
Tastes initially sweet, citrusy, some lavender floral character, then smoothly transitions to a medium dry slightly coating finish.
Medium carbing, medium bodied.
Drinks well for me, a few could go down very easily.
This one is well balanced for me. Yum

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a sixer of this beer a week or so ago, it wasn't in the system, so I hid one from myself in the back of the fridge. The Harvest Ale I drank was a hop monster, it wreaked of hops, and tasted very similar to their IPA. I liked the way it tasted before, but it wasn't what I thought a harvest fest should taste like, this bottle is a whole different story.
It poured golden orange, had a nice off white head that slowly faded away. The smell is great, big juicy hops. The taste is just frickin awesome. Its still got the hoppyness to it, but instead of taking your tongue and beating the hell out of it, it rubs your tongue until you're one happy camper. TRY THIS BEER! Yum, yum, yum, happy, happy, happy. Lot's of tasty hops, yet well balanced, just damn tasty. I haven't tried enough fall seasonals to tell you its the best out there, but this one single beer is the most impressive beer I've had in recent memory. Maybe its because I wasn't expecting much, but I am totally blown away. Time to drink the rest, woohoo!!!

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Photo of Celt44
4.64/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the first time I've seen this one - suprising considering we're not too far from Lakewood and we get most all of Southern Tier's products in this area.

Appearance is very good - medium transparent amber - head dissipates after a while but lacing lasts throughout.

Aroma is exceptionally superior for a beer of this type. Floral hops jumps right out almost as strong as their delicious IPA. Undertones of malt, pine, and orange present.

Taste - piney hops upfront along with grapfruit - more robust than most of the type. Smooth malty character for a finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is superior. I am thoroughly impressed with this beer. I love their IPA and Porter but IMHO this beer is their best.

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Photo of quincyships
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is whack. No, it's wiggety-whack. Smooth, smooth, smooth ESB body with very light color draws you in (unless you're tipped off by the drippin' fresh hop aroma) and the hop bite throws you off the bridge, until the smooth finish makes you realize you're on an awesome beer bungee. The only logical reaction is to climb back up and jump again.

Appearance: crystal clear, almost too-light looking

Aroma: Am I in the hop field?

Taste: In spite of what you saw and smelled, this beer has an awesome balance. It's wicked hoppy but not over the top. I want to make this.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, another godsend from NY, this beer is just as tasty and possibly more balanced as their IPA. These guys are doing some things right I am by far more impressed with their beers than anything out of the Matt Brewing Co. (Saranac). Appearance: Copper orange body nice white head with evenly disributed lacing, perfect. Aroma: Nice full pine cone and citrus scented hops plentiful hop aroma, with a lucious malt backbone. Taste: Well balanced with an overall excellent snappy hop bite to it, awesome caramel tinged malts very very good. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied smooth carbonation no complaints. Drinkability: A go to for myself hits my beer soul just right, so easy drinking and flavorful at the same time ideal session brew in my eyes.

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Photo of ZAP
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is so drinkable. Great hop profile. Fresh piney notes are strong as are some basic citrus (oranges, ripe grapefruit)...there is also a light tropical fruit note of mango and papaya.

What makes it all come together is the sugar cookie like malt backbone...some sbiscuity notes as well. The malt combines fantastically with the hops...

Light side of medium bodied...really slides down with enjoyment. Similar to the Goose Harvest Ale but this has more flavor...

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up two 6-packs of this in Columbus, $9.99 each. First off it must be said that this is not an ESB (the style currently entered on BA). This strikes me as an APA or something of that ilk. The beer is crystal clear, golden colored, with a thin 1-finger head that laces onto the glass. The aroma is all amarillo hops, at least as far as I can tell. Based on smell alone I don't think I could distinguish this from Gumballhead (which is not a bad thing). I'm getting lots of citrus like grapefruit, orange, and maybe some non-citrus mango. The taste is nearly equal to the smell, and again it reminds me a lot of Gumballhead. Lots of sweetness from the hops and abundant malt based on mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste which seems to come from the hops again. The body is on the thicker side for such a light looking and smelling beer. This is a big winner from Southern Tier, definitely worth a repeat.

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Photo of billab914
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer I keep stocked pretty much as long as it last on the shelves. This might be my favorite harvest ale, something that I look forward to each year.

Pours a light gold color with a modest amount of head. Good clarity and overall a very nice looking beer. Hop aroma is fantastic, I love the smell of this beer. A lot of sweet citrus aroma that is very appealing. Taste is also very good, lots of sweet citrus hops up front with some bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly creamy finish. Very drinkable, I could drink this beer all night.

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Photo of bobsy
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A very American interpreatation of an ESB (I'd call this an IPA for sure). Pours a radiant burnished gold with a large sticky white head that laced prodigiously. Stunning looks. Huge hoppy aroma - all sorts of citrus in abundance. The flavour revelaed much of the same... lots of citrus going on and lending an impressive bitterness. Some solid malts to back it up, and balance everything. Sticky mouthfeel with light carbonation. This is another excellent offering from Southern Tier and sure to satisfy all you hopheads. Thanks for sharing, Shawn!

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Photo of goz
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear light amber, with a big fluffy white head that mostly lasts, leaved great lace on the glass. Aroma is biscuity malts, with lots of fresh floral and pine from the abundant hops. Flavor starts with some good biscuit and caramel maltiness, ends with a huge fresh tasting hoppy goodness. Medium-full bodied, extremely good stuff. Thanks to jah noth for this fine ale.

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Photo of Deuane
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Al's of Hampden--nice to have this on tap, for when fresh it is the best harvest ale out there.

A-Brilliant, light golden yellow with a medium bright white head that reduces slightly and deposits spotty lace.

S-FRESH citrus hop smack up front--but not overwhelming. Light touch of spiciness in the background. All of this hop goodness is nicely suppported by a light, but present sweet biscuit aroma.

T-Mmmm, mmmm....FRESH, citrus hops with a touch of spice. Light biscuit malt base simply comes along for the ride. This one is all about the freshness of whole hops!

M-Medium-light to maybe even light bodied. This is fine with me as it is super sharp and crisp with LONG lingering hop bitterness that never becomes annoying as it quickly fades between sips only to be established again with the next quaff!

D-Without a doubt my most favorite harvest ale out there. Fairly low ABV and that sharp citrus hop zing that I love. There must be Amarillo hops in here....my number one hop variety! Simply outstanding and a brew I look forward to enjoying every fall!

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Photo of vinneef
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent fall beer.Never had a esb quite like this one.Taste like amarillo hops,which I love, mixed with the taste of fall.This is my favorite fall beer.Better than any pumpkin or oktoberfest for my taste.Don't expect a esb when you try it.Nothing like an esb I have tasted.Much better.

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Photo of funkengruven
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as this style of beer goes, this stuff is great!

This poured a nice strawy yellow with a slight bit of head lingering on the top. Smell is inmistakably hoppy. The hops in the flavor of this brew are interesting, they have a very grapefruit like aroma to them and the aftertaste has a sweet finish which I really liked. Remarkably smooth and easy to drink as well.

As far as APAs go, this one's a beauty.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - hazy gold with a huge cap of frothy white head. tons of lacing

S - a mix of west coast hops with biscuit malt

T - very strong hop presence but not overwhelmingly bitter. Well balanced with the malt flavors

M - not a lot of carbonation and was somewhat thick and medium bodied.

D - I have had two southern tier beers so far and both were way above expectations.

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful hop scent that balances the malt aroma nicely. It boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. The taste is good. It has a bitter and earthy flavor that goes down smooth and finishes dry and bisquity. It has a nice breadlike quality. The mouthfeel is great. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a really good seasonal. I've heard of it mentioned the last couple of years, but could never get any. This is a fine drinker.

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Photo of kkosmoski
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 50F into a Dogfish off-centered pint glass. A very clear light golden color in the glass with an airy white head of about two fingers after a vigorous pour. Foam clings to the side of the glass as it settles down. Smell is of sweet taffey, light toast, and pungeant earthy hops with some citrus mixed in. Flavors start of with a pithy, citrus bitterness along with some sweetness - maybe candied orange peel, and remain on the sweet side until the finish. It ends with a subdued grapefruit bitterness coupled with a very delicate grainy touch. Mouthfeel is quite full and sticky with a relaxed carbonation. Drinkability is very good with a great balance between malt and hops and a moderate abv. A very nice fall brew from Southern Tier that displays very fresh ingredients from the recent harvest.

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A marvelous concoction. Reasonably priced, too. If you like this, then give Fegley's Always Sunny American Pale Ale a try - which I believe is truly closer to this ESB style.

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Photo of IronLover
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color with an amber hue. Poured with excellent clarity and a strong white head that reduced to a thick white cap. Sweet biscuity malt and grapefruit hop aromas. Smooth buttery feel with healthy carbonation. Nice balance of light toasted malt and grapefruit/orange hop flavors with a grapfruit hop finish. wnet down smooth and quickly. Southern Tier never disappoints. IF you didn;t tell me this was an ESB I would have classified it as an APA. Either way, this quickly became one of my favorites.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awesome, simply awesome. This beer really kept me guessing the whole way through and I was pleasantly surprised. I picked up a six pack at Glenville Beverage when we were visiting my in-laws in NY. I checked the import section and grabbed a couple of German Imports that I didn't recognize seeing anywhere in MA. At the register my wife saw the little shelf with about 8 or so seasonal beers with Southern Tier's Harvest right in the middle. She was much more curious than I was I told her it was listed as an ESB on BA and the clerk at the register said it's really good "it's like a hoppy ESB" according to him, so we gave it a shot and boy were we happy we did.

Poured this one into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Comes out a very pale yellow gold color with a slight haze to it. I was actually really dissapointed on first glance till I took a 2nd look at it. There was a really thick frothy head to it with lots of different sized bubbles, almost a creamy frothy look. A good chunk of the froth goes away about a fourth of the way through the drink and a ring stays on the edges with a skim of froth across the surface. You get a little bit of lacing that sticks in small patches all over the glass. You can also see in the haze what looks like citrus zest floating around all over. The smell is great. Hops dominate the smell here. Primarily citrus hops smell, dry hopped, much like the famous "hazed and infused" by Boulder. The taste is also phenomenal. Still pleasantly hoppy with again primary citrus hops. Likely some pine hops but I'm thinking mostly citrus dry hops. The malts are clearly present, but the taste is dominated by the hops. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expected, it strikes me more like an IPA than an ESB, it has some bitter bite to it from the hops, but all in all pretty darn good. This one extremely drinkable beer, willing to go with flawless for drinkablity. Very little to pick on about this beer, maybe it could have been a little maltier and heavier but overall it's a pretty well thought out brew. This could easily be a year round beer. I like Southern Tier going hoppy for their fall seasonal, good idea on their part.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,722 ratings.
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