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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 599 | Ratings: 1,719
Photo of Doomcifer
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this one up at a Southern Tier tasting that I attended last night, courtesy of Mike & Co. over at Nikki's Liquors in N. Providence.

It pours a nice, clear, pale golden color with a great off-white creamy head that tends to linger around, decorating the glass with lacing as the beer dwindles down to nothing. Aroma is of fresh, citrusy, fruity hops...smells VERY clean. Taste is more hops. The flavor, however, is more piney than citrusy/fruity as the smell indicates. Very light malts, but the hops take center stage bigtime, along with a grainy flavor. Very much like an easy drinking IPA. I could easily imagine myself enjoying this beer all weekend out in the hot New England summer weather. Very crisp, nice bite, and ends pretty dry but not too astringent. Drinkable? Abso-frickin-lutely...A fine fine example of an APA.

Southern Tier continues to impress.

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised when I poured this beer out because I was expecting some sort of Oktoberfest or something really malty. Instead I got a really nicely yellow beer with some fragrant white head that dies down quickly. I definitely like the color for this style, a lot more Pilsnerlike but with a slightly unique touch of amber too it. Smells hoppy like a west coast IPA with good balance. The taste is rich and hoppy but well balanced by the malt. Grassy hops that finish very clean. I'm usually not a huge fan of overly bitter beers, but this is so clean and full of flavor. A little watery towards the finish, I'd like some more malt there to really get the full experience. Mouthfeel is a perfect balance of carbonation on a medium body. I want some more.

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Photo of Finn
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Date on case of bottles: 8/03/09 This is VERY fresh, apparently.

A hard pour into an English pint glass reveals a golden pale colored ale, with great clarity, and a very thin white head on top.
It smells of grass, citrus, pine and earthy hops, with a nice hint of the malt behind it. The flavor of this beer is well balanced, but nonetheless quite hoppy. Little bit of a bitter hop bit blends with mild sweet malts. There is a slightly coarse character to the hop flavor, but it doesn't detract very much. This is a tasty beer.
The modest body and carbonation help to make this an extremely drinkable brew. Not anything over the top, but very nice fresh hop character, in a superbly balanced pale ale.
Super session beer.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant glimmering golden, white head fizzes a bit but settles nicely,a ring and some stringy horizontal strands of lace appear with a wispy centre. Nose is sweet tangerine, mango, peach, tropical fruit marmalade. The big smell is impressive - wow! Taste is citrus rind with big hoppy first impressions, bold yet very drinkable. This tastes like a stone fruit orchard passed through it, with a dash of spice. Mouthfeel is sharp, earthy malty edges, bitter aftertaste is dry. Very pleasant interesting presentation but again there's a spicy backdrop I'm getting that I can't quite put my finger on, not quite nutmeg or cinammon but moving in that direction. Another fine brew from Southern Tier, you really can't go wrong with this brewery.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Fairly pale yellow color. Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Looks kind of like a macro.

S: Fresh hops. Is this really an ESB? This is almost like an IPA light.The hops smell so good what else do you need.

T: Starts off with a nice mix of hops and grains. The taste really reminds me of brewday and I love that. So I love this. In fact if you homebrew take the taste and smell in the air and this is that beer. Really great. Don't know about ESB though.

M: Medium body. Very crisp.

D: This beer is great. Tons of taste and low ABV. This is the kind of beer I want to have a keg of. Really well done by southern tier. I know they have a reputation for their big beers but this one is worth trying.

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Photo of dgherm
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this baby. After seeing a number of threads on the forum with people seeking this beer out, I bought a sixer of this on a recent beer run. After buying it, I was dissapointed to see on this website it was classified as a ESB. I like ESBs but Harvest to me means a hoppy APA or IPA.

Guess what, this a nice hoppy brew. Mine poured a bright yellow orange, with a foamy white head. Faint lacing remained on the glass as I worked may down the glass. The smell was of bitter hops.
Nice sharp hop bite was evident in taste. Nicely carbonated. I could gulp down a few of these in session.

Nice hoppy beer to enjoy as the days become cooler. I'll be looking for this beer again next year.

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Photo of dtreindl
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As a Harvest Ale, I would expect the malt to dominate the pallet and aroma. While malt does dominate the flavor, there is a surprisingly pleasant mild hop aroma. Hops in the flavor are excellent. They don't overtake the caramel malt flavor, but balance the whole flavor profile very well! It tastes like a caramelized American pale ale.

I would definitely buy this again for any occasion.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours a dark yellow-gold, a bit hazy, with a very thing off-white head that leaves beautiful lacing.

Nose is orange blossoms and a bit of resin, with some biscuity malt coming through also.

Taste begins with a bit of orangey citrus and sweet biscuity malt on the font of the tongue, with some spiciness coming through from the hops also. With the swallow, a light bitterness from the hops sits on the palate, especially the back of the tongue, and the biscuity malt sweetness swells again before giving way to the spicy hops. Bigger flavor, light on the palate. Paradoxical kind of beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, moderate carbonation.

Fantastic sessionability, light, but delicious.

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Photo of StLThrash
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle picked up in a six-pack from The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, MO. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Wow, what a beautiful beer. Crystal clear amber, with an awesome 2-finger frothy white head with excellent retention. Significant lace ring after ever sip. One of the best looking beers I've had.

S - Floral, sweet, citrusy, some malt backbone. Reminded me of more of a pale ale.

T & M - Reminiscent of a hoppy pale ale. Nicely carbonated with a surprisinly juicy mouthfeel. Slight hop bitterness, but not quite to the point of an IPA. Does remind me of a pale ale, not an ESB.

Overall - a very smooth, drinkable beer - and a great fall seasonal. Southern Tier has another hit!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 6-pack of the 2007 offering purchased at The Village Pump, College Park MD for $8.99

A: A crystal clear yellowish-orange brew that looks fairly light, steady stream of carbonation contributing to a thick, beautiful head that leaves a nice lace as it subsides slowly

S: Hops. This is my first wet hop beer and i think i can tell the difference between a "regular" hop and a wet hopped beer. There's a fairly strong citrus aroma but with a twist - there's some grassy notes in there

T: The balance is in favor of the hops but the grassy characteristics do add to the brew. This is a *very* tasty beer, difficult to put down

M: The carbonation feels good but the stand-out part is the thick, persistent, resiny taste. Thoroughly enjoyable

D: Excellent. I find it difficult to put the glass down. A thirst quencher that doubles up as a sipper, depending on what you are in the mood for.

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Photo of jackorain
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-nice straw yellow color crystal clear. Stark white head. Struggled to get a i inch head form an aggressive pour. But decent retention

S-citrus hops, tengerine, grapefruit, biscuit malt very nice

T-Very nice bitterness up front. grapefruit and tangerine from the nose. Biscuit malt, a touch of sweetness, like simple syrup. A really nice apa

M-Medium body, great mouth coatingquality. Seems like a,little wheat malt malt ahs added some body here.

D- great I wish I had more

Overall-An apa that drinks like a little America ipa. Fantastic freah hops throughout. Top nothc brew

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Photo of Kendo
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2007 bottle looks slightly different than the older one pictured here -- it's all orange with no yellow around the name of the beer, which is in black lettering now.

A: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is lighter in color than expected: golden honey, with a small white head that settles quickly to leave a smidgeon of film on top. Plenty of bubbles continue to rise throughout, but there's very little lacing left behind.

S: First impression is grassy wet hops and a strong presence of pine -- sap or resin, even. There's something sweet too -- reminds me a bit of that JuicyFruit gum smell, but also citrus rind, especially lemon.

T: Dominated by juicy, resiny pine sap and grassy hops, but it's not overwhelmingly bitter --some malt seems to provide balance or a foundation for the hops. A slightly lemony and grassy flavor lingers in the aftertaste for quite awhile. Finishes very dry, crisp and clean -- all in all it's almost pilsner-like in that regard, but for the juicy hops that initiate the taste. I was surprised to see from their website that they use Amarillos in both the kettle and for dry hopping. Given that finish, I would have thought that Noble hops were used to finish it off, as it's got a bit of zesty spiciness to it and didn't remind me of what I think of as Amarillo hops -- not that that's a bad thing, it just surprised me a little. . . .

M: Well-carbonated but in a slightly prickly or spritzy way, so it's not obnoxious, and it helps to leave a dry, clean finish despite an oily coating of the mouth with hop juice. Body is light-to-medium in heft.

D: Very good. This one goes down easily.

Notes: Not sure about the style on this one. BA lists it as an APA; Southern Tier's website calls it a "Classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order" (I think it's too hopped up to be called "English style," however); and it reminded me in many ways of a pilsner (not sure whether that's a German or Czech pilsner). Whatever it is, I like it. Could make a great Fall session beer for hopheads. Another success story from Southern Tier. . . .

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Photo of boralyl
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours 1inch of foamy white head. It has a pretty good retention and leaves a little lacing. The beer is a golden straw color, clear, and has lots of carbonation bubbles visible.

S - A nice mix of citrus and grassy hops stands out the most. There is also a light malt sweetness apparent.

M - Light in body, crisp and clean in the mouth feel. It has active carbonation that suits the style.

T - At first I didn't know this was an ESB. It starts out with some light malt sweetness. It's followed closely by some grassy hop and then some citrus juices come through near the finish. It finishes just a bit bitter. This has more hops that ESB's I've had in the past.

An excellent session beer, without having to sacrifice flavor. Reminds me a little of their Hop Sun. This one took me by surprise, I'm a fan.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to try this one on for size. This drinks like a solid, hoppy pale ale with those signature edges of ESB bitterness. Some toffee and some tea underline the fresh, quality, tasty hops (mostly of the citrus variety with herbal bits).
A really nice option when you want something with lots of hops without the serving being too heavy. There's a refreshing quality to Southern Tier's Harvest Ale. It's a bit of a shame that this isn't available year round but it's something to look forward to at the end of summer. It's also a nice reminder that Pumking is just around the corner! Mmmmm...Pumking.

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Photo of Soneast
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dexter's Pub in Madison.

Pours a hazy, golden wheat color, with a 2 finger thcik, cream colored head that looks more like jet-puffed marshmallow cream than it does beer. Very dense and creamy, leaving a slick of lace all the way down the glass.

The aroma is very intense and pungent, full of citrus scents, lemons, oranges and some grapefruit but somewhat accentuated by a nice little spiceyness. Not a lot of malt character, except for maybe a touch of caramel.

The flavor is hop-centric, without being all that bitter. Clearly a lot of late boil hop additions and a ton of dry hopping going on with this beer. More citrus centered, the gamut of citrus fruits are noted, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, but there is also enough of a malt presence to give the beer a good, creamy body with a slightly sweet, almost honey-like flavor to help tame the hops a bit, and not push this into IPA territory.

This beer just feels so good, with a creamy texture and inoffensive carbonation, the hop is the highlight of the beer, but the bitterness is kept in check. An amazing beer, that I would not hesitate to drink again!

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled August 23, 2010.

Pours slightly hazy copper amber with a two finger white head that leaves some lacing and holds a good foamy cap.

Aroma is citrus, floral, and grassy hops, bread and caramel, good strength.

Flavor features a good citrus hop zing, some light spice, good bread/caramel malt balance, mild sweetness, medium bitterness, finishes mostly clean with some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is low to medium bodied, medium carbonation, easy drinking.

A tasty, refreshing, and delicious ESB!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at Big Z beverage in Huntington, NY and served in a standard pint glass.

Clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head of foam that left a sheet of lacing all down the glass.
The smell is grassy/piney hops.
The taste starts out with a citrus sweetness, similar to a tangerine, before a dry bitterness finishes things off.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Moderate abv and good taste makes this brew very drinkable.

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Photo of keanex
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear copper body with an almost 2 finger light tan rocky head which leaves residue on the side as it dissipates. A thin tan coating remains on the top.

S: Slight caramel malts, citrus hints, and hops make a light but pleasant aroma.

T: Caramel and citrus foretaste with a hoppy finish. Very tasty and balanced. Easy to go down. Hoppy aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with medium fresh carbonation.

O: Probably my favorite beer of the season. Absolutely easy to down with a wonderfully balanced taste and pleasant aroma.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy straw-like gold, with a billowy foamy head. Leaves being nice bright white lacing.

S: Very grainy, a hint of buttery graham, malty.

T: As the nose would lead on, malty up front, but also a great hop bite to it. It's sweet, but not overpowering, with that hint of gram tipped off from the smell. Probably the best ESB I have had.

M: Has a great frothy and smooth texture.

D: Incredibly high. Thought I might get sick of it, but it's a delicious beer with an ABV below 7%.

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Photo of dayswonder
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An awesome fall beer! The color of this beer is a nice caramel/amber color. The smell is pretty hoppy, but some allspice too. Perhaps that comes to mind because of the name harvest.

The taste is delicious. It is a wonderful fall beer that keeps the hops at the forefront. This is not often done or at least I haven't found this happening often will the harvest beers. Mouth feel is definitely creamy and smooth. If I had more to drink I would drink a few more of these tonight. Very drinkable and will be bought again.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 10-19-09

Pours a pleasant golden orange color, with a filmy white head that leaves behind nice rings of lacing. A few bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell is awesome, tons of sweet hops and a candy malt to back it up. I was expecting Oktoberfest, and this is much different.

Taste is sharply bitter, with flavors of citrus and a little pine at the end. Very clean, with a very subtle sweet malt character. Something different.

Mouthfeel is good for the style, thinner with good carbonation to keep it light.

Drinkability is outstanding, a fantastic bitter session beer.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed, and will have this again.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. I suppose wow is a frequent adjective used for Southern Tier brews, but wow. This is an unexpected treat. I wasn't sure what this was when I bought it. There are a lot of things going on with this. There are hops and more hops, and then more hops. And then there are malt tastes and more malt tastes. Wow.

The appearance is an amber color with very little head.The aroma precedes the taste with a bunch of dark hops and maltiness. After that, the dark bitter hops won't quit. This is an amazing value - such a great beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: nice citrus herbal nose

taste: perfect balance of hops and toasty malts, well done!

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: I really lie kthis beer and it was a pleasant suprise. not extreme, just well done.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%

Clear medium amber pour coupled with a dash of dark ruby and with a good head. Retention is normal, lacing is above normal. Very nice nose of blended hops (citric, tropical and a touch of dank pine) over a light biscuit. Light medium body with a smooth texture. Slightly above normal carbonation with a nice effervescent finish. Very nice balanced flavor profile that is complex. It begins with a rush of hop flavor - the citric and tropicals lead then flow into a dank note that is much more prevalent than suggested in the nose. The middle is a mild bitterness over biscuit, with a touch of caramel, light sweetness. The finish somewhat dry, but leaves you with the classic English ESB flavors and bitterness over a fading light biscuit. The 6.7% alcohol is completely hidden in this outstanding ESB.

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Photo of hero27
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Graciously given by IBUnit63 in LNBA BIF, thanks man!

Pours a surprisingly clear gold..damn, with the smell as soon as I popped off the cap, I expected something a lot darker. Regardless, the lace forms nice waves on the glass..
Very clean hop flavor, great use of mild spice, crisp citrus fruits, and bready pale malts..
Creamy, smooth mouthfeel..perfectly carbonated and smooth as all get out..ahhh, good stuff.
Extremely drinkable, especially for an ESB. The bitterness & great hop flavor is there, but it doesn't hold back the smoothness of this one bit.
Another very fine brew from Southern Tier.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,719 ratings.
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