Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Harvest AleHarvest Ale
Very Good
1,749 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,749 |  Reviews: 610
Photo of jpd026
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of ng85
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of Ozurr
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of brentblack1
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of JPowell712
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of Therealfootball
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of Bapplebaum
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of corey0212
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
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!

 762 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
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

 423 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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

 384 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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!!!

 1,030 characters

Photo of Celt44
4.64/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

 733 characters

Photo of quincyships
4.62/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

 576 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

 738 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
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...

 466 characters

Photo of Maxgreenw3
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

 912 characters

Photo of billab914
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

 570 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
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!

 549 characters

Photo of goz
4.57/5  rDev +19%
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.

 377 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.57/5  rDev +19%
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!

 1,075 characters

Photo of vinneef
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

 287 characters

Photo of IYAOYAS89
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Mindsquall
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

 412 characters

Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 1,749 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.