Southern Tier says:
“Harvest Ale is our celebration of the changing weather and the sowing of hops and barley that will be used in our upcoming brews. We usher in the fall with a classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order. Deep ruby in color with an even deeper hop flavor… in fact, we throw fresh English hops into every brewing vessel, then dry hop after fermentation to impart a zesty kick. This beer has real hop character that mingles with fresh malted barley for an experience that will make you wish it were fall year ‘round.”
Southern Tier Harvest Ale
ESB, 6.7% ABV
Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of the year. The temperatures cool off, leaves are changing colors, you can throw all sorts of meat and veggies in to a pot and call it stew AND some of the best beer styles are released. And while I love a good Oktoberfest beer or pumpkin ale the harvest ale has a special place in my heart. I love the idea that I am getting the freshest hops as possible in my beer. I love the flavors and aromas that come along with it. I also love that harvest ales come in different shapes and sizes. Some are pale ale’s, like Founders Harvest Ale, while others are dark ales like one brewed by Half Acre this fall. This particular offering, Southern Tier’s Harvest Ale, is billed as an ESB and brewed with four different hop varieties.
Before we get to the aroma and flavors of this beer, check how translucent it is. You can read the bottle from behind the glass. Skeptical? Don’t believe me? Check it.
Sure, it reads like something in a fun house mirror, but you get the picture.
As for the specifics; Harvest gives off a nose of pine and caramel and tastes about the same. There are pleasant, unintrusive, hops up front which blend seamlessly into a sweet, malty finish. There are just enough hops to appease most hop heads but not its not over-the-top. The way the flavors change in this beer are actually kind of interesting. You get the hops up front and as you get about halfway through your sip they completely disappear from your palate and you taste…nothing. Then, the malts show up to finish things off.
This was an easy drinking harvest ale. It’s not the best out there but its also not the worst.