Savoring a Time Honored Tradition
A Review of Harvest Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/19/2012 by Chops
                   
Delicious
The crisp cool air of fall has arrived and breweries are releasing their seasonal bounties. Oktoberfest has come and gone. The winter months are slowly approaching. It's this time that another seasonal nectar begins to hit the shelves: the harvest ale. This is a loosely designated style that usually involves fresh hopping. This is when breweries will use freshly harvested hops that have not been dried or otherwise processed. It imparts a strong earthy quality to beers that is perfectly suited for the fall months. It's meant to signal the beginning of the next brew cycle, just like the harvest festivals of old. I recently had the chance to sample my first of the season: the Southern Tier Harvest Ale.

In the glass, this beer has a clear honey golden coloration. It comes with a big creamy light tan head that lasts for a very long time. On the nose, I found an earthy malty aroma with sweet caramel notes and a piney hop profile. It's a great introduction for the style. When I close my eyes, I am instantly transported to a breezy valley with beautiful fall foliage.

The earthy malty character also sets up shop as the base flavor. The piney hops balance very well with the caramel sweetness, both of which rest upon the earthy malt. I also found some spicy citrus notes as well as a faint grassy vibe. The mouthfeel is very thin and creates a wispy dry hop profile. It's strange, but it works. It doesn't seem out of place at all. The finish is also quite dry and exits with a fresh piney hop bitterness. This beer embodies the freshness of a harvest ale and you can taste the earthy characters throughout the flavor train.

Overall, the Southern Tier Harvest Ale is an easy drinking brew with plenty of earthy personality. It's a very nice representation of the harvest ale style. Consequently, I can recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will appreciate this beer as a tasty seasonal treat. Novices can enjoy this beer as an educational tool for what fresh hopping brings to the table. I personally really love these beers because they allow me to feel connected to the brewing process. Harvest celebrations are a time honored tradition and I start mine with the Southern Tier Harvest Ale.

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Harvest Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Co.
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