Harvest Ales

November 8, 2009

Founders Harvest Ale
Weyerbacher Harvest Ale

This relatively new seasonal beer style is becoming one of my favorites. These hop harvest or “wet hopped” ales are basically medium octane IPA with a huge, fresh hop aroma and taste. Apparently the hops are thrown directly into the kettle fresh off the vine so oils and resins are still still intact.

It is important to drink these ales fresh. I’ve noticed that once they are stored a few months, the hop aroma wears off quickly, so drink that sixpack as soon as you get it!

One of the originators of the style is Sierra Nevada. I was fortunate enough to pick up a case of their Harvest Ale last year.

Since the harvest season is upon us I picked up a couple new bottles this weekend- Weyerbacher Harvest Ale from Easton, and Founders Harvest Ale from Michigan. How’d they compare? It wasn’t even close. The Founders completely blew away the Weyerbacher. I don’t know if i got an old bottle (I doubt it) but the Weyerbacher was bland- not much flavor and only slight hop nose. The Founders on the other hand was magnificent.

I visited the South Philly Taproom last night and the barkeep informed me that they had it on TAP last week and she said it was wonderful. I had to settle for the bottle.

If you’re interested in this style then definitely check out Johnny Brendas NEXT Saturday, November 14 for their first (annual?) Wet Hop Rodeo. The Beer Lass has the mostly local lineup.
I’ll see you there.
JBs Hop Rodeo


One comment

  1. […] harvest ales this year except Hopivore from New Holland Brewing in Michigan. It was very mediocre. I mentioned a few years ago that Founders Harvest is excellent, but you HAVE to get it fresh- the hops […]

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