Brief Review: Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

I picked up the Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale for several reasons:

  • It’s a Sierra Nevada product
  • It’s a Wet Hop ale. Wet hop ales typically mean fresh and tasty.
  • I’m a hop addict. I lIMG_5206ove what they do and how they taste.

Sierra Nevada claims to have invented the Wet Hop style of beer. What this means in terms of the Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale is that within 24 hours newly picked hops are being added to the brew kettle.

They aren’t dried, freeze dried, blended. They aren’t being preserved to stay fresh for before the beer is hopped. They literally pick them and chuck them straight into the brew. This means you get the most flavorful hops possible. Fresh hops from the Yakima region of Washington.

I cracked open this rather odd-sized fat soldier of a bottle. It’s 22 ounces, and its a nice dark glass with a rustic looking label. I poured it into a traditional pint glass and it created a beautiful two finger head that is having a hard time dying. Underneath this pillow of foam is a warm copper colored beverage that I’m about to taste… But first, how does it smell?
Aroma is slightly piney. Hoppy and citrus. Things one expects. And the flavor?

Wow. It’s everything and more than I hoped it would be. Wonderful ____ hops, a touch of chocolate perhaps… something sweet in there like a caramel malt. Mouthfeel is nice and tight. Light carbonation, but just enough for this beer. You can tell great care was taken to make sure only the freshest hops made it into this beer. After following Sierra Nevada for a while and reading their blog posts, its easy to understand. Check out this article on keeping and preserving thier own hops. Its fascinating!

The Pros
Its delightfully tasty IPA style.

The Middle Ground
If you like hop flavors, this is about as fresh as a Sierra Nevada brew is going to get.

The Cons
None to be found!

The Verdict
Today, on December 5th, 2013 I’m giving this beer a perfect in this style. The first perfect we’ve ever given!

6 of 6 - perfect

6 of 6 – Perfect






6 of 6! Its fantastic. If you see one, pick it up! I would be very interested to compare this to Stones Enjoy By beers!

Extraneous Factors in this Review…

Just savoring the amazingness of this beer.

Linkage(Note: all Sierra Nevada sites require age verification). 
Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale
Sierra Nevada Hops Blogpost
What is Wet-hop Ale?
Stone Brewing Enjoy By


2 thoughts on “Brief Review: Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

  1. Wow, a 6 out of 6. Founders makes a great wet hop ale that is pretty delicious. It is called simply Harvest ale, probably a derivation of the Sierra Nevada beer which came first. It sounds like they use a different malt profile because the Founders beer is not as dark and doesn’t have the chocolate and caramel flavors. It is straight up flowery green hops, very floral, it conjures parallels to fresh cut hemp.

    I wonder how it evolves if not super fresh. Do you know how long ago your Sierra Nevada was bottled?

    • Yeah, it was a fantastic brew. I’ll admit that with any beer it depends on the quality of the product as well as what mood one is in and both options were firing on all cylinders. I actually didnt catch the bottling date before I chucked the bottle. But, I am going to have another one sometime next week and reassess my findings to confirm them. I have seen Founders stuff popping up in places and my local beer pubs but I haven’t yet had any. If I see their wet-hop anywhere I will be sure to give it a try! Thanks for writing and happy beering!

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