Monday, January 3, 2011

Fresh Hop

3 years ago Sierra Nevada Fresh Hop Harvest was probably my first beer quest. I don't think I'd ever sought out a beer that wasn't in my local liquor store. It's kind of weird to think about now when I'm pretty informed on what I'm going to find at any liquor store in town. But, back then I just didn't know that much. When I finally found it I really loved it and had 3 or 4 bottles while it was out.

Many beer quests later including the Boulevard 21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale and I decided to revisit the Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest. I hadn't had one since November of 2007 and Tipsy's has had 4 cases stacked by the beer coolers for several weeks now. For only $3.50 how could I not try at least 1 bottle. The problem with trying many different beers all the time, you kind of forget some of the really good everyday beers.

I had a Boulevard 21st Anniversary sitting around so I decided to drink them both in the same night. I started with the Sierra Nevada and it was better than I remembered. The hops flavor was present but much less muted than in an ordinary Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. But the malty flavor was wonderful, almost creamy. For a beer with "hop" in its name it had no bitterness and was a more complementary flavor to the malt. I absolutely loved it.

The Boulevard 21st Anniversary I had right after just didn't stack up. I didn't really think the first one I had was that great which is why I had another one sitting around. I bought 2 when it came out with every intention of drinking both of them pretty quickly but I never really wanted the second one. It just doesn't have a ton of flavor, malty or hoppy and it's has just a bit of a spicy flavor that I could do without.

I know there's more Sierra Nevada Harvest around town but not much. I'm a little late to the party on it, but I'm definitely going to stock up on it my next trip to Tipsy's. Boulevard 21st Anniversary has come and gone so I'm really late on it. If you're upset you missed it, just pick up a Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest and be happy you're getting a better beer at half the price.


  1. All the Harvest varieties are absolutely wonderful for the price, ignoring the $11/bottle Estate version. I know this is being rather bold but I'd put them up next to the $3.xx bottles of anything from Lagunitas for quality/price. Definitely one of my favorite beer bargains.

  2. I don't think that's being too bold at all, Bean. I love buying a single big bottle for under $5, especially when it's as good as this stuff.

  3. I love some Hop Stoopid, but the Harvests are equally good deals. I'd be hard pressed on which I enjoy more, but the Harvest is a little more versatile because it's nowhere near as hoppy as Hop Stoopid.

  4. Gomer's Lenexa still had some 21st anniversary in their cooler over the weekend. I was very surprised to see any of those still around.

  5. Northern Hemisphere Harvest is truly a steal at that price point. It's a double edged sword with many APAs...they use only the best ingredients and can charge the premium, but every now and then they miss the mark and you're stuck with a $10 mistake. At $3.99/btl you can't go wrong.

    What I really liked about this one was reading that they used hops which were harvested 24 hours earlier for the dry hop. That's fresh.

  6. Bull E. Vard,

    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree.

    I also had the Boulevard's 21st Anniversary along with a Fresh Hop Harvest and my vote goes to the 21st Anniversary hands down! The 21st certainly was a lot better just below room temp rather than cold. That made a huge difference. I felt the 21st was much more fresh, complex, and full bodied compared to the Harvest. Granted this was back in December so less time on the 21st...