A Fresh Take on Harvest Ale

Harvest is a term commonly used to describe beers that are brewed specifically for the fall harvest season. While it is not a defined style or class of , it has become a popular marketing term to highlight beers that are made using ingredients harvested during the autumn months.

One of the key features of harvest ales is the use of fresh, or “wet,” . These hops are harvested right before and are loaded into the beer quickly to capture their vibrant flavors and aromas. This results in an incredibly aromatic and bright , bursting with fresh pine, melon, and citrus notes.

To enhance the hop flavors and aromas, many harvest ales incorporate a moderate dose of oats. These oats not only help to cloud up the beer, but they also grab some of the hop oils from the large dry hop of Citra and Mosaic hops. By using whirlpool and dry hopping techniques, brewers can reduce bitterness while maximizing the aroma in these small-batch harvest ales.

In terms of flavor, harvest ales often have a caramel candy-like sweetness with hints of fruitiness. You may also detect notes of wood, berry, and spruce tips, adding complexity to the beer. While there is a mild hop presence, it is not overpowering, allowing the other flavors to shine through. The finish of a harvest ale is clean, with a faint bittersweet aftertaste that lingers on the palate.

It's worth noting that the content of harvest ales can vary, but they are generally on the lower end, with an average ABV of around 4.9%. This makes them a great choice for those who prefer a more sessionable beer.

Harvest ales offer a unique and flavorful experience, showcasing the best ingredients of the autumn season. Whether you're a fan of IPAs or simply enjoy trying new and interesting beers, a harvest ale is definitely worth seeking out during the fall months. So, grab a glass and savor the flavors of the harvest season in every sip.

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What Makes A Harvest Ale?

A harvest ale is a type of beer that is typically brewed and released in the fall, coinciding with the harvest season. While there is no specific style or definition for a harvest ale, certain characteristics are commonly associated with these beers. Let's delve into what makes a harvest ale unique:

1. Seasonal Ingredients: Harvest ales often feature ingredients that are harvested during the fall. This can include various types of grains, such as barley, wheat, or , as well as specific hop varieties that are harvested around this time.

2. Rich Profile: Harvest ales tend to have a malt-forward character, providing a rich and robust flavor profile. This can result in a slightly sweet and caramel-like taste, with notes of toasted bread or biscuit.

3. Hop Varieties: While malt plays a significant role, hops are also an essential component of harvest ales. Brewers may choose to use hop varieties that complement the malty backbone, providing a balance of bitterness and hop flavor. Some common hop choices for harvest ales include Cascade, Centennial, or Chinook, among others.

4. Spice and Fruit Additions: To further enhance the autumnal character, some harvest ales may incorporate spices or fruits that are associated with the season. This can include ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, apple, or cranberry, among others. These additions can add complexity and depth to the overall flavor profile.

5. Amber to Dark Color: Harvest ales often exhibit a range of colors, from amber to dark brown, reflecting the rich malt profile. The appearance can vary depending on the specific style or recipe used by the brewer.

6. Full-bodied and Smooth Texture: Harvest ales are typically medium to full-bodied, providing a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel. This can be attributed to the higher malt content and potential use of specialty grains.

7. Warmth and Spiciness: Many harvest ales aim to evoke a sense of warmth and coziness, aligning with the fall season. This can be achieved by incorporating spices or using strains that produce subtle esters, which can contribute to a slightly spicy or fruity character.

It's important to note that the characteristics of harvest ales can vary greatly depending on the individual brewer's recipe and interpretation of the style. This allows for a wide range of flavors and profiles within the broader category of harvest ales.

What Is The Alcohol Content Of Harvest IPA?

The alcohol content of Harvest IPA is 4.9% ABV. It is a small-scale interpretation of an IPA that utilizes a moderate amount of oats to help create a cloudy appearance in the beer. Additionally, the use of whirlpool and dry hopping techniques allows for a higher concentration of hop aroma without increasing the bitterness. The beer is dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops, which adds to its aromatic profile. Harvest IPA is a flavorful and aromatic beer with a moderate alcohol content of 4.9% ABV.


Harvest ale is a term used to describe a variety of beers brewed specifically for fall harvests. These beers are known for their aromatic and bright characteristics, often bursting with fresh pine, melon, and citrus notes. The use of wet hops, which are quickly harvested and added to the brewing process, contributes to the unique flavors and aromas found in harvest ales.

One common feature of harvest ales is the inclusion of oats, which not only help to create a cloudy appearance but also extract hop oils during the dry hopping process. This results in a beer with a moderate hop presence and a well-balanced flavor profile. The caramel candy-like sweetness is complemented by hints of fruitiness, as well as notes of wood, berry, and spruce tips.

Despite the use of hops, harvest ales typically have a milder bitterness and a clean finish, often leaving a faint bittersweet aftertaste. With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 4.9%, these beers are generally considered to be on the lighter side, making them more approachable and sessionable.

Harvest ales offer a delightful combination of flavors and aromas, capturing the essence of the fall harvest season. Whether you're a fan of hoppy IPAs or prefer a more balanced and nuanced beer, harvest ales provide a unique and enjoyable drinking experience. So, sit back, relax, and savor the flavors of this seasonal brew.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.