Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Beer: Harvest Wet Hop Ale, 13th Release
Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA, USA
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.7%
IBUs: 60-65
Bottle: 24 fluid oz.
Served in: Pint glass
Place of purchase: Red Carpet Wine & Spirits, Glendale, CA
Price: $5.99

We're into the second month of 2010 and our review beers are piling up (seriously, we've got five that we haven't even touched.) Due to a yet another bout with this Winter's cold/flu season, we are now quite behind on the reviews.

That being said, Jugsy and I now feel GREAT (knock on wood) and are ready to officially, DRINK BEER - on your behalf, of course. After all, we're really doing this for you.

As we browsed our beer-laden shelves looking for the right beer to review, something intriguing caught our eye.... Wet Hop Ale! Being the hop-lovers we are, we had to know more! According to Sierra Nevada's website, their 2009 Harvest Wet Hop Ale uses "Cascade and Centennial hops ... [which] are harvested and shipped as “wet” un-dried hops — the same day they are picked — to our brewery in Chico where our brewers eagerly wait to get them into the brew kettle while their oils and resins are still at their peak." Hops, oils and resins -- Oh, my!!!

In every proper review, your trusted husband & wife team of Beeraucrats will examine the Appearance, Aroma, Taste, Mouth-Feel, Drinkability and Overall Rating of the Beer and arrive at a Total Score from 1 to 10.

Harvest Wet Hop Ale


Deep amber color. Turns deep golden color when held to light. Thick, creamy looking head that dissipates very quickly. Still, what's left is fairly creamy looking, for what's there - which isn't much. Some carbonation visible. Leaves some lacing on
Jugsy: Golden and murky in color with a somewhat reddish hue. Initial thick head dissipates very quickly, leaving no lacing behind. Almost no visible carbonation.


Strong smell of flowery hops is first to hit the nose. Underneath it all, sweet malt can be detected. Also, the faintest smell of slightly funky yeast. The hops take the prize on this one, though.
Jugsy: Yeast and malt aromas seem to dominate when the ale is very cold. Hop scent is faint and more of a subtle background note. Swirling the beer releases the piny hop bouquet and makes me eager to taste this ale. There's a sweet, honey aroma to the yeast that is very inviting.


Hops, hops, hops. Very slight bit of sweetness comes through also. Hints of citrus become noticeable, especially as it begins to warm. Aftertaste is slightly of pine and certainly of hops.
Jugsy: Mmmm... The instant hoppy bitterness delivers just what a name like "wet hop ale" promises. Piny hops come through first, but as the ale warms, the floral hops taste emerges, as well. I can also taste a pineapple-y yeast flavor tying it all together.


Extremely smooth and creamy. The bitterness stings the tongue a fair bit. Overall feel is quite enjoyable, due mostly to the creaminess.
Jugsy: This ale is a tiny bit on the watery side, but very refreshing, nevertheless. What it lacks in carbonation, it more than makes up for in bitter hop bite and flavor. Leaves a bitter hops coating on the tongue.


Goes down very easily. This could fall into the realm of the session beers for me. The 6.7% ABV might creep up on me, of course, but luckily, not too quickly.
Jugsy: The Harvest is a very drinkable ale for any "hophead." While the bitterness may be off-putting for some, to others this ale will feel like a homecoming. At 6.7% ABV and a 24 fl. oz. bottle, you might want to limit yourself to just one... or two!


Very nice beer. Not completely balanced, however, I don't believe that's what they were going for here. The brewers are certainly presenting this as a hop-lover's beer. To quote from the bottle, this is an ale that "hop fanatics like us dream of all
year." And on that note, I've tasted several other beers also catering to lovers of the hop that were nearly one-dimensional, with almost all the focus on making sure that hops dominated everything. Not here, however. While the hops are in the extreme forefront, there are several other notes that come through - citrus, pine, etc. And that super creamy feel as it goes down is fantastic. Would certainly drink again.
Jugsy: This is one of the lightest tasting beers of its caliber that I've had. I'm not positive that I can tell the difference between wet and dry hops, but my impression is that the wet hops deliver a deeper and smoother flavor. The 13th Release Harvest Wet Hop Ale is another fantastic brew from Sierra Nevada that I would happily drink anytime. I can picture this ale going well with a variety of foods; anything from a gourmet poultry dish to a guacamole and chips Super Bowl party! Hey... there's a thought!

Mugsy 7.90

Jugsy 7.25


  1. I had this beer a year ago (along with the other two beers in the Harvest Series) and it was really good. Great review! I liked Jugsy's comment about wet hops having a "deeper and smoother flavor." Next time I have a wet-hopped beer I'll compare thoughts.

  2. Thank you, Tom!

    We still marvel at how the same beer can taste and smell so different to us sometimes!

    We love hearing your thoughts - keep 'em coming!!!