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September 24, 2010

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Julia,

I like my beer to conform to the style but ultimately if I like it who cares? (I think you just stumbled upon a 5,000 word debate).

Anyway the think about Harvest Ales is that brewers have many different ideas on what a harvest beer should be. Brown's Brewing in Troy makes a Harvest IPA. Southern Tier's is an ESB. Chelsea makes an Autumn Harvest Wheat.

I am curious, were you judging the Southern Tier Harvest against typical Fall beers like Pumpkins, or Oktoberfests or were you judging it as an ESB.

Kevin - I agree it's a huge debate but I was curious what people think! Ultimately I tend to agree with you - if it's a good beer, it's a good beer.

Brewers definitely have different ideas about what a harvest ale should be. That's the idea behind reviewing a bunch together, to check out the differences. I'll be doing some pumpkin ales probably next week; in general I'm just looking at the Southern Tier and all the beers as fall seasonals, since if I got into specifics (like I originally tried to do with Oktoberfests) I wouldn't have many choices!

I don't find the Southern TIer to be a very believable ESB, as the hops are far too out of whack for the British style, but again, it's a tasty beer nonetheless. In short, I'm assessing them all as fall seasonals for the very purpose of exploring different takes on that concept.

Thanks for your comment!

Julia,

Last year I did a blind pumpkin tasting with four beers (Wolavers, Brooklyn, Saranac, and Shipyard) but never published the blog post (I will, shortly). Today I will be doing another one with about 3-5 (Smuttynose, Jack's Pumpkin Spice, and Dogfish, possibly Southern Tier and Southampton). The problem is the same as with Harvests as you get into Imperials (Southern Tier and others, is Dogfish an imperial at 7%) compared to regular ales.

I am also going to put all of my New York Pumpkin Ale grades together soon.

Kevin - will be curious to see what you think of all of them, especially the New York ones! I love pumpkin ales. Southern Tier PumKing is an all-time favorite.

. I'll be doing some pumpkin ales probably next week; in general I'm just looking at the Southern Tier and all the beers as fall seasonals

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