Harvester IPA

Reviewed by on June 3, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Harvester Brewing

  • Origin: Portland, OR, USA

  • Rated On: May 30, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Harvester Brewing’s IPA is one of the few gluten-free versions of the style that I have yet to come across. Made with the same chestnut/GF oats/tapioca concoction as its sister brews, but now with a sexy west-coast hop treatment.

This 650ml bottle pours a murky, medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, weakly foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a bit of sudsy island group lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bitter, dank pine and leafy hops, a bit of overripe grapefruit and orange pith, a nutty sweetness, gritty vanilla pudding, and a strange warm spiciness, that I’m pretty sure is the sorghum. The taste is sweet, well I gotta say it – Neapolitan ice cream – vanilla, mild dark fruit, and a chocolate-flecked nuttiness, with a splash of west coast IPA on it, as the pine resin, acrid citrus, and bitter leafiness seem somewhat disjointed from the whole. A smidge of alcohol astringency worms its way in as things warm up. The carbonation is quite average, manifesting as a tightfisted frothiness, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and a tad too prickly (yup, the hops) to be deemed outright smooth. It finishes off-dry, the nutty and vanilla essences still prominent, amongst a still heady, and musty pine, leafy, and floral hoppiness.

Well, I’ve certainly had proper IPAs with much less interesting and/or enthusiastic malt bills as this one does. The hops strive to be the star here, and they surely have the spunk to go far, babe, but with GF brews, I have to pay more attention to the sweetness counterpoint, because of its stereotypically inherent weakness. So, survey says: everything’s fine, people, Harvester hits another standing triple with their deft combination of malt-adjacent ingredients, and maintains their west coast cred, or whatever, for the aforementioned hops.

Brady White

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