Harvester Pale Ale

Reviewed by on May 9, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Harvester Brewing

  • Origin: Portland, OR, USA

  • Rated On: May 8, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Pale Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

The Pale Ale is the second offering that we at the Beer Diaries have encountered from Harvest Brewing, a City of Roses company that focuses strictly on producing gluten-free beer.  It is apparently made with chestnuts, G-F oats, sorghum, cane sugar, and tapioca (not to mention a standard West-Coast dose of hops).

This 22oz bottle pours a cloudy, rather pale golden straw colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, broadly bubbly, and mostly fizzy dirty white head, which leaves little beyond a touch of wilting paramecia lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of peppy pine needle and dry citrus rind bitterness right off the bat, a thin, but still bakery-fresh doughy and nutty, well ‘malt’ – presumably from the chestnuts employed – a sour cider character from the sorghum, and a further earthy leafiness. The taste is still big on the Cascade hops – tangy citrus and pine tips abound – atop a still bready and nutty malt essence, one now more blended with the stale fruity sorghum notes, with some tapioca pudding and an acrid leafy, weedy hoppiness rounding things out. The carbonation is pretty tight in its fizzy control over things, the body on the Jenny Craig side of medium weight, and just a tad pithy and clammy in its game attempt at smoothness. It finishes off-dry, I suppose, the ‘sweetness’ of the malt, and mostly fermented-out sugars hard to ascribe that label – mostly, we’re talking dry, edgy nuts, and still perky bitter pine and citrus hops.

A drinkable, and rather enjoyable hopped-up American Pale Ale, all on its own, even before G-F considerations come into view, and when they do, it seems that the added sugar does well to sublimate the usual sorghum nastiness, and the use of chestnuts and tapioca starts to look like a very fine idea for this sort of thing. Very much worthy of seeking out, wherever you’re coming from grain-wise.

Brady White

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