Early this week, I wrote about the return of Founders Breakfast Stout. In addition to that wonderful stout, this week we saw Founders Harvest Ale show up around south Louisiana. Harvest Ale is a wet hopped ale, meaning that the hops were harvested, then immediately shipped to the brewery and used before they were dried. Founders says this about Harvest Ale:
This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones.
I poured it into my handy can shaped Founders glass (OK, it’s an All Day IPA glass), and I found it ever so slightly darker than “golden straw color,” but I would hesitate to call it copper or amber. The vegetal hops are noticeable right away (have I ever mentioned how much I love fresh hops?) along with lots of pine and some citrus notes as well. The taste is all hops, and it’s heavy on the pine. There’s a bit of malt to support it, but it stays the hell out of the way, like a good IPA should. For a beer that’s 7.6% ABV, this one is crushable and super easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium with some creaminess. There’s a bitterness that resonates on the tongue and leaves a little stickiness, but it is enjoyable and not at all off putting. This is such an enjoyable IPA, and I’m really giddy that it’s back.
I have to say that Harvest Ale is probably my absolute favorite Founders beer. Yes, I know that KBS is a world class beer, and Breakfast Stout is a classic stout. But my love of wet hopped beers makes this one very hard to beat. Look for a 4-pack or a pint on draft soon, because this is a very limited release that will go very quickly.