Brew Review

Beer Review – Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere


Looking for a big bottle to share with G-LO, I went over to the local store and purchased a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere. Sadly, this is where the story goes off the rails. In my haste, I neglected to check the date on the bottle, and it would appear that a bottle of the 2010 “vintage” had remained on the shelf.

Here is what Sierra Nevada has to say about their Southern Hemisphere:

Our newest addition to our Harvest family is Southern Hemisphere Harvest. This is the first time we know of that an American brewer has put out a beer with fresh-picked hops from the southern hemisphere. The inaugural ale will debut in late April and will feature fresh Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross hops, all from New Zealand.

I found the Southern Hemisphere to have the following characteristics…

  • Appearance: Cloudy amber with good foam.
  • Aroma: Hoppy with hints of lemon and pine.
  • Taste: A little flat, a little hoppy with a slighty bitter finish.
  • ABV: 6.7%

I really wanted to like this beer, and had it been fresher, I am sure that I would have. Even well passed its freshness data, the beer wasn’t bad. It was just that the flavors no longer had that pop. I will be trying this one again. And, I will be avoiding the local store as this wasn’t the first issue that I’ve had with regards to freshness. I guess sometimes the price for convenience runs a little too high.

8 replies »

  1. Ah yes. I remember this unfortunate tasting.Considering that this beer was on the shelf for over a year, and most likely under questionable storage conditions, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Gotta give you props (do people still use this word?) for your willingness to always try something new.

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    • You know me … catchy name, flashy packaging and I’m hooked. The way I look at it, the breweries are there for the tasting. So, why not try them all!

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      • When you busted this one out I was excited as I have had this one before and liked it. Too bad it was an older bottle that, as G-lo says, was kept under questionable storage conditions.

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    • As I said, despite the advanced age, the beer wasn’t bad just a little muted. I will definitely try a fresher bottle as I too enjoy Sierra Nevada’s offerings.

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  2. Sounds like an interesting beer. Is there any difference between S. Hemisphere and N. Hemisphere hops or is it just a marketing gig? I would hold on passing judgement on it since it’s so old. I love Sierra Nevada’s other high-hop offerings – esp. Torpedo.

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    • The S. Hemisphere uses Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross hops that are dried in New Zealand and then shipped to the brewery. The N. Hemisphere uses Cascade and Centennial hops from Yakima, WA that are shipped “wet” to the brewery. So while the ABV and IBUs are roughly the same, the hops that go into each bottle are different and thus, the flavor profile differs as well.

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  3. I had a similar experience as a local bar was just serving from a 2010 keg of Southern Harvest…though it was still decent, I’m really excited for the next time I get to enjoy a fresh “fresh” hopped Harvest.

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