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Alexander Keith's Harvest Ale

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:47 pm
by chris_schryer
Got this from a PR company and was actually pretty surprised. I know I'm about to get flamed for saying it, but it's not bad at all. Review on

Yes it's not a killer beer, but coming from Keith's, it's a pretty drinkable ale.

Anybody else get a bottle?

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:50 pm
by Bytowner
If they made a good beer, they made a good beer. But I'll believe it when I taste it.

What style are they going after... or pretending to go after?

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:12 pm
by GregClow
I got a bottle as well.

(Or rather, I got a wooden box that I'm assuming contains a bottle, but I don't know for sure yet as it's locked with a combination lock, and I just got the combination via email today, and I'm at work and the box is at home...) :wink:

I'm pretty curious to try it. I didn't mind the Celebration Ale that they put out a few years back, so I know that it's possible for there to be a decent Keith's beer.

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:19 pm
by pootz
I take it it's a limited PR release? Maybe they made it at the old harbour front location...think it's about a 10 or 15 barrel set up. :-?

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:36 pm
by GregClow
pootz wrote:I take it it's a limited PR release?

No, it's getting a general (albeit limited) release - although probably not in the fancy wooden boxes. The press release doesn't give an exact date, but I expect it will be in stores & bars soon.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:46 am
by Steve Beaumont
Shame on you, Chris! Qualifying a beer as being good "for something from brewery X' is the worst kind of apologetic beer reviewing. If it's good, it's good, no matter who brewed it, and if you'd give it a bad review were it from your favourite craft brewery, then you should give the same response when it's from Labatt.

On the other hand, if you want to contextualize it by noting the audience for which it is intended, by all means do so. Noting its market is one thing, creating false parameters is quite another.

And you know what else is "pretty drinkable"? Water!

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:58 am
by chris_schryer
Haha, I just got my knuckles wrapped.
Stephen, you are, of course, correct. In my post here I certianly implied I only thought it was good in light of it being from Keith's, and I would have thought it bad if it were from, say, Durham. I will take the blame for lazy post-editing. In my full-review I do note that I actually thought the beer was good, not just because it's from Keith's but in general. I do hope it's clear that I didn't think this was a stellar brew, but a great beer to tempt macro-drinkers away from their normal swill. I've got a bottle of Muskoka Harvest in the fridge for review later today, I suspect it will be more in line with my personal preferences.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:58 am
by Steve Beaumont
I did read your full blog post before replying, Chris, and thought it also had a bit of an air of apologia to it -- "coming from such a large brewery I’m honestly really happy with the product." But then again, I'm a notoriously hard marker. :)

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:36 am
by chris_schryer
I was more trying to note that I was really happy to see a notorious swill-maker producing a beer with more character, in the hopes that their regular drinkers might branch out a bit. And who knows, maybe a Keith's IPA drinker might try their harvest ale, and then see the Muskoka Harvest Ale and pick it up after their positive Keith's Harvest experience.

That being said, I think I do tend towards being positive and accepting of anything, looking for the positive, even with the big brands. At the end of the day, I'm hoping some of the people reading my blog are macro drinkers, and I think by trying to find positives in beers that they might look at as "high-end" and I would look at as mediocre, I stand a better chance of getting them to try stuff they might otherwise pass on. I know that your audience is much more beer-geek/aficionado, where anything less then a hard mark would loose you credibility and readers.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:21 pm
by SteelbackGuy
Hey you like what you like.

There's nothing wrong if a brewery that produces mostly swill, comes out and produces something decent. It doesn't mean they are a good brewery, but it could mean that make a good beer, right?

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:06 pm
by Bobbyok
pootz wrote:I take it it's a limited PR release? Maybe they made it at the old harbour front location...think it's about a 10 or 15 barrel set up. :-?

Going to be available "across Canada" according to the release. No way this is brewed at the old brewery.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:41 pm
by icemachine
The new trend has been identified - next year we get a Rickard's version.

Hopes for hops?

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:38 pm
by Belgian
icemachine wrote:The new trend has been identified - next year we get a Rickard's version.

Ha ha ha... and then Wellington will jump on the trend with their own Golden Hop Harvest Ale. Probably taste like Bud Light.

harvest ale

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:08 pm
by Robinthehood
well i was lucky enough to be invited to halifax this past weekend to yesterday to celebrate keith's bday, and while i will say its definitely a brainwashing event of sorts, the city, and the brewery put a lot into it.

During the trip, we were invited to the keith's lobster dinner, where everyone was given a bottle of this harvest ale to try.

As some have posted, it was actually pretty good! Not what i was expecting form keith's, but a welcomed change from their standard national brands.

After speaking with the rep, i asked about its availability in toronto/gta,

after getting a confusing answer, it sounded like the bottles it was served in wouldnt be coming out other than nova scotia and surrounding area.. that they were producing around 500 kegs to be shipped across canada, for establishments etc....

from what i understand, this wont be a general release, to the public, but will be made available to bars, clubs, pubs, restaurants. And from a volume quantity level, it should run out after a month..

im not sure if this was exact information, but it was passed onto me from a rep.

i hope you get a chance to enjoy it!

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:45 am
by northyorksammy
I like the description on ratebeer enough to try a half pint