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Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

727 Reviews
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Harp LagerHarp Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

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Reviews: 727 | Ratings: 2,496
Photo of vladdswrath
2.78/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A Pale Lager is not something I think I ever expect to enjoy, so I was pleasantly surprised by my first session with Harp, which was served from the free bar at a wedding I attended. It looked more or less like any other big brewery Lager, but the flavor was surprisingly good. Not too sweet, but not really bitter either. Again, sort of bland (as you would expect from the style) but refreshing and drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
3.94/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If we're to judge Euro Pale Lagers with Harp present, I'd say its the clear winner. Lacking the herby bite of the mainland guys, this one's got a softness to its feel that still maintains a crisp bite.

I wish there were more Irish lagers to be found.

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Photo of DevAJ
3.25/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I didn't even know the style until looking it up on here about halfway through the beer. As it gets warmer the classic Euro Pale Lager taste starts to finally come through, but ice cold it doesn't really have a whole lot of complexity as all you get is the bitter aftertaste. I must say I like Stella and Heineken better.

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
2.77/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light appearance, reminiscent of ginger ale. The smell is ordinary along with the taste. Above average carbonation. Finishes dry and unimpressively.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are excellent. Many bubbles from carbonation. Yeasty/bready aroma. Maybe some underlying fruity quality. Overall, not much to it. Taste seems a little watered down. Mainly malty with a small amount of spicy bitterness at the end. Somewhat tropical fruity aftertaste. Not bad but not very complex. Could drink a six pack if there wasn't a better selection, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of dukeandduke
2.79/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

3/29/15 (Draft - Mo Dailey's Chicago) - Golden light pour, heavy carbonation, nominal white head. Hops and malt sweet aroma.Nice feel, nominal kick. Crisp and clean, bland flavor. Miss Harp from decades past.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
2.41/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Not at all as good as I remember from my college days, but those were different days with far less craft knowledge. Oh well, it was good to give it one last go.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.35/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Harp has always had a soft spot in my heart. It is reminiscent of booze soaked trips to the Barley Mill in Calgary in the mid 90's. I called the trip a "Millgramige" because it allowed me to literally soak in several beers that weren't available in my hometown at that time. Harp was then, and is now, a solid Euro lager. It lacks the skunk of many of its green bottle brethren. Instead, Harp has a nice dry malt/hop character. It is eminently quaffable and remains a solid St. Patty's alternative to Guinness.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.43/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 14.9 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, there is no "best by" date that I can find.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear light golden color with 1 finger white head that quickly dissipated until a thin layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is a good amount of lacing on the glass

SMELL: very faint nose, sweet and flowery.

TASTE: initially sweet honey, then a mild hop profile, understated.

PALATE: light body, medium carbonation.

OVERALL: this beer is not like I remember from my college days, this is an inoffensive beer but nothing special, it is better in a Black and Tan so I would probably not order this by itself.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.47/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.30 for a 500ml can. Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well but pours a head that is gone in 10sec. Very little color and clear

S- Has bit of hops and malt that blends well. It's a Heineken clone

T- Not a Heineken. Very nice smooth blend of hops and yeast. Good European hops and has that European flare for a lager. I like it

M- Dry and refreshing like a Heineken

O- It's like a Heineken in all ways but taste. Has a better less bitter flavor but not a powerful on the tongue. I like this beer. Great break beer or good choice on the menu if only Bud type beers are on it

Food Pairing

I paired this beer and it went well with..... Lobster and spaghetti in butter. Plain and simple recipe and beer. Very refreshing


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Photo of kd45-music
2.82/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This is not a particularly special beer. It's okay. Carbonation lasts fairly long, Head draws down to a thin bubbly layer. Kind of a tangy taste in the mouth. There are other imported beers I would purchase before this one.

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Photo of Phocion
3.39/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mystery bottle that appeared in my refrigerator between 2-3 weeks ago. Origins unclear, so I may as well review it! Live review of a 12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Clear straw-colored body with a half-finger of foamy white head which quickly dissipates. Splotchy lacing left around the rim of my glass.

Aroma is reasonably strong (at least in comparison to our state-side equivalents) and malt-forward. Pilsner malts, notably a generic graininess as well as that tell-tale DMS aroma. Light floral hops and a neutral yeast.

Flavor is a tad thin, but balanced and not unpleasant. Grains and creamed corn with a slightly spicy, floral finish just like the nose indicated. Slightly sweet honeyish flavor as well, but it is very subtle.

Thin body and well-carbonated. Slick and crisp mouthfeel, almost with a very bubbly almost sparkling wine-like finish.

Overall, this beer is what it is. It's a generic Euro Lager, but not a particularly bad one. Thin and drinkable. It seems like a sub-par attempt at a Helles, but then again isn't that what this style is all about?

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Photo of Miami66
4.43/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very interesting beer. It’s not awful but it’s not super great. It just is quite plain and super drinkable. It’s the best Euro Pale Lager I’ve had. This beer is really hard to describe. It's just a very satisfying beer.

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Photo of ordybill
2.29/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a strong malt aroma Appearance- Resembles any BMC style beer on the market. Taste- A very watery flavored beer Palate- A light bodied beer with moderate carbonation Overall- A disappointment for me. I remember this being a much better beer years ago.

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Photo of mhuber
2.5/5  rDev -22.8%

Pours clear, light yellow color. Very small head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing on the glass. Notes of citrus and hops in the aroma. Very light, almost watery flavor with a bitter aftertaste. I've had American light beers with more flavor.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.7/5  rDev +14.2%

When making a black and tan with Guinness, I like Harp over Bass. I probably wouldn't buy a bunch of this to have in the fridge, but it mixes well and it's pretty drinkable on its own.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.5/5  rDev +8%

Pours a clear straw color with a nice 2 finger head that leaves a really good lace down the 16oz pub glass as is disappears.

Smell is really fragrant as I could smell it as it was sitting 2 feet away. Has a skunky smell that is not so unpleasant. Upon closer examination it has more of a strong malty smell that mixes with an alcohol smell.

Taste is pretty decent. I get that smell translated into a taste with the strong malts with the alcohol smell that is pretty good when you have a few swigs. It develops into that crisp clean taste that is characteristic of a lager.

Mouthfeel is ok for such a clear beer. Carbonation is really nice.

Overall, a pretty decent beer. I really like it and wouldnt mind having it again especially on St Patrick's Day.

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Photo of Nightwing
3/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured from can. Floral and hay aromas. Clear golden color with with white head. Very light bitter taste. Light body, thin texture, and soft carbonation. Overall and easy drinking crisp brew.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.69/5  rDev +13.9%

Guinness!! Harp is made by Guinness so let's see what those redheads have to offer.

Serving style : 12 oz bottle poured for appearance, let's hope I don't spill this one.

Appearance (4) : Fluffy, thick white 3 finger head. No trace of receding. Beautiful golden yellow color with great clarity. This is really a beauty to behold.

Smell (4) : Fresh. Springy. Orange and lemon zest, crisp clean water, beautiful non-bitter floral hops that grace the nose like a new day. Just a wonderful, non offending smell. Man if this pans out I just might have to start buying this brew.

Taste (3.75) : Good, medium bodied flavor with the signature Guinness bitter-zing. I'm getting light pine hops, lemony wheat, slight butter beans, ending with an uncommonly fresh wooden flavor finish. Something's a little off in regards to a bitter citrus surrounding the aftertaste (kind of like a rotten orange rind?) which keeps it from being pure perfection but otherwise it's just...Delicious.

Mouthfeel (3) : Medium bodied, slightly smooth, carbonated and ending wet and, again...woody. The citrus bitter note at the end keeps it from being 100% drinkable (poundable) but overall it's not a bad mouthfeel.

Overall (3.69) : A good lager representative of the style in spades. I was expecting some Irish weirdness but instead I got a pleasant beer that was both drinkable and enjoyable. Only gripe I have is the piney citrus bitter that's plaguing the drink. It is however reminiscent of a more pleasurable IPA. But since I don't like IPA's in general I'd say, remove that and it's bliss. This was a pleasant experience.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL can into pint glass. Beer was eager to form a pearly white head, characteristic of many European lagers. This head, about 2cm high at max, soon dissipated to a trace amount on the surface of the beer. Body was a transparent yellow.

Scent was crisp, reminiscent of apple cider on certain notes, with slight hoppy tones.

Taste proceeded to be akin to many European lagers, light and airy, with one major difference being that this flavour hit all sections of the palate, and followed with a similar aftertaste experience.

Mouthfeel was pleasant, the beer was very light and smooth, and quite enjoyable.

Very good beer. Would certainly recommend to anyone interested in Irish beer.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce bottle.

A: Pours a clear pale yellow with a half-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Yeasty and malt/grainy with a faint citrus and grassy note.

T: Clean and crisp, biscuity malts and yeast.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Yeasty, mildly sweet malt finish.

O: Basic in every way and thankfully not too undrinkable.

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Photo of scootny
3.09/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light gold and leaves decent lacing. Head ain't bad, quick fade. Smell is ok. Some malt and grassy notes. A bit of earth and pepper. Taste is mild malt sweetness. Earth and grass hops. Clean finish with an light tang. Feel is thin and watery with mild and smooth carbonation. Overall a shadow of what is was twenty years or so ago. Sigh.

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Photo of barnzy78
2.94/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L - golden with a frothy white head that holds good retention
S - faint aroma overall with biscuit, grass, yeast; not much else
T - grassy, yeast, faint nutty grain, faint spicy hop
F - thin body, highly carbonated, finishes crisp with a bit of a hoppy bite
O - nothing special here. Good for Irish occasions, otherwise I'd pass on it.

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Photo of Foyle
3.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a sudsy 2" white head that slowly recedes with abundant lacing. Clear light golden color with mild streaming carbonation.
Aroma: some musky barley, a hint of lemon, toffee and some earthy hops.
Mouthfeel: mouthfeel is light and slick with a pleasantly drying finish.
Flavor: nice combination of lightly toasted barley, doughy dinner roll, a bit of lemon and some mild earthy hop spice.
Overall: pleasant and well balanced pale lager.

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Photo of Ohiolager
2.62/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Harp Premium lager 6pk bottles $7.99(OH)

12 oz brown bottle poured into a stemless white wine glass. No freshness date. "From the makers of Guinness".

Pours a nice pale gold color. Put a little air between the bottle and glass towards the end of your pour. A nice three finger, creamy bright white head that last a long time. It give way to amazing lacing.

It smells rather adjunct, if you ask me. The malts smell great, and a light hop is detected. However a sweet corny smell is dominate here.

The taste is better than the smell but not by much. Bready malts, followed by a nice light hop taste in the middle. Towards the end there is a corny taste, but it is well hidden behind the dryness of the hops. The adjunct is better hidden in the taste than the smell.

mouth feel is decent. Not watery like Guinness, more towards the medium body. The malts and hop dryness cling to your palate, hiding the corn taste.

Overall i was not expecting too much from this brew. And that's what i got. It the best adjunct brew i have had to date. I just did not expect a corny taste in a euro pale lager. Would i buy this again, probably not.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
75 out of 100 based on 727 ratings.