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Harar Beer - Harar Beer Factory

Not Rated.
Harar BeerHarar Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harar Beer Factory
Ethiopia

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brakspear on 08-14-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 36
Photo of BeerDocT
3.69/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought this thinking it might have the Ethiopian Hop Powder called Gesho Kitel in it. Does it? Read on.

Appearance 3.75: Poured out a hazy golden color. Completely opaque. Decent 1/4" head and OK lacing.

Smell 3.5: Nice bouquet. Heavy hints of malt and slight hints of a slightly sour mash scent along with a pervasive honey scent. Light notes of hops.

Taste 3.75: Front is light and smooth with little real flavor. Middle is very pleasant with a mid-level hit of delicious malty caramel and honey. Finish is balanced and refreshing with a hint of deeply alkaline hops and a slight taste of corn. Aftertaste is remarkable as a huge wave of very light malt seeps in and overtakes the palate. This turns into a very long aftertaste of pleasant light hops.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Lightly carbonated and a great match to the style.

Overall 3.75: Very nice beer. Light, refreshing and it contains absolutely zero negative beer flavors: no wet-dog, cat-pee, skunky tastes at all. Does it have Gesho Kitel in it? I have no idea. Regardless, this is such a pleasant beer to drink, definitely a session beer or perfect with spicy food. Recommended for a try to sip a beer from the ancient city of Harar.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pale golden colored lager and rather hazy in appearance. A half inch wide head of foam rests on top. The aroma is a bit of corn and light biscuity malt. The mouth is lightly carbonated and crisp. The taste is a bit of a well water Danish lager yeast and corn. There's not much hop presence.

Photo of rale
3.58/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this interesting beer in Ethiopian restaurant. It was surprisingly good. It has a bit cloudy appearance, yellow color and nice head. Although it is a lager, it has some special taste, a bit honey-like. It's very easy to drink and goes extremely well with Ethiopian food. You should try it if you have an opportunity.

Photo of LagerThanLife
4.12/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not like a traditional lager. Overwhelming notes of honey throughout. a little on the cloudy side and the mouth feel is a little heavier than i would expect from a beer that finishes on the drier side.

this beer is not what i expect when i open a pilnser, helles or dutch lager, it is somthing different.

it is however, what I expect EVERY TIME I go Ethiopian restaurant and somthing i look forward to.

Photo of jwhancher
3.76/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to an Ethiopian restaurant, Harar Mesob, tonight in Arlington. Saw an Ethiopian beer on the menu and had to try it. Ended up having two with my food.

A Poured a blonde hazy yellow with nice white head that eventually faded.

S: not much in the nose. Some bready wheat-like aromas with a light hay-like graininess.

T: reminded me of an American wheat beer. Lots of bready, doughy malt chewiness. Paired quite well with the spicy cuisine I was having for dinner. Didn't seem like an adjunct beer whatsoever.

M: at 4.25% ABV, this one feels light with good carbonation. A nice quencher. Ample bitterness to even out the malts.

O: wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Being in the atmosphere, this beer met my expectations for being at an Ethiopian restaurant. Would drink this one again, but the setting would have to be appropriate.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a shaker pink glass at an Ethiopian Restaurant in San Diego - Bayu in Hillcrest.

Appearance: Dirty straw yellow with a slight haze. White head about 1/4" thick upon pouring, but died down to a thin head across the top. Some strands and dots of persistent lacing noted.

Smell: Not strong - a bit sweet mostly.

Taste: When first poured, some German style hops and what I thought was sweet malt, but as it warmed up, the sweetness becomes much more pronounced. Not cloying, but definitely sweet - honey with something else in there - something grainy that I can't place. The hop flavor eventually goes away as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, but with some good and smooth thickness to it.

Overall / Drinkability: Not something I would go out of my way for, but glad I tried it and it went quite well with Ethiopian food that evening. I could have easily had another so I will say it has good drinkability for the sitting I had it in. Not sure it would go well with all foods though.

Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very pale straw yellow body, large soapy bubbles that fall slowly. Body has some cloudy character to it with slow rising carbonation. Head settles with a puck that is pock marked

Nose is actually interesting. Honey, and spices. Sweetness that isn't macro smelling. It's actually quite nice not unlike a braggot with some spice.

Taste is light bodied with some actually playful carbonation. A little grainy on the finish, but also some sweet honey without a lot of sugar syrup stickiness or sweetness. A little noticeable gas but nothing outrageous, and nice light bodied.

Overall this is actually pretty darn good, for and "adjunct" supposedly. Probably the best one I've ever had in this style.

Photo of thatruth
2.4/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours a fizzy white 1/4" head with minimal to moderate slippery lacing. lightly hazy bright, yellow golden body.

smells like celery, carrots, rice, and fuzzy lager.

bland, underachieving taste. straight rice lager.

unwavering at the front, cluttered and unpleasant of what taste is there.

oh, ethiopia.

Photo of ElmerBruisery
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Fenwicks in Silver Spring, poured bottle to pint glass.

Golden yellow and cloudy, the clerk told me this was a lager. It had a big thick and creamy two finger head that slowly faded

Nose is pale malt, faint yeast fruitiness and slight metallic note

Sweet malt and bitter in the back, enjoyable but nothing real complex or great going on. At 4.25 ABV and noticeable alcohol...

Mouth is creamy and bubbly. Pretty good for a golden lager.

Overall this is a drinkable beer. Nothing really bad about it, but nothing great, but I guess that's how I normally feel about golden lagers. This would be good on a hot summer day.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass prytop bottle at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Nice to see some different African options at Disney other than just Tusker!

Pours a bright golden orange with decent off white head. Nose is a little fruity with some dried grain notes and a hint of honey. Palate is crisp and fairly dry. A little honey flavor and some earthy pine hops.

Nothing to really write home about but cool to try. Tasted pretty good in the hot Florida sun surrounded by loud tourists.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.2/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harar Beer..in a bottle at Queen of Sheeba Restaurant

Appearance -pours a dirty pale color, golden contrast with a medium sized white head.

Smell-alcohol, mild hop, rice, adjunct, grain flavor.

Taste/Mouthfeel -initial sweetness that is somewhat surprising, alcohol warmth, mix of starchy flavors as well, nice smoothness on the way down.

Drinkability-on a hot day this did just fine, no issues.

Overall-not world class or anything but on a hot day in a new environment this fit the bill, an adequate beer that held up well against the food I paired it with.

Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a bottle into a goblet. AAL really? Whatever. This is an African lager. Beer is clear and yellow. carbonation is steady and moderate. Forms a thin head but doesn't leave much lacing behind. Looks like what a 6 year old would describe if you asked them what beer looks like. This is generic beer.

Aroma is good, for a pilsner. Its fine a sweet but overall a little weak.

Clean, medium to low body, no aftertaste really. Some sweetness and a little carbonation in the mouth. Overall its just OK. I like it OK but I probably wouldn't drink it again.

Photo of Bookseeb
2.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a light golden yellow with a nice fluffy head that sticks around awhile with fair lace. Smell there is little that stands out except for a light honey grain. Taste is grainy with a light metallic bitter that ends dry. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. A little stale and bitter for me, I would like to try a fresh one.

Photo of CharlatanSin
3.52/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served as the "African Beer" selection at the Massawa Ethiopian restaurant in Morningside Heights. Great place, by the way. I have absolutely no idea what to expect, as the waiter can't tell me anything about it. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass, which is what they brought me.

Appearance: Straw colored clear yellow, with a foamy white single finger head that sticks around for a while.

Smell: A big hit of sweet fruit, which was not what I was expecting at all. There is some of the grain that I anticipated, but just a bit.

Taste: Well, this doesn't taste a damn thing like any American Adjunct Lager I've ever had (I was shocked when I logged on to review and saw the classification). There's a lot of sweet floral fruit, some lemon, and a big bunch of grain, especially as it warms. On a related note, this beer gets dramatically worse as it warms, so try to have it cold.

Mouthfeel: Crisp but too thin. It complimented the spicy Ethiopian food perfectly, though. So it was refreshing in that sense. I feel I'd have appreciated it more if it weren't 20 degrees outside.

Drinkability: I'd have another. Hell, I'd have three with an Ethiopian dinner. If this is really an adjunct lager, it's probably the best I've had. I wouldn't ask for it at a bar (unless I was in Ethiopia), but this is a very solid situational beer.

Photo of chickencoop
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up at one of the most underrated beer stores in Oakland, Alcatel Liquors on Telegraph. Beer poured a straw yellow with some floaters, added for spice I think. Aroma was very sweet which carried onto the taste, very very sweet, like candied pecans. Drinkability would not be where this shines, too sweet, but overall a good beer.

Photo of Atricapilla
3.62/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a wide mouth glass. Beer was a funky looking hazy orange color with a small creamy white head. Smelled a bit unusual (but not unpleasant) of grass and vegetables....taste was light, slightly sweet, with some citrus and some vegetable flavor. Overall, the beer paired very well with the spicy food...

Photo of mistermaria
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Well, it looks like I am the first to have a Harar beer on tap. Where? Harar, of course.

I will admit to extreme prejudice. There I was at the Ras government hotel on the main strip in Harar, 10 pm at night after feeding the Hyenas on the edge of town, the power cycling off every 20 minutes or so, sitting with a UNICEF aid worker from Belgium, and getting icy cold drafts of Harar beer. Was it the beer, or the circumstances? Was I experiencing travelers euphoria? (I know this well because I am a coffee taster by profession ... after weeks of awful coffee in rural areas of the world, once semi-decent, not totally defective cup will make you think you just had a Gran Cru coffee.) Anyway, a fresh keg, served fantastically cold, light, crisp, effervescent, great head, lively, and so drinkable. It was a very, very memorable beer.

Now, I can get it here in the Oakland California area in the bottle, and it is a C to C+ beer all the way. But that's a different case...

Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This a tasty lager with a slightly unusual character that it hard to pin down.

Faintly hazy deep straw yellow, it has a medium, dense, creamy white head that shrinks quite slowyl and leaves fairly decent lace.

The aroma is sweet and flowery in a somewhat unusual, fruity-honey way. It has grain, honey, citrus, and light fruit.

The taste is sweet with white bread, grain, hints of honey, lemon, a faint hint of caramel, light fruit, primarily apple, and a hint of herbs or spice. The finish is soft with honey and a hint of herb. It has a long, mellow aftertaste of white bread, fruit, and herbal-honey-drops. The sweetness is light but persistent, balanced with a light spicy hint, cleansing quality, and light herb quality, but no clearly defined bitterness. Somehow, it stays interesting, light but tasty and cleansing, aromatic.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a pale straw yellow body with a slight haze and tiny bubbles gliding through it. There is a spongy white head that last for a few sips and then is gone.

S- The faint smell of leaves and raw grain are soft and the overall smell is pretty clean.

T- The light pale malt flavor has a slight sweetness to it with a slight tart note of buckwheat to follow. There is a soft dry sulfur note at the finish with a slight herbal quality. The herbal note increases as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a clean finish.

D- The smooth but slightly tart flavor has a nice start but the whole flavor and aroma is a bit dull. The flavor and aroma are very clean and need a little something to add interest.

Photo of willjschmidt
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Zeni in San Jose, the restaurant is highly recommended.

Pours a golden color with a good sized white head. A slightly sweet smell with a whiff of yeast as well. The taste is smooth with a slight lemony flavor, a little bit sweet but well balanced with a solid hoppy finish. It's light, crisp, refreshing and pairs very well with spicy Ethiopian food.

Photo of Redwood21
3.89/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will agree with the other reviewers that this should not be a macro lager, though its origins and what not i cant attest to. It tastes like a fruit beer or vegetable beer.
I had this beer from a bottle at an Ethiopian restaurant in DC. I would not say this beer would be my first choice, its very light and has an almost floral aroma, but it has an interesting somewhat creamy mouthfeel with a floral fruity vegetable type taste. Its not a strong or offensive beer, but it was interesting. as i said before i have a hard time believing this is an American macro style as the taste for me is not even remotely reminiscent of any of those beers. It is light, it isn't a smack to the palate, but it seems unique and different

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An American Macro-Lager? Your ass. I am calling BS on this one. Bring in the experts and lets figure out the right style of this one.

Pours clouded straw with a touch of gold. White head. Nose is slight metallic with grain attributes. Flavor is smooth with a touch of sweet and a mild metallic taste. Slight lemon there and a fairly firm dough presence as well. Freat bubble on the mouth and a great liquid feel too.

I have had this many, many, many times (in the U.S. and Ethiopia) and have found it to deliver a wide range of experiences. I think if you are lucky you will get a fresh sample and get a good tasting. And when it's fresh it is pretty damn good. When it isn't...it's a waste of time.

Photo of Edmund
3.95/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This isn't a macro lager, it's another kind of beast. A very satisfying one.

Had this at the Addis Ababa restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. Pale, cloudy body that reminded me of a witbier. Dense head that didn't stick around too long. It gave a kind of fruity malt smell that was pleasant, but not great. The taste is surprisingly complex, but a little mellow, though not to the point of being watery tasting. Refreshing, with a bit of sweetness and noticeable apple and pear notes, some hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little fizzy. I could drink many more of these.

Photo of therica
3.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second beer of the night at the Ethiopian restaurant in Frederick Maryland, and the better of the two (Tusker). Unfortunately it turned out to be the last bottle of it on stock, as well. They gave me a Meta Export Lager after this one, and it was of far less quality (will review once I add the brewery & listing which aren't on this site yet).

A= nice golden with slight orange-stain, a modest head fading quickly.

S= Wow, quite a surprise! Very nice and enticing, slight sweet fruity flowery with some hops and apricot apparent, and of course, malt.

T= following the scent, I was glad to find that the taste was just as good. I hadn't expected much, but would love to find more of this. Much like the scent. Mild sweet-malt-floral aftertaste with apricot.

M= very nice, nothing detracting whatsoever, one to actually savor.

D= very very drinkable.

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at an Ethiopian restaurant right by my brother's house in D.C. Imported by some Baltimore importer. The restauranteur claimed that one can't buy this beer in stores. Not sure if that's true or not.

Light golden color with a moderate white head. Faint aroma includes a light grainy sweetness. Flavor is soft and just slightly sweet -- malt and honey notes. Just a touch of hops for balance. This was better than I expected from an African beer. Seemed to have held up fairly well on the journey, at that. Certainly drinkable enough to sit back and put several away if you're so inclined.

Always nice to find new beers.

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Harar Beer from Harar Beer Factory
76 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.