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Harar Beer - Harar Beer Factory

Not Rated.
Harar BeerHarar Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

37 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 70
Avg: 3.33
pDev: 23.12%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harar Beer Factory

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 70
Photo of thatruth
2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

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Photo of fisherman34
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Gold in colour with lots of carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, with a bit of bubblegum and herbal hops. Medim sweet on the palate, with some interesting (if not out of place) spice notes. There’s a bit of a Hallertau note near the end too. The finish is not so clean, but you can tell that there is some German influance to this beer. I was expecting this beer to be a little more dry, condsidering the climate in which it is brewed.

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Photo of rodrot
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered a bottle of this beer while dining out at an Ethiopian restaurant in Charlotte. I'm not a big fan of this style of beer, but I figured what the hell. Poured a bright gold color with a large head that diminished quickly. Aroma was malty with a bit of a grassy hops mixed in. Not much else in the aroma. Taste was fruity and light with a good bit of corn grit flavor present. This stuff is loaded with cheap adjuncts, however with it's light spritzy flavor it complemented the spicy cuisine quite well. Mouthfeel was very light in the palate. This would make a good thirstquencher during the hotter months. Not bad, but not something I'll go out of my way to try again. The Sam Adams lager that I followed this up with tasted like an Imperial Stout in comparison.

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of trevorwideman
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this little bottle was so expensive! 330ml for almost 5 bucks! Oh well, always up for something new, poured into a Pilsener glass.

Straw coloured, unfiltered, with a 1/4 inch head that recedes quickly, mellow carbonation. Smell is a bit sweet with some apple juice notes accompanied by a slight skunkiness and some mild floral hops. Some corn adjunct seems to appear as the glass warms a little.

Taste is really not as bad as I thought it would be. a slight nuttiness, the apple-like sweetness, and some sticky hops. Mild soapiness from the adjunct I presume, best when very cold. Very dry and a little bitter in the finish, not a cloying beer at all. Mild carbonation, sticks to the throat a bit. Not exciting, would do well paired with some spicy food.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of MMansfield
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

thanks to trevorwideman for this bottle

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy orange colour. You can hear the fizziness quite loudly as it enters the glass. Cannot see fingers through the glass. Medium fizzy head finishes to a half-lacing.

Aroma: Lots of citrus in this beer, as well as something else I cannot put my finger on. Grassy malts are also present.

Taste: Very unique, Not a lot of flavour, strong malt body, with plenty of citrus. Low bitterness, plenty of sweetness, somewhat of a euro lager finish.

Mouthfeel: Not as fizzy as I would expect from the pour. Very thin. Not overly good.

Final Statement: I was just plain curious. You don't think of Africa as a source for good beers. It's pretty good with all things considered, I just hope I don't get sick.

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Photo of elmocoso
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this at an ethiopian restaurant and i can't complain. It went well with the food. it was an average beer, pretty much all around. It was better than i expected, though, not knowing what to expect.

It was a smooth drinker that went well with the spiciness of the Ethiopian cuisine. A light straw color with a small wispy head.

A malty smell, easy on the hops. (Do hops grow in Ethiopia? and if not, where do they import them from?)

I can only imagine how good this beer would taste after a long hot day spent in Ethiopia. Hopefully i will know some day.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.03/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of clickpush
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour: 33cl bottle to pint glass. Comes out with a small white head over a slightly cloudy pale orange beer - like the color of honey or apricot skin. Very scant lacings remain after the head has disappeared.

Nose: Smells of grain, like a silo might smell (minus the other farm smells that would ordinarily accompany it). A bit sweet and malty, with touches of honey.

Mouth: Has a light lemon flavor coming out of the hops... or is it made up strictly of adjuncts? Tastes a bit like corn, kind of sweet all the way through and a strong sweet and astringent finish. The mouthfeel is pretty good, long lasting (forced?) carbonation.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
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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Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of ElmerBruisery
3.43/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.43/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

At Zenebech, DC. Bottle.

A- Golden yellow body with a fizzy white cap. Medium thick ring after retaining decently leaving spotty lace.

S- Pale grains, pale fruit esters like apple and white grape and slight bread hints. Yeast efforts seem solid as its clean of that funk I find in the style often.

T- Pale cracked barley and the fruit esters are the most obvious contribution with red apple and grape hints. Pale base malts and light yeast bread. Clean.

MF- Light with the keyword being crisp. Somewhat fizzy but also a foamy creamy consistency.

A solid pale lager that lacks any funky off flavors or obvious corn notes. Clean ferment and refreshing with spicy Ethiopian food.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of FirstMan
3.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Addis Red Sea in Boston.

Pours a deep gold with an amberish edge. Fluffy head somewhat atypical for this style of lager. Purdy.

Nose is very interesting and unique. A fruity, almost mulled spices note is predominant. Mellow light vegetable character from the lager yeast. Quite unexpected.

Taste is refreshing, slightly tart and slightly spicy mellowness. Smooth mouthfeel makes this a very drinkable beer. Great with the ethiopian food I was eating that night.

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Photo of mrgrandefromage
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale gold, a little cloudy with a decent inch thick head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a strange but not unpleasant mix of malt, honey and vaseline. I agree with the other reviewers that honey is a predominant flavor, followed by peat and malt with a light hop finish. Mouthfeel is surprising full and would help tone down spicy food and get your palate ready for more. A filling beer that would be difficult to drink more than two of.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of rale
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
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...

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Photo of mistermaria
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
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...

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Harar Beer from Harar Beer Factory
78 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.