1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harpoon Summer Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Summer BeerHarpoon Summer Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

939 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 939
Reviews: 368
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 21
Gots: 82 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Harpoon Summer Beer is a beer brewed to be enjoyed with summertime activities. It is light, refreshing, and crisp.

28 IBU

(Beer added by: pezoids on 09-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 939 | Reviews: 368 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

djrn2, May 23, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a very clear light yellow color with a nice, long-lasting white head that leaves just a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose is pretty clean with just a slight bit of grain, mild fruit, and a hint of citrus. The taste is mostly grain but there is a bit of light lemon and orange. Clean and crisp, this drinks pretty well but doesn't hit on the subtle complexities of the better versions of this style.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

acurtis, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that quickly died down leaving a lacy web of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grainy malts in the nose along with some hints of lemon.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is rather malty and has flavors of bready and grainy malts and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are notes of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is easy to drink, refreshing and quite sessionable given its low alcohol content.

metter98, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden body with a fluffy white head that leaves a ton of lacing

Smell: Grainy with a touch of lemon and noble hop aromas

Taste: Starts out with a malty, grainy flavor; after the swallow, the malt dries out and lemony and noble hop flavors kick in; crisp finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: While I haven't tried too many commercial Kölsches, this one is close to style and is very good

brentk56, May 05, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Minutely dusted bright gold. The pearl colored cap is creamyfirm with a gently rocky, lunar landscape surface. Portions of the head maintain sticky contact with the glass, but the lace itself is too thin and melty to result in much eye candy. Regardless, the beer and the foam atop it look splendid.

Summer Beer smells like an all-malt lager. On second thought, there's a gently spicy, musky hoppiness that pulls it up a notch. While not as hoppy or as bracing as a good pilsener, it's more than fine for a kolsch.

The beer is more flavorful than the nose suggested and is much more hoppy to boot. Now it definitely reminds me of a good pils. The noble hops are pungent, grassy and spicy, which leads to a clean crispness on the finish that is enjoyable. This is no weak-kneed, drink and forget summer seasonal. Not even close.

There's also a very nice flavor contribution from untoasted grain, especially on the finish. The beer is much more dry than malty sweet. I used the word 'bracing' earlier and that adjective keeps coming back to me as I sip. Summer Beer is lip smackingly, tongue rufflingly, puss puckeringly... bracing.

A lemon zestiness appears on the surprisingly long finish, a development that I applaud wholeheartedly. The body/mouthfeel is a smidgen short of medium and the carbonation is as spunky as the flavor. Both of those attributes are exactly where they ought to be. Less or more of either would make for a lesser beer.

It should be fairly obvious by now that I'm both surprised and delighted by this summer seasonal from Harpoon. It has loads of personality, is bursting with flavor and is as dry and as hoppy a kolsch as I've ever tasted. This one is a winner.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of medium sweet malt with the distinctive Kolsch style yeast. Taste is also a mix between some medium sweet malt with some unrefined grainy notes and the distinctive Kolsch style yeast that I have a hard time to describe. Well done and very refreshing.

Phyl21ca, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Either I was on crack when I wrote my last comments on this beer or Harpoon greatly improved their recipe since then. I rather enjoyed this beer. It makes for a very good Kolsch. I still beleive that the beer is a bit overly 'fizzy' in carbonation and too prickly on the toung. A less-than-firm body is the only hinderence from making this beer a +4 for me. Perhapse a bit more citrusy (lemon / lemon rind) than the style calls for, but I liked this characteristic.

I usually expect more from Harpoon. This beer looks light to medium straw colored and highly carbonated. Smells lightly malty with earthy, grassy notes. A bit sour and bitter smelling. Perhaps a bit grainy and astringent. Tastes more malty than aroma. Still persists with yeastiness and graininess. Hops are a bit out of balance, but I believe that it makes this beer better. Vegital as the body weakens and into the finish. Bitterness lingers a little too long. This is out of style for a Kolsch and too astringent for a Golden Ale.

BEERchitect, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poors an almost lemonade esqu pale yellow, with a huge head that quickly faded to leave some nice lacing down the sides. Smell is very light, some maltiness, and a bit of a fruity smell, but not strong enough to narrow it down. Taste has a distictive lime touch to it. Very lite beer, this would be perfect on a hot summer day I would think. Nice bit of a dry hop after, but not too miuch. This is a good beer for a hot day, very lite and tastey. One of the best summer brews I have had...

mikesgroove, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

ygtbsm94, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Two finger white frothy head. Clear, yellowish with touch of gold color. Head dissipates at a moderate pace with some lacing.

S: Grainy, bready with some sweetness up front.

T: The taste is actually less flavorful than the smell. I taste the lemon notes but it is minimally grainy. Not very bitter but almost a little watered down.

M: The watery part makes it refreshing. Nothing offensive. Mild to moderate carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: I was excited about this one up until the taste. It was a little watered down for me. Not so much bad tasting as the grain and malt with lemon notes were solid in the aftertaste, the typical summer ale taste, and was not very bitter and very refreshing.

kylehay2004, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$1.49 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a bright, clear yellow body with a towering, foamy white head.

Smell: Light grainy scent with spicy, lemony notes.

Taste: Sweet-tart flavor of lemon, grains, and a very, very small amount of honey. Some banana and cider-esque flavors show up on the subtly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: A light, easy-drinking summertime-type beer. If it were any lighter, it would float away.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow nice and easy to drink in the summer heat.Nice lemony/summer smell.It is what most summer brews should be,really enjoyed this one.Just enough hop zing make this beer interesting to go along with subtle flavors of toasted grain and lemon,not a rocket science beer but better than most summer seasonals in my opinion.

oberon, Jun 25, 2002
Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a white, two-finger head. Left no lacing.

S - It smelled of citrus and grains.

T - It tasted of sweet citrus flavor (orange) but also had a hint of bitterness.

M - It was somewhat crisp and smooth. A very light-bodied beer.

D - Actually, this was pretty good for an American Kolsch. It was more flavorful than most.

zeff80, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle pours a crystal-clear straw-gold body beneath a fluffy head of bright-white froth. The head retention is good, and it maintains a half-inch or so of big-bubbled foam throughout most of the glass. Additionally, the lacing is quite nice, and it leaves some fairly solid rings at the outset. The nose displays a grainy, wheatish malt with some background floral, grassy, and even spicy hops. There's a mild note of lemon as well, but it's not clear as to where it's coming from. In the mouth it's medium bodied with a gentle tingle on the tongue; and the flavor delivers the sweetish, grainy, and wheat-like malt that the aroma promises. It's backed by a subdued, underlying bitterness (and some very mild hop flavor) that helps to dry the finish which lingers shortly with some grainy maltiness. It's certainly fuller-bodied and more malty in the flavor than a Kolsch from Koln or the Bonn region, and even less hoppy; but it's still a decent summer beer!

NeroFiddled, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lemon, honey, spice, barley and a little bit of hops. There’s also a faint metallic smell in the background.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of lemon and honey, with some wheat, malt and a touch of hops following up. The sweetness fades a bit as you drink it and transitions into a nice refreshing taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is clean.

D: The sweetness caught me off-guard given the style, but once I got used to it I found the beer kind of tasty. It goes down easy and has a decent kick for a “lawnmower beer”. It might not be the best summer beer or the best Kolsch that I’ve had, but it was a decent beer.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light golden tone with a nice full two fingers worth of white head leaves big chunks of even lacing with each sip nice appearance. Aroma: Touch of citrus hops to the forefront with grassy herbal lemon hop tea tones, malts pale pilsner like never had a kolsch but I'm getting some mild fruit undertones as well. Taste: Completely refreshing just plain good for summer beer drinking, touch of lemon peel and other fruity qualities are here lemon grass hops with pale malts pretty bitter in flavor but there's a firm hand on balance here. Mouthfeel: Light bodied higher caronation but smooth. Drinkability: Anytime not bad refreshing and relatively complex nice beer I wanna try more authentic Kolsch and more Kolsch style beers.

WVbeergeek, May 02, 2004
Photo of nickfl
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

nickfl, May 18, 2013
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry. BBD of 07/15/10 let's see how this holds up...Looks like it held up just fine!

Pours an effervescent light straw color with 2 fingers of ivory colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, grainyness, floral hop notes, plus pears & apple blossoms

T: Follows the nose, nice grassy notes intertwine with pear notes up front. Slight honey notes mix with fruittyness as this warms, plus grassy hops & touch of grainyness> Finishes with a touch of white grapes, lemony hops & general crispness

MF: Light/Medium bodied, soft carbonation & nice balance

Great drinkability, a very good take on a under appreciated style

russpowell, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Giant in York, enjoyed chilled from a stange.

The color is deep golden with great clarity and thick white foam measuring about 2 fingers with tight bead and carbonation is visiblel in solution. the smell is nice with lots of malt aroma combined with subtle herbal/floral hops and a mild yeast element which comes off as a golden pear ester. The feel which is spicier than I imagined is very good, spicy up front with light ting of malt sweetness shifts toward creamy body with moderate carbonation and subtle yeasty fruitiness in the finish with relatively dry crisp essence.

The flavor is very refreshing and balanced in the best way possible. The taste has a nice floral hop which is almost tea-like in the foreground with slight toasted malt presence with some gentle sweet elements that move more toward yeast flavors which seem like light grape or golden pear in the finish with some of the herbal hops and spice flavors lingering after the swallow. This is a good beer to call Summer beer, it is interesting, flavorful and quaffable, yet not an ideal Kolsch in the traditional sense. It is a very good American interpretation of the style. I will certainly have to find this on tap sometime soon.

Slatetank, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a clean refreshing scent that boasts of pale malts and dry lager yeast. There is little in the line of hops, but it is true to style. The taste is decent. It has a grainy pale malt flavor with a clean finish. It is a bit dry, with a slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine summer brew. It goes down easy. It's light and refreshing on those hot summer days.

WesWes, May 18, 2004
Photo of mactrail
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color in the wine goblet. Decent foam and sprightly carbonation. Beery aroma with a malty, citrusy note.

Faint lemon tang. A hint of malt but more of a subdued Pilsener-like hop flavor. Slightly Kölsch-like with its faint aromatics. I would call it an American Blonde. Clean and crisp for a few sips. Seems a little sweet and flaccid after a while, but by that time the hoppy bitterness makes an appearance. Not a bad quaff, but it's not much of a Kölsch. Maybe call it an American-style Kölsch, and for that it's a pretty decent light lager.

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Trader Joe's in Washington, DC.

mactrail, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of jwc215
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured straw yellow thin a thin white head that soon becomes a lace.
The smell was very light - some grassy aromas.
The taste was of sweetness, some hops and a good deal of water. It reminded me of a light version of a boring Euro-macro lager.
A sharp tang is suddenly taken over by a sweet malt. It had a metallic taste in the finish.
This is too boring, even for a summer drink. It left more of a drying finish than a refreshing one (though I realize that that can be characteristic of the style). Also, it was too sweet, IMO.
Bottom line - there are more refreshing summer brews out there.

jwc215, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Harpoon Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.