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Harpoon Summer Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Summer BeerHarpoon Summer Beer

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968 Ratings
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Ratings: 968
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 117 | 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:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-08-2001

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

28 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 968 | Reviews: 371
Photo of Luigi
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden color with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. Nice white lace for a head. Smells slighty sweet and fruity with a light grain and lemon zest.
The taste is crisp, clean, and light bodied. A hop bitterness hits the tounge at first but is followed by a clean grain. Zesty dry aftertaste. No in your face flavors, just a clean lightness that is great for the summer heat. A perfect summer time beer that pairs well with any grilled meat.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle I lugged out from Boston. Harpoon's kolsch-style ale had a clear yellow color, pretty vigorous carbonation, and a frothy white head that quickly petered out to a thin ring, leaving no lace.
The nose was appealing enough, consisting of grainy malt and crushed wheat aromas melded to the notes of light lemony citrus. A couple pulls and I noticed this seemed more full-bodied than the typical light-and-Sahara-dry kolsch. Almost came off as an American wheat beer vice a kolsch. Anyway, the wheat-laden grain flavor was fully in charge initially and through mid-palate. Then the tangy, lemony citrus bite from the hops kicked into gear to balance things out. The feel was crisply, drily refreshing.
Overall, a nice refreshing brew to enjoy out by the pool on a warm Independence Day. Not something I'd buy in bulk but a suitable brew given the time of year.

Photo of kaszeta
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, anyone know what's up with Harpoon and their beer names? They seem to go out of the way to not call this beer a Kölsch, instead calling it a "Summer Beer in the Kölsch style." I've seen similar waffling with their "Munich-style dark beer" which mentions in the fine print that it is a "Dunkel." Anyone know?

Anyhow... had this one on tap at the Windsor, VT brewery. First thing I noticed is that they've taken to serving their beer in type-specific glassware, so my Kölsch was actually poured in a Kölsch glass. Nice touch. Usually I have to be at home to have this sort of service. The beer pours with a nice crisp, clear, very light straw color and a frothy white head that quickly disperses. Certainly has the look of a Kölsch down pat. It also has a reasonable Kölsch aroma: fruity, with a bit of spice and yeast. No real banana or bubblegum, so they didn't overdo the warm fermentation.

Taste-wise, I was a little disappointed. It's got a reasonable malty flavor, and is decently hopped, but its weak overall, bordering on watery. I'd like a little more of the fruity flavor and bite from the aroma, but they just aren't there. Not bad, just a little weak. Similarly, the mouthfeel is lacking. It's not sweet, it's not tannic, it's just not there.

On the flip side, this isn't swill, it's at least true to the Kölsch style, just a little disappointing. It's definitely drinkable, and good for a hot day in the sun. And, quite frankly, most US brewers have a hard time with Kölsch, so maybe I can't blame them.

Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my pint glass a clear, bright, pale straw color with a clean white head that quickly faded. A good looking pint (well, 12 oz.) of beer.

A refreshing aroma greeted me -- fruity and a little spicey. I got a hint of bubblegum, too.

A smooth and refreshing beer. A slight malt hit up front balanced nicely by noble hops. Nicely attenuated to finish on the dry side.

Not a lot to rave about, but very little to dislike. I thought it was an enjoyable summer beer, especially on the 94 degree day that I tried it.

Photo of silenius
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All around solid summer drinker. One of the best "Summer" beers I've had. Pours a clear pale yellow with a moderate white head that leaves only a little lace.

The smell on this beer reminds me of a NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Mineral and slightly floral with some bittering on the end. Appetizing!

Hits the tongue with a malty sweetness balanced by a mineral dryness. Great taste in the heat (90 deg on the porch today). Leaves with a nice dryness and a snap of hop bittering. Quenching!

Carbonation levels and mouthfeel are darn near perfect for this one.

Highly drinkable in the heat!

Photo of JackStraw22
3.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear light golden color. Good fluffy head, lots of bubbles feeding it. Nice lacing too. A little bit of spicy hops in the nose, but pretty one demensional aroma wise. Hmm, nothing in the taste. A little bit of hops, a little malt, but really bland. Not bad tasting, it's certainly refreshing. Good for a BBQ, and it quenches your thirst, but that's about it.

Photo of ElGordo
3.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a vibrant golden hue with a flourish of a small white head that is gone in under a minute. A bit lighter than a kolsch should be, in my opinion, but appetizing nonetheless. Aroma of sweet malt, crisp lager yeast, and a touch of biscuit and honey. More light sweet malt on the palate up front, with a light hop bitterness emerging towards the back of the mouth. Finish has a bit of diacetyl in it, kind of unpleasant. Body is substantial enough, but a tad foamy. Actually, I think the bottle I have right now is markedly worse than the one I had last night. Not a bad beer for a warm summer night, but there a certainly better summer ales to be had.

Photo of donchata
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice crisp pouring beer with bright coloring of light gold. Very drinkable with a thin, soft head. I quite enjoy the ease of drinkability and the light bodied presense coupled with a satisfying clean flavor. This Kolsch style beverage is ideal for a summer fix.

Photo of bobbyc881
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice and clear, with a decent white-colored head that thins out quickly. Well-carbonated. Beer is a golden color.

Smells sweet and grainy. Like summer, I suppose.

Taste is mediocre, mostly of corn and other grain. Sweet taste that leaves behind a sticky feel in my mouth. Drinks smooth.

I don't think I would purchase more of this.

Photo of mortarit
3.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I think this will be my first Kolsch beer, so I will have to look that up to see what it means.

I was impressed from the head. Very white from the first impression, and texture was not bad either.

Carbonation through the pour was excellent to watch.


Taste was light and branded with the Harpoons' taste.

I would buy it again because Harpoon has good beer.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stange yielding about 2 fingers of fluffy snow-white head atop a bright, light, yellow beer. Very clear with streams of carbonation running up the sides of the glass. Some half rings of lace lined the glass throughout the sample.

Smell was floral and fruitty. Similiar to Harpoon's IPA. Some hoppyness in the backgroud as well.

Taste has a crisp bite to every sip. Some fruitty tastes and a tiny bit of bitterness and hop character. Very clean and smooth and refreshing. Well balanced and enjoyable.

Light on the palate with a good deal of carbonation.

Very easy to drink and refreshing to boot. A little bit "light" for my personal tastes, but I know this is in character for the style. I could easily have a few of these in one sitting without thinking twice.

Photo of Citadel82
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is beer is pretty much what one would expect in a kolsch. Mild and refreshing in all respects. Pours sunshine yellow with a decent head that left some nice lace rings on the glass. Slightly hazy, not as clear as some the German Kolsch I have sampled but very similar in palate and profile. Aroma is slightly fruity. Taste is mildly sour with some biscuit malt notes and a clean dry finish. a very drinkable summer beer.

Photo of Dogbrick
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley’s Ale House #1. The Kölsch is not an overly complex style but I enjoy it for being straightforward and refreshing. Unfortunately Harpoon’s version is overly simple. Clear golden color with a thin white head and minimal lacing. Light hops and lemon aroma. Light-bodied with a minimal hops flavor, along with some grass and citrus. The finish is clean and a little tart, but short. This beer is not memorable despite being pretty easy to drink.

Photo of LPorter33
2.55/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = golden-yellow straw colored, clear with decent 1/2 inch head and bubble shouting upwards.

Smell = malty with a sweet fruit scent of apples and pears. Very plesant.

Taste = Very sour without much hops, has a strong citrus flavor, but I feel like this is much too dominant. It lasts throughout most of the taste and drowns out everywhere else.. Strong bread like malty aftertaste hits in the end. I'm rather disappointed.

Overall = I do not recommend this one. I'd take a Sam's Summer Ale over it anyway and that's not saying much. Just way too sour without much else to it for my tastes.

Photo of blackie
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color out of the bottle with a thin white head. Smells quite clean with little to speak of, save some slight malt and hops; the standard for the samples I have had of the kolsch style. Mouthfeel is light, while still being enjoyable; clean and crisp. Well carbonated. Taste is clean, with light malt sweetness and slight bitterness coming out in the finish. Very drinkable, could drink these all day. A good beer for a hot day when something easy drinking is desired.

Photo of HappyHourHero
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big foamy off-white colored head is all kinds of sticky. Dozens of streams of fine bubbles rise through the transparent sun colored beer. Faint aroma, maybe a bit of grassy hops and pinch of grainyness. Soft light beer. Flavor is a bit sweet, and a little grainy. That's about it, there might be some floral hops in there, but they barely make it to the surface. I'm assuming this is pretty close to a Kolsch, but I just don't like the sweet grainyness.

Photo of Backer2004
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So much better than the Sam Adam's Summer Ale I had earlier this week, even if it is a different style. Not a big fan of the Koslch style, but this is an exception. Great golden color, nice head and lacing. Good with the BBQ chicken I had with it. Would be a good session beer. It did have abit of dust on the bottle so i'm not sure how old it was, but tasted nice and refreshing, with hints of fruitiness.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A clear golden color with a slight amber hue. A foamy white head that dissipates quickly leaving a sustaining lace.

Aroma: A citrusy lemon scent, with some grain.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A clean, grainy malt character with a very noticeable lemon citrus flavor. Some grassy notes too. A mellow hop bitterness. Grain flavor dominates the pleasantly long finish. A light mouthfeel with tangy carbonation

Light and refreshing. This brew has a flavor that is crisp and delicate. A good session beer to have on a hot summer day (and no, I’m not just saying because it says on the bottle that this beer is “perfect for summer” ). Recommended.

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled: 4.21.05

12 oz. bottle

A medium pour results in a dense off-white head that hangs out for a good time. The flaxen liquid beneath is almost clear, so clear I can see my magnified fingers like gilded and golden sausages on the other side of the glass. Lacing is abundant and sticky.

The beer has a beautiful aroma, both sugary and tangy. That German Euro-funk is present. You know the one I mean. The smell of old world beer. It's enticing.

A sip carries over that sweetness in a crisp zip. Slight bitterness from the hops, along with a twist of citrus splash against the palate; is that tangerine? The beer is lightly carbonated. It's a full brew; not at all heavy, but very apparent in the mouth. I won't say 'chewy', but you know it's there.

Drinkability? How long can you last? This one is a full on session brew. HUGE session brew, in fact. Eh, ok, the 5.5% MIGHT be worth noting before consuming too many, but this is perfect for summer and should make many an appearance at many a barbeque. In my opinion, it blows Sierra Nevada's summer offering out of the water.

Photo of NEhophead
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle.

Foamy 1" rocky white head that is slow to fade. Condensed lacing with good strength. Crisp, light golden in color.

Light citrus; faint mustiness. Moderate wheat and grain aromas.

Crisp wheat flavors complimented with a medium bread-like malt character. A very light apple/pear citric quality. Finishes crisp and slightly dry. The aftertaste is bready, with a darker, metallic-filled maltiness.

Light bodied; the malt character balances the wheat and grain flavors well. Well rounded and balanced on the palate.

Light, drinkable, and pretty good flavors for a Kolsch. A nice beach beer for the summer.

Photo of pentathlete
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the Collins glass a bright yellow with a rocky head that lasted a minute or so while leaving lace on most of the cylinder. Some citrus in the nose. The taste was crispy and refreshing with some additional citrus flavor, almost zesty. Mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation keeping it lively. Is it the Collins glass or does this beer dissapear rather quickly? The glass holds about 12 oz, so it must be me. This beer has summer session written all over it for the spouse and me.

Photo of ecoboy
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delighfully clear light yellow gold in hue. Short-life head of mixed-sized bubble.

An oddly scented kolsch, with a healthy lemon zest, and a fatty note alongside a light grain nature that -ulp- gives it the scent of cleaning products. This is not a good thing. I had to stop my natural approach of reaching deeply with my nostrils before sips.

Damn shame, too, since the lemon nature is amped down in the flavor for a nicely mixed middle (after a citrus attack.) Lovely mouthfilling fine carbonation makes it gulpable without pain. Yes, a light body but with PRESENCE, something the rice/corn guys could learn from. Finish is full of lingering malt, citrus, butter and bitter. I think AB/SAB drinkers would really enjoy this; it could be a gateway beer (those guys rarely smell their beer.)

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a nice find... the package store I got it at doesn't usually stock Harpoon.

It was a nice medium yellow color, clear, with a short head that stayed around for a little while. Rather compact little bubbles.

The aroma was hoppy, and there were hints of lemon.

The taste was tart, slightly astringent, with a body flavor of light malt with traces of bitter hops and a hint of lemon. A little bit of an odd combination.

Mouthfeel was pretty good for the style. Good body.

I might have another on a warm day sitting out in the sun, or having a plate of nachos, but not as a regular drinking beer.

Photo of pezoids
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a yellowish gold color with loads of carbonation and a large white head of foamy goodness. Slight chill haze apparent, but disappeared after a few sips. Golden and lively. The aroma yields pleasant notes of sweet and fresh nutty grains, pine and just a hint of caramel butter. The taste is very pleasing. Light, yet flavorful with a slightly sweet and bitter tang finish. Wow, this is an excellent beer! A great Americanized version of a German Kolsch beer. Crisp, clean and could be the near perfect summer beer. Left me wanting more!

Photo of malthead
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

nice clear yellow color, decent white, sticky head. Lemony aroma, sweet with a little hops. Nice taste, mostly sweet lemon (like some type of lemon/sugar candy) with some hops towards the finish. The mouthfeel is a little sickly sweet for my taste, though, but maybe that's just a function of the style. Real easy drinking, great for relaxing on a summer's day. (even though it's cool and rainy right now...)

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Harpoon Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 968 ratings.