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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

487 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 487
Hads: 1,177
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 27
Gots: 173 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2001

The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops. When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head. The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt. The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist. The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present. Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character. This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty. Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt. The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Octoberfest Beer Alström Bros
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Reviews: 487 | Hads: 1,177
Photo of beakerboy
4.7/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liquor Barn's ultimate Brew Crew Sept '06-Oktoberfest

The beer pours a dark copper with ample head that drops to half a finger and remains for some time. Lots of lace on the glass. This beer is much more fruity than other oktoberfests with citrus, and apricot flavors. To me this beer tastes almost like it's from Belgium with the fruit flavors. This beer has a lot of body and a faint tingle of carbonation. I really like this one..my favorite oktoberfest I've rated.

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Photo of CycleDad
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful dark golden color with a thin cream-colored head that dissipated within a minute. Smooth malt flavor with just a hint of hops toward the finish. Light lacing. An excellent Octoberfest.

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Photo of celfan
4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I must say I'm surprised. I usually find the Harpoon offerings somewhat bland, but they really nailed this one. I'm shocked. I love everything about this beer - the deep amber color- the creamy head - the perfect low, but not too low carbonation... As I was drinking it I kept waiting for something to go wrong. I was at least expecting a funky aftertaste, but it was quality throughout. Not too sweet or syrupy, nor was it merely
an octoberfest- tinged american ale. The real thing that competes with the Germans. Harpoon really nailed it.

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Photo of LiveaHoppyLife
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The color on this beer is great. It is a nice, clear brown. Great head retention.

S - I love the way this beer smells. Unfortunately I do not have a very trained nose. I cannot put a finger on the smells I am getting, but it is very pleasant.

T - I was very pleased with the taste. It is a little sweet, but has some of that beer "bitter" flavor. This is exactly what I look for in an Octoberfest. I am normally a Sam Adams fan, however, I don't think I will be buying their Octoberfest beer any more if this is available.

M - The texture of this beer is very good. It has a silky feel on your tongue. The carbonation is not too overbearing.

D - It is not too sweet. You could drink several of these, even drink it with food.

Enjoy! Life is too short for bad beer!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Octoberfest has a thick, soapy, cream-colored head, and a clear, copper color with some streaming bubbles and not much lacing. The aroma is of sweet and sour brown bread, with sugar. Flavor is of sweet, sugary, brown bread, lightly bitter hops, and a touch of caramel. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Harpoon Octoberfest finishes mostly dry, crisp, refreshing, and supremely drinkable. It's a wonderful beer, and I think you should check it out!


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Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice clear amber-brown color with a tall and thick tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some caramelized malts, and then a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes like the nose with a sweet roasted and caramelized malt base, a touch of sweet molasses, nice slight hoppy finish.
M: Very fresh, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation, lighter bodied than it looks.
D: Very drinkable, this has a great mix of flavor and feel with a low-medium abv making it perfect drinkability for the fall days.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Reddish copper color with a nice offwhite head.

smell - Toasted malts, hops, and sweet smells here.

taste - Toasted bready malt, eith some hops towards the end of the finish. Has a sweetness taste to it too.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - A real good Octoberfest brew, would buy again. If I could find some. Will wait til next year.

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Photo of tstoney76
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the mix of different hop flavors in one beer. Had Samuel Adams octoberfest so decided to try harpoon, another local brewer. Have to say I am a bigger fan of this octoberfest than Sams. This beer is full of flavor that mixes well with food and just fine to sit back watching a game. Main reason for love of this beer is that the after taste is none. Most octorberfest's leave behind numerous traces of flavor that many people don't appreciate. This is an excellant beer and definitly would recommend to others. Too bad it's only out for 2 months.

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Photo of biernuss
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished off a 12 oz bottle and found this beer to be very refreshing. It poured a nice copper color with a perfect head. The lacing lasted throughout the entire glass. Nice aroma with an intial subdued bitterness. Mouthfeel was excellent . All in all, this is a nice beer and makes me want another.

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Photo of RunawayJim
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Before the review, I will state that I had no idea it wasn't an actual Oktoberfest/Marzen (though the label says it is). I was caught a bit off guard until I looked it up here.

The beer poured a nice dark ruby/brown color with ample carbonation and a nice 1 finger head that didn't diminish until the beer was about 3/4 gone. It was poured into a standard 16 oz pint glass.

The beer smelled of some slight hops and a nice roasted malt scent, plus hints of some spices in there, cinnamon perhaps.

The mouthfeel was fantastic. It is definitely a full bodied beer and the carbonation was perfect.

The taste was excellent. It was more bitter than I had expected, but it was a nice surprise. It didn't taste at all like a Marzen, but then I found out that it isn't one. The hops came through first, followed by a hint of a roasted malty flavor and those spices I was able to smell, again I noticed a slight cinnamon flavor in there. As it warmed, the bitterness diminished a bit, but the beer was still very drinkable.

This is one drinkable brew and a great fall beer. I can easily see myself kicking back and drinking several of these. I definitely recommend this one as a nice "Oktoberfest" or fall beer.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 12/15/11. Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

Poured with very little white head, which quickly dissipates into a thin white ring around the glass. Some carbonation rises gently from the bottom of the glass to the top. Beer is an orange / copper color with red highlights. No haze, looks clearly filtered but the coloring makes it difficult to see more than fuzzy shadows through the other side. Love the color of the beer -- screams "Autumn!" to me.

Smells malty and maybe even a little bit chocolatey. Smells clean.

Goes down very easy. Flavor isn't in your face. Plenty of carbonation without being abrasive, very clean finish. Flavor basically follows the nose -- lots of malt (maybe like a caramel sweetness), a hint of chocolate. Doesn't taste hoppy, but there's enough bitterness that it certainly isn't a sweet brew, despite my previous descriptors. And again, definitely a clean finish. Mouthfeel is light, which I tend to like in my Octoberfests.

Overall, this beer hits the mark for me. Easy drinker, pleasant taste that isn't over the top. Great beer for the quickly approaching fall, now that the nights are cooler and the sun isn't as strong during the days. Perfect for watching football, drinking while grilling, or having a bonfire. Definitely a drink to enjoy with friends.

EDIT: Think it came out of my fridge a little too cold... as it warmed, the mouthfeel thickened up just a little and the flavors and aromas became more pronounced, but still not overbearing. Great beer!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – Poured a nice pumpkin orange amber with a decent one inch or so of a head on top. Decent retention as it hung around for a good couple of minutes before finally resting and falling down to just a thin layer across the top. The was definitely a lot of carbonation here as you could see ripples of bubbles just percolating towards the surface throughout the entire time. A slight amount of side glass lace was present after a little while. Very very clear though, almost crystal clear, with really no haze or sediment or cloudiness at all. Pretty much exactly what you would want a Marzen to look like.

S – Aroma was very spiced, lots of pumpkin like smells mixed in with a good amount of roasted malts. It had a touch of nutmeg and a definite grassy or earthy mix in it. There was definitely some depth to the aroma, as it really pulled you in. I was actually quite surprised with the strength of the smell, it really had a nice light twang to it and had a good amount of body.

T – Now this was nice. It was definitely your typical Oktoberfest taste, however there was definitely a little something extra and interesting going on here. A good amount of malt made up the backbone of it as you would expect. Once you got past that a nice bready sort of grain started to come over you, mixed in was a nice herbal, grassy sort of punch that really started to break though. It was definitely a fresh taste as it had some teeth to it. A decent hoppy expression then followed and even had a bit of a floral note to it. The finish was very long, and quite dry. A nice blend here and like I said quite interesting. It was that little bit extra, that slight hoppiness that really seemed to pull though for me here, it just gave it the slightest bit more character then I normally see and really very nice indeed.

M – Very steady, about as steady as it comes. You will always find these lighter brews seem to balance on a thin line between coming off too light and on the flip side, having too much and kind of coming off a bit oily or slick. This fit well right into the center. A good amount of carbonation kept it going and really helped to solidify the taste. The light character really helped you explore the flavors and gave it the feel that you really start to look for.

D – Fantastic, now what else would you expect here. It had the low ABV, full flavor, light feel and great carbonation. That is always going to work out to a winner and this one was no exception. Just a really high quality session brew and I could have gone on with this one forever.

Overall I was very much impressed and thought this one was really fantastic. One of the easiest drinkers I have seen and something that just really grabbed a hold, and would not expect it to. Very refreshing and light, but with enough flavor and spice to keep your interest. Really one of my more favorite of the season and something I will definitely have to turn to again next year. Really nice and very much recommended.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with red highlights and a decent sized head that settles to a small lace.
I poured this into a stein and and the aroma was malts,hops with some fruit hints.The taste is sweet,caramel malts,hops and then I taste some cocoa tones.
The feel is well balanced smooth,medium bodied brew that carries moderate carbonation.

Notes: A real surprise for me.I know it does not qualify as a true Octoberfest beer,yet I really did not care as it was just so smooth and well balanced.Rich malts and an overall fine brew.
Drinkability is excellent and this will be in my fridge this winter.

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Photo of BeerManDanNYC
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best oktoberfest I have had this year. A very smooth and full-bodied seasonal offering, Harpoon has nailed it again. One sip of this ale ushers in a feeling of fall and cooler weather...not a bad thing at all. A very good representation of jeans-wearing football season.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours a dark amber color, not much head to speak of but it does leave some fine bubbles on top with some nice lacing.

S: Aroma is of cinnamon, Rye, and some pumpkin spice.

T: Is malty and sweet, has some caramel at the front and then you get the pumpkin spice and cinnamon at the back end.

M: Good carbonation, very smooth medium bodied beer.

O: Very drinkable, love the flavor of this version of the style. This is the first Octoberfest I have had this year, so I dont have anything to compare it to. Overall, very solid!

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Photo of Gasp100
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very neat packaging. A 12oz brown bottle with cream colored label adorned with autumn leaves. Just looked like October. This one poured a deep, deep bronze with a reddish glow. The off-white head settled about 1/4 through the drink but left a nice lace around the glass all the way down. The smell was of light hops with a tinge of fruit (raison?) and the presence of alcohol was detected. The taste was of burnt malt with just enough hops to add a bright touch with an oily flavor. The mouthfeel was strong and powerful and very crisp. This was lighter than I imagined and extremely drinkable. This is a must have seasonal which will stay on the list of keepers. Wish I could taste this on tap!

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Photo of bgreg3
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer comes off very reddish in appearance with foam that sticks to the top very well. The smell of this beer is beautiful I smell toffee, caramel , amazing floral hoppiness , and sweet malt. The taste is just as good , it begins with toffee and caramel making love in your mouth then transitions to toasty malt, and finishes with a moderate hop finish , I think it's floral , I could be wrong though. MF is very thin and makes for a most drinkable beer. To me this beer has a feel of Irish red to it , the toffee the sweetness and the malt , but what makes it different is the moderate hoppy finish that I have yet to find in an Irish red.

Must try.

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This tastes like year-old Samuel Adams Octoberfest and I mean that in a good way. The fresher SA Oct tends to have a slight hop zing which bites into the candy-craver's sweet tooth share of golden electric sugar more evident in the past date bottles. Yeah, I'm recommending that you let your SA Oct expire and sit a year before drinking! Harpoon's Okt is so similar to that aged afforementioned beer that I could probably blind-test and think them the same or at least interchangeable. I think that is a complimentary way of saying A+ Harpooners, A+ to you.

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Photo of GMB
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A standard pour of Harpoon's Octoberfest yields an amber body with yellow and copper highlights, but fails to produce anything resembling a head. Carbonation is a bit aggressive in the body. Sheets of large bubbles stick to the sides of my glass, while bubbles of various sizes rise quickly to the top and explode on the surface.

The beer smells much better than it looks. Toasted biscuits, caramel, and apple cider dominate. Some very mild floral notes lurk in the background. This is the kind of bouquet I expect from a well-crafted Märzen.

The taste expands the nose. The full mouthfeel carries the beer's rich, malt-forward flavors. The beer tastes like toasted caramel biscuits spiced with lavendar-leaf extract and splash of bourbon.

Harpoon's Octoberfest is among the best American Märzens I've tried. I'll be sure to drink it again next year.

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Photo of Bito401
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon has a lot of good beers but this by far has to be my personal favorite of there seasonal/regular offerings. I really wish they sold this stuff year round. Great tasting beer with a smooth aftertaste.

Overall - 4.5

One of the best Octoberfest's out IMO.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up in the variety pack. Enjoy by 11/15/15. Pours an Amber copper with a thick white two inch frothy head. Recedes slowly and leaves great lacing. Smell is sweet and bready. Taste follows, nice biscuity. Feel is creamy and smooth. Almost like its nitro. Best Oktoberfest I've had. Cheers!

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Photo of CorvetteMike
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark amber, with a medium head that lingers on .

S: Hint of cinnamon, spice, and Rye.

T: Slight sweet malty taste and cinnamon flavor that lingers on.

M: Smooth medium bodied with slight carbonation.

O: Very smooth drinkable beer. A favorites.

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Photo of riversider76
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Recommended bay an old friend. Pours amber gold with a thin white head. Decent retention and some lacing. Aroma is of bready sweet malts, and caramel. Body is medium with light carbonation. Taste is malty up front. Hints of toast and fruit, with a touch of hops in the finish. Excellent!

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Photo of AlHam
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper and clear.

Smells of sweet, toasted malts and hops.

Tastes as rich as it smells. This is one of my favorite Octoberfests.

The mouthfeel is unexceptional, but still smooth and slightly rich.

All around, a good beer. A fantastic seasonal brew.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper, initially a sizeable head. Smelled remarkably fruity and maybe a little floral. Malty and bitter, it almost tastes like an IPA with a few amputated hops. An impressive beer, but an impressive Oktoberfest? The jury's still deliberating....

...And the verdict is:


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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 487 ratings.