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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
Reviews: 487 | Hads: 1,177
Photo of Gusler
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer as it sets in my glass unblurred amber to copper color; the head is modest in size, somewhat bubbly in texture and the color a light tan with a sealing sheet of lace. Nose is crisp and clean, slightly sweet with a caramel aroma; start is nicely malted, sweet and the top a bit thin. Finish is prickly in its acidity, nicely hopped and dry, a decent drinking beer and one I enjoy when I can get it.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick nice rich white lasting head.. this settles and lasts as a consistant 1/4 inch white sheen. Burnt orange color with lots of tiny bubble action. Sweetmalt in the nose with hints of toasted roast malt. Medium smoothish mouth feel. It feels rich. Sweet initial taste of rich malt followed by a little burnt popcorn and light metalic hop bitterness taste. Overall quite good and drinkable for the style. I like that there is alot going on on the tongue and it is not just flat sweet and malty.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Low aroma of malt and caramel. Flavor is mild, but complex. It develops and changes as it rolls through the mouth. Sweet malt at first, with other flavors initially hidden by a tingly mouthfeel. As the beer settles in around the taste buds, hints of pear emerge. Nuances of butterscotch soon develop, and a slight hop bitterness sits in the aftertaste in the back of the mouth. Smooth and delicate flavor, very enjoyable to sip.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice color to this beer, I hope it tastes near as good as it looks.
Deep amber, small head that dissapates to a lace on the top of the remaining beer and along the sides of the glass.
Light nutty aroma.
Lightly hopped up front, a little yeast, a sharp taste near the end.
Mouthfeel:Light carbonation, easy going down, slight stickiness after.
All told, an easy beer to consume, not too complex, certainly will not knock you over with flavor.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear red/brown color with a white sticky head. On-tap at the Harppon Brewery Octoberfest party. Taste is unlike any other Octoberfest beer I've had. Some sweet flavors in the middle are reminiscent of a Marzen, (this is an Ale) but hops are the feature of this one. Toasty malts and a subtle sweetness in the beginning and middle. Leafy hops show up in the late middle and last through the finish. Well balanced, drinkable and tasty and so fresh right from the brewery.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a dark russet brwon, tinted with orange. Excellent clarity, with some slow streamers of carbonation rising. A thick almond colored head rests atop, with excellent retention, lasting all the ay until the end of the pint. Decent lacing, leaving some sticky cobwebbing down the glass.
The aroma is dominated by a rich caramunich maltiness. Definitely an ale, with some muddiness and characteristic floral esteriness. Clean for an ale, though, with pronounced aromas. A hint of toasted malt, and an excellent dry pear scent. Some mild noble hops sneak around the back, adding balance, but definitely not standing out.
The flavor starts with a huge caramel maltiness. Not big beer huge, but overwhelming all other flavors at first. Some toasted malt peeks through, heading into some fruity pear and plum esters. Mild noble hops bounce into the finish, providing a lightly herbal citric bitterness. Very pleasant and balancing. The finish is probably the best part of the beer, as the caramel continues through and melds with the citrus hopping. Interesting and tasty. Light tingly carbonation, medium to full bodied. A dryish caramunich aftertaste, with a bit of bready yeast and a suggestion of buttery diacetyl.
Tasty and enjoyable, this is always an old standby for the autumn months. Perhaps a little better this year, with cleaner, more pronounced flavors.

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Photo of Running4beer
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pors out a dark copper with a reddish tint, medium off white head that thins to a lace. Some floral hop aroma and malt. Tastes of chocolate malt and some floral hops. I enjoyed this brew very much taste good. Easily drinkable and a smooth medium bodied mouth feel. All good here.

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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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Photo of goz
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours red, with a smallish white head that mosty lasts, leaving good lace. Aroma is toasty malts, with some toffee playing second fiddle in the back. Flavor shows more of the toffee, pretty much balanced with a toasty maltiness, and a slight bit of hops showing up in the end. Medium body, medium carbonation. Slightly better than average, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pretty deep copper with a meduim white head. dissapates half way down the glass leaving lace most of the way down. bready nutty smell that's very inviting. hints of something fruity or flowery. hops right up front for the taste, giving way to malts. bread, and slightest hint of coffee is present. a little bit of smoke in the aftertaste, a little alcohol is their too. it has a meduim body, with maybe slightly too much carbonation. i don't have much experience with oktoberfest beers, but this is really hitting the spot today, last day of september. it's got some balls to it, i'll be getting more.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with not much of a head to speak of,a very light aroma of some toasted malt but not much there in my mind.Taste is slightly doughy and roasty but seemed a little dry for my liking would have liked some more caramel malt flavor.Not awe-inspiring by any means but a drinkable beer but wont ever seek this one out for sure.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice redish amber, slight head. Good malt taste, although a little faint. Good "session" beer, went down easy enough while watching the game. Over all, nothing very impressive, and really nothing to complain about. A good beer, that could be improved on.

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Photo of pezoids
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointing beer. Poured a bright copper color with a large tan head that dissolved away quickly. Looked nice. Pretty bland aroma – really nothing there, like water. The body was very thin and the beer lacked substance. There was a lingering dry bitterness. Not that much for an octoberfest and one dimensional, but in it’s defense, it was easy to drink.

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Photo of Scoats
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This a very dark for a marzen, almost brown. Very thick and hearty. This beer is very drinkable, very tasty with a noticably pleasant mouthfeel. Except for the wonderful (and great) color, it is very true to the style. The hops are noticable but very well balanced, though I personally prefer marzens with a dry hopped aftertaste. Last week I had numous Grey Lodge patrons tell me how much they loved this beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper ruby tone with a nice brown ruby tan head wih nice even lacing. Slight brown sugar tint with a caramel edge and full malty tone, a bit light. Great nutty edge with malty backbone of toasted syrupy tones. Easily a session brew with a medium sized body and smooth drinkability not overly complex in any way but then again neither should be the style. This has been on of the better Oktoberfest styles I've had.

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Photo of Darkale
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark copper body. Thick and fast head, long-lasting with excellent lacing.

Yeasty aroma is a good mix of sweetness and pungency.

Sweet and slick in the mouth, just chewy enough to warrant the label. Sweetness is balanced with hops and a shade of sourness.

The bitterness lingers after the swallow and is appealing. A very competent Oktoberfest.

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Photo of rabidawg
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby chestnut with spritzy carbonation. Fluffy off-white head with serious staying power. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Sticky-sweet malt with ripe fruit notes. Very mellow and neither outstanding nor offensive.

Taste: Prickly in the front with the carbonation stinging my tongue. Soft and vinous thereafter, with the sweet malt dominating. Slightly sour, woody yeast notes near the end.

Notes: A good beer, although no O'fest. Very enjoyable, and worth a shot. Just keep an open mind about things.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Autumn leaves distinguish the label from the others. 12oz brown bottle with no readable freshness date.

Appearance: Russet reddish copper with a healthy caked-on off-white head.

Smell: Fragrant hops with a hint of deeply toasted malt and a clean sweetness holding a very faint fruitiness.

Taste: Smooth and medium to full in body, hops are subtle yet gain ground towards the finish. Small but snappy hop bitterness with a toasted bread malt palate and a hint of unsweetened chocolate. Vague fruitiness in the middle yet finishes with a leafy hop flavour, a pinch of sweetness and remnants of chocolate malt.

Notes: A great "American" Octoberfest brew, and that seems to be what they intended to create. In all aspects for me it is one hell of a fall seasonal extremely drinkable, quite tasty and a clean beer all around. A top pick for me amongst the other American Octoberfest brews.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. amber bottle. No freshness date. This one was purchased on the "sale" rack at one of the local packy's. Buyer beware...

Appearance: Poured a deep "freshly brewed iced tea" color. Inital thick tan-colored head is gone in a flash, settling for a thin line around the edges. Sparse lacing of the glass.

Smell: Toasted malty sweetness dominates. Some spicy bitterness as well.

Taste: Good transition from the malty/doughy/bready sweetness that you get up front to the mildy bittering hoppy input that lingers at the end. Not quite the mix of spices I was thinking I'd get.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Good carbonation.

Drinkabilty: Very easy on the palate. Just a bit of lingering bitterness is nice. Do I hear session beer?

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Photo of edchicma
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad brew, but different. Smell was vague, but appearance was a nice caramel color with a nice head and lace. Taste was semi-sweet with some distinct alcohol overtones (odd for a brew witha 5.5ABV). Mouthfeel was medium, with a light astringent quality at the end. Not bad on the drinkability scale. Not my top brew, but not bad either.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a garnet-red color with a decent, firm, creamy, sticky, off-white head that has fairly good retention, after that it dies down and leaves a nice foamy collar throughout the glass. On the nose the aroma of sweet toasted malts, grains, caramel, and a mild hop bitterness. Medium to full bodied; with decent carbonation and the mouth feel is mostly smooth. In the flavor the taste of caramel & toasted malts, grains, hints of some fruitiness, and a nice mild hop bitterness; well balanced. Overall a tasty brew, and enjoyable…

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep copper/russet in color with a firm bone-white head that drops shortly but maintains a decent collar and light surface covering throughout the glass. The aroma is fairly rich with gently sweet and lightly toasted malts (Vienna & Munich) and a mild hoppiness. Very nice. The body is medium with a fine, median carbonation that's gently zesty and lightly creamy in the mouth. The flavor is malty upfront (bready and toasty), reveals some fruitiness, and then some hop flavor (grassy, resiny) and a brisk hop bitterness that lingers in a long dry finish. Well-balanced with the rich maltiness giving way to an increasing perception of hop bitterness (and flavor) throughout the glass, giving it an exceptional drinkability. Two to three of these could easily be enjoyed in one evening. Very well done with a strong nod to the Vienna-style; but also very American in it's hoppiness.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish amber with a light tan head & good head retention. Medium-full bodied with a very light almost non-existent malt aroma. Nice malt character but not too strong in any direction. Good balance; not too sweet.

A good session beer (but not really to style as an Octoberfest).

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Photo of AaronRed
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color- looks very malty, and it is. I could definetely smell the sweetness upfront. A well- balanced brew- obviously on the sweeter side, but with some bitterenss to keep it refreshing on the palate. A little bit of a chewy mouthfeel, nice body. Not a distinguishing Octoberfest, but very nice indeed. (Also, the discription of the beer up on BA, says the style is a red ale- I believe this beer is really a lager?)

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Photo of Murph
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber with decent tan head tha subsides quickly and leaves some minimal lace down the glass. Biscuity maltiness in the nose with some slight caramel tones as well as a light hoppiness that is barely detectable. Smooth maltiness opens the brew up but is then followed by a rough transition into a tangy, grapefruity hoppiness that doesn't seem to fit in well in the other flavors flavors of the brew. Smooth and slightly cloying which brings down the mouthfeel. The medium body of the brew and decent biscuity malt flavors make it fairly drinkable but I would rather go with some of the german ofests or the Brooklyn.

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