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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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473 Reviews

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Reviews: 473
Hads: 1,119
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 22
Gots: 133 | FT: 0
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
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Reviews: 473 | Hads: 1,119
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. (433 characters)

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. (360 characters)

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. (514 characters)

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. (910 characters)

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? (740 characters)

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. (341 characters)

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… (542 characters)

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. (889 characters)

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). (286 characters)

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?) (431 characters)

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. (639 characters)

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

Pours with a beautiful rocky off-white head over rich deep amber liquid with some red highlights. There's lots of inviting sweet maltiness in the nose, along with toasted grain notes also. Taste is a nice bittersweet balance on the palate. Finishes up malty-sweet, drying slightly. A nice aftertaste lingers in the mouth. Hats off to Harpoon for this very easy to drink take on the O-Fest style. (395 characters)

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

A copper/red body is topped by a big beige head of micro-bubbles. Strong fruity nose with a straight malt chaser. Malty taste well balanced by a nice but not overpowering hop presence. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Not a traditional marzen, but as a Oktoberfest inspired ale, quite pleasing. (293 characters)

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

Dark amber, pours with a tan, creamy, cratery head. Strong micro-hop aroma (A refreshing departure for the style.). Taste qualities almost ale like--fruity-apple ester, diacetyl butter notes.
Very eatable, very quaffable, very good.

Not sure if this would pass a strict style test (seeing as how many brewers adhere strictly to this style), but who cares! Harpoon Ok-Fest, along with Brooklyn, are already on my shopping list for next year.

Happy Halloween! (469 characters)

Photo of sponberg
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby amber (a bit on the dark side for the style), with an appropriately malty nose.

Very smooth & malty, with just a bit of hop bitterness and a very good finishing hop spiciness. A tasty interpretation. The finish is a good malt/hop balance with a slight, pleasing lingering bitterness. A nice Fall seasonal, would be great to kick back on a Sunday with a twelve pack of these and toss a football around at halftime. (428 characters)

Photo of Thrasher
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although not a Marzen, this is a very good fall beer, somewhere in the realm of red/pale ale. Well-retained head, red color, strong hop presence in aroma. Sweet malts veer towards Oktoberfest style but this is a bit different. Good hop presence (mildly spicy, floral attack) gives indication towards a pale ale style. Watery, smooth mouthfeel indicative of Irish red. A nice beer, refreshing and autumnal, almost smoky finish. No fest, but a fine fall seasonal. Harpoon's best beer even if it ain't what it says it is. (518 characters)

Photo of LarryV
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful deep copper color. Malty, hops present but not overpowering. Thin mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but nothing special. After finishing a 12 pack, it's unlikely I'd buy it again since I was already getting bored with it. Just nothing special about it. (259 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poon has a dark copper color, much darker than most O-Fests.... Has a tan, frothy head, and good lace. Nose shows much more hops than malt; out of character, IMO, for a Fest. Give me the malt! Had medium body, as well as smoothness. Flavor mirrored the nose; more hoppiness than malt. Still a pleasant tasting brew but, again, give me the malt! Btw....does Poon brew this as an Ale, and not a Märzen (lager)? I rated this as compared to a Fest, in general, as opposed to a red/amber ale... Prosit!!!

overall: 3.6
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

315 (594 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

odd beer being an oktoberfest style ale. it has an awful lot of hops for and oktober, but it is not too much. i would just have to say that this is a very unique beer. the flavor and carbonation are intense following after the harpoon ipa i have sampled. strange and not something i would get again, but an alright beer (319 characters)

Photo of Longstaff
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brewed in the ale style with a lot of malty goodness to make it passable as an Oktoberfest. Harpoon typical hops are noticeable but not overpowering - a good thing. Not the easiest to drink since the sweetness kind of takes over, but still better than Sammy. (258 characters)

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

Having this in a proper Harpoon dimpled litre stein glass at the brewery is a real treat ... One of my favourite local Octoberfest beers on draught. Although, this is not a lager, thus not a true Marzen/Oktoberfest. It's a nice Amber Ale for a festive occassion. (262 characters)

Photo of bcm119
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks great with its chunky head and deep orange color. Nice clarity of its slightly sweet, grainy malt flavors, with a pretty clean mouthfeel. It has some alcohol towards the finish, but the aftertaste is nice and toasty. Hops give a slight herbal quality that blends in well with the grainy flavors. (304 characters)

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

I don't remember how many 12 packs i ended up buying of this but i know it was enough to make my girlfriend say "why don't you buy something else this time". Octoberfest was great. Not overly malty with a good hop bitterness and a light bready taste and a fruitiness that was almost like their ipa.
i can't wait for next fall. (328 characters)

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.