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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

481 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 1,155
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 25
Gots: 156 | 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: 481 | Hads: 1,155
Photo of scottbrew4u
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bright, clear amber color with a bubbly off-white head that settles quickly. Some decent lacing on the glass as you drink it down.

S: Roasty, biscuity, and bready malt backbone and a slight toffee sweet note. Hops are faint but earthy.

T: Light roasted but not bitter grains with a dry bready quality and a semi-sweet toffee taste to blend in with the roasted barley malt smoothness. Hops just kiss this beer to let the sweetness know it does not rule this beer completely. Finish is sweet but not cloying.

M: Light to medium body with crisp prickly carbonation.

O: Easy to drink a few and pair with some sausages or pork and sauerkraut. Better then other US versions of this style it can hold it's own but not the benchmark for the style. Will please most craft beer fans. I would get it again.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a thick and pillowy cream colored head with impressive retention, nearly two finger long after the pour. Good patches of lace around the ring.

S- sweet bready malt with some nutty characteristics, a bit yeasty with just a touch of floral hop.

T- palate follows the nose with sweet and nutty malt, a bit of caramel with a dry finish and just a bit if hop linger. Good flavor profile but would prefer a bit more malt-forward profile.

M- medium body, low carbonation and super creamy mouthfeel with a velvety finish

O- this one has great drinkability, which is probably why the label states that they brew this beer for festivals. It did however seem to be a bit subdued in the malt profile. Overall enjoyable though.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Great clarity, reddish brown in color. One inch off-white head has decent retention, though it eventually settles into just a thin cap.

S: Very clean on the nose with scents of grain, light caramel notes, hay, grassy hops, and perhaps even a touch of cocoa if you search for it.

T: Assertive breadiness on the attack. Crusty, even. Fleeting touches of cocoa and nuts. Toasted grain. Vague, light fruitiness, but clean overall. Maybe even a bit of rough wheat character. Hop bitterness with a mild grassy/spicy/oily taste. Finishes with a bite of toasted crust and cocoa.

M: Definitively medium bodied. Slight firmness, creamy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation. It doesn't quite have that nice malty firmness I expect from the style, but it's almost there.

O: Lands toward the bigger, darker end of the O-fest spectrum. Not as technically sound as some out there, but a pleasant drink nonetheless.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/19/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a small 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, and herbal hops. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; fits the style very well. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, toffee, pear, apple, biscuit, light nuttiness, floral, and herbal hops. Minimal bitterness on the finish as expected; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, biscuit, toffee, light nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice flavor balance and complexity, but it was not as robust feeling as I was hoping from the aromas; zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest style. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to drink as expected. Could have used a bit fuller flavor, but this was still a very good style representation. Definitely enjoyed this one.

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Photo of ACD
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Octoberfest Beer

Smooth and tasty!

Great beer in between the fall pumpkin beers and the winter and Christmas beers coming up

Easy drinking a great session beer for Thanksgiving or and afternoon football game

Nice beer when you want something tasty but want to not get filled up with a heavier type beer

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Photo of CHickman
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper red color with big 2 finger foamy light tan head that was full of tight little bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy lacing all over and rings as it went down. A great looking beer with a head so thick that you could run your finger through it.

Smells very malty, with sweet malt, caramel, wet wheat bread, floral hops, toffee and grains; not a lot going on, but everything present is very robust and enjoyable.

Tastes very malty, with grains, caramel, sweet malt, wet wheat bread, mild dark fruit, chocolate or cocoa powder, floral hops, toffee, faint syrup, nut and herbs; the hops show up more and add a lot to balancing the flavor. The chocolate malts leave a cocoa powder taste that mix well with the herbal notes from the hops, which then trails off with light smoky notes; very complex for the style and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium almost chewy body and a grainy sweet finish. It goes down very easy.

Overall this was very good and would make for a great session beer on a nice crisp afternoon drinking at a backyard party. A definite fall treat.

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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 andrewjraab
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Deep ruby red and brown color with a sticky off white head. A quarter inch of head remains throughout.

S. malty, hops, caramel, chocolate, faint floral notes

T. This is fantastic offering of the American version of this style. Nice malty and sweet start followed by a smooth and rich swirl on the toungue. Finishes with a nice snap of bitterness from the hops.

O. This is a phenomenal rendition of the octoberfest. A must try.

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Photo of wac9
1.32/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer has way too much head just taste too boozey smells boozey just nothing else say about this beer too dark in color not a winner skip it bring nothing to octoberfeat so nothing else to say keep moving i have taste better beer and this isnt one them

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangy amber color, large big bubble head, fades at a decent rate.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with subtle hints of spicy hops.

Taste is fairly straight forward, caramel upfront and dominate, high carbonation keeps things crisp and refreshing, mild hops too keep things somewhat balanced.

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Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy auburn brown, nice off white head which fades and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are nice and full of toffee and caramel malts. There's also a touch of chocolate and butterscotch. The flavors match the aromas. Flavors are extremely malty. I can pick up alot of chocolate and more caramel. There's a nice sweetness and nuttiness going on. Full flavored for such a small beer. There's a even a touch of heat. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's light, fluffy, creamy, and has high active carbonation. Really nice beer.

I like this. It's really a nice interpretation of the style. I'll look forward to it for on now.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark ruby-tinted mahogany color with a thin beige head on top. The nose is pleasant with hints of floral tones, fresh bread, sweet caramel candies. Moderate carbonation that doesn't get too spritzy. Smooth on the finish makes this one easy to drink.

Great flavors of caramel sweetness, mild toffee, crackers, bready flavors on the back end. All of these meld well make this one easy to drink. Tasty beer here that is a good representation by an American brewery. I wouldn't mind having a sixer of this in the fridge each and every fall.

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Photo of linuxlover
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fan of Harpoon, but I've never really had a Octoberfest that I've really liked, so I was looking forward to this one.

Pours a brilliant amber, yet surprisingly translucent. Lacing is minimal, but very even.

Smell is nearly absent. Mostly a caramel sweetness that doesn't translate to much aroma. Mild earthiness. Oh well. At least it's not bad.

Taste is similar to the smell. Pleasant bitterness. Too much caramel. No spice to speak of. Pleasant earthy feel as well. Slight hints of a synthetic taste as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp. Finish is very clean. Feels like I could have 10 of these.

Overall, it has all the strong points of a Harpoon beer, but the maltiness is overpowering. Probably the best Octoberfest I've ever had, but it's not enough to make me a fan of the style.

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Photo of angusdegraosta
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer. I had one straight from the bottle and another poured into a glass. Better to pour: there's a slight metallic taste that goes away as the beers fizzes a little. Looks lovely in the glass - a golden amber, less deep in color than other examples of the style. It also has more hop character than is typical... pleasant though, backed well by the malt and just a little caramel. Nice feel. I recommend it.

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Photo of sommersb
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 10-05-2012
Freshness: Best by 11-15-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Frankfurt mug
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

A: Pours a bright copper, clear beer with a huge off-white head. Excellent retention and a very nice amount of lacing.

S: Aromas are malty sweet, with caramel plus spicy hops.

T: The taste starts with a clean lager feel, followed by roasted grain and a bitterness that then leads to an unpleasant/astringent flavor.

M: Medium body and a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes with more grainy and astringent notes unfortunately.

O: This one started well but then seemed to slide. It tasted like the malts were over-cooked, or maybe that was the hop character - either way this wasn't a very good Oktoberfest to me.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Harpoon's Octoberfest Beer yesterday for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I've never had a good beer from this brewery but I'm willing to give them another shot and try their Marzen, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I really like the label on this beer. it's pretty clean and nice looking and the back label is pretty different. It poured a nice looking amber color that took on a nice copper hue when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of off white head that died down to thin ring that left some spotty lacing. This is a decent looking Marzen.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of malts that have a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness and imparts some bread crust, caramel, and toasted aromas followed by a slight nutty and dark fruit aroma. Towards the end I get a light amount of earthy hops. The aroma seems to be average, I like the toasted aromas but the dark fruits seemed out of place.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a large amount of malts that have a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness and imparts some weak caramel malt flavors followed by some grain and bread crust flavors. After that comes some light dark fruit flavors followed by a quick hit of sweetness that is unwanted and it quickly gives way to some earthy hops that impart a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness and it had a sweet, grainy, and bitter aftertaste. The taste of this beer wasn't good the malts tasted thin and there was too much bitterness for the style and some unwanted dark fruit flavors.

M- Not that smooth, slightly sticky, crisp, watery, on the light side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't that good it was watery and it lacked the smoothness I want from this style.

Overall I thought this beer wasn't that good and it was a below average example of the style, it just lacked all the things that make for a good Marzen. This beer didn't have good drinkability, it wasn't that smooth, and the thin flavors didn't do a good job at holding my attention, one is enough for me, I feel no need to have another one, What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it didn't look that bad and it was pretty true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the flavor it was pretty flat with some unneeded flavors and bitterness. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it really didn't have any redeeming quailitys and I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone. All in all this was another beer I didn't like from Harpoon Brewery, so far they might be my least favorite Microbrewery and I don't know if I will give them another chance, this Marzen fell pretty short and it just wasn't a good example of the style.

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

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a clear copper, with several fingers of foamy off-white head. This maintains a frothy ½ finger, leaving back thick sudsy lacing that slowly drips down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of earthy citrus and sweet malt that gives this a rich twang, with some light floral and spicy notes that hang on the edges.

The taste is sweet and bready along the edges of the profile and into the backend, while a crisp and earthy feeling citrus presence runs down the middle. The finish is dry and lightly spicy with a touch of lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft and creamy on the edges that gives way to more of a firm crispness on the tongue. This has a nice balanced feel in the mouth that keeps this drinkable.

This is one of the better American O-Fests that I’ve had lately. Just solid balance to the flavors and feel here that kept this interesting to drink. This is one of the few new to me ones that I’m actually glad I checked out this season.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By 12/19/12

A: Pours an amber color with a fingers worth of head

S: Rich malts and a floral hoppiness are the highlights

T: Follows the nose, very hearty malts along with earthy and floral hops throughout. Get some dark chocolate and toffee richness. Nicely flavorful

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A great Fall beer that does the style well (even if it's really an ale). Very rich and flavorful with plenty of body. Definitely worth a try if you're an oktoberfest fan or like to try seasonal-worthy beers

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Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a soft, thin, off white head that fades quickly

S - caramel, faint bread, light toast, faint hops

T - caramel, sugar, fruit, bitter finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a solid beer. It has great drinkability. It has good flavor as well. This would have gotten a higher rating if the hops didn't overpower the malty flavors. It's worth a try.

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Photo of barczar
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant amber brown color with a dense one inch cream head that lingers. Leaves spotty lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Aroma is alcoholic, with sweet, buttery caramel malt forming the backbone. There's a touch of nuttiness and fruity esters. Heavy plastic phenols surface as it warms.

Fruity esters follow suit in the flavor with plasticy, phenolic notes overwhelming the fairly weak caramel malt. Toasted bread flavors and a slight bitterness round out the finish.

Body is moderate to full, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Unfortunately, a fairly flawed example of the style. Fruity esters and phenols are the majority of the character of the brew. Unfortunate.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle says this one is best by 12/19/12.

This one pours from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges from the bottle a clear, mahagony color with tones of harvest sunshine, topped with a small white head. Very minimal lacing, not much retention on this one either.

Aroma was quite lackluster. There was nothing obviously bad, just a lack of anything obviously good. I do like the breadiness and toastiness in the aroma, almost like lightly toasted coconut bread. Other than that, not much going on.

A slight sourness was prevalant in the flavor; almost loke this was fermented too hot. Green apple and cabbage, quite vegetal. What little toasted coconut shows on the palate quickly disappears into some bitterness.

Not a fan of this one. I am not really a fan of this style anyway, but I have has plenty other Ofests that were much better than this one. This came in a mix 12 pack, so three will be more than enough for me.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a good Marzen. Deep amber with a thin ring for a head. Initially it was a soda pop fizzy head that died into a small white head.

They have the right idea here. Super sweet toffee and caramel dominate for sure on the nose. Earthy hops and malt come out as well. The smell is right up there with the best American Marzens.

The smell doesnt translate to the taste. Im thinking hyper sweet and smooth, drinkable, and earthy malt beauty, but I get this metallic lager. I can see the earthy malt and hops coming through a bit. A bit too earthy if that makes sense. Its definitely there, just a bit too much.

Its like that guy at the Toga party ACTUALLY wearing a laurel that majored in philosophy. Right idea, just no.

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Photo of jak3676
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Harpoon - Octoberfest

Bottle says Boston, MA and Windsor, VT, but doesn't seem to indicate which.

This Oktoberfest seems a bit odd to me. It's the darkest colored Octoberfest I've had - more brown than red even. But I generally go for darker beers. It is nice and clear, but all weekend I got suprisingly little head from Harpoon's offering.

At first I thought maybe I wasn't giving a good enough chance - after 4 or 5 other beers it can be difficult to tell them apart. But even saving the last 2 for a different day didn't help. It's seems like I should like this one more, but I don't. It's not for lack of flavor, just not to my tastes I guess.

5.3% ABV for the record; no indication of bottling date.

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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 Dools9
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a cyndrical pint.

A: Clear, amber red color. Very nice, thick, slighlty off white three finger head. head sticks around til the end, excellent retention, nice lacing. Good looking beer.

S: Malty, slight hints of spice, but nothing like a pumkin ale. Toasty, some toffee smatter, light fruitiness, caramel malty zing.

T: Grainy maltiness, theres a nice kick of allspice thrown in. Its sweet and clean, toasty. Light hop bitterness that;s slightly herbal and earthy. The spice lingers a bit after each sip.

M: Very smooth, light to medium bodied, soft carbonation. Very pleasant.

O: Little bit of a different take on the style but overall a very nice fall welcomer. I especially enjoyed the extra kick of spice in this one, it makes for a relaxing beer on a fall day and one of the better O-fests I've had this season so far.

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.