Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry AleHarpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale

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244 Ratings
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Ratings: 244
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 14.98%
Wants: 6
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LtCracker20 on 10-11-2010

Harpoon Grateful Harvest is a beer brewed with Thanksgiving celebrations in mind. A puree of freshly harvested cranberries, donated by local cranberry farm AD Makepeace, lends a subtle tartness to the beer. The cranberry flavor complements the malty character derived by the combination of Munich and Vienna malts. An addition of CaraMunich malt enhances the beer’s reddish hue and adds a touch of sweetness, while Northern Brewer bittering hops complement the slight cranberry tartness.

25 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 102
Reviews by chinchill:
Photo of chinchill
3.29/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, dated "enjoy by 02/15/13", served in a Sam Adams lager glass.
A: The beer has a complementary reddish tint in the otherwise deep amber, clear ale. Decent, renewable tan head.
Cranberries evident in the fruity flavor and aroma, as well as in the not-so-subtle tartness. The flavor more clearly reflects cranberry than does the more vaguely fruity aroma.
Some hop bitterness is apparent. Crisp, slightly astringent feel with near medium body and medium carbonation.
My favorite aspect is the rather marked transition from momentarily sweet to tart and, with different timing, from tart fruit flavor to a more balanced and bready/malty aftertaste. Well crafted, and perhaps a bit better than expected, but there may be only so far one can go with a cranberry ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Innocuous enough,pleasant,but not great beer.
In a Sam Adams pint glass it was a cherry amber color with a tan head.
Sweet aroma, a hint of cranberry.
It had a slight taste reminiscent of cranberry bread; not much there.
A bit on the tart side.
Middle of the road. I had two of the 6pack, my wife had the other four.

Photo of generallee
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a freshness date ("Best By" 01/15/11) and a description of the beer. It also mentions that Harpoon supports there local foodbanks from the sale of this beer.

Appearance: The body has a reddish copper color with good clarity and a quick fading light off white head. Lacing is minimal and slick.

Smell: The aroma has light scent with a mix of sweet/tart malts and cranberry.

Taste/Palate: The flavor reflects the scent with a light to medium bodied malt sweetness with notes of caramel, sweet bread and pie crust. This is offset by light cranberry tartness and faint hop bitterness. Carbonation is light and the palate is a little sticky.

Notes: For me this is just a good average beer. It's not a stand out but it is more balanced then Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic.

Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: red brown in color..no head, minimal carbonation, clear

Smell: cereal and small dose of cranberries

Taste: tart cranberry juice, grain, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, tart

Drinkability: The cranberry juice really shines through and melds well with the beer. You must like cranberries to appreciate it, but this is a decent beer. That said, this is a two max in a session though.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber with a red tint and slightly off-white thin head.

S: Cranberries really jump out of the glass. There is also a citrus edge and sweet malt.

T: Cranberries are prominent all the way through from beginning to end. The sweetness of the fruit quickly changes to tart and a bit of bitterness joins in the finish.

M: Medium

O: It tells you it is a cranberry ale, and it certainly is. The cranberry dominates the aroma and the taste profile. There is some balance as the sweet does quickly give over to the tart. It has a bit of zing, but the finish cloys the tongue. I think it would be good with Thanksgiving (turkey and stuffing in particular), which was the point of the ale.

Photo of Brenden
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rusty red-orange-brown colored brew grows a thick, creamy head roughly one finger tall. It shows great density and retention, as it remains thick and its same height for some time, even making a nicely dense and thick island of foam. More lacing could have been left, but certainly no complaints overall.
There's a nice balance with an emphasis on malts in the nose. Cranberry tartness is as advertised. Hops are lighter and offer mostly floral notes. Lots of bread and toastiness come out. This seems to be a red ale-type base, and a pretty good one. It's interestingly sweet against the tart and floral aspects.
The flavor showcases the sane malt-forwardness but with a bit more bitterness from the hops than in the aroma. The cranberry is likewise strong. Unfortunately, toward the end of each sip, something about the tartness and the bitterness clashes to make a pithy sort of sour bitterness that's less pleasant on the back of the tongue and throat.
Both crispness and smoothness come in moderation. The body holds up with about medium strength, but feels (not terribly, but somewhat) thin particularly at the middle of the tongue.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, dark , amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that gathered in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty but with a slight fruity/sour aroma. I get a little caramel-like sweetness and some notes of black pepper, however, I get practically nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Excellent! Great malty backbone, followed by some caramel-like sweetness, then by some excellent, fruity cranberry tartness, and finished by some nicely balance hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and with practically no carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 5.9%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I really, really, enjoyed this beer. I love the balance between the malty backbone and the tartness from the cranberries. It’s a truly excellent beer, and I’ll definitely get more of this next Autumn!

Photo of secondtooth
3.21/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep ruby amber, with a fair head and only slight (but attractive lace).

Nose is tart and subtle, but discernibly cranberry in character. Fair.

Taste is malty and sweet up front, with a hint of tart cranberry. But whereas many fruit-infused ales are over-sweet and overbearing, this one settles back and avoids that particular affliction. The cranberries are tart and sour, not sugary.

The aftertaste/finish is where this one loses me -- it's sour and leaves a somewhat unpleasant lingering flavor. So, although this seems to capture the essence of natural (unsweetened) cranberries, it's not completely there yet.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Harpoon Brewery "Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale"
12 oz. bottle, "ENJOY BY 03/15/14 315 09:28

An interesting beer, and a welcome addition to my usual line-up of "holiday" beers.

It's a clear, dark-copper color with ruby and orange highlights beneath a pillowy white head. The head retention is "fair" to "OK" but the lacing is definitely limited.

Cranberry and caramel malts greet you in the nose.

The flavor follows the aroma, and it's gently fruity and lightly tart backed by a slightly sugary dark-caramel/brown sugar maltiness. The bitterness is minimal, as it should be to keep everything in balance, but it still finishes dry with the tartness leading and then fading to leave cranberry and malt residue behind.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp.

Nicely done. An entertaining, unique beer that offers enough character to hold your interest without going so far as to distract you from your meal or whatever else you're doing. Worth trying.

Photo of mdvatab
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An extra in a trade late last fall.
Poured from 12oz bottle (bb 2/15/12) into imperial pint.

A: Rich, caramelly malt, ripe plum, cranberry fruit, vanilla, toasted oak.

A: Deep amber body w/ good clarity. 2 finger off-white head falls slowly; leaves light lacing.

F: Roasted maltiness up front, cranberry bitterness in the middle, followed by a subtle fruitiness, and punctuated by a lingering bitterness. The whole combination, unfortunately, doesn't work well IMO, and comes across a bit like cough syrup...

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: I hate to be too hard in my critique, but this brew unfortunately comes across like as a bit of an amateur effort. I went into this one with an open mind, curious about what the cranberry would bring to the table, but was just not a big fan of the flavor combination.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Review from a couple months ago.

Pours a deep clear copper, with a couple fingers of frothy and slightly off-white head. This retains with a rich ½ finger, which soaps the sides of the glass with thick swathes of lacing. The aroma, well, smells like cranberry, which mixes in with the fresh earthy citrus flavors of those Noble hops and a combination of sweet caramel and bready notes from the malt to impart a pleasant fruity tanginess in the nose.

The taste has a nice lager base to it of caramel sweetness and a light graininess. A splash of cranberry is present (but much more subdued than in the nose), as is an earthy citric bitterness that gives this some zip. The finish is moderately dry with a little lingering pith but is overall pretty clean. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very smooth feeling crisp creaminess to it that makes this extremely drinkable.

For a cranberry flavored Lager, I thought that this was very well done, keeping the fruit in the nose but then more complimentary in the taste, where it marries well with those Noble hops. Flavorful and drinkable, this might be a new Thanksgiving Day go to from now on.

Photo of hdofu
1.64/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

To the "wants" out there let me give you a heads up, this beer is a disgusting mess of flavors that don't work together.
It pours a copper color with a thin white head. It smells a bit of cranberry but mostly this horrible medicinal smell. Taste is like cranberry flavored cough syrup.... it truly is a disgusting taste to behold, I'd have given it a 1 but it at least tastes like cranberry so I gave it a half a star for that. It pretty crisp. Overall I'd say its like medicine more then beer and since theres no reason to take this as a medicine, I wouldn't recommend getting it.

Photo of negroobserver
2.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
Best by Jan 15, 2011

C: 2.5 - Pours hazy brown color with about 1/2 inch of while head.

S: 3.0 - Malty. Sour.

T: 3.0 - Malty. Sweet undertones. Medium bitter finish. Sour cranberry aftertaste.

M: 3.5 - A little watery. Low-medium carbonation.

D: 2.5 - Beginning with the color through every other category, this beer has been at best unexceptional. The sourness of the beer and the slightly water texture don't add to the desire to drink the beer. The sour texture is kind on unusual and interesting.


Photo of KTCamm
3.32/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a reddish brown with scarce white foam that settles quickly. Theres a dark red streak throughout. Cranberry sauce smell, like opening one of those jellied cans. Light tart open with an earthy malt close. Some hop buried in there. Leaves one thinking like a big glass of cranberry juice was just finished.

Nice concept, but kind of oddly glommed together and never really quite reaches the destination.

Photo of imasloth
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an amber with a slightly reddish (cranberry) hue. Decent head to start, dissipates quickly, but leaves fair lacing.

S- Like a cranberry spritzer with the slight hint of malt. Both sweet and tart from the cranberry.

T- Starts with cranberry, then a sweet malt with cranberry tartness remaining throughout.

M- Light body, no discernible bitterness. Neither positive or negative.

O- I enjoy it much more than the rather plain Winter Warmer Harpoon does. I'd recommend it, not as a standard, but worth the yearly purchase of a sixer. User it to make Thanksgiving more bearable.

Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a coppper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of cranberries, some hints of malts. Taste is mild, some cranberry, a bit of malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer.

Photo of Samp01
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (thanks mikeg67). Pours a reddish amber with a medium short lived white head. Aroma of caramel malt and sweet fruity spices and esters. Taste is same as aroma with some tart cranberry flavor. Palate is good medium body, carbonation is good. Finish is sweet caramel malt followed by some lingering fruity tartness, cranberries and touch of nutty aftertaste. Overall a descent showing for a fruit beer. Nice holiday brew

Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle marked Best By: 02/15/12-278. Sampled on October 22, 2011. The pour is amber with reddish hues and fine clarity. There is a burst of frothy head but it does not last long.The aroma is strong with cranberries and fresh malts. It looks and smells nice but the taste seems to be weaker than the first impression. The fruit seems muted although there is a tart hopped bitterness on the tail end. Glad to see Harpoon helping out the local farmers who stomp their way through those New England cranberry bogs.

Photo of bgjohnston
3.66/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found a 6 pack of these and thought I would give it a try.

Pours a clear reddish amber with a small tan head that dies down pretty quickly, although the beer has good carbonation throughout. Does not have a strong aroma, but does hint at the fruit and sweet malt that delivers with a sip. Taste also brings with it a tangy, almost citrus-like fruitiness.

a nice, drinkable brew, even if I have been partial to stonger, hoppier beers of late.

Photo of wedge
2.15/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear copper with a nice looking, fluffy head and solid lacing. Smells, initially, like dry erase markers. Yeah. Lightly sweet berries, mild caramel, and earthiness. Bitter, husky, faintly berry-like flavor. Medium bodied with some crispness. Blah - not feeling this one at all. Not much cranberry coming through, this just seems kind of harsh and...bad.

Photo of metter98
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering most of the surface.
S: There are aromas of bready and grainy malts in the nose along with notes of cranberries.
T: The are some hints of malty sweetness in the initial taste, but these quickly transition to tart flavors of cranberries.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because the cranberry flavors are subtle, although I’m not sure if I would want to try this one again.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice auburn color with less than a finger of head that left a small amount of lacing as it faded to a thin film

S-a fruity smell that hints at cranberry but not overpowering with a little malt

T-much like the smell, not overpowering cranberry but there is some there followed with the malt that balances the cranberry nicely

M-nice carbonation without a dry bitter finish

O-can't really taste much in the way of hops but the cranberry does a nice job of balancing the malt, very drinkable not too sweet fruit beer

Photo of rlee1390
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber read, one finger head, carbonation is present, some lacing.

S-Some cranberries and malt, not much of each.

T-Cranberries and not much else. Honestly it is kinda boring.

M-Medium bodied with some carbonation.

O-Had this side by side with Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. More of a beer than the "Lambic" However a very bland beer at that.

Photo of Badger6
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: The body is a distinctly reddish-hued amber. Gave it a good pour, and pulled up about two fingers of head that receded to a broken up film on the surface of the beer. Almost no lacing.

S: Cranberries, like the label says. Dominant. Some maltiness comes through, but cranberries in every waft.

T: Really sweet. Starts out with malts and cranberry, gains some other fruits as it progresses. Not tart or sour like a lambic, though there is a little bit of that going on.

M: Light-medium body, well carbonated, not fizzy, but definitely buzzy.

O: For a beer touting cranberries I expected more tartness. Interesting take on a holiday beer aimed at Thanksgiving. I have to say that other than having it with a traditional holiday meal- turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, maybe some cranberry dressing...this is not an everyday beer, and that's good since it seems to only be available from mid-November to mid-December. The tie in with food banks is a nice touch.

Photo of coachdonovan
2.77/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before 2/15/12 bottle into a shaker glass. Almost completely clear brownish amber. Head looks to have some thickness to it but it fades quickly to a thin layer.

Cranberry dominates the nose, but there is something artificial about it, almost like overly sweet cranberry candy. Taste is mostly dry and bready, certainly malt-forward. The cranberry comes around in the middle to add a bit of sourness, but the finish is pretty harsh.

This basically tastes like a mediocre beer with cranberry flavor added for seasonality. I appreciate the good cause behind it, but next time I'll just donate my dollars directly to the food bank.

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Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
75 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.