Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

737 Reviews
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Harp LagerHarp Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

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Reviews: 737 | Ratings: 2,561
Photo of Ptelea
4.24/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden color.. have consumed these for years and still a nice steady lager..... balance between hops and malt.... A great session beer and works with all types of food. clean and tasty

 193 characters

Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
1/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

There is really nothing redeemable about this beer. Way to bitter, initial taste is horrible, then it goes down your throat, and the moment you finish it, you want to spit it out, overall, not very good.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.15/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

i first tried this beer a year or two ago and it was pretty good but nothing special. i decided to get another one and was very disappointed this time. apparently they've changed the beer, but not for the better. it tasted watered down with very minimal flavor.

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Photo of rjd722
2.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a pint at Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda. Poured with a nice two finger head that slowly dissipated. Golden in color, essentially clear. Taste and smell are nothing special, but it's a solid lager with a smooth finish.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.62/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright straw color with average activity. White 1.5 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with average legs.

Smell of sweet grains and faint floral spices. Flavors of grains, slight corn, noble type hops. Sweet roasted grains/corn with a slight syrupy feel but still ending with a nice sharpness.

Slick light body with prickly carbonation. Light and short finish, ending with smoky roasted malt feel and a bit hoppy.

Overall a mediocre craft having faint flavors and almost no personality but good freshness. Very basic and overly sugary.

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Photo of IrishCubsHawks
3.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Harp Lager

Drank from 16oz. pint glass

I personally despise the new look on the label and packaging. Guinness just needs to go back to the old style.

In terms of how the beer itself looks...golden straw color with little too no head retention on the poor.

Smells light and somewhat sour upon first sniff, but that quickly shifts towards a neutral odor.

Has a bit of a heavy taste at first that fades to a light and crisp finish on the palate. Not much carbonation in sips, which is good.

Overall, I wish Harp still used their old logos. I won't go out of my way to buy it unless I find it on sale. However, I do enjoy a black and tan using Harp.

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Photo of JLaw55
2/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This thing was just plain unpleasant. It was like many other mass produced lagers of its kind (AAL), with an extreme lack of flavor. The big difference though, is where other mainstream lagers like Coors, Bud, and Miller have a lack of flavor, but nothing really offensive; this one was offensive. It tasted stale and putrid. Not only that, but one of the hallmarks of AAL's and similar beers, is the great execution of hiding the alcohol content behind a very limited flavor profile. This one surprisingly had the alcohol flavors and presence shining right through. It may be the lowest ABV beer I have ever had that seemed almost boozy and couldn't even hide the small burn of alcohol that should never show up at this sort of level.

*For the record, I know this is not an AAL, but it is the closest thing you can get to that style. It's like Guinness's version of that style, a mass produced, cheap lager.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh. It doesn't have a robust flavor, and in all honesty isn't too terribly different than your average Budweiser or Coors or whatever else you buy a case of at a convenience store.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.05/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This straw-colored, light-bodied lager sports an average white head and a malty nose, full of lagery grains with hints of spice and alcohol. On the palate, the flavor is typical of the style: slightly hoppy over a light grain backbone. The finish is somewhat bitter, and lingers a good bit for a lager. The texture is thin and peppery, thanks to the lively carbonation. This is a decent Euro lager, nothing ground-breaking or even really attention-getting.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.48/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden, straw color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get some really faint notes of toasted malt, some slight caramel and a touch of hops, but those are really faint and almost non-existent.

Taste: About the same as the aroma, meaning, not much there at all. Some fain flavors of toasted malt, some slight caramel-like sweetness and a touch of some slightly bitter hops. Not good at all. Pretty poor and tasteless actually.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery, and very crisp and effervescent, as there is quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: As stated, this is a very poor, very pedestrian beer, short on aroma, short on flavor and short on body. It seems that this beer is one that is brewed for BMC drinkers, as a European-BMC alternative. Not recommended at all.

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Photo of vladdswrath
2.78/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A Pale Lager is not something I think I ever expect to enjoy, so I was pleasantly surprised by my first session with Harp, which was served from the free bar at a wedding I attended. It looked more or less like any other big brewery Lager, but the flavor was surprisingly good. Not too sweet, but not really bitter either. Again, sort of bland (as you would expect from the style) but refreshing and drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
3.94/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If we're to judge Euro Pale Lagers with Harp present, I'd say its the clear winner. Lacking the herby bite of the mainland guys, this one's got a softness to its feel that still maintains a crisp bite.

I wish there were more Irish lagers to be found.

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Photo of DevAJ
3.25/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I didn't even know the style until looking it up on here about halfway through the beer. As it gets warmer the classic Euro Pale Lager taste starts to finally come through, but ice cold it doesn't really have a whole lot of complexity as all you get is the bitter aftertaste. I must say I like Stella and Heineken better.

 323 characters

Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
2.77/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light appearance, reminiscent of ginger ale. The smell is ordinary along with the taste. Above average carbonation. Finishes dry and unimpressively.

 151 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are excellent. Many bubbles from carbonation. Yeasty/bready aroma. Maybe some underlying fruity quality. Overall, not much to it. Taste seems a little watered down. Mainly malty with a small amount of spicy bitterness at the end. Somewhat tropical fruity aftertaste. Not bad but not very complex. Could drink a six pack if there wasn't a better selection, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of dukeandduke
2.79/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

3/29/15 (Draft - Mo Dailey's Chicago) - Golden light pour, heavy carbonation, nominal white head. Hops and malt sweet aroma.Nice feel, nominal kick. Crisp and clean, bland flavor. Miss Harp from decades past.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
2.41/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Not at all as good as I remember from my college days, but those were different days with far less craft knowledge. Oh well, it was good to give it one last go.

 161 characters

Photo of Bunman3
3.35/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Harp has always had a soft spot in my heart. It is reminiscent of booze soaked trips to the Barley Mill in Calgary in the mid 90's. I called the trip a "Millgramige" because it allowed me to literally soak in several beers that weren't available in my hometown at that time. Harp was then, and is now, a solid Euro lager. It lacks the skunk of many of its green bottle brethren. Instead, Harp has a nice dry malt/hop character. It is eminently quaffable and remains a solid St. Patty's alternative to Guinness.

 510 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.43/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 14.9 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, there is no "best by" date that I can find.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear light golden color with 1 finger white head that quickly dissipated until a thin layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is a good amount of lacing on the glass

SMELL: very faint nose, sweet and flowery.

TASTE: initially sweet honey, then a mild hop profile, understated.

PALATE: light body, medium carbonation.

OVERALL: this beer is not like I remember from my college days, this is an inoffensive beer but nothing special, it is better in a Black and Tan so I would probably not order this by itself.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.47/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.30 for a 500ml can. Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well but pours a head that is gone in 10sec. Very little color and clear

S- Has bit of hops and malt that blends well. It's a Heineken clone

T- Not a Heineken. Very nice smooth blend of hops and yeast. Good European hops and has that European flare for a lager. I like it

M- Dry and refreshing like a Heineken

O- It's like a Heineken in all ways but taste. Has a better less bitter flavor but not a powerful on the tongue. I like this beer. Great break beer or good choice on the menu if only Bud type beers are on it

Food Pairing

I paired this beer and it went well with..... Lobster and spaghetti in butter. Plain and simple recipe and beer. Very refreshing


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Photo of kd45-music
2.82/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This is not a particularly special beer. It's okay. Carbonation lasts fairly long, Head draws down to a thin bubbly layer. Kind of a tangy taste in the mouth. There are other imported beers I would purchase before this one.

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Photo of Phocion
3.39/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mystery bottle that appeared in my refrigerator between 2-3 weeks ago. Origins unclear, so I may as well review it! Live review of a 12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Clear straw-colored body with a half-finger of foamy white head which quickly dissipates. Splotchy lacing left around the rim of my glass.

Aroma is reasonably strong (at least in comparison to our state-side equivalents) and malt-forward. Pilsner malts, notably a generic graininess as well as that tell-tale DMS aroma. Light floral hops and a neutral yeast.

Flavor is a tad thin, but balanced and not unpleasant. Grains and creamed corn with a slightly spicy, floral finish just like the nose indicated. Slightly sweet honeyish flavor as well, but it is very subtle.

Thin body and well-carbonated. Slick and crisp mouthfeel, almost with a very bubbly almost sparkling wine-like finish.

Overall, this beer is what it is. It's a generic Euro Lager, but not a particularly bad one. Thin and drinkable. It seems like a sub-par attempt at a Helles, but then again isn't that what this style is all about?

 1,082 characters

Photo of Miami66
4.43/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very interesting beer. It’s not awful but it’s not super great. It just is quite plain and super drinkable. It’s the best Euro Pale Lager I’ve had. This beer is really hard to describe. It's just a very satisfying beer.

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Photo of ordybill
2.29/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a strong malt aroma Appearance- Resembles any BMC style beer on the market. Taste- A very watery flavored beer Palate- A light bodied beer with moderate carbonation Overall- A disappointment for me. I remember this being a much better beer years ago.

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Photo of mhuber
2.5/5  rDev -22.8%

Pours clear, light yellow color. Very small head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing on the glass. Notes of citrus and hops in the aroma. Very light, almost watery flavor with a bitter aftertaste. I've had American light beers with more flavor.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
3.24 out of 5 based on 2,561 ratings.
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