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Harar Beer | Harar Beer Factory

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39 Reviews
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Harar BeerHarar Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harar Beer Factory
Ethiopia

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brakspear on 08-14-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
73
Avg:
3.31
pDev:
23.56%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 73
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An American Macro-Lager? Your ass. I am calling BS on this one. Bring in the experts and lets figure out the right style of this one.

Pours clouded straw with a touch of gold. White head. Nose is slight metallic with grain attributes. Flavor is smooth with a touch of sweet and a mild metallic taste. Slight lemon there and a fairly firm dough presence as well. Freat bubble on the mouth and a great liquid feel too.

I have had this many, many, many times (in the U.S. and Ethiopia) and have found it to deliver a wide range of experiences. I think if you are lucky you will get a fresh sample and get a good tasting. And when it's fresh it is pretty damn good. When it isn't...it's a waste of time.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very pale straw yellow body, large soapy bubbles that fall slowly. Body has some cloudy character to it with slow rising carbonation. Head settles with a puck that is pock marked

Nose is actually interesting. Honey, and spices. Sweetness that isn't macro smelling. It's actually quite nice not unlike a braggot with some spice.

Taste is light bodied with some actually playful carbonation. A little grainy on the finish, but also some sweet honey without a lot of sugar syrup stickiness or sweetness. A little noticeable gas but nothing outrageous, and nice light bodied.

Overall this is actually pretty darn good, for and "adjunct" supposedly. Probably the best one I've ever had in this style.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a bottle into a goblet. AAL really? Whatever. This is an African lager. Beer is clear and yellow. carbonation is steady and moderate. Forms a thin head but doesn't leave much lacing behind. Looks like what a 6 year old would describe if you asked them what beer looks like. This is generic beer.

Aroma is good, for a pilsner. Its fine a sweet but overall a little weak.

Clean, medium to low body, no aftertaste really. Some sweetness and a little carbonation in the mouth. Overall its just OK. I like it OK but I probably wouldn't drink it again.

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Photo of stevoj
2.09/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First sip, not too bad, rest of pour added lots of yeast and sediment, turned the beer slightly yeasty sour. Color changed to murky golden as well. Sour aroma of yeast, sourdough bread, hay. Taste is also on the sour side, slight sour aftertaste too. If you try this one avoid the sediment.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a pale straw yellow body with a slight haze and tiny bubbles gliding through it. There is a spongy white head that last for a few sips and then is gone.

S- The faint smell of leaves and raw grain are soft and the overall smell is pretty clean.

T- The light pale malt flavor has a slight sweetness to it with a slight tart note of buckwheat to follow. There is a soft dry sulfur note at the finish with a slight herbal quality. The herbal note increases as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a clean finish.

D- The smooth but slightly tart flavor has a nice start but the whole flavor and aroma is a bit dull. The flavor and aroma are very clean and need a little something to add interest.

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Photo of cbutova
3.44/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

At Zenebech, DC. Bottle.

A- Golden yellow body with a fizzy white cap. Medium thick ring after retaining decently leaving spotty lace.

S- Pale grains, pale fruit esters like apple and white grape and slight bread hints. Yeast efforts seem solid as its clean of that funk I find in the style often.

T- Pale cracked barley and the fruit esters are the most obvious contribution with red apple and grape hints. Pale base malts and light yeast bread. Clean.

MF- Light with the keyword being crisp. Somewhat fizzy but also a foamy creamy consistency.

A solid pale lager that lacks any funky off flavors or obvious corn notes. Clean ferment and refreshing with spicy Ethiopian food.

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Photo of ordybill
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Nice blend of hops and malt Appearance- A very enticing golden color with a small white head Taste- A great blend of malt and hops Palate- Light bodied beer with moderate carbonation Overall- First beer from Ethiopia. If all are this quality then I can’t wait for my next one from this country.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pale golden colored lager and rather hazy in appearance. A half inch wide head of foam rests on top. The aroma is a bit of corn and light biscuity malt. The mouth is lightly carbonated and crisp. The taste is a bit of a well water Danish lager yeast and corn. There's not much hop presence.

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Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This a tasty lager with a slightly unusual character that it hard to pin down.

Faintly hazy deep straw yellow, it has a medium, dense, creamy white head that shrinks quite slowyl and leaves fairly decent lace.

The aroma is sweet and flowery in a somewhat unusual, fruity-honey way. It has grain, honey, citrus, and light fruit.

The taste is sweet with white bread, grain, hints of honey, lemon, a faint hint of caramel, light fruit, primarily apple, and a hint of herbs or spice. The finish is soft with honey and a hint of herb. It has a long, mellow aftertaste of white bread, fruit, and herbal-honey-drops. The sweetness is light but persistent, balanced with a light spicy hint, cleansing quality, and light herb quality, but no clearly defined bitterness. Somehow, it stays interesting, light but tasty and cleansing, aromatic.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at an ethiopian market in LA. The store owner saw me checking out the ethiopian brews and said this was his favorite after work type beer. I was going to buy a sixer but he said its on him as I've purchased many beers from there. Gotta love beer drinkers and their attitudes. So I cracked this bitch as soon as I got home and poured it into a pounder glass. A bit darker in appearance than your typical lager and the head lasted longer than normal as well with some partial stickiness. The smell had me intrigued as it had that english yeasty presence up front with a sweet grain/malty backdrop. Very refreshing brew. I found the taste to be sweet but it had enough bitterness to balance it out. the mouthfeel was outstanding. Big carbonation that is pleasant and not overbearing. I could session this with ease and pleasure.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a shaker pink glass at an Ethiopian Restaurant in San Diego - Bayu in Hillcrest.

Appearance: Dirty straw yellow with a slight haze. White head about 1/4" thick upon pouring, but died down to a thin head across the top. Some strands and dots of persistent lacing noted.

Smell: Not strong - a bit sweet mostly.

Taste: When first poured, some German style hops and what I thought was sweet malt, but as it warmed up, the sweetness becomes much more pronounced. Not cloying, but definitely sweet - honey with something else in there - something grainy that I can't place. The hop flavor eventually goes away as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, but with some good and smooth thickness to it.

Overall / Drinkability: Not something I would go out of my way for, but glad I tried it and it went quite well with Ethiopian food that evening. I could have easily had another so I will say it has good drinkability for the sitting I had it in. Not sure it would go well with all foods though.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.43/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass prytop bottle at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Nice to see some different African options at Disney other than just Tusker!

Pours a bright golden orange with decent off white head. Nose is a little fruity with some dried grain notes and a hint of honey. Palate is crisp and fairly dry. A little honey flavor and some earthy pine hops.

Nothing to really write home about but cool to try. Tasted pretty good in the hot Florida sun surrounded by loud tourists.

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Photo of therica
3.92/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second beer of the night at the Ethiopian restaurant in Frederick Maryland, and the better of the two (Tusker). Unfortunately it turned out to be the last bottle of it on stock, as well. They gave me a Meta Export Lager after this one, and it was of far less quality (will review once I add the brewery & listing which aren't on this site yet).

A= nice golden with slight orange-stain, a modest head fading quickly.

S= Wow, quite a surprise! Very nice and enticing, slight sweet fruity flowery with some hops and apricot apparent, and of course, malt.

T= following the scent, I was glad to find that the taste was just as good. I hadn't expected much, but would love to find more of this. Much like the scent. Mild sweet-malt-floral aftertaste with apricot.

M= very nice, nothing detracting whatsoever, one to actually savor.

D= very very drinkable.

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a light golden yellow with a nice fluffy head that sticks around awhile with fair lace. Smell there is little that stands out except for a light honey grain. Taste is grainy with a light metallic bitter that ends dry. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. A little stale and bitter for me, I would like to try a fresh one.

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Photo of rale
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this interesting beer in Ethiopian restaurant. It was surprisingly good. It has a bit cloudy appearance, yellow color and nice head. Although it is a lager, it has some special taste, a bit honey-like. It's very easy to drink and goes extremely well with Ethiopian food. You should try it if you have an opportunity.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.76/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to an Ethiopian restaurant, Harar Mesob, tonight in Arlington. Saw an Ethiopian beer on the menu and had to try it. Ended up having two with my food.

A Poured a blonde hazy yellow with nice white head that eventually faded.

S: not much in the nose. Some bready wheat-like aromas with a light hay-like graininess.

T: reminded me of an American wheat beer. Lots of bready, doughy malt chewiness. Paired quite well with the spicy cuisine I was having for dinner. Didn't seem like an adjunct beer whatsoever.

M: at 4.25% ABV, this one feels light with good carbonation. A nice quencher. Ample bitterness to even out the malts.

O: wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Being in the atmosphere, this beer met my expectations for being at an Ethiopian restaurant. Would drink this one again, but the setting would have to be appropriate.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harar Beer..in a bottle at Queen of Sheeba Restaurant

Appearance -pours a dirty pale color, golden contrast with a medium sized white head.

Smell-alcohol, mild hop, rice, adjunct, grain flavor.

Taste/Mouthfeel -initial sweetness that is somewhat surprising, alcohol warmth, mix of starchy flavors as well, nice smoothness on the way down.

Drinkability-on a hot day this did just fine, no issues.

Overall-not world class or anything but on a hot day in a new environment this fit the bill, an adequate beer that held up well against the food I paired it with.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Zeni in San Jose, the restaurant is highly recommended.

Pours a golden color with a good sized white head. A slightly sweet smell with a whiff of yeast as well. The taste is smooth with a slight lemony flavor, a little bit sweet but well balanced with a solid hoppy finish. It's light, crisp, refreshing and pairs very well with spicy Ethiopian food.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very tart, very refreshing beer. Pale yellow, decent carbonation, and big fluffy head. Whatever lace is left on the glass quickly rushes down to the beer. Nice, hoppy smell, with a bit of honey and malt. Crisp, light, hoppy taste. Aftertaste of honey and whole wheat bread. Crisp, light, refreshing, standard session lager.

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Photo of fisherman34
2.48/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Gold in colour with lots of carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, with a bit of bubblegum and herbal hops. Medim sweet on the palate, with some interesting (if not out of place) spice notes. There’s a bit of a Hallertau note near the end too. The finish is not so clean, but you can tell that there is some German influance to this beer. I was expecting this beer to be a little more dry, condsidering the climate in which it is brewed.

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Photo of trevorwideman
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this little bottle was so expensive! 330ml for almost 5 bucks! Oh well, always up for something new, poured into a Pilsener glass.

Straw coloured, unfiltered, with a 1/4 inch head that recedes quickly, mellow carbonation. Smell is a bit sweet with some apple juice notes accompanied by a slight skunkiness and some mild floral hops. Some corn adjunct seems to appear as the glass warms a little.

Taste is really not as bad as I thought it would be. a slight nuttiness, the apple-like sweetness, and some sticky hops. Mild soapiness from the adjunct I presume, best when very cold. Very dry and a little bitter in the finish, not a cloying beer at all. Mild carbonation, sticks to the throat a bit. Not exciting, would do well paired with some spicy food.

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Photo of clickpush
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour: 33cl bottle to pint glass. Comes out with a small white head over a slightly cloudy pale orange beer - like the color of honey or apricot skin. Very scant lacings remain after the head has disappeared.

Nose: Smells of grain, like a silo might smell (minus the other farm smells that would ordinarily accompany it). A bit sweet and malty, with touches of honey.

Mouth: Has a light lemon flavor coming out of the hops... or is it made up strictly of adjuncts? Tastes a bit like corn, kind of sweet all the way through and a strong sweet and astringent finish. The mouthfeel is pretty good, long lasting (forced?) carbonation.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will agree with the other reviewers that this should not be a macro lager, though its origins and what not i cant attest to. It tastes like a fruit beer or vegetable beer.
I had this beer from a bottle at an Ethiopian restaurant in DC. I would not say this beer would be my first choice, its very light and has an almost floral aroma, but it has an interesting somewhat creamy mouthfeel with a floral fruity vegetable type taste. Its not a strong or offensive beer, but it was interesting. as i said before i have a hard time believing this is an American macro style as the taste for me is not even remotely reminiscent of any of those beers. It is light, it isn't a smack to the palate, but it seems unique and different

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.69/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought this thinking it might have the Ethiopian Hop Powder called Gesho Kitel in it. Does it? Read on.

Appearance 3.75: Poured out a hazy golden color. Completely opaque. Decent 1/4" head and OK lacing.

Smell 3.5: Nice bouquet. Heavy hints of malt and slight hints of a slightly sour mash scent along with a pervasive honey scent. Light notes of hops.

Taste 3.75: Front is light and smooth with little real flavor. Middle is very pleasant with a mid-level hit of delicious malty caramel and honey. Finish is balanced and refreshing with a hint of deeply alkaline hops and a slight taste of corn. Aftertaste is remarkable as a huge wave of very light malt seeps in and overtakes the palate. This turns into a very long aftertaste of pleasant light hops.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Lightly carbonated and a great match to the style.

Overall 3.75: Very nice beer. Light, refreshing and it contains absolutely zero negative beer flavors: no wet-dog, cat-pee, skunky tastes at all. Does it have Gesho Kitel in it? I have no idea. Regardless, this is such a pleasant beer to drink, definitely a session beer or perfect with spicy food. Recommended for a try to sip a beer from the ancient city of Harar.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up at one of the most underrated beer stores in Oakland, Alcatel Liquors on Telegraph. Beer poured a straw yellow with some floaters, added for spice I think. Aroma was very sweet which carried onto the taste, very very sweet, like candied pecans. Drinkability would not be where this shines, too sweet, but overall a good beer.

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Harar Beer from Harar Beer Factory
3.31 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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