The Craic
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

The CraicThe Craic
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From:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
 
Massachusetts, United States
Style:
Irish Red Ale
ABV:
6.9%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 10.26%
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
83
Status:
Active
Rated:
Dec 05, 2020
Added:
Nov 21, 2016
Wants:
  1
Gots:
  25
SCORE
86
Very Good
The CraicThe Craic
Notes: Why should St. Patrick’s Day just be a “day” when you can make a whole season out of it?! Crack open The Craic and let the friendly banter, bursts of laughter, and toe-tapping music of the season get your eyes smiling.

This hybrid ale combines two classic styles —IPA and Irish Red Ale—to create a unique and flavorful beer. Th­e malt combination commonly used in Irish Red Ales brings a toasted, malty flavor that balances the citrusy and fruity character of the hops.

The Levels of Craic: Have you tried our new Irish Red IPA, The Craic? As we prepare for all things Irish for Harpoon St. Pat’s Fest on March 3rd and 4th, we thought it would only be right to give you a little bit more history about the phrase ‘the craic.’ Pronounced just like a drug, crack (crack is whack, btw!), it’s a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation. You’ll often hear, “What’s the Craic” in Ireland which is like saying “What’s Happening?” But perhaps our favorite part of the word ‘craic’ is that there are actually 6 levels of craic you can reach (according to IrelandCentral.

Check ‘em out:
Level One: Good Craic – It’s an okay night out, but nothing to write home about (we don’t know why we mentioned this because honestly, St. Pat’s Fest could never be just at level one – but … the more you know).
Level Two: Mighty Craic – It’s obviously a little bit better than good craic, but we still haven’t hit the amazing level. One or two of your friends may have done something a little bit crazy. Hopefully, you caught it on Snapchat.
Level Three: Savage Craic – This is getting closer to how we describe St. Pat’s. A great time with your friends; beers flowing, great bands, food, and jokes. You got a number, you gave a number, you get the idea.
Level Four: Deadly Craic –This is most likely just before you hear Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphy’s (right?). It’s just a step about savage, but not quite the pinnacle moment.
Level Five: The craic was ninety – Wait, what? We’ve read that this phrase comes from a famous song by The Dubliners (get your Irish jig on), but essentially it’s the best night ever. Which is what we hope you’ll leave St. Pat’s fest saying.
Level Six: Minus Craic – When a night goes terribly wrong. As employee owners, we’ve seen several of our consumers (and friends, to be honest), hit this level. Don’t be that guy! So, now that you know – what level of craic are you looking for this St. Pat’s Fest?!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.25 by mhgatti from New Jersey

Dec 05, 2020
 
Rated: 3.87 by beerrat from Virginia

Aug 28, 2020
 
Rated: 4.09 by Fr33man from Maryland

May 20, 2020
 
Rated: 3.75 by Dmbphoenix from New York

Apr 05, 2020
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Reviewed by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Poured from a can into a shaker pint. Pours a lovely amber hue with a translucent clarity and a fizzy, quarter inch, off-white head. Nose is subdued however, notes caramel malt and earthy/herbal hops come out. Taste consistent with nose - still somewhat diminished. Back end reveals a hint of dish soap. Mouthfeel is light on body with a mild, even carbonation. Overall, not my favorite style; however, this is still a bit subpar in my opinion.
Mar 20, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Reviewed by Bluecrow from New York

3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
-red-amber tap pour with a thin tan foam cap and a slight aroma that is of spicy hops. The flavor is lightly toasted malt, a little honey sweetness and woody hop notes with moderate bitterness. The body is light. This is pretty good.
Mar 10, 2020
 
Rated: 5 by Dalkri from Massachusetts

Mar 10, 2020
 
Rated: 3.25 by warpedrevolution from Illinois

Mar 07, 2020
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Reviewed by DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pretty tasty basic Amber ale reminds me a bit of Hopback Red ale rather than the imperial Nugget Nectar which some have compared it to. Not really sure what this has to do with the Irish maybe a gimmick to sell it around St. Patrick's Day? Regardless its far from perfect with the hop bitterness taking center stage but has a good sweet edge. Not sure if I would revisit but if offered I wouldn't turn it down.
Feb 29, 2020
 
Rated: 3.51 by nodder from New York

Feb 26, 2020
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Reviewed by mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
12 oz bottle. Pours red with fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of grassy hops, caramel malt and some fruit. Body is medium and crisp. Herbal hops, caramel malt and red fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. OK brew.
Feb 10, 2020
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Reviewed by mikeinportc from New York

3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours reddish amber with moderate off-white head that leaves a thin coating and some slight lacing.

Smell is lightly sweet caramel, with a little fruitiness and pine.

Taste is roasty biscuit crust, a little bitter orange, a touch of pine, and slight char/peat at finish , that lingers briefly. Moderate bitterness that lingers on the tip of the tongue.

Feel is light-side-of medium, initially barely creamy, quickly becoming lightly prickly.

Overall, I liked it. That it is less sweet than similar items , and has a bit of peaty char are positives for me. Ymmv. Not sure if I'd want a whole 6pk, but this single is just fine.
Feb 10, 2020
 
Rated: 3.59 by Gmartin75 from Pennsylvania

Feb 09, 2020
 
Rated: 2.6 by T66tah from Pennsylvania

Jan 28, 2020
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Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle into a pint glass, bottled 11/25/19, so 6 weeks old.

Looks murky orange brown in the glass, clear amber when held up to the light. Small off white head shrinks to a ring. No lacing.

Wasn't expecting much after the look and smell, but this isn't bad. Sweet and malty, with a little musty bitterness toward the end. There is a pleasing warmth in the back of the throat.

Mouth is medium, finish hay and a touch bitter.

Overall, never been too impressed with Harpoon, but this is an okay drink. Thanks to Greg for passing it on
Jan 12, 2020
 
Rated: 3.55 by VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

Dec 28, 2019
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Reviewed by tigerinatrance from New York

3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
So... it’s not often that I dump a beer out. This one was the first time I’ve done just that in a long time. Beer is very subjective. Taste is most important to me. This one looked great, felt and smelt good, and tasted... gross, to me. Very chemically, almost like acetone... the malt bill was good, I think, but after three sips, a very chemically taste made it impossible for me to finish. Sorry, Harpoon. Wanted to like this one.., but it was undrinkable because it just didn’t taste good to me. Better luck next year, I WILL try it again and see if it’s revised.
Sep 26, 2019
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear copper pour with thick foamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Toasted malts. Grainy and sweet.

T.F: Just like it smells. Toasted malts and brown sugar. Earthy and grains. A bit of fruit, but mostly malty. Bitterness is modest. Light bodied and very drinkable.

O: Gorgeous looking beer. Average flavor.. nothing unpleasant. Easy drinking if not overly memorable.
Sep 16, 2019
 
Rated: 4.49 by Corkykab from New Jersey

Aug 06, 2019
 
Rated: 3.64 by markallmon from Tennessee

Aug 04, 2019
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Reviewed by VoxRationis from New York

3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass;
A: Pours a crystal clear, copper color with a three finger, fluffy, wheat colored head, nearly a finger cap, and rings of sticky lacing.
S Aromas of caramel malt, cherry wood, cranberry, and white pepper.
T: Dry. Flavors follow the head. Cumin like bitterness.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: Bitterness kind of crowds out the flavor. Not my favorite leann dearg na hÉireann by a long shot. Too smokey/bitter, not enough malt. Frankly, I actually know a good bit about craic, and this is not that, no matter what it's called.
Aug 01, 2019
 
Rated: 3.87 by NastyNorseman from New York

Jun 17, 2019
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Reviewed by zeff80 from Missouri

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, amber color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It smelled of roasted malt, pine and toasted caramel. Very malty tasting with piney hops and sweet caramel.
Jun 06, 2019
 
Rated: 4.36 by Arg914 from New York

May 29, 2019
 
Rated: 4.34 by crackerjack57 from Pennsylvania

May 25, 2019
 
Rated: 3.8 by O-Meg from New York

May 18, 2019
 
Rated: 4.13 by addiwilliams from Virginia

Apr 22, 2019
 
Rated: 3.85 by Maqikul from Massachusetts

Apr 21, 2019
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Reviewed by deleted_user_995920

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a reddish/amber color,quickly receding white colored head,some lacing-Smells like toffee,hops, fresh cut grass,sweet pastry-Tastes like an Irish red except there is a noticeable hop addition not usual to the style- Feels well put together,nice carbonation, not thick or viscous, finishes almost semi dry- Overall what you would get if you mixed a Red with an IPA- Very tasty and drinkable-
Apr 01, 2019
 
Rated: 3.21 by jlmontague from Connecticut

Mar 31, 2019
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Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
On tap at Jine's Restaurant in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a rusted dark red color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like heavily toasted malt, some roast, light sweetness, and very bitter hops.

This is much too hoppy for an Irish red, but that was intended. I think the bitterness overwhelms the fairly decent background malt character - it's quite toasty, even with a touch of honey and roast, and a huge breadiness. Just make this a regular Irish red and it would have been excellent.

This is medium bodied, slightly creamy, with a fairly big lingering bitterness on the back end.

Half of this beer was quite good.
Mar 30, 2019
 
Rated: 4.05 by QuentinDishaw from Massachusetts

Mar 30, 2019
 
Rated: 3.53 by alexsergio from New York

Mar 29, 2019
 
Rated: 3.46 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Mar 23, 2019
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Reviewed by nosho from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I really liked this citrusy, slightly sweet brew... and the first Harpoon IPA that sang to me. I don't have a sophisticaed palate, but I felt this balanced its hoppy bite with flavor and fruitiness. Not carbonated come-on, and it's filtered - the only slight loss of style points. Will definitely buy again.
Mar 23, 2019
Photo of Kip8745
Reviewed by Kip8745 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I usually drink beers with a lower ABV than the 6.9 for Craic. I also am not a big fan of IPA’s . I was pleasantly surprised by this beer . I think some of the Harpoon Seasonals have been disappointing for the past 2 years or so. However this one is exceptional . March is certainly a good beer drinking month in the Boston Area. I hope they bring this one back next year.
Mar 23, 2019
 
Rated: 4.17 by TrisBlair from Connecticut

Mar 19, 2019
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Reviewed by Amendm from Rhode Island

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
A strong pour from a 12-oz. bottle yields a ½ finger of light beige foam with short retention, minimal lacing. Bright and clear dark amber-red color with lighter highlights.
Citrus and floral hops great the nose, sweet and toasted malt with baked apple in the background.
Taste is semi-sweet and mildly bitter considering the big hop presents. Items from the smell plus spice and baked brown sugar meld with abundant malts (caramel and toasted, maybe a little roasted). The finish is quick and semi-dry with elevated bitterness. Spice and hops linger during the aftertaste.
Medium bodied with average carbonation. Malty smooth and brightly hopped. ABV is high for the style and well-hidden as a faint astringency. Overall a good match to style guidelines, except for the extra hops, mentioned as an IPA/Irish Red hybrid on the label.
Mar 19, 2019
 
Rated: 4.05 by golf4collet from West Virginia

Mar 17, 2019
 
Rated: 3.91 by cambabeer from New York

Mar 16, 2019
The Craic from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 130 ratings