The Craic | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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The CraicThe Craic
57 Ratings
The CraicThe Craic

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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?!

Added by braican on 11-21-2016

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of TwoTrees
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dacrza1
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DATE: June 28, 2018... OCCASION: LotR marathon continues with The Two Towers... GLASSWARE: Stoudts pint... pours a promising red amber body with thick, sparse bubbles that form an equally thick, foamy, clumpy off-white head that leaves a likable, uneven coral ring... at the outset, a vibrant toasted caramel can be discerned feet away... the hops, on the other hand, offer only a bit of citrus... hazelnut, butter, dampened malts akin to a brown ale, and some plasticine yeastiness muddles the picture a bit... the palate is passable, almost agreeable at 6.8% ABV... chewy, meaty, and medium-bodied... leaves its toasted caramel as an endearing aftertaste... filling, refreshing, and blunt in its profile, the light hops of orange, lemon, and berry--along with some flowery effects--make for a pleasant, more diversified experience than expected... there is even some pine in this, which I did not smell... I like the idea behind this one, and will revisit it next March when St. Patty's Day needs diversifying... as for now, it is a serviceable pint that invites its next without issue.... solid....

 1,101 characters

Photo of Mortarforker
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Profundobaso
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - poured from a 12 oz bottle. Amber red in color, slightly cloudy, with a one finger head and some lacing retention. Promising by the looks.
Smell - fruits, hoppiness, with some presence of malts. Complex smell, but fairly balanced.
Taste - toasty malts with a significant hop presence. Tastes like an Irish red that amped up the hops by a notch. Somewhat nutty finish, and overall quite pleasant.
Feel - medium to full-body, medium carbonation, and packs a slight punch at 6.9%
Overall - a solid beer all around. Hoppy for the hophead, strong malt flavor for the malt lover, flavorful, and boozy. What more can you ask for?

 629 characters

Photo of mfigueroa713
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of cunning_stunt
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Chipotle
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jjmj51
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tiernan
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Branlott42
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MAbrew88
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ronl12
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ned57
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of izraelc
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excellent red ale. You usually can't miss with Harpoon. Ruby red pour. A typical red ale with a little malty sweetness and a hoppy finish. Complex yet well balanced. Red ales are hit or miss but this one is worth a try.

 222 characters

Photo of Ottoj55
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Nice copper red color with a bit of head. Smells quite hop forward for an Irish style ale. Also tastes hop forward, like a red pale ale. Rather light dry mouthfeel, crisp finish. Decent as a red IPA, but not as an Irish ale.

 228 characters

Photo of Mdorn
4.64/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from SC with 6.9% ABV listed.
Pour is clear copper with very good clarity and a decent head.
Fruity, nutty, grassy aroma. Flavor is about as expected for a cross between an Irish Red and an English/American IPA.

 227 characters

Photo of bluehende
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smb71481
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of smcolw
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dirty copper color and crystal clear. Moderate head with some streaky lace.

The smell starts off with darker toast and light bitterness but it morphs into soured milk in a negative way.

The taste starts with darker, dry malt. The undesirable aromas are missing from the taste. Good body and decent carbonation (spritzy comes to mind). This is a dry "Red" with a good hop presence. The aftertaste is unexpectedly earthy.

 423 characters

Photo of williahd
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StormAles
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of deansellers
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

To me, there is nothing better than scouring the local mix-a-six coolers & coming across something new and/or different. This one was a recent purchase at Silantra Asian Kitchen & Grill here in Lancaster, PA. I am very excited to try this hybrid beer for myself.

From the bottle: "Hoppy[,] Malty[,] Vibrant"; "The toasty maltiness of an Irish Red blends with the fruity hoppiness of an IPA>"; "St. Patrick's Day is more than just a day. To us it's a season that we love to celebrate. Sláinte!"; "The Craic is friendly banter, bursts of laughter, toe-tapping music, flowing taps, and smiling eyes. Experience it with us at our annual St. Patrick's Festival."

I began with a Pop! of the cap & a moderate pour into the awaiting glass. Once this was accomplished, I performed an in-glass swirl that raised two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with good retention that left behind some nice lacing in its wake. Color was a gorgeous Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity, reminiscent of an old flame's natural hair color. 8=O Nose had a musty, earthy quality more like an EIPA, but since this is an American Amber/Red Ale, some leeway should be allowed. These hybrids can be difficult to pin down. Mouthfeel was more than medium, slightly full. The taste was very malty, but not sweet. Instead, it was quite earthy and bready, like a loaf of brown bread, kneaded and ready for baking. I would be curious as to what hops were used since the bottle does identify it as an "Irish Red IPA". It will do much better as an American Amber, but the brewery clearly felt compelled to label it as an IPA. Finish was semi-dry, on the cusp of semi-sweet, but not so sweet as to push it into that territory. I got breadiness, nuttiness, a slight fruitiness, but noting about it bespoke "IPA". That may be an error on their part in terms of its labeling. In any case, sláinte!

 1,908 characters

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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The Craic from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 57 ratings