The Craic
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

The CraicThe Craic
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Style:
Red Ale - Irish
Ranked #21
ABV:
6.9%
Score:
85
Ranked #29,129
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 10.53%
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
131
From:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  25
SCORE
85
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?!
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Amendm:
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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
More User Reviews:
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a Best By date of 04-15-17. Sampled on January 12, 2017 during "January Thaw" when it was 51 degrees.

Attractive, heady orange-amber pour with excellent clarity. No reddish hues but still attractive.

Big aroma of apple, pear, or tropical fruit with a more buried toasted bread or cracker malt character.

Medium or better body.

Those fruity hop characteristics play up big in the flavor just like the nose with a big bitter bite lingering at the finish. But under that I still pick up a decent sweet and toasted bread malt. This emphasizes the hops.

Jan 12, 2017
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bronze/red color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin ring of lace around the glass

S: Some toasty maltiness and earthy hops up front along with a touch of spice from the hops as well. Toffee and caramel notes in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the toasty malt and earthy, spicy hops and goes into a light caramel/toffee sweetness. Finishes with a light lingering spiciness from the hops

M: Medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. On the thicker, heartier side

O: A nice red IPA with a good balance of malt and hops. Borders on sipping territory because of the slightly heavier MF. A perfect alternative for the more well-known Irish reds on St. Patty's Day

Feb 18, 2017
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Greenlabel from New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in January as part of Harpoon's "Spring Mix-Pack". Of the 6 different varieties in the Mix-Pack, this one was the standout. Possibly the best Irish Red Ale/IPA that I've come across in my travels. The can states "Hoppy Malty Vibrant" and that statement seemingly rang true as I enjoyed its contents. I'm heading out this week to acquire a 6-pack or two. My only concern is that this is apparently only a seasonal product although I'd definitely consider it a product for any season.

Jan 31, 2019
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beerrat from Virginia

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Aug 28, 2020
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Mortarforker from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 13, 2018
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 3/18/2017 at Battleship Brewhouse in Fall River, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, some hops and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, tea and fruit that are followed by some breadiness from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is decent and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while.

Mar 18, 2017
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markallmon from Tennessee

3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 04, 2019
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The Craic : hoppy malty vibrant

The deep amber color is impressive in it's clearity. A tan colored foam dome is dense and clumpy, bubbly and rocky as it slowly recedes to some slight coverage and solid ring around the edge.

The smokey caramel and maple style sweetness in the malt dominated nose is very nice. Deep raspberry and cherry fruit style sweetness from the hops and malt combo remains deep. Spices and herbs deep down appears in a subtle way. Pungent nose.

A light and crispy bite becomes a medium bodied, malty ride in both feel and flavor. Toasty bread style malt flavor also has a smokey caramel and herbal complexity that is honestly, very impressive for the style. An hetbal and earthy bitterness rides in from the hops which seems to deliver excellent balance between the flavorful malt and biting hops. The malt is medium bodied but full of life and never cloying. A bit of boozy heat from the 6.9 % abv. creates a seemless thread of intense flavors that mellow down slow, thanks to the easy drinkability.

This one was the best choice in a pinch at the supermarket. Pleasantly suprised.

Dec 28, 2018
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metter98 from New York

3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is reddish brown when viewed from afar but when held up to the light it is crystal clear dark red in color with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that left a thin patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy and herbal hops are present in the nose along with strong underlying notes of toasted malts.
T: The taste follows the smell and has balanced flavors of toasted malts and herbal and citrusy hops. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is an interesting hybrid between an Irish Red Ale and an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 19, 2019
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PaleAleWalt from New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mar 05, 2019
Photo of bacher468
bacher468 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 11, 2017
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
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....

Jun 29, 2018
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Rainintheface from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 18, 2019
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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
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seakayak from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 30, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a recently purchased growler into a pilsner glass.
A - Deep copper, iron oxide, mahogany color. Excellent clarity. Active carbonation culminates in a frothy off white cap.
S - Lite touch of roast malts, sweet brown sugar, conifer like spruce match up with a touch of caramel.
T - Surprisingly bitter, in a good way, reminiscent of a mash up Leviathan IPA and Irish Red. each bringing it's strength to the offering. Sweet malts can hold of the hop bitterness and sets a fine contrast to it.
M - Medium in body, excellent carbonation keeps things hustling, a quick to exit bitterness is followed by a very balanced lingering of lightly roasted malt and light brown sugar, and spruce tip. I quite enjoy this element of the offering.
O - A hopped up Irish Red, in some ways reminds me of Centennial hops? Well executed, Harpoon deserves some love for this one.
Cheers
http://imgur.com/qTnhLJE

Jan 29, 2017
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Bonds Tavern in West Orange. Pours a ruddy, copper, tawny hue with minimal frothing. Aroma replete with hints of caramel, honey, and hops. Similar overall flavor profile.

Feb 26, 2017
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tpauer from New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 14, 2017
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jadpsu from Georgia

3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another from the Harpoon Variety 12 pack.
LOOK: Pours a light amber red in color that has an abundant off white sticky head that stays forever. Great looking IPA.
AROMA: Dank, and aromatic hops, musky. Smell of cold metal.
TASTE: I get some caramel mixed with some citrus grapefruit. Malt backbone. Sour, and dry.
This was just OK.

Feb 17, 2019
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Feb 28, 2018
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled Dec 17th 2018.

Real nice fluffy forming top, off yellow more khaki in color, with come very good retention and lacing. Manages just to squeak under 3 fingers, but nestles nicely on a perfect clear copper body. Not much visible carbonation, but a nice glow and appearance. Fine looker for sure.

Aroma is very nice. Soft malts touching caramel with floral and light scented pine hop quality. A bit hop forward as anticipated, but not overly, giving at first floral and some slight perhaps dank/earthy notes that are noticeable but subtle. The malt sweetness goes perfect with this, definitely stickin in Irish Red Ale quality but not so much Big American hop amber senses.

Palate seems to definitely though go more for the American gusto. Slight touches of caramel sweetness, but a good hop bonanza. First gulp in the mid palate loads with citrus like orange to grapefruit bitterness and sweetness, followed with juice earthy pine. Aftertaste is a big pine blast with some real caramel toffee like balance with the added sweetness. A real creamy mouthfeel kicks in as well, there's some real girth and softness to this brew.

The brew really does feel like it's in a sweet spot right now. Will have to make a mental note to grab more of this in the future.

Feb 17, 2019
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Dalkri from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mar 10, 2020
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep amber in color with good clarity. Small soapy head forms and recedes to a ring quickly. Aroma of floral hop, pine, caramel and other malt driven sweetness.

The flavor has a kiss of piney hops then gives way to a nutty, almost chocolate malt presence. Light but perceivable bitterness, just enough to stand up to the firm, malty notes.

Medium bodied, perhaps closer to light, with an ample carbonation.

Overall, an average red.

Apr 11, 2017
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours deep red with a small off white head. Smells of darker grain with slight citrus. Tastes of caramelized grain with slight notes of citrus and earthy hops. Beer is light bodied and well carbonated, easy drinking. Overall, a very good beer.

Nov 12, 2018
The Craic from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 131 ratings