Harpoon Summer Beer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Summer BeerHarpoon Summer Beer

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

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Summer Beer is a beer brewed to be enjoyed with summertime activities. It is light, refreshing, and crisp.

28 IBU

Added by pezoids on 09-08-2001

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Reviews: 381 | Ratings: 1,046
Photo of bencharles
1.78/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle

Appearence: a gentle yellow, very plain and almost a bit cloudy...

Smell: Thin, grainy - "yeasty" even - mainly just a simple sweet smell.

Taste: It's hard to describe this beer's taste. It's like the beer wants to be better, and taste better, with more crisp and zing, but sadly it falls very short. This beer tries too hard - that is the flaw with this one. The taste is boring, bland, and very tiresome on the tastebuds - it hurts to go through the motions of drinking more than one bottle.

Notes: I tried so hard to like this beer, because I usually love summer beers (wheat, seasonals, etc.); but this beer is just not a very good one for what it's supposed to be. I reviewed this a second time just to be fair and I pretty much have come to the same results: a boring beer, plain, and unimpressive at best. But look on the bright side...UFO is still around and doing well ;)


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Photo of jbertsch
1.8/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at a bar in Dorchester. Unfortunately this beer claims by 100th review.

Appearance was a very light gold. Looked very thin (and tasted thin), and I was served no head on it. No lacing, but fair bubbling.

I smelled next to nothing here. Faint hops and grains, but that's it.

Taste was watery and disappointing. Like a low-quality macro. I tasted bland grain, corn, and a little residual bitterness - not from hops but almost like it was from dirty, poor ingredients. That was the perception at least.

Mouthfeel was thin, yet somewhat lively with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability was fine due to its thinness, but I didn't enjoy it, which unfortunately is half of drinkability in my opinion.

I felt insulted with this one. I'm not one to be snooty about my beers, so that says something. It made me realize there's a problem with the perception of what a summer beer should be. Just because it's summer does it mean we need watery, flavorless beers to drink after mowing the lawn. If I want water, then I'll drink water. IMO this beer has no personality and does no justice to the kolsch style.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
1.98/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a best by date of July 15, 2010 into a Harpoon pilsner glass.

A: Moderate pour yields an overflowing 4 finger fluffy white head with decent retention. Beer is a crystal clear yellow that reveals ample carbonation. Lacing is stringy but for the most part, non-existant.

S: Slightly wheaty and lemony. Floral comes to mind as well as yeasty. Nose is overall very subdued and there's really not much going on here.

T: Slight bittering hops upfront that gradually become more tart. Maybe a sprinkle of slices towards the middle. That's really it, there's nothing else here. Finish leaves a slight bitterness on the palate which fades quickly.

M: Light bodied, coarse, and highly carbonated. Watery in the mouth and very lively in the back of the tongue. Finish is relatively clean with little aftertaste.

D: Sure, its easy to drink, but I'm not gonna be having this beer again. There's absolutely no substance here, no taste, no nose, and the feel is as thin as water. Don't waste your time with this one.

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Photo of SMADMS
2/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From my notes at the VBF

On tap at the Harpoon booth at the VBF
A-- Very clear yellow color
S-- Slight to almost no citrus smell nothing distinguishable
T-- Watered down bland slight sweetness
M-- Clean like water
D-- Down it as quickly as possible to get rid of it

I am a fan of the summer beers but this one was a huge disappointment

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Photo of maximum12
2.08/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours amazingly clear yellow with a sandy little head. A sniff yields only that faint malt odor I associate with not-so-great macros. Uh-oh.

Tastes about the same. After the nice clean taste of the wheat beer I just downed, this has a decidedly sour malty tang to it, along with a rather foul aftertaste. I don't dig it.

Not a very good beer. This is my second from Harpoon & I have to say I've been disappointed in both. I doubt I'm going to finish it.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.35/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

LOOK: Light
TASTE: Wheat, a bit too much for a summer beer.
FEEL: Thin, but a touch of CreamIness

A good summer beer…not too light. OK Flavor. Ellie's 7th Birthday party.

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Photo of soxfanshawn
2.44/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I tried this beer on tap. When the server brought it over, I thought the bar tender had mixed up the order and gave me a Budweiser. After tasting the beer, I still thought it was Bud, so I asked if they mixed up the order. Indeed it was the correct beer. I was disappointed because Harpoon usually puts out decent beer, but this one is terrible. The color is golden yellow like that of a macrobrew and it leaves a decent lacing. The smell is nothing special, typical hops and smells of canned beer. The taste was similar to macro pilsners like PBR. Won't be drinking this one again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a light pale golden hue, no head.

S: A touch of skunkiness can be detected at first but seems to fade in and out amongst the aroma.

T: Some raw wet hops and lemon hopping is detected on the nose. Flavor is overall pretty bland, thin light macro type body and aftertaste. A touch of sour malting is about all the diversity in flavor you can expect. Overall a bland beer, lacks character, body, hoppings and drinks like a macro pils. Upon warming, skunkiness is more evident.

M: light, watery, bland

D: why bother.

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Photo of Boto
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is pretty much yellow. There is a white head that dissapates quickly. The aroma is pretty mild: makes it hard to determine what's there. I get a whiff of malts, and maybe some lemon. The taste is clean enough, with some malt sweetness and some wheat taste. Not too much to it, but it would be good on a hot day.

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Photo of LPorter33
2.55/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = golden-yellow straw colored, clear with decent 1/2 inch head and bubble shouting upwards.

Smell = malty with a sweet fruit scent of apples and pears. Very plesant.

Taste = Very sour without much hops, has a strong citrus flavor, but I feel like this is much too dominant. It lasts throughout most of the taste and drowns out everywhere else.. Strong bread like malty aftertaste hits in the end. I'm rather disappointed.

Overall = I do not recommend this one. I'd take a Sam's Summer Ale over it anyway and that's not saying much. Just way too sour without much else to it for my tastes.

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Photo of aracauna
2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The body is a pale gold with a wimpy head. There is a very slight aroma, slight enough that I can't really pick out any components.The flavor has a light maltiness with a faint tartness in the middle. There's a lingering light bitterness in the finish. It leaves the tongue feeling dry. Very clean.

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Photo of hdf561
2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Since it is summer time, I have been hitting the summer beers hard lately.

Got this beer in a make your own 6 pack at the local grocery store. The description of this beer on the bottle, already has me apprehensive...I usually do not think of German Kolsch as the typical style for a summer beer.

The smell is a little harsh, can smell some bitterness, hops

taste is similar to the smell bitter at first but the aftertaste diminishes to be surprisingly smooth.

Again I just don't think this style fits the "summer beer" style. I would have rated it higher if it wasn't trying to pass of a classic Kolsch as a summer beer.

This beer is average but fails in the summer beer category, there are simply just better summer beers out there.

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Photo of RedChrome
2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour was a very light straw color. A white head started an inch tall, but quickly disappeared. Few slow moving large carbonation bubbles. Watery lacing ran away quickly.

Very weak nose had a slight malt character. I had to struggle to pick up any aroma at all. When my nose did pick up anything it had a slight secondary scent of white grapes.

The taste matched the aroma in its complete lack of anything that caused more then a twitch of my senses. There was a slightly bitter aftertaste which was stonger then any actual flavor. It was like drinking a glass of lightly grape flavored water.

This beer was very watery. Carbonation danced around on the surfaces of the mouth.

Overall, I can't recommend this. A disappointing offering from a good brewery. I don't think this may be indicitive of the brew, and have a subtle feeling I only got a bad bottle, but will pick up a new one and edit this review accordingly.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a golden straw yellow color. One and a half finger white head shows light retention. Light streaks of lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- This was a light aromatic brew. Lots of wet grain in all around the beer with hints of lemongrass and light buttery notes. The alcohol is light and doesn't do much overall to the aroma.

T- Once again this beer is not very flavorful. Wet grain once again is the underbody of the beer with the front sporting some lemongrass overall. The middle shows some buttery notes which is overtaken by some grain notes. Lemongrass shows more in the ending along with a settle alcohol staleness. Bland and lifeless even for a kolsch.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Wet grain and lemongrass are all that is left on the palate. Aftertaste is stale alcohol, lemongrass, and grainy notes. Flavors were a little lackluster and underbalanced. Off flavors were present there is some light buttery notes in the middle. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- There is really nothing special with this beer. A average kolsch in a land of bland kolsch styles. Sorry Harpoon but this is average and therefore not seeking this one out again anytime soon.

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Photo of EtOHMD
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straw golden color, clear, thin white head. Couldn't agree more with recent reviews that said it looks like a macro. This beer is only moderately better than macros. Faint hops, lemon, grass smell and taste. Too watery for my liking even for a summer. Easy to drink but no reason to drink much of these.

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Photo of shivtim
2.71/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with a thin white head that stayed there for a bit. A very clear light yellow color. Nose is lacking, maybe some mild citrus but thats it. Taste is very grainy and slightly malty, with a strong metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is ok, and I guess drinkability is ok is you can handle the metallic taste. To me it tasted very much like a not so great macro lager.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.75/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Best by 15 July 2011 -- which was two days ago. Still, it's been refrigerated for three weeks, so I think it'll be fine.

A: A finger of head with surprising retention. Lots of bubbles. Very clear. Pale, pale yellow.

S: Grainy. Sweet malt and subtle, flowery hops as a complement. Fruit. Nice, but not great. Good for the style.

T: Grainy, sour and watery. I don't like it. The aftertaste is sour as well, and unfortunately lingers. A bit of sweetness throughout saves it from being an utter wreck. Still...

M: A bit of carbonation to the smooth wateriness. Meh. Drying aftertaste is somehow unpleasant.

O: To be fair, Kölsch is one of my least favourite styles. Strong for the style, and not the worst example I've consumed...arguably better than many found in Köln. Still, I will not have again. Not recommended. Still, drinkable, especially on a hot day...maybe. It is night-time and not that warm. I'm drain-pouring it.

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Photo of jwc215
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured straw yellow thin a thin white head that soon becomes a lace.
The smell was very light - some grassy aromas.
The taste was of sweetness, some hops and a good deal of water. It reminded me of a light version of a boring Euro-macro lager.
A sharp tang is suddenly taken over by a sweet malt. It had a metallic taste in the finish.
This is too boring, even for a summer drink. It left more of a drying finish than a refreshing one (though I realize that that can be characteristic of the style). Also, it was too sweet, IMO.
Bottom line - there are more refreshing summer brews out there.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours crystal clear, yellow with a pretty big head of white developing. It recedes fairly quickly and leaves very little lacing behind.
Smell is a little malt, a little grain, some floral hops, with just a hint of citrus.
Taste is not the refreshing notes I expected. some malt, citrus notes, metallic, floral, gets medicinal in the aftertaste. Balance is good, though.
Fairly harsh up front, the carbonation looks to strip your tastebuds off your tongue. Not like a West Coast IPA but still pretty aggressive. Not what I want in a summer style, that's for sure.

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Photo of Meerkey
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Bubbly white head. clear pale straw yellow. Tons of bubbles.

S: Sweet malts and grainy. Not bad. But I'm bored.

T: Not a fan. A little malty and grainy. Sour. Maybe a bit of fruit. Watery. Not good.

M: Watery with a bit of carbonation.

O: I just.. don't like Kölsches. Not recommended.

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Photo of kkipple
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

'Poon summer beer... hmm, some names you just can’t abbreviate, can you? Uh, anyway, this Harpoon Summer beer pours a real clear watery yellow with a small white head. which eventually fades into non-existence. Pretty basic.

I smell some hops, sweet honey and light malt. A little floral – green apples.

Now, I'm not a big Kolsch fan, but still, this ain't my beer.I get lots of DMS; it's corny, slighty tinny and too dry for it's own good. Some bitter hops but they don’t do much for this beer. It leaves a bitter, metallic finish and dries my tongue. I don't want to drink a beer this dry in the summertime..

The carbonation shocks my mouth; it's overdone in my opinion. Again, there's a corny / tinny aftertaste and no trace of hops in the finish. Unimpressed.

I'm usually a fan of Harpoon's beers, but this is my least favorite of their lineup. It's too dry and frankly doesn't taste that great. Given that Pilsner Urquell and SN Summerfest are in the same price range, why would you pick this up? Disappointing.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a five+ finger white head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Crystal clear pale amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Slight hoppy, grassy nose. Flavor is balanced, some grassiness, smooth but boring. $1.67 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley’s Ale House #1. The Kölsch is not an overly complex style but I enjoy it for being straightforward and refreshing. Unfortunately Harpoon’s version is overly simple. Clear golden color with a thin white head and minimal lacing. Light hops and lemon aroma. Light-bodied with a minimal hops flavor, along with some grass and citrus. The finish is clean and a little tart, but short. This beer is not memorable despite being pretty easy to drink.

 462 characters

Photo of EStreet20
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Here's a style I have no experience with. I;m trying to learn to appreciate lighter, more subtle brews. Here goes.

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a fairly cloudy, very light yellow color. Little less than a finger of pure white head.

S - Smell comes with a clean aroma overall. Tiny hop and some pilsner malts.

T - Taste has a tiny bit of sweetness initially, then goes to a faint lemony flavor before finishing fairly clean.

M - Very light bodied, but perhaps a bit too carbonated.

D - The overabundance of bubbles hurts this one a bit, as well as that tiny out of place sugary taste.

 610 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big foamy off-white colored head is all kinds of sticky. Dozens of streams of fine bubbles rise through the transparent sun colored beer. Faint aroma, maybe a bit of grassy hops and pinch of grainyness. Soft light beer. Flavor is a bit sweet, and a little grainy. That's about it, there might be some floral hops in there, but they barely make it to the surface. I'm assuming this is pretty close to a Kolsch, but I just don't like the sweet grainyness.

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Harpoon Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.57 out of 5 based on 1,046 ratings.
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