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: 1,045
Photo of kylehay2004
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Two finger white frothy head. Clear, yellowish with touch of gold color. Head dissipates at a moderate pace with some lacing.

S: Grainy, bready with some sweetness up front.

T: The taste is actually less flavorful than the smell. I taste the lemon notes but it is minimally grainy. Not very bitter but almost a little watered down.

M: The watery part makes it refreshing. Nothing offensive. Mild to moderate carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: I was excited about this one up until the taste. It was a little watered down for me. Not so much bad tasting as the grain and malt with lemon notes were solid in the aftertaste, the typical summer ale taste, and was not very bitter and very refreshing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a fine bottle of beer, but it does very little for me in terms of bringing something new to the table. its a mildly sweet kolsch style that has hints of white sugar, lemongrass, and straw, but isn't particularly dynamic or flavorful as they go. a fine palate cleanser, and a nice looking brew with a really lacy white head, but the flavors don't live up to the aroma, and it ends up being a little bland. it also doesn't have the summer beer feel, despite very low abv, there seem to be some body to it, and carbonation is only middle of the road. it never gets to that next level of refreshment, even when ice cold. a little grassy hop thing in the finish, and a summery lemongrass element as well, but its not enough to make this interesting enough for me to want to drink more than one. I know what harpoon is capable of, I have been drinking their beer forever, but its the fall and winter seasonals I always seem to identify with much more than the warmer weather offerings for whatever reason.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that quickly died down leaving a lacy web of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grainy malts in the nose along with some hints of lemon.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is rather malty and has flavors of bready and grainy malts and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are notes of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is easy to drink, refreshing and quite sessionable given its low alcohol content.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Either I was on crack when I wrote my last comments on this beer or Harpoon greatly improved their recipe since then. I rather enjoyed this beer. It makes for a very good Kolsch. I still beleive that the beer is a bit overly 'fizzy' in carbonation and too prickly on the toung. A less-than-firm body is the only hinderence from making this beer a +4 for me. Perhapse a bit more citrusy (lemon / lemon rind) than the style calls for, but I liked this characteristic.

I usually expect more from Harpoon. This beer looks light to medium straw colored and highly carbonated. Smells lightly malty with earthy, grassy notes. A bit sour and bitter smelling. Perhaps a bit grainy and astringent. Tastes more malty than aroma. Still persists with yeastiness and graininess. Hops are a bit out of balance, but I believe that it makes this beer better. Vegital as the body weakens and into the finish. Bitterness lingers a little too long. This is out of style for a Kolsch and too astringent for a Golden Ale.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden body with a fluffy white head that leaves a ton of lacing

Smell: Grainy with a touch of lemon and noble hop aromas

Taste: Starts out with a malty, grainy flavor; after the swallow, the malt dries out and lemony and noble hop flavors kick in; crisp finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: While I haven't tried too many commercial Kölsches, this one is close to style and is very good

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beers pours a nice golden color with a smallish head to it that kind of sticks around along with a decent amount of lacing to it. Not a great smell to it, get almost an adjunct-lager sort of smell to this one. Taste is much better though, nice mouthfeel and body to this one. Nothing too crazy in the flavor department, just some slight hop crispiness and a bit of some lemon/citrus zest in there. Not of the most exciting styles out there but definitely better than the average summer seasonal out there.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of medium sweet malt with the distinctive Kolsch style yeast. Taste is also a mix between some medium sweet malt with some unrefined grainy notes and the distinctive Kolsch style yeast that I have a hard time to describe. Well done and very refreshing.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big white head dies leaving a decent little lacing on this clear golden straw colored beer.

Light lemony citrus aroma with a slight grain malt background.

Light citrus to lemony citrus with a light hops bitterness and yet the light grain malt sticks around ever so slightly.

A light bodied beer with some noticeable carbonation and a light dry citrusy aftertaste. Another one of those beer that a six pack could disappear pretty quick on a hot summers day.

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a white, two-finger head. Left no lacing.

S - It smelled of citrus and grains.

T - It tasted of sweet citrus flavor (orange) but also had a hint of bitterness.

M - It was somewhat crisp and smooth. A very light-bodied beer.

D - Actually, this was pretty good for an American Kolsch. It was more flavorful than most.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a very clear light yellow color with a nice, long-lasting white head that leaves just a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose is pretty clean with just a slight bit of grain, mild fruit, and a hint of citrus. The taste is mostly grain but there is a bit of light lemon and orange. Clean and crisp, this drinks pretty well but doesn't hit on the subtle complexities of the better versions of this style.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow nice and easy to drink in the summer heat.Nice lemony/summer smell.It is what most summer brews should be,really enjoyed this one.Just enough hop zing make this beer interesting to go along with subtle flavors of toasted grain and lemon,not a rocket science beer but better than most summer seasonals in my opinion.

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Photo of jlindros
3.19/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Tap at Tavern in the Square Northboro.
Pours decent creamy foamy 1 finger head that fades at a need pace, clear lemony straw color.

Nose light wheat malt, lemon zest, coriander like spices, cereal malt,

Taste more fruity cereal, generic fruity with cereal brings fruity pebbles, little citrus zest, typical summer spices coriander and perhaps grains of paradise, toasted cereal, wheat, etc. Some mild bitterness, generic hop note, grassy earthy like, little lemon peel bitterness. Finish dry mild bitterness, little meh yeast flavor, more spices lingering, lots of spices actually.

Mouth is lighter bod, decent carb.

Overall eh, typical lame summer beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 8/19/2012. Pours a lightly cloudy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger fluffy white head with nice retention, that reduces to a good cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of pear, bread, lemon, cracker, herbal, grass, floral, light pepper, and earthy spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance, but they are quite muted. Taste of lemon zest, pear, bread, cracker, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and earthy spiciness. Light spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pear, lemon, bread, herbal, grass, and pepper on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance of flavors, with a good malt/hop balance; a touch watered down; zero cloying flavors after the finish as expected. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice kolsch. Nice flavor balance and very smooth to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA lager glass. Enjoying this about 3 weeks past the "ENJOY BY" date on the neck.

A: The beer is a light gold color with lots of carbonation bubbling and topped by a good white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lacing on the glass.

S: The light aroma is lemony and bready, with a bit of hops.

T: Lightly flavored, as expected, but with some citrusy hop presence. Light malt base. Refreshing taste.

M: Rather high carbonation makes this very crisp; light body; finish is clean.

O: a solid Kolsch, but this style is quite light, simple and tame.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle pours a crystal-clear straw-gold body beneath a fluffy head of bright-white froth. The head retention is good, and it maintains a half-inch or so of big-bubbled foam throughout most of the glass. Additionally, the lacing is quite nice, and it leaves some fairly solid rings at the outset. The nose displays a grainy, wheatish malt with some background floral, grassy, and even spicy hops. There's a mild note of lemon as well, but it's not clear as to where it's coming from. In the mouth it's medium bodied with a gentle tingle on the tongue; and the flavor delivers the sweetish, grainy, and wheat-like malt that the aroma promises. It's backed by a subdued, underlying bitterness (and some very mild hop flavor) that helps to dry the finish which lingers shortly with some grainy maltiness. It's certainly fuller-bodied and more malty in the flavor than a Kolsch from Koln or the Bonn region, and even less hoppy; but it's still a decent summer beer!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lemon, honey, spice, barley and a little bit of hops. There’s also a faint metallic smell in the background.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of lemon and honey, with some wheat, malt and a touch of hops following up. The sweetness fades a bit as you drink it and transitions into a nice refreshing taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is clean.

D: The sweetness caught me off-guard given the style, but once I got used to it I found the beer kind of tasty. It goes down easy and has a decent kick for a “lawnmower beer”. It might not be the best summer beer or the best Kolsch that I’ve had, but it was a decent beer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color in the wine goblet. Decent foam and sprightly carbonation. Beery aroma with a malty, citrusy note.

Faint lemon tang. A hint of malt but more of a subdued Pilsener-like hop flavor. Slightly Kölsch-like with its faint aromatics. I would call it an American Blonde. Clean and crisp for a few sips. Seems a little sweet and flaccid after a while, but by that time the hoppy bitterness makes an appearance. Not a bad quaff, but it's not much of a Kölsch. Maybe call it an American-style Kölsch, and for that it's a pretty decent light lager.

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Trader Joe's in Washington, DC.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$1.49 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a bright, clear yellow body with a towering, foamy white head.

Smell: Light grainy scent with spicy, lemony notes.

Taste: Sweet-tart flavor of lemon, grains, and a very, very small amount of honey. Some banana and cider-esque flavors show up on the subtly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: A light, easy-drinking summertime-type beer. If it were any lighter, it would float away.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Minutely dusted bright gold. The pearl colored cap is creamyfirm with a gently rocky, lunar landscape surface. Portions of the head maintain sticky contact with the glass, but the lace itself is too thin and melty to result in much eye candy. Regardless, the beer and the foam atop it look splendid.

Summer Beer smells like an all-malt lager. On second thought, there's a gently spicy, musky hoppiness that pulls it up a notch. While not as hoppy or as bracing as a good pilsener, it's more than fine for a kolsch.

The beer is more flavorful than the nose suggested and is much more hoppy to boot. Now it definitely reminds me of a good pils. The noble hops are pungent, grassy and spicy, which leads to a clean crispness on the finish that is enjoyable. This is no weak-kneed, drink and forget summer seasonal. Not even close.

There's also a very nice flavor contribution from untoasted grain, especially on the finish. The beer is much more dry than malty sweet. I used the word 'bracing' earlier and that adjective keeps coming back to me as I sip. Summer Beer is lip smackingly, tongue rufflingly, puss puckeringly... bracing.

A lemon zestiness appears on the surprisingly long finish, a development that I applaud wholeheartedly. The body/mouthfeel is a smidgen short of medium and the carbonation is as spunky as the flavor. Both of those attributes are exactly where they ought to be. Less or more of either would make for a lesser beer.

It should be fairly obvious by now that I'm both surprised and delighted by this summer seasonal from Harpoon. It has loads of personality, is bursting with flavor and is as dry and as hoppy a kolsch as I've ever tasted. This one is a winner.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poors an almost lemonade esqu pale yellow, with a huge head that quickly faded to leave some nice lacing down the sides. Smell is very light, some maltiness, and a bit of a fruity smell, but not strong enough to narrow it down. Taste has a distictive lime touch to it. Very lite beer, this would be perfect on a hot summer day I would think. Nice bit of a dry hop after, but not too miuch. This is a good beer for a hot day, very lite and tastey. One of the best summer brews I have had...

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Giant in York, enjoyed chilled from a stange.

The color is deep golden with great clarity and thick white foam measuring about 2 fingers with tight bead and carbonation is visiblel in solution. the smell is nice with lots of malt aroma combined with subtle herbal/floral hops and a mild yeast element which comes off as a golden pear ester. The feel which is spicier than I imagined is very good, spicy up front with light ting of malt sweetness shifts toward creamy body with moderate carbonation and subtle yeasty fruitiness in the finish with relatively dry crisp essence.

The flavor is very refreshing and balanced in the best way possible. The taste has a nice floral hop which is almost tea-like in the foreground with slight toasted malt presence with some gentle sweet elements that move more toward yeast flavors which seem like light grape or golden pear in the finish with some of the herbal hops and spice flavors lingering after the swallow. This is a good beer to call Summer beer, it is interesting, flavorful and quaffable, yet not an ideal Kolsch in the traditional sense. It is a very good American interpretation of the style. I will certainly have to find this on tap sometime soon.

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Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry. BBD of 07/15/10 let's see how this holds up...Looks like it held up just fine!

Pours an effervescent light straw color with 2 fingers of ivory colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, grainyness, floral hop notes, plus pears & apple blossoms

T: Follows the nose, nice grassy notes intertwine with pear notes up front. Slight honey notes mix with fruittyness as this warms, plus grassy hops & touch of grainyness> Finishes with a touch of white grapes, lemony hops & general crispness

MF: Light/Medium bodied, soft carbonation & nice balance

Great drinkability, a very good take on a under appreciated style

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Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston. I like that it was served in a traditional Kölsch glass.

Pretty yellow gold. The head is modest and settles quickly. It leaves ample string lace on the glass.

The smell is more hoppy than I expected. Very dry.

The taste mirrors the smell. Less soft and more astringent than a traditional Kölsch. Higher hop bitterness. Good body and carbonation.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.78/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The CANQuest is quickly approaching 300! CAN you believe it?!?

From the CAN: "Harpoon Summer Beer is a refreshing example of the German Kolsch style: golden, light-bodied, crisp. Perfect for summer." "Love Beer. Love Life. Harpoon." "Pack it in, pack it out. Please recycle."

My initial pour garnered me a finger of bone-white head with excellent retention. Color was like liquid sunshine - a bright golden yellow with NE-plus quality clarity. Man, if you are going to make a lager-style beer, which Kolsch is, it had better have this kind of clarity. Nose had a grassy hoppiness, just right for the style. Mouthfeel was medium with a very grassy taste on the tongue. Finish was bone-dry, just the way I like my Kolschs. Phew! Gad, but this was extra dry, like ginger ale or antiperspirant. Now, I'm starting to sweat, in an odd turn of events. More? Dang right! Cooler? Heck, yes! This was really, really good in a way that the bottled version CANnot match. I love this beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light golden tone with a nice full two fingers worth of white head leaves big chunks of even lacing with each sip nice appearance. Aroma: Touch of citrus hops to the forefront with grassy herbal lemon hop tea tones, malts pale pilsner like never had a kolsch but I'm getting some mild fruit undertones as well. Taste: Completely refreshing just plain good for summer beer drinking, touch of lemon peel and other fruity qualities are here lemon grass hops with pale malts pretty bitter in flavor but there's a firm hand on balance here. Mouthfeel: Light bodied higher caronation but smooth. Drinkability: Anytime not bad refreshing and relatively complex nice beer I wanna try more authentic Kolsch and more Kolsch style beers.

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Harpoon Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.57 out of 5 based on 1,045 ratings.
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