Summer Beer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Summer BeerSummer Beer
1,050 Ratings
Summer BeerSummer 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 stirgy on 09-08-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,050 |  Reviews: 382
Photo of mrbosworth
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Doherty's East Ave Cafe in Pawtucket, RI just bought a beer engine a few weeks ago, and tried it out last night (6/4/08) with a special cask version of Harpoon's Summer Ale. Boy was this a departure from their production version of this beer.

Pours with a soapy head filled with big popping bubbles which dissapates quickly leaving a frothy 1cm thick head of tighter, slightly aromatic foam.

Color was a straw like, bright motor oil color, cloudy with microscopic yeast and wheat particulates.

Very spicy on the tongue, imparting lemon and banana flavors through a slippery mouth feel. The spices were slightly overpowering, and made for somewhat of a dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Very fresh, and very tasty for the summer. I'm not super familiar with Cask beers to rate this amongst other 'real ales' but it was quite good.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle poured into a 22 ounce weizen glass yields a brilliantly-clear, pale golden body with active trails of carbonation capped with two fingers of soft white foam that retains at a finger and leaves chunky lacing.

Smells lightly malty and mysterious.

Tastes lightly sweet and malty with a solid earthy bitterness. Winey and crisp, with lingering dry malt.

Well-carbonated, light and refreshing. Excellent summer drink, but highly reminiscent of American Macro Lager. If they sold it as that, it'd be one of my favorites.

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Photo of albern
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at a barbeque, and this is about the right setting for such a beer. It is a pretty innocuous, unmemorable, certainly pleasant enough beer that will please the tastes of the macro crowd who are at your barbeque. It's an above average beer, but it really has nothing to recommend it beyond being inoffensive, which is hardly a ringing endorsement. It is light bodied, has the consistency and carbonation of a Kolsch, has a slightly dryish snappy hop bite at the end, has a honey like aroma and taste. Beyond that, the beer goes down easy and had no real aftertaste. Except for the hoppy finish, the beer isn't making much of a statement.

Re-review two months later: I gave the beer an extra .5 in terms of drinkability. As it settles, there is a slight creaminess that dulls the edge of the overly sharp crispness straight out of the bottle. This is still an inoffensive beer with no measure of complexity.

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Photo of baos
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into ringer mug at Starkey's Barn Bar.

Just jotted down a few notes here. Looked really nice with a decent head and lacing. Smell very fresh. Tasted very fresh and refreshing. With a tad of clover honeyed malts and a touch of hops. Will buy this one again very good beer.

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Photo of erosier
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a golden yellow color with a tall and medium bodied white head that takes some time to settle. Nice lacing down the glass.
S: The smell is of very sweet light malts and a bit of hoppy bitterness at the end.
T: It has a nice sweet but not too sweet malty base underneath light hop flavors.
M: The mouthfeel is very light, crisp, and refreshing which makes for a nice beer to sip on for the summer. I think if it was a little sweeter it would be better, but still a nice chioce.
D: Very drinkable as none of the flavors are overpowering and it goes down easy.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice, refreshing offering. Glad to see they are going for a Kolsch for their summer offering rather than some variation of a Pils or a fruity beer.

Pours clear and bright yellow with a frothy, light head. Smell is a bit sharp, but not unpleasant. Taste has that lovely honey-ish character a Kolsch should have with just a trace of bitterness on the finish. Not as crisp as I'd like, but not bad. The mouthfeel is good - light, but with some weight from the malt and a little hiss of carbonation.

Not an enduring classic, but if you want a light summer beer that rises above the mass of undifferentiated pils-based seasonals, this is one to consider.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.86/5  rDev -19%
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 BeerSox
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear golden straw color with a thin pearl white head that settles to a thin rim along the glass. Strings of lacing here and there.

A very light crisp grainy aroma with a bit of a viney aroma that reminds me of a grapevine.

The taste is very light and clean light the aroma. The light hop flavors tend to stick around for a while after each sip. The grains provide just enough flavor to be there. I think there is a bit of a sugary sweet taste that is missing. The feel is thin and a little fizzy.

This is a good beer and a solid Kolsch, but the things I like to look for in this style weren't present. It was also a little fizzy in my opinion for the style. It's a refreshing beer, great for the summer.

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Photo of Jayli
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed with this beer, I expected a more bold beer from Harpoon. This beer poured a light golden yellow, with a large white head. It was smooth bodied and went down very easily. The flavor was where I felt it fell short. It wasn't a bad beer, but nothing stood out about it. It would be good for a hot summer day, but not overly impressive.

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Photo of scottg
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a strange glass.

Pours a clear, light golden color with a thick white head and high carbonation. Grassy, herbal aromas are present. The taste is well balanced between the sweet maltiness and the bitter hoppiness, neither one overpowers the other. There is a nice soft mouthfeel. Easy drinkability, would be nice after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a crystal clear light golden amber color with a light, fluffy 1" crown that shows good retention and lively carbonation. Plenty of foam 'til the end.

Lemmons and a nice sour tang on the nose. wheatie, herbal and earthy scented malt with a buttered toast scent, musty yeast aroma, grains and wheat on a hot summer day.

The malt flavor is round and toastie, slightly buttery, and a very lager-ish, earthy, tangy yeast but in good balance. The earthy and herbal hop and yeast flavor rides right along side of the buttery malt. However, there is a bitter, "malt liqour"...flat malty after taste that is rather unpleasant after some time sitting. Overall, crispy and fresh with a wonderfully refreshing malt body.

Light for sure, but crisp, finishing smooth and dry.

This is a great session beer and really refreshing.

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Photo of JackWeizen
4.51/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours light yellow with a fat head that reseeds but never fades out due to a constant champagne like bubbling in the glass. The smell is a nice clean balance of light malts and just the right hint of hops. I want to brew this.

The taste is great for a summer seasonal. No flavor overwhelms another, but together they make for a highly drinkable brew that is sessionalble, and satisfying. The malt and hops seem to literally dance around each other on the tongue. Is it bitter? Is it sweet? Its both.

It goes down like water for me, but holds a respectable alcohol content that will make me wish I didn't kill the whole sixer. I will be getting more of this... Soon.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
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 clabaugh
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale, transparent goldenrod color topped with a frosty white head of two fingers.

Smell: Faint hints of malted barley. Very muted in the nose.

Taste: Clean, malty flavor profile accented with leafy hops. Bitterness intensifies as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, with some invigorating carbonation. Highly refreshing for the summer.

Drinkability: Light, cool, and easy to consume. Highly drinkable, with a clean, mellow flavor.

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Photo of blakesell
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle has best before 08/10/07 (whoops, a month late), poured from 12oz bottle into belgian style curved pilsner? glass.

Appearance- Head is rocky and fluffy, it looks like a glacier has formed and is about to hit any stray boats that may come in contact with it. Dissapates to a fluffy cloud of small creamy bubbles. Colour is the lightest beer I've poured for myself in years. It looks to be Miller Lite with a great head by some fluke of nature.

Smell- Fresh green apples with light fruity characteristics. Some pear hiding out in there as well. Even a little peach. I like the way this smell is going.

Taste- Nice, smooth light malt with a wonderful hop backbone. A hint of corn, but not overpowering due to the fruity essences that the hops give off.

Mouthfeel- Beer goes down smooth. No cloying character at all, not even a sour kick at the end. This beer may be expired by technicality, but it is still fresh physically.

Drinkability- Extremely drinkable. A delicious easy quaffing lawnmower beer that I wish I had more of during this hot weather. Very refreshing.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours very well. Very light, crisp color with a head that lasts about a quarter down the glass. The smell is non-existant. The worst part of the beer. The taste is nice. Good amount of hops without out being too overbearing. The mouthfeel is very crisp and light, making it nice on a summer day. Maybe a little too strong for me to drink all day long. On a hot summer day I would probably reach for something with a lighter feel or taste.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very very light straw color. crystal clear. decent head that sticks around and leaves several rings of lace. i don't remember the other two kolsch beers i've had being THIS light in color though...

aroma is mostly hops, which i'm assuming are some type of noble variety. also yeasty with very faint malt note.

taste has some fruitiness, but in the end the feature is the spiciness of the hops. malt is in the background but detectable. finishes pretty dry.

crisp and smooth, adequately refreshing

overall score is bumped up since the taste should be something like 3.7

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden yellow with one finger of head, which quickly disappeared.

Grainy smell with a fruity hint of maybe grape/raison.

Balanced taste of malt and hops, ending on the bitter hoppier side. Mouthfeel is light and nicely carbonated. Crisp, dry, and refreshing. Flavorful beer but not too complex. Easy to drink. Although partial to heavier beers I enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of techdiver
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale golden yellow with a big frothy head that diminishes slowly leaving very nice lacing and displays great carbonation.

Well balanced malt and hops nose.

Taste is very well balanced. A great Kölsch, compares favorably to Reissdorf.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and light.

Most drinkable, very suitable for a summer session.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale golden with a single finger of light white head that lasts as a single layer for the duration of the experience.

S- Very slightly fruity, perhaps pear... a faint hint of spice, and a touch of noble hops... some distant light malt, with almost a pale bock-like character. Nose is faint, but goos and well-balanced.

T- Quite balanced between light malt, noble hops, a hint of spice and some very faint fruitiness. The finish is surprisingly strong... a bit bitter, and a little spicy.

M- Light, clean, crisp, refreshing. Very slightly dry in the finish.

D- Excellent. One of the best Kolsches available here in the states. Try this while it's in season, it's a good experience, especially for the price and availability. Cheers!

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Photo of Liquids
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ultra pale pils yellow. Effervescent carbonations, 2 finger pillowy head. Looks good. Aroma is yeasty clean, mostly hops of a spciy resinous kind, appealing. Taste is very ale, like a pils with more complexity (not always an improvement). Its, it's malty...not, its mild. Its a gateway brew, the hops are present, and it;s not watery, but the flavor is not distinct enough to buy a 12er as i had hoped to if I enjoyed it. Mouthfeel is medium light but not too light, and good for style. Overall, this is a OK beer, but not the best harpoon has to offer to my palate. I can't give it bad reviews as they aren't merrited, but I was disappointed and expected more, this was ultra bland and booring. For a summer kolsh, I'll stick to Geary's.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
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 FenwaySquid
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a stange.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear bright yellow color. The head formed about 2-3 fingers thick and faded slowly into a thin layer that stuck to the glass on the way down.

Aroma: Light grains along with a slight hoppiness.

Taste: Starts off with an even mix of pale malts and spicy hops, then the hops take over, dominating through the finish without becoming too powerful. The finish was the same spicy hop flavor that lingered nicely.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light body. The carbonation was in good balance as well.

Overall: Makes for a great thirst quencher on a hot summer day.

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +2%
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 soxfanshawn
2.44/5  rDev -30.9%
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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Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 1,050 ratings