Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
IPA - English
Ranked #57
Ranked #25,935
3.63 | pDev: 13.22%
Mar 06, 2022
Nov 01, 2000
Notes: We started brewing this beer as a summer seasonal in 1993. There were some great IPAs out in the Pacific Northwest, but no local IPAs on the east coast. We wanted to have a local IPA, so we brewed one. People absolutely loved it, and so did we. So we made it a year-round beer, and it’s now our bestselling beer and our flagship.

Since its introduction, Harpoon IPA has remained unique in its ability to balance hop bitterness with a strong malt backbone. Dry-hopped with Cascade hops, it has a floral hop aroma and a finish that is bitter (it is an IPA after all!) without being harsh or astringent. Combined with a malty sweetness and the fruity esters of our proprietary yeast, those hops create a beer that is wonderfully hoppy but clean and refreshing enough to enjoy a few of - and we hope you do.

42 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by dcrawlins:
Photo of dcrawlins
2.14/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by dcrawlins

Had a Harpoon IPA on draft at Red Robbin last night and I couldn't even tell it was an IPA or even a Pale Ale. There was no hop aroma and barely any taste. It was a bit cloudy also It reminded me of Bud American Ale which has no noticeable hop aroma either . I don't recommend it.

Jul 13, 2012
More User Ratings:
Photo of tekstr1der
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by tekstr1der from New Hampshire

A solid starter IPA of the traditional back in the day variety, I drank a ton of it for a while - similar to, but inferior to in every aspect the great SNPA.

Mar 06, 2022
Photo of imnodoctorbut
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by imnodoctorbut from Texas

pours a slightly hazed gold body with a billowing white frothy foam head that has moderate retention and leaves a ton of thin sticky sudsy lacing behind as it settles to a patchy froth cap with defined halo

aroma is sweet and grainy, malt forward with floral and slightly piney hops on the wings

taste is sweet and juicy, with a floral flair up front that fades to an earthy light bitterness tinged with pine with the finish

mouthfeel in fairly thin bodied with high carbonation, running slightly watery and grainy with a pillowed, juicy edge before finishing mildly dry and leaving a slightly sweet herbal aftertaste tinged with earthy bitterness

solid session IPA that runs mostly sweet and juicy but manages a solid balance thanks to a cascade hop bittersweetness.
wouldn't consider it one of the greats, but it's in the top 15 for me as far as highbrow craft IPA flagships.

Feb 22, 2022
Photo of jjamadorphd
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by jjamadorphd from Florida

Not one of the better ones I have had from Harpoon, but still solid enough to enjoy. Comparatively speaking, it's not as sweet smelling or juicy as others, but the mouthfeel was full-bodied which made up for a less than favorable taste. Again, when you take it all in, it's solid. Just not necessarily memorable.

Jan 21, 2022
Photo of Specialmick
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Specialmick from Connecticut

Look...darker brown copper with a white head and ample carbonation . The way IPAs used to look
Smell...faint smell of hops as the usual like many of the old school favorites.
Taste...Exquisite apricot, malt bitter with a very full body for the ABV. Back to the taste, apricot leaving to a finish dryness
Feel...A n ample carbonation that makes the consistency a little sticky and resinous. A great quality to this beer.
Overall...My belief is slanted such as this beer was a staple for a long time. This was my requested wedding beer that had to be there!! Anyways this beer was a very good one and still everyone should try. This beer was definitely a trail blazer out east.

Nov 22, 2021
3.52 by HighwayChile from Kansas on Nov 07, 2021
3.75 by Mwt from New Hampshire on Oct 16, 2021
Photo of LesDewitt4beer
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Scrappy notes from 2010.
6 pack of 12 ounce bottles purchased chilled.
This is probably the lightest tasting and lightest drinking IPA that I've had to date. It has a beautiful copper color with a nice white head. The nose is pretty full with hops that are flowery and some malt. The taste is mainly hoppy and is a bit thin or watery but tasty nonetheless. It has a nice light bitterness to it and drinks easy and fast. Not too shabby.

Oct 09, 2021
Photo of JohnniEMc
4.39/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

The claim is "New England's First IPA" and that may be. Most beer historians credit Ballantine as being the first to brew one in the U.S., but that was in New York. Enough history, let's empty a twelve ounce can into a clear Imperial pint glass and review it. First, it's a lovely bright copper-amber with a sparse, but enduring white head. There's plenty of malt to be had by the nose. The taste is sharply hoppy, with the malt failing to keep up. The hops are boldly bitter, earthy, yet finishing dryly. This is a good bitterly hopped AIPA, lacking only a little malty counterbalance. It may not offer enough complexity for some, but this is a spot on traditional IPA.

Jul 24, 2021
3.67 by shelby415 from Oregon on Jul 15, 2021
3.69 by SViterileroux74 from Texas on Jul 05, 2021
4 by AlltheBacon from Massachusetts on Jun 15, 2021
2.92 by Maxxis from Illinois on May 30, 2021
3.98 by BEZMEZ on May 28, 2021
Photo of papposilenus
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by papposilenus from New Hampshire

From a 19.2oz can, dated 04/05/21. Served in a willi becher.

Pours a crystal clear copper-gold with two fingers of dense, foam insulation-like head. Retention is excellent, leaving a thick, creamy cap and a tattered curtain of lacing. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for it to look this good.

Nose is sharp, grainy and vaguely cider-like. Crackers and apple skins.

Taste is dry like soda crackers, crisp and biting. Apple skin, orange oil, turpentine.

Feel is crisp and clean, drying, medium bodied with brisk carbonation.

There was a time I drank quite a lot of this and I guess I wasn’t as stupid as I remember myself being because this is mighty tasty. The fact that it’s only a month old may have something to do with it. At any rate, the can label promises ‘hoppy, balanced, crisp’ and fucked if it isn’t all of those things.

(Replaces a 3.48 rating-without-review dated 05/17/15).

May 10, 2021
3.13 by Dentist666 from Russian Federation on Apr 29, 2021
Photo of TheGiant
2.89/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by TheGiant from Rhode Island

Overall this beer is just a snooze fest. Its a cheap beer and i get that, but this is not a good beer. There is nothing overly offensive about this beer but it just taste like water. Not what i expected for and i feel at this price, there are better options that will make you much more happy.

Apr 25, 2021
3.37 by GaryM6 from New York on Jan 28, 2021
3.5 by Urk1127 from New Jersey on Dec 01, 2020
5 by Dalkri from Massachusetts on Oct 28, 2020
3.75 by Paddy-loves-beer from Pennsylvania on Oct 16, 2020
Photo of Kirkconder
2.55/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Kirkconder from California

Nicedarker amber color easy drinking gives a good buzz not a bad beer low hop taste

Oct 13, 2020
3.63 by ricknelson from Vermont on Sep 06, 2020
3.75 by Velivolus1 from Vermont on Jul 19, 2020
3.65 by Jaasoares from Virginia on Jul 04, 2020
Photo of GarrettB
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3
by GarrettB from Colorado

Sometimes you just need a break from the hazy IPAs that occupy every store and every corner of the refrigerator. And sometimes you don’t even want an IPA. This Pale Ale takes me back to some of my first craft beers, before IBUs started hitting sky high. And because of that it is like so many other pale ales, clear and clean, with a nice squeeze of hops and a refreshing palate that would be very difficult to replicate in a higher gravity style.

Jun 15, 2020
3.72 by dubnation from Kansas on May 20, 2020
3.5 by GC2020 from New Hampshire on May 17, 2020
Photo of SouthPhillyJimmie
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by SouthPhillyJimmie from Pennsylvania

This is a really nice, balanced IPA. It has a very clear, rich, honey color. The taste is a little bitter with bright citrus notes. It's pretty easy drinking, full feeling, and goes well with rich or spicy foods.

May 03, 2020
3.5 by RiceOwls27 from Texas on Apr 21, 2020
3.25 by GRG1313 from California on Apr 19, 2020
3.37 by Aquatherm_SE from Alabama on Apr 13, 2020
5 by doctorgary from New York on Mar 10, 2020
Photo of kflorence
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by kflorence from Texas

From a can.

Pours a golden, copper in color with a thin layer of head. Not much lacing as you drink. Carbonation looks spot on. Aroma is very floral with some herbal spiciness, bubblegum and a toasty, biscuity malt backbone. Taste follows the nose surprisingly well. Spicy, earthy, floral hops with some lemon, grapefruit and pine balanced out by a toasty, biscuit malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium with subdued but lively carbonation and a little bit of chewiness. Pretty drinkable. Overall a solid offering that is balanced and offers some complexity, but it's a bit too spicy/piney for my preference. Cheers!

Mar 08, 2020
Photo of Charliethebrit
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Charliethebrit from Massachusetts

Poured from 12 oz bottle, bottled on date: 01/06/2020. Nice golden color with a dissipating white head
Malty on the nose, like toasted nuts and slight floral hops and hint of pine
Taste is hop forward, citrus to the back and hint of floral, distinct malt, but on the bready, biscuity side
Feel is medium bodied, but a bit too over carbonated
The first time I tasted this ale was at the end of 1997 and it was on draught at Christopher's in Cambridge and it was fantastic. It has lost that wonderful floral, malt smooth balance it had back then. But still a pretty good ale for the money (usually the lower priced option of the choices)
Edit: I have since read some other reviews and one or two have dissed the beer according to where they bought it on draught. Beware. There is a big variation in how this is kept in bars and restaurants. I recommend trying it local to Harpoon, Boston and in a place that looks after their beers, such as the brewery itself, of course

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of 1009
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by 1009 from Massachusetts

A classic on the Boston beer circuit since the mid 80’s and one that I consistently find myself ordering at restaurants and bars. A very reliably west cost style IPA that that tantalizes your tastebuds with crisped malty goodness. For those of us at 1009, this is the standard for the style that all others are compared to. For the love of beer!

Feb 20, 2020
3.28 by gbiello from Massachusetts on Feb 19, 2020
Photo of Kipstone
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Kipstone

Sharp, hoppy and bright - wonderful strength (caught me out first time I drank it).Alays consistent and on draft was a perfect beer. Loved this beer when living in Boston MA a few years ago - converted me to Cask IPA forever. It was briefly available through Adnams here in the UK but that was short lived. Is it available at all anywhere in the UK? USA IPa's are huge now over here and this would be a huge success if it was widely available.

Jan 15, 2020
Photo of deleted_user_995920
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by deleted_user_995920

Pours a translucent honey color with a decent foamy white head. Smell malty bread (pumpernickel) subtle hints of fresh hops. Taste is very pleasant,nice bitter hop bite with a suitable malt backbone. Feels crisp,bitter,ample carbonation. Overall a fine example of an English IPA. I have noticed this style gets little respect with scores,I think American fruit hop bombs make this seem "mild" and people don't rate according to the style. Why are Pilsners low and stouts High? The finest examples of Pilsners usually never hit 90, yet a mediocre stout will get a 92.

Jan 13, 2020
3.91 by Maltyhead from Massachusetts on Jan 01, 2020
IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 4342 ratings