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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,174 Ratings
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

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

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,174 |  Reviews: 1,269
Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To start, I must admit having a soft spot for this beer. When it was first introduced, it was the best IPA I had up to that point. Throughout New England, this is my favorite regularly available beer. That said, it is not my favorite IPA any longer, but it is worthy of this review.

A-color is honey to light amber. Has a two-finger head that leaves clumpy lace on the glass.

S-Floral hop bouquet, although this muted from some of the "big" IPA's now available. This bottle had a slight refridgerator smell.

T/M-Nice bitter flavors with a moderate body and an above average carbonation. Fairly smooth in terms of mouthfeel. The aftertaste is largely bittering hop.

D-I find this to be the quintessential drinking IPA. It's not too pronounced in any of the areas that some IPA's are prone to. A consistent performer.

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Photo of leslie91
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At All Star Bar attached to Romeo's Pizza (Yarmouth, ME):

In a pint glass:

A: clear, bubbly, and light gold in color, white frothy head with good sticky lacing that doesn't last

S: floral, citrus, and some grassy pine, subdued malts come out as it warms

T: mild citrus hop flavor, malts come out as it warms

M: medium, somewhat sticky coating the mouth and tongue, sessionable, sticky finish, no aftertaste

O: pretty good American IPA, maltier than most AIPA's, but hey I'd come back to it

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Photo of uncleozzy
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber brew served with a short, white head that stuck all over the glass for ages. Smelled of citrus and pine with a little bit of malt hiding in the background. The moderate carbonation complemented the significant, but not overpowering, citric hoppiness, which was balanced by a not-insignificant malt sweetness. While the hops were a big part of the flavor, I didn't find that they were significantly bitter, which makes this beer very easy to drink, although the 5.9%abv limits this a bit. The overall impression is smooth and crisp. A short, dry finish rounds off a solid American IPA that is a go-to in Boston-area bars.

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Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive burnt orange color with an overly frothy half inch head. Smell of fresh hops and sweet pine.

Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Deliciously complex hop and malt balance. Fresh pine tree and cut grass aromas. A typical IPA.

Drinkable as hell. Thank you Nicholson's for the cask.

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Photo of FACSman
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden Amber with good head and great laceing

S - Predominant malt aroma, a rather small hop nose for an IPA.

T - Great balance between hops and malt. Pleasant, lingering bitterness on palate.

M - Crisp and pleasant, moderate carbonation light body for style.

D - Will always be a staple in my fridge!

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Photo of blackheartbilly
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has always been a reliable "backup beer." You know when you find yourself out with friends at a restaurant not known for their beer selection. They just might have Harpoon IPA.

First time I have had it in a can!

A: Light to golden.

S: Not as hoppy as I would like, but still has that earthy IPA hop smell.

T: Better than I remembered it. Well balanced, nicely hopped, great example of an east-coast IPA.

M: Not overly carbonated.

D: Bottom line, for the price, and for the quality this is a great deal. This is a reliable beer that even non-beersnobs enjoy. Nicely balances quality with price. Now it comes in a 12 pack of cans, which is great for the beach.

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Photo of dupee14
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a a very good brew. It's smell has a hint of floral to it but once you take your first sip it hits you. To me it seems a little over whelming with the floral taste. It is very smooth with a heavy hops taste. The aftertaste lingers with an earthy mood. It goes down very well though. I would recommend this beer to anyone. Very good but would lessen the floral taste.

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Photo of bwhite105
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good American IPA. Nice golden-grown color with a decent head. Crisp hop taste, but not overly hopped or bitter. It has a nice refreshing mouthfeel, and is a very drinkable beer. It is certainly not the best IPA on the market, but for the price and its wide availability in New England it is a solid bet.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium-copper, w/ a small head which dissipates very quickly. Nice floral hoppiness w/ bite on the mouth, excellent finish. I enjoyed this very much, a true English styled IPA!

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Photo of VTaler
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Honey color with a head that sticks around for a bit
S - Flowery hoppy smell, clearly cascade hops
T - Slightly sweet malty. Somewhat sharp hops bite aftertaste. The malt kinda tastes like a belgian blonde ale. Bitter but not overwelming. Much maltier than most other American IPAs
M - Nothing special, good carbination.
D - Great session IPA.

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Photo of mynie
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light for an APA, very filtered but with a nice, rocky white head that sticks around.

Smells of single, uncomplicated hop and a light, crisp malt. Very nicely balanced. This would make a good, refreshing APA smell, but for an IPA it's a little lacking.

Tastes starts with a strong, very fruity hop. Apricot hops, very sweet and very dry and bitter. Nice. Mix that with a fruity, crisp malt and you got yourself one tasty, well-balanced IPA.

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Photo of Jon
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon's IPA looks like your standard issue American IPA. It's medium copper in color and possesses a sticky, clinging head that leaves substantial lace throughout the glass. The nose is predominantly hoppy, with a definite floral aspect. It tastes quite hoppy with a decent malt backbone, however for this style, my tastes require more hops and more malt. Mouthfeel is rather prickly and clean. It's easy to have more than a few of these, making this a good choice for a session beer. It's certainly worth a try.

 514 characters

Photo of HarpuaCritz
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of buschbeer
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An overly aggressive pour yielded a shit ton of off white head. It is a deep golden color. It has a nice fresh citrus aroma. The taste is citrus with a grapefruit finish. It is a very refreshing beer. It is not overly hoppy. It is an easy drinking beer. It really hits the spot after working outside for 12 hours.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into pint glass. I have had this so many times...from a can, tap, bottle, and even at the brewery. This beer, for me anyway, is a solid IPA. Its always good and available at most restaurants and bars who at least try to expand beyond Macros...
Its hoppy, but not overdone. Light, refreshing, and easy drinking.
Its up there as one of my go to IPAs...especially cool that it comes in a can, for festivals and concerts...

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Photo of Gasp100
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very solid and enjoyable IPA. Poured a cloudy orange with a wispy off white head -- Nice lacing sticking to the side of the glass. The smell was of Hops and citrus fruit. The taste was lighter than I expected and not too bitter but the fruit taste was very well balanced and not as obtrusive as some other IPA's I've had. There was not much of a malt backbone, but overall I welcomed the lighter side of this IPA. Very enjoyable, spring time drink with a decent ABV and very drinkable. I believe I can find this brew in most stores on the East Coast so this will be added to the list as a nice, quick "on the road" brew.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an old staple. Pretty standard for an American IPA, but reliable and damn good. Appears a little bubbly actually, but there's a nice frothy head present that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Smells of citrus and piney hops, typical for an IPA of course. Tastes great to me, just what I would expect from Harpoon. Lots of hop flavor, less malt, and with a little bitter kick towards the end. Smooth mouthfeel, although a little fizzy, but generally impressive. This is a solid beer great for pretty much any occasion, such as watching the Sox game, which I am going to go do now.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll start off by saying that IPA's aren't generally my cup o' tea. However, I really liked this one! Never at any point did I feel it was a chore to toss this one back. I like.

Poured out an almost standard golden, with a thin wispy head to match that laced nicely through the whole pint and retained a thin presence throughout. Smell is hoppy and a bit citrusy, a faint maltiness even. Taste was very nice, first note being a nice hop hit, not overhwhelming like I feel most IPAs are, more balanced. The middle is dominated by a battle between the hops and the fruity tones and malt. Toward the end is a very tasty bread/biscuit like tone, something rather unexpected but I really liked that, that was what put this one over the top in my book.

Very nice.

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Photo of Redrover
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Flying Saucer in Memphis. The beer was a almost a shiny bronze/copper. Ok head and lacing.

The aroma was of fresh hops (think citrus and pine sap) and more than a bit of cut grass/hay smell.

Not surprisingly, the hops leap to the front. I get some mouth puckering grapefruit type taste and more than a bit of pine. The beer does seem to have a nice malt backbone that emerges about ¼ of the way through the beer. The malts add some nice counter point and more than a touch of caramel type sweetness.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thick with nice low carbonation. It is an easy drinker and may be a decent session type beer. Would be easy to pair with food.

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Photo of cichief
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Harpoon's Brewery in Windsor, VT.

A- Pours a very pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S- Smells of flowery hops and some faint malt.

T- Citrusy and piney, very fresh. Well balanced, too sweet, with a dry finish.

M- Thin to medium on the tongue, dry finish, well carbonated.

D- Very good, fresh tasting.

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Photo of matt062286
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle came as part of a Harpoon Winter Sampler 12 pack.


Appearance - pours a clear golden yellow with a thick, foamy off-white head that dissipates slowly. During drinking this one the head stays around a bit. Laces well.

Smell - Sweet, tangy hops are most prevalent here. A bit of the malt can also be smelled. Much different than other IPAs I've had.

Taste - Hops are quite unique and tasty. They don't pack a whole lot of punch but are pleasant. There is not much of a bitter aftertaste which is common with a lot of APA/IPAs, but then again this one only comes in at 5.9%, which is meek compared to others. Kinda reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with the hops toned down.

Mouthfeel - Quite light and refreshing. Carbonation feels just about right.

Drinkability - The toned down hops and low carbonation make this an excellent session beer. Can't think of any IPAs or pale ales even that go down so easy. The ABV is also pretty high considering how light the flavor is for an IPA.


Overall, this beer surprised me. It was one of the last beers in the Winter Sampler 12 pack that I bought, and most of the other beers failed to impress me. I am not much of a "hop head" so the lighter tendency of this beer really appeals to me. If I am in the mood for an APA/IPA, I might seriously consider this one for a 6 pack.

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Photo of Bagman007
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- A hazy brown color with about a finger width and a half worth of white/very light brown head.

S- Has a sweet hoppy scent to it.

T- One of the best IPA's I have ever had. Perfect balance and just the right amount of hops.

M- Bitter, but not too bad. Still a fairly smooth beer and it goes down easy.

D- Very drinkable, very good beer.

Great in a bottle as it is on tap. Great IPA.

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Photo of godlessape
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into a pint glass. The light brassy body gives up a frothy 1 finger head that sinks down some but never goes away.
The aroma has a deep rich caramel malt, brown sugar, breadyness to it along with a decent amount of citrus and floral notes.
The flavor doesn't venture off too far from the nose. I find an incredible balance here, between the caramel malt and the hop bitterness that is usually achieved in pale ales. No extremes here.
The mouthfeel is light with a juicy finish.
Overall a solid brew.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a medium yellow-amber color with a medium off white head that lasts for a few minutes, head fades to tracing.

Smell- Suprisingly for an IPA not a huge nose of hops, much more delicate, hints of lemon and other fruits.

Taste- Fairly smooth overall, inital taste is medium bitter gets a little more intense then fades. Hints of lemon, apple throughout.

Mouthfeel- Crisp on the palate, not a terribly refreshing beer.

Drinkability- Not to shabby, Id have a few.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,174 ratings
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