Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,152 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: 4,152 |  Reviews: 1,264
Photo of clemtig76
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden amber with a thin white head. Pleasant spicy, citrusy hop aroma but I was expecting more from an IPA. Taste is a bit of a letdown also, hops do not dominate as they should in an IPA. A decent, easy drinking beer, but there are better choices out there.

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Photo of hero27
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale, copper color with a foamy white head. Floral hop aroma & taste...i guess I shouldn't be too surprised, considering the label is covered with pictures of flowers. I've heard this beer has gone downhill in the past few years, and that may be so. A bit one-dimensional, but it should do a good job of satisfying the appetite of most hopheads. All in all, it's a decent IPA, and definitely of "fallback" status, but nothing I'd go out of my way to purchase on a regular basis.
Beer courtesy of ski271. Thanks again!

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Photo of schuim
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very aesy going IPA, could have been a little more hoppy in caracter.

A blond to amber

S light hoptones and some fruityness in the aroma.

T Accessable with light hop taste. More a blond than a IPA in my opinion. Could do well as a beginner IPA.

O Nice but a little more hops would make it better.

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Photo of OatmattStout
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

fluffy head that stayed chunky and clear copper color

The nose was a bit of a let down with not much hop smells coming out.

Flavor followed nose with very little in terms of hop character. sure it had so a bit of a grapefruit rind bitterness that was not by any means in your face. it did have a nice balance though.

mouthfeel was adequate and over all I would say this is a decent IPA but I have so many more I would buy first.

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Photo of theghost3
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is deep golden with a one finger white head that does not dissipate too quickly. Smell is minimal--faint citrusy hops. The taste is mainly grapefruity hops at first with a little yeast, and then there's a kind of medicinal aftertaste. Mouthfeel is acidic at first, but then oddly smooth. Not as heavy as other IPAs/APAs. This is a drinkable IPA, but it doesn't have quite the same bold smell/flavor as a lot of other IPAs.

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Photo of cheapxceptbeer
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an excellent pale ale, but ipa this is not. I want to give it a worse rating, but I enjoy the taste and smell, it is just not hoppy at all. A little bitter, but it is so balanced to the point that it bothers me. If harpoon wants to put out an ipa I'm waiting, however if I'm a little strapped for cash I can always go and get there pale ale which I will now review.

A- Paler than most ipa's, a light golden brown color. Has a nice head that stays along with solid lacing.

S- Smells like an ipa light, a toned down dfh 60 minute or stone, very toned down, but nonetheless a nice beer smell, just not the smell of a strong ipa.

T- This beer is actually pretty tasty, it starts off with a malty flavor then you taste the minerals (burtonized?) then a little hop bitterness with an aftertaste of the malt and minerals. This is a good tasting beer, obviously made to compete with Sam Adams as the craft beer of choice for the uninitiated beer enthusiast. This is not a very good ipa, I am expecting citrus, pine, grass, grapefruit, and bitters and I got very little to none.

M- Good carbonation level, I really like this amount of carbonation, it feels like a beer should, not soda pop. Medium body, and the minerals really come to play here, I think there is a calcium deposit in my upper jaw.

D- Fuller mouthfeel leads to less drinkability but this beer is light enough to have a few. A sixer of this however, would leave me awfully stuffed.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-pours a nice golden/copper color with a nice billowy white head. It leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S-Hoppy with some sweet maltiness. Nothing overpowering.

T-Not an over hoppy ipa. It has a nice maltiness to balance it out. This beer is much more watered down than other ipas.

M-Thin and watery.

D-highly drinkable ipa due to it being watery and well balanced.

Overall, this is just a middle of the road ipa that I might purchase if there were no better options.

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Photo of Bluecrow
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Crossmd
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 39 degrees Fahrenheit into a shaker pint. Best by 10.15.11(yikes.)

Pours a hazy orangy-gold with a half finger white head that dissipates relatively quickly.

Smells of some sour candied orange, a hint of wheat grain maybe? Not well projected at all.

Tastes of a clean citrus hop attack that dries down almost immediately, leaving just a hint of wheat in the back of the palate. Almost acts initially like it might go the way of cloying, before amazingly almost cleaning up completely. Really pretty drinkable for this reason though, and one that means that I would imagine this would go really pretty well with food. Not especially memorable, and not something I'm going to jump at the next time I see it.


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Photo of molinator
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a yellow-copper with a light head that dissipates quickly but leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Standard behavior for the style of brew.

S: Not much to note here. Nothing stands out though floral and fruit hints are present. Spent a few minutes attempting to get more of a scent out of the head to almost no avail.

T: Harpoon lists this beer as 40 IBU (and 5.9% ABV) and it certainly lacks the sharp bitterness that India Pale Ales are known for. The hops are most apparent towards the back of the swig. The aftertaste - while light - is characteristic of the style.

M: About the standard amount of carbonation for IPAs. However I think this brew could use a bit more seeing as it's lower on the IBU scale. It would certainly give the brew a bit more character and might make some of the scents more apparent.

O: Despite the fact that this IPA doesn't have the same strength as its siblings in the genre, it is exceptionally easy to drink and would be a perfect "gateway" beer for someone who is wary of outlandish and/or over-the-top tastes. It's relatively low ABV also makes it easy to drink several without getting too much social lube everywhere.

I rated 4.5 overall because despite the lack of distinctive taste, this IPA still holds true to the name even if it is a bit gentle. If you're already a hop-head, avoid this brew as it will be far too light. But if you're trying to get your friends to become hop-heads or you want a "sessionable" IPA, this will certainly fill that niche.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 9/15/10

Poured down the center into a pint glass. Clear, crisp looking, light-orange peach body with a big, sticky, white head. Good amount of webbed lacing left behind.

Nose has some, light, sweet grains and a touch of grassy, somewhat peppery hop. Slight bit of lemon citrus. Not bad, but it would be nice to get some more hop aroma out of this.

Flavor combines light hops that become washed away by sweet, somewhat bland, malts. A touch of grapefruit shows its face once in awhile, but otherwise there isn't much going on.

Mouthfeel is malty, yet has some crispness to it. Fairly smooth with ample carbonation. Faint lingering bitterness, mostly washed out by the malts.

Drinkability is good. The ABV is unnoticeable as are the hops to some degree. Maybe this would make for a good starter IPA if someone were new to the style. Not much going on in the aroma or flavor, but it is easy to drink. This beer is pretty common around here, so I'll probably end up drinking it again, but nothing worth seeking out. The Leviathan Imperial IPA on the other hand is definitely worth seeking out. Kind of surprised there is such a large difference between the two.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dispensed from the brown, 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Copper colored beer is topped with a slightly copper tinted white head of substantial size. Nice and dense and thick. Nice lacing as well.

Aroma is citrus hops and nice caramel malts. Not quite as hoppy as some other IPA of even some APA, but nice nevertheless. It seems as though there is a slight solvent aroma as well, like rubbing alcohol. I wouldnt assume that is from the abv since it is under 6%.

This one doesnt seem very balanced to me. There is an immediate hop presence that is rather smooth but quickly turns to astringent bitterness. Fruity profile; melons and even pineapple. The malt flavors arent really there but somehow it almost balances out the bitterness, but not quite. Strange taste in my opinion. Not sure what is going on but it just isnt up to par.

Ive certainly had better IPA than this one. I am not even sure I would recommend this over others such as Bells or Founders or even SN Pale.

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Photo of Timtac
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dudecandle
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass:

A: Nice, light golden color with 1+finger's head, thick, died eventually, leaving a small cap.

S/T: Not terribly bitter and hoppy, but rather bready and spicy. It has something of a honey aspect, even. Hops eventually come out.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and full.

D: It's not too aggressive, but it's not great. It has a mild complexity. Worth it as part of a variety pack, perhaps not more.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra from seanpachefddfa - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly light and clear golden amber, complete with a few spare streams of medium-sized and quick effervescence, and capped with a foamy, two-finger white head. The retention is about average, perhaps a little above, though the stick is great - frothy, erratic, cloudy, with wisps and tendrils all over the place. This beer's best aspect.

Aroma: Pale, slightly spicy graham cracker malts provide the canvass for a relatively simplistic and straightforward array of hay-like and leafy hop notes. Pleasant, but not groundbreaking.

Taste: A little bland. A relatively pale malt backbone - belied earlier by the color - backs up a hefty amount of hop bitterness, though not too much in the way of hop flavor. Some grassy, herbal notes are about all this one can muster. It's not strange, or off - just a little too subdued for my tastes.

Mouthfeel: A little more fluffy than I'd have imagined by the lack of visible carbonation, perhaps this one is helped by its relatively thin body. In conjunction, these result in a light, crisp, and fluffy body.

Drinkability: One that I'd been putting off trying just because it's pretty easily available, and I could see how this could be a pleasant, drinkable go-to beer for many. Though it's reasonably mild, it's entirely inoffensive, low in alcohol, and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of beerman207
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark orange with a head that hangs out a bit.
S - A little dissapointed in the nose - some citrus but not much else coming through
T - Not enough bitterness - very mild. In my opinion, this brew is made for mainstreamers. A lot more malt than expecting
M - Good carbonation
D - Definately could have had more but pretty boring for an IPA to be honest

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Photo of Ace1117
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RickS95
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't care for the looks, but it's par for the course. It's a tangerine color, but it's extremely translucent/clear with no head.

The smell is citrus, but it's a bit different than what I'm used to. It actually seems to be peach or tangerine, just a bit different.

The taste is similar to the smell. It's citrusy, but the fruits seem different than just orange or grapefruit. Can't put my finger on it, but it's different.

There's an obvious hoppy bite, but it's not overwhelming like most IPAs. It's not that it's smooth, it's just IPA like but it sort of works.

I wanted to go with below average, but I give this beer points for being a bit different.

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Photo of jsmith313
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MisterSH
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. No freshness date noted.

Rich coppery gold color, very clear. Nice 2 finger head with some staying power.

Floral hops dominate the aroma. Some pine, citrus. Very pungent and pleasing. A hint of malt adds a reassuring appeal.

Taste is most all hops. Some warming alcohol is apparent. Finish is remarkably (strangely?) clean, I am not detecting much malt flavor in this beer. There seems to be a long period while this beer sits on my tongue where I am not tasting much of anything.

Light in body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat watery.

Surely this beer could use a stronger malt backbone. It's refreshing, and easy to drink, and no doubt the hops are pleasant, but something is lacking, making this a near miss for me.

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle Best Before Date 4/15/09 poured into Nonic Pint Glass
A - Clear copper/ orange color, aggressive pour had pillowy 3 finger head, nice lacing around glass

S - Nice floral notes, earthy hops, some citrus notes

T - Earthy, floral hops are present at first, but followed by bready maltiness. Hops are mild, and not very dominant. Its kind of simple, and not very crisp

M&D - easy drinking medium body with medium carbonation. Its pretty drinkable but just an okay IPA, just nothing fantastic.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear, golden IPA with a clingy, off-white, moderate head. The smell is floral, hoppy, and malty. First I taste malt, then grapefruit, with a bitter citrus finish. The body is thin to firm in my mouth. Overall, a bit on the bitter side for me.

(source: Habersham Discount Beverage; Savannah, GA)

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Photo of bjohnson
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden amber with a half finger white head. I've noticed that this beer sometimes has a good head and leaves lace and other times it doesn't.

S: Sweet citrusy hoppy aroma with a background of malt.

T: Citrus hoppy beginning that turns a tad bitter then becomes fruity in the end. Hoppiness is a bit dim and light--could be more dominant.

M & D: Mouthfeel is nice. It's a good beer that goes down smoothly. Seems to be one of those staple good beers that people bring to parties. Usually a fall back for me if there isn't anything else interesting at a bar. Definately a drinkable beer.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CBFanWish
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from Beers of the World.
Straw color with medium head. The basic standard, really.
The smell was of floral hops. Definate IPA. Caramel also in there
The taste was hoppy, yet well balanced with caramel malt. Not bad, but not great. There are much better IPA's out there. It was smooth and I will drink it again. I just liked it better on tap.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,152 ratings
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