IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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4,201 Ratings

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: 4,201 |  Reviews: 1,275
Photo of wyllder
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Solid IPA. Pours yellow-orange with a good head. Sturdy mouthfeel with a nice level of hoppiness. Finishes a bit too bitter for my taste but rather well balanced overall. Perhaps its best quality is its ready-availability almost everywhere in the NorthEast these days.

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Photo of powoo19
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this a while back and had yet to review. This beer is not bad but forgettable. It has a pale apricot color which is not very impressive. The smess is average and hoppy as is the taste. I would rather this on tap then bottle but have yet to try it. Anyone out there have any opinion on the tap version?
Happy Drinking!

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must note prior to the review that the bottle I got is about seven months old. Pours a pale orange (someone described it as apricot, I'd say that's right) with a sticky, white head. Earthy, citric hope head, with some malt towards the end. Very vibrant smell. I was a bit disappointed by the taste. While the nose was very nice, the taste was just so-so, and kind of boring. There is hop bitterness, but much less than I expected. Malty, biscuity taste. This beer warms a bit, which is always nice. Medium-bodied, and crisp. I'd say this beer is fairly drinkable. It might be a nice beer for those uninitiated in the world of IPA's just so they can start to get their feet wet.

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

Color is a nice apricoty hue, head is nice and white. Aroma is quite nice, fresh and fruity, abounding in sweet associations, with orange on top, followed by peach, apricot, melon, cherries. I keep searching, and I keep finding. Great aroma!
Hops are plentiful on the palate. An entire garrison is deployed upon the tongue, but it swiftly subsides. Taste is ultimately very smooth and mellow, but less complex than I'd prefer in a hoppy IPA. Smelled great, tasted blase. Oh, well.
I do thank Uglyradio for sending it.

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Photo of fattyre
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden color with a clingy off white moderate sized head. The mouthfeel is closer to moderate than thin. The smell is of sweet malt and citrus. The taste is of bread like malt with a grapefruit hoppiness and a lingering herbal quality. This beer seems to me to be more along the lines of an English IPA in that it is more balanced but using an american style hops to give a citrusy flavor. Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of shirfan
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearances can be deceiving; this looks and smells like an IPA, but certainly doesn't taste like one.

Bottled on 02/06/03.

Pours dark and clear golden with a frothy white head and a piney hops aroma.

Taste is poor for the style: starts smooth and a little malty, moves to a lemony, crisp middle, and finishes with a very weak and watery pine-resin hops note. Who dry-hopped the Genny Cream Ale?

This isn't a serious IPA, more like something a macro drinker would try when they want to be adventurous. It could be rescued by a chunkier mouthfeel and more hops; in its current incarnation I won't be revisiting this.

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Photo of vitesse
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on draft.
a thoroughly average beer. pours a clear light amber color. very little head. some lace. lots of carbonation bubbles.
smell is citrusy, with some hops aroma. taste is clean and crisp. hops up front and tons of lemon at the end. very very lemony when i had it on tap. i don't think that aspect is as prevalent when had in bottles. mouthfeel is thin and crisp. average drinkability. not a top-notch beer but a decent IPA that delivers some hops and is pretty tasty. much better on tap, imho.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Harpoon IPA seems to be imitating the IPA style rather than letting loose and creating their own representation. Orange pekoe in color. The medium malt is a little grainy. This highly hopped brew is uninspired. Some citrus bitterness with a hint of sweetness. Smooth for the IPA and too easy to drink (Should be sharp edged and boldly bitter.) Nice mix!

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Photo of Darkale
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon's IPA is a very clear, light yellow-orange in color, with a bright white head. The aroma is clean, lightly floral. The head sticks around for only a short while.

A nice hop snap, gritty mouthfeel, slight malt aftertaste.

This is a very consistent, thirst-quenching, reliable beer. It could be a bit sharper, but of course, I'm a bit of a hop-head. It could have more depth, more complexity, a bit more malt to play with the hops. But, it is very refreshing on a hot day, and seems well put-together.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap this was a very enjoyable brew. Color was pale, with a nice white head. My favorite part of the beer (not really, drinking it is the best) was the aroma. It was a nice combination of fruity and hop like smells that reminded me of spring. A nice flavored beer as well, with a strong hop presence that I expect from an IPA. Overall, a very tasty brew with or without food.

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Photo of yen157
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty, honey colored brew with a quickly settling off-white head that left a good lace. Sweet smelling fruit from the hops with a bit of pale and toasted malts. Its sweet malt flavor tasted a bit too mass produced like Sam Adams does with a tea-like finish. IMO it was perfectly carbonated giving the beer a very smooth mouth feel. The hopping in this beer was relatively mild by contemporary American IPA standards, but it stills had a decent clean bitter bite with an additional astringent rind-like characteristic.

A good beer and at a good price when compared to other micros.

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

Harpoon was the second IPA I ever tasted, so it holds a special place for me.

Appearance is golden amber, nothing special. Aroma is typical for an IPA: fruity, sharp and moderately pronounced with a short-lived dirty blonde head. Taste is good, with a spicy floral accent. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a tingly finish.

Harpoon is not the best IPA but it's a worthy brew and I'll buy it again.

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Photo of scottum
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I may like this brew better from the bottle. I'm not sure. Pours out a nice amber color with a great head. Goes down almost as smooth as on tap. Very very drinkable brew. I love the fact that this brew is everywhere around Boston. It's nice to live in a city where a nice micro can be bought where ever you go. Not a wonderful IPA, but you'll be able to put them away.

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Photo of cubedoggy
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First I'll talk about this one in the bottle.

OK, I've been drinking this stuff for years, and even though I've been told it's not so, something changed in this ale about two years ago, right around Christmas time. It got sweeter, leaving an almost syrupy aftereffect that left it less refreshing. I like the dry hoppiness of IPAs, and I really believe this one used to be drier.

That said, when I'm out, this is my draught of choice. No megabrew product can compare. When this IPA started to take a chunk out of Sam Adams' home market, they brought their awful, watery excuse for an IPA to the masses, and it has (in my experience) been rightfully eschewed. Bud and Miller haven't even tried. Harpoon IPA is available almost everywhere on tap in Massachusetts, and it is a good, comforting pint while taking in the lay of the land in a new spot.

I certainly do not dislike this ale, but there are better IPAs out there in the bottle (Shipyard Fuggles, Victory Hop Devil). If you're in a pub that has Harpoon on draught, have one for me!

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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 UncleJimbo
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is a clear, coppery color with some white foam that leaves good lace in the glass. The aroma is modest, but smells of hops and malt. The dominant flavor, as one might expect in an IPA, is hops (citrus, grapefruit, pine), but subdued hops. The flavor is crisp and clean and hoppy, but just a tad thin. The mouthfeel is good, clean and smooth with medium body. The drinkability is good. This is a good session brew.

Re-reviewed and ratings altered a bit on 6/2/03.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a solid white foaming head with great bubbling carbonation.A slight amount of lace left on the glass.The aroma was of hops with a hint of an earthy smell.The color was a light gold with a touch of a haziness.The taste offered a well balanced hop,bitter,and citric taste and mouthfeel.Very crisp and balanced with just the right amounts of everything.I especially liked this IPA because it didnt leave a gagging bitter finish that lasted for hours.Very smooth and creamy.Easy on the mouth with a high drinkability percentage.

note: not an overpowering hop taste or smell.Very refreshing and light.Great for the summer or really anytime.

Upon another review I found it to be a bit watery.

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Photo of Jason
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with an ink jet printed bottled on date above the label.

Appearance: Vibrant deep golden hue with a fine clarity, densely frothed head sticks just about everywhere.

Smell: Earthy and citric hop in the nose with a mild maltiness in the back, hops are a mix of Cascade and Cluster.

Taste: Soft citric hop throughout, bitterness is just above the malt flavours. Some alcohol is there with a warming factor towards the end. Toasted and biscuity flavours from the grain show a stable base of malt. Hop flavour in its softness lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, lined crispness with a smooth backing.

Drinkability & Notes: A highly drinkable bottled ale, seems faintly withdrawn over the years but is still a reliable American IPA.

One of my favourites especially when I can get it with a month old or less "bottled on date". Nothing like fresh Harpoon IPA! Oddly I like this brew better in the bottle than on tap.

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Photo of doho95fu
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty good brew overall. Copper colored with a clear look, thin off white head and no lacing. Smells hoppy and citrusy with a bit of spice I think. Not a very hoppy IPA, and when I drink this style I really prefer a big hop kick. However, the more balanced flavor of this beer was pleasant. Very drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good brew from Harpoon. This pours a nice dark red/copper colour with a little head that is gone very quickly, I have noticed that most harpoon beers don't have too much of a head retention to them...oh well. This smells very hoppy, like an IPA should, and it goes down very crisp on the tongue. This beer has a very balanced flavor, the interplay of the hops and the malts is great! but unlike the ale the hops really stand out on this one! This has a crisp mouthfeel and a high drinkability factor as well. This is a great summer evening brew that will keep you coming back for more....great!

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Photo of Gusler
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the pour the beers appears a deeply tanned gold with a sparkling white head that is impressive in size, frothy in its texture and as it erodes it leaves a nice lace coving. Lightly floral, hints of malt with a citrus crispness and quite a treat for the nose, sweet at the front with a middling top and a biting acidity at the finish with an “English hop spicy bite”, not brutal, just quite pleasant to the palate, also quite dry, and a very drinkable beer in this “Beer” lovers book.

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Photo of Jarod
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured into the glass a gold color. The head was foamy white head that left fairly fast but the skim that it left was able to leave some lace. The aroma was of citrus, hops and citrus hops. The taste was not too heavy on the hops but they were present, but they shared it with the citrus. Some malt seemed to be present at the back of the taste but it faded quick. Pretty good for this style. I think it would be a good starter for a beginning IPA drinker

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Photo of purplehops
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice balance of hops and malt with a pleasant copper color. Nothing fancy here, just a good clean consistent ale. This is my everyday always on hand ale. Refreshing and thirst quenching and readily available on the East Coast.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear golden yellow beer with a nice head of pure white foam that leaves a good bit of lace. Aroma is full of hops with floral and grapfruity citrus notes dominating. Flavor was light hop bitterness, with a big dose of citrus hoppiness being right up front. Flavor fades through some sweet malt before a very fast dry finish.OK beer for the style, and at least it isn't one of those all hops all the time super beers.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first IPA, I decided to revisit it. Just the right blend of hops, not too overpowering make this copper colored beverage just right. Easy drinking, it can be a good "game time" beer. Glad I tried it again.

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IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,201 ratings