Harpoon Octoberfest Beer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

494 Reviews
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops. When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head. The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt. The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist. The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present. Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character. This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty. Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt. The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.

30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2001

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Reviews: 494 | Ratings: 1,212
Photo of wac9
1.32/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer has way too much head just taste too boozey smells boozey just nothing else say about this beer too dark in color not a winner skip it bring nothing to octoberfeat so nothing else to say keep moving i have taste better beer and this isnt one them

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Photo of Brno
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Orange/amber in color. Smells a little malty and hints of caramel. Taste is somewhat thin and a little on the bitter side. Leaves a touch of caramel on the aftertaste, but that fades quickly. A little thin on the body with some fizziness. Not a lot of complex flavors. Easy to drink, but other than bitterness, weak in flavor.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Harpoon's Octoberfest Beer yesterday for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I've never had a good beer from this brewery but I'm willing to give them another shot and try their Marzen, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I really like the label on this beer. it's pretty clean and nice looking and the back label is pretty different. It poured a nice looking amber color that took on a nice copper hue when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of off white head that died down to thin ring that left some spotty lacing. This is a decent looking Marzen.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of malts that have a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness and imparts some bread crust, caramel, and toasted aromas followed by a slight nutty and dark fruit aroma. Towards the end I get a light amount of earthy hops. The aroma seems to be average, I like the toasted aromas but the dark fruits seemed out of place.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a large amount of malts that have a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness and imparts some weak caramel malt flavors followed by some grain and bread crust flavors. After that comes some light dark fruit flavors followed by a quick hit of sweetness that is unwanted and it quickly gives way to some earthy hops that impart a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness and it had a sweet, grainy, and bitter aftertaste. The taste of this beer wasn't good the malts tasted thin and there was too much bitterness for the style and some unwanted dark fruit flavors.

M- Not that smooth, slightly sticky, crisp, watery, on the light side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't that good it was watery and it lacked the smoothness I want from this style.

Overall I thought this beer wasn't that good and it was a below average example of the style, it just lacked all the things that make for a good Marzen. This beer didn't have good drinkability, it wasn't that smooth, and the thin flavors didn't do a good job at holding my attention, one is enough for me, I feel no need to have another one, What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it didn't look that bad and it was pretty true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the flavor it was pretty flat with some unneeded flavors and bitterness. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it really didn't have any redeeming quailitys and I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone. All in all this was another beer I didn't like from Harpoon Brewery, so far they might be my least favorite Microbrewery and I don't know if I will give them another chance, this Marzen fell pretty short and it just wasn't a good example of the style.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Plain bottle with no info pours into a glass with a foggy orange amber hue topped with a settled 1/2" khaki bubbly cap.

Initial scents are a metallic malty leafy aroma.

First swigs: Caramel malt flavor with a flour note. A bit of fruity peach hints. Midle of caramel corn malt. A bit too flour like for my tastes.

Feel is medium bodied with a lingering unpleasant wet cardboard aftertaste.

Last swigs: Coper penny metalic and flour. Not impressive. Picked this up in a mixed case. Oh well.

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Photo of stirgy
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointing beer. Poured a bright copper color with a large tan head that dissolved away quickly. Looked nice. Pretty bland aroma – really nothing there, like water. The body was very thin and the beer lacked substance. There was a lingering dry bitterness. Not that much for an octoberfest and one dimensional, but in it’s defense, it was easy to drink.

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Photo of emsroth
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

App: Burnt orange with perfect clarity. Frothy 1 finger head.

Smell: Some roasted malt but the aroma is dominated by american hops. (They say they use tettnang hops for aroma and willamette for bittering, but i must be that sensitive to the american hops.) As it warms the aroma changes to a sweeter, more subtle burnt caramel. This brings it up from 2 to 3.

Taste: The main flavor is definitely american hops. Little upront malt. Ends with an extreme crisp, dry malt and a strong lingering bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

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Photo of argock
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at The Hill Tavern (Boston, MA).

A: Burnished amber with 1-finger off-white frothy head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Aroma is weak with some caramelly malt and soft herbal hops. Not a stunner.

T: The flavor isn't any better with some watery malts that are faintly caramelly with a quick slap of herbal bitter hops but none of the complexity of the best or even pretty good marzens.

M: Thin and too light in body for the style.

D: A disappointing effort from Harpoon on this one. A definite skip that could be a maybe with more love in the malt department.

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Photo of Augustiner719
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a .5 liter hand glass.

Pours a copper flor that is very clear and has some reddish hues to it. Very dark for the style. Pretty 1 finger off white head with no lacing. Aroma has that sweet peanut aroma as well as lager yeasty aromas. A touch of sweetness also on the aroma. The taste is really below average. Has a vomit taste to it on the finish. Metallic and off balanced. Really tastes like crappy amber lager from a crappy

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Photo of huxcrunner
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice amber brown with golden hues at the bottom of the gllass, not much head or retention

Nice spicey and hop notes in the aroma but not overwhelming

Taste is bitter not very full of flavor, bitterness seems to overpower for this style beer, pretty disappointed with this taste

Mouth feel seems light for the style

Overall im disappointed with this beer I hope I just got a bad batch maybe ill give it another go and change my opinion next year.

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Photo of linuxlover
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fan of Harpoon, but I've never really had a Octoberfest that I've really liked, so I was looking forward to this one.

Pours a brilliant amber, yet surprisingly translucent. Lacing is minimal, but very even.

Smell is nearly absent. Mostly a caramel sweetness that doesn't translate to much aroma. Mild earthiness. Oh well. At least it's not bad.

Taste is similar to the smell. Pleasant bitterness. Too much caramel. No spice to speak of. Pleasant earthy feel as well. Slight hints of a synthetic taste as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp. Finish is very clean. Feels like I could have 10 of these.

Overall, it has all the strong points of a Harpoon beer, but the maltiness is overpowering. Probably the best Octoberfest I've ever had, but it's not enough to make me a fan of the style.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.76/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three-finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Malty nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor has some sweetness with hoppiness and a lingering hoppy aftertaste. 12oz bottle $1.50 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH. Best by Dec 6, 2007.

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Photo of GPHarris
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - poured a two fingers thick head into a tumbler. deep amber color with a light tan head. good lacing and leaves a sticky residue along the side of the glass.
s - hints of wheat, nuts and a caramel maltiness.
t - the taste is somewhat bland with a very light hint of nuts. this is more like a nut brown ale to me but not an impressive one.
m - slightly crisp.
d - not a lot going on here but it is easily drinkable. i had three of these in a sitting and they seem to get worse the more i had. i'm very disappointed in harpoon's efforts though this is probably the best that i've had by them. the smell is much better than the taste.

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Photo of PeatReek
2.82/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours crystal clear amber/orange with a thick yellowish head. Smells distinctly American-hoppy, with a crisp, toasty caramel malt scent beneath. The taste really veers off track; the attack is malty and yeasty, a touch bitter, but also kind of cheesy and metallic. The finish is clean and bitter, but doesn't leave me wanting another sip. Is this a bad batch? If my next 6 pack is better, I'll revise the review.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle says this one is best by 12/19/12.

This one pours from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges from the bottle a clear, mahagony color with tones of harvest sunshine, topped with a small white head. Very minimal lacing, not much retention on this one either.

Aroma was quite lackluster. There was nothing obviously bad, just a lack of anything obviously good. I do like the breadiness and toastiness in the aroma, almost like lightly toasted coconut bread. Other than that, not much going on.

A slight sourness was prevalant in the flavor; almost loke this was fermented too hot. Green apple and cabbage, quite vegetal. What little toasted coconut shows on the palate quickly disappears into some bitterness.

Not a fan of this one. I am not really a fan of this style anyway, but I have has plenty other Ofests that were much better than this one. This came in a mix 12 pack, so three will be more than enough for me.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Why even call this an Octoberfest? Has none of the characteristics of an Octoberfest. Oh, wait. It is actually an ale. Poured a dirty brown in color and was really thin looking. Flat without any head. Clean malty smell, but not much else going on. Flavor was slightly toasted malts but the flavor was really thin and watery. More of a lackluster ale than an O'fest. Heavy ale feeling and not crisp or the slight dry feeling of most O'fests. Even for its actual style the malts were kind of dull and spread thin. Still it is a very drinkable beer and would probably make a decent session beer, but nothing stands out in this beer.

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2.87/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: A amber copper body with a with white head that holds nicely.
S: Almost a none extinct aroma, a bit of wood note, but this is weak. Lacing is present.
M/T: A sweet start on this brew, with a light body and a smooth mouthfeel, it is a bit of low end of taste for the style. A bit of spice on the finish.
D: A smooth and refreshing beer, but not what the style should be. Missing key flavors and falls short.

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Photo of iceball585
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear brown color (few red hints), 1/2 finger thick head that faded to a thin ring around the glass

S- Sweet malts, toasted nuts, slight metallic smell

T- Toasted nuts, malts, bready, sweet, dried fruits, bitter hops finish

M- Medium weight, medium carbonation, dry finish

D- Not too bad, but nothing I'd go crazy over

This beer is definatly not a traditional oktoberfest which is probably why it's listed at an American Amber/Red ale. Not too bad but nothing really stands out about it. Just kind of an average beer.

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Photo of rx-beer
2.89/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - Deep, clear amber with an inch of cream colored head. Good head retention with very nice lacing.

S - Malty, slightly hoppy, with some citrus notes.

T - Malty and citrusy bitterness gives way to a sweet, grassy, and citrusy bitterness.

M - Medium to light body with some carbonation and an astringent finish.

O - What a dissapointment! Has an attractive appearance and an interesting aroma. Taste is just not my cup of tea and really nothing like the other beers in this style. Would never knowingly have this beer again.

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Photo of mschofield
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours red sliding towards mahogany, topped with a two finger dark khaki head, left bits of lacing.
Nice malty aroma, caramel and earth.
Malty, light floral, biscuit, caramel, quite sweet - too sweet for me.
Medium-full bodied, drinkability suffers from the sweetness.

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Photo of musicjustintime
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful appearance....deep red, and perfect for fall. Nice "creamy" head....but that's where the "beauty" ends. Not a true "Oktoberfest" brew...more of a PALE ALE...since it's a tad too hoppy and not malty enough. At first...you get the caramel malts...then ALL HOPS. Not my favorite O-Fest at all...but if you can try one for free as I did....do it. Not recommended for the season though....unless you're a hophead, and love pale ales...then you'll like Harpoon's take on an Oktoberfest. Cheers and SAAALUTE my BA friends!! Happy Oktoberfest!!!! (Prost, too!)

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Photo of A_bit_of_the_Sacrament
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've recently been drinking more of this style so I was excited to try a new offering. Poured with a pretty nice color between crimson and brown which as quite appealing. There wasn't much aroma until my nose was deep in the pint glass. Pleasant taste but no wow factor. Malty with some notes of banana when chewed. This beer needs a little nudge to be in the same class as its more traditional Euro counterparts or even higher-end American interpretations.
Slightly above average.

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Photo of ElGuapo
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

odd beer being an oktoberfest style ale. it has an awful lot of hops for and oktober, but it is not too much. i would just have to say that this is a very unique beer. the flavor and carbonation are intense following after the harpoon ipa i have sampled. strange and not something i would get again, but an alright beer

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Photo of ShiftBeer
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

In the richer, maltier, roastier American style of Octoberfest. Essentially a drier brown ale with lager yeast. I don't like this vein of Octoberfest that much. Kind of clumsy.

Red/bronze color with a hint of brown. The color of an old penny.

Not a huge nose, some roasty malt.

Fairly full in the mouth, with a nutty, roasty finish. A hit of crisp, floral hops creeps up in there somewhere but only a little.

Not too bad, but not really that good either.


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Photo of berserker256
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I like the way it looks. Dark carmel color and so on. It smells pretty hoppy. And the taste reflects the same thing. It's pretty hoppy and bitter. This tastes more like an ale or even an IPA than an oktoberfest brew. I expected roasted malt and little hops and got the complete opposite. I like other Oktoberfest beers, such as Sam Adams, much better.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer started off nicely for me. The pour was a very nice copper color just like a good Octoberfest beer should have. The head was strong and last a little while. The aromas of spices and autumn leaves were present on the nose. The taste was good in the beginning but as the beer warmed up it started getting a little funky on me. Not sure why but it was kind of gross after mid bottle. Not sure how this can happen, perhaps a bad bottle... Either way it was a bit of a disappointment to me. I would give this another try if I'm ever at a beer fest or something and they have it there.

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,212 ratings.
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