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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

490 Reviews
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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

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: 490 | Ratings: 1,192
Photo of riversider76
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Recommended bay an old friend. Pours amber gold with a thin white head. Decent retention and some lacing. Aroma is of bready sweet malts, and caramel. Body is medium with light carbonation. Taste is malty up front. Hints of toast and fruit, with a touch of hops in the finish. Excellent!

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Photo of dacrza1
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: September 13, 2014... GLASSWARE: Ayinger willibecker...OCCASION: soccer weekend #1--a success... APPEARANCE: nice, dark amber body that supports a healthy, two-finger off-white head--creamy and frothy, and settles well; lacing is scarce .. AROMA: toasted malts compliment the cold rain outside; some bread, but the flowery hops round the malts to a more balanced fest than expected... PALATE: reasonably smooth and pleasant to drink; a bit chewy for a fest--an attribute of differentiation ...TASTE: malts are more sugary than what the aroma suggests; a bit of caramel and oats late; hops are balancing and lightly floral...OVERALL: stands out from other fests by performing a pleasant balancing act...

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Photo of delta490
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a nice deep ruddy amber with a light creamy white head. Small amounts of lacing hang on. The aroma is mild and malty, with some nice caramel notes and a little hops earthy character. The taste is a little anemic, lacking even the character of the aroma. The body is a little thin and a little too carbonated. Not bad, but not the best of a sizeable bunch.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Darker than the quintessential Oktoberfest brew, this offering has some uniqueness to go along with its stylistic tradition. Maltier and toastier than I prefer, it is nevertheless tasty and eminently drinkable.

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Photo of Beric
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Served: 6 September 2014
Serving: Bottle into pint

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brownish-amber color. Deeper brown color than most Oktoberfestbiere, but looks good. Dirty white boarding on brown soapy head, minimal lacing. 3.75/5

Aroma: Sweet caramel maltiness, but overwhelmingly clean and sort of monotonous. 3.5/5

Taste: Sweeter caramel notes, but not quite as sweet as Sam Adam's Oktoberfest. The flavor is very similar, however, to SA Oktoberfest and is definitely not as rich in malt character as German versions of the style. The flavor is good for an American Oktoberfest, but still has nothing on the authentic versions. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation carries the malty beer nicely across the palate without it feeling too thick or sticky. 3.75/5

Overall: A good Oktoberfest, but nothing close to the good German examples, as it lacks complexity in the maltiness and is too sweet and single noted to be truly great. Nonetheless, this would make for a great, easy drinking fall beer.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%

A good take on the Marzen style. The pour was a dark red/amber color with a thin head that trailed the glass. The smell was full of bread and toasted malt. The taste was smooth with flavors popping up from the malt giving a full bodied flavor. The mouthfeel was also nice, not too thick or thin for the style. I liked it a lot.

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Photo of Foyle
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: 1” off white fluffy head recedes moderately with gracious amounts of lacing. Lovely reddish brown color with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: true to the style the malt aroma is dominant but there is a nice floral hop in the smell as well.
Mouthfeel: medium body and sticky with a nice dry finish.
Flavor: Just awesome. Lovely combination of the roasted malts with caramel and a bit of chocolate. The hops are well balanced to the malt and round this beer out nicely.
Overall: Excellent job Harpoon!

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Very cool looking label in the Harpoon tradition with a nice color scheme and a bit of fall flair. Front label gives a bit of brewery information and ABV info. Back label has a bit of advertisement for the brewery. Neck label says “Prost” and gives a small desc of the beer.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12oz brown bottle into a 16oz English Pint led to a 3 finger tan head of a thicker medium density atop a clear copper amber colored beer. Head retention was very good at 4min 32sec before fading to a thick coating and ring with phenomenal lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of sweet caramel malts along with hints of toastiness, a bit of very light hops, and a bit of fruitiness.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of a bit of toasty caramel malt along with a slight bit of hops on the front end. Mid point is dominated by toasty sweet caramel malts along with a bit of breadyness. The toastyness kicks up another notch on the back end and is balanced by a sweet slight fruitiness with a nice toasty finish.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the full side of medium bodied with a smooth almost creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: One of the better all around American brewed Octoberfest beers that I have had. This has a really great flavor profile, nice body, and an ABV perfect for sessioning. Try it!!. Classified as a Marzen/Octoberfest @ 5.3% ABV. Consumed 10/26/2013.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The CANQuest (TM) unearthed this gem while on a recent Veterans Day foray to State Line Liquors! I am overjoyed to be reviewing something other than yet another pumpkin ale.

From the CAN: "Prost!"; "Roll out the barrels!"; "Love beer. Love life. Harpoon."; "Pack it in, pack it out Please recycle".

The Crack revealed a brimful CAN and the inverted Glug almost overflowed my special CAN-shaped glass until I backed off and let it settle. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = > 22, < 27) with button-bright clarity. The head settled into two fingers of dense, rocky, tawny foam with good retention. Nose had a caramel maltiness which struck me as being a bit sweeter than I like. Some nice, sticky lacing began to appear as I patiently waited. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching a creaminess on the tongue. The taste seemed kind of odd for the style - slightly minty with an underlying nuttiness. It was not bad, per se, but kind of unexpected. Finish was semi-sweet and nothing like I remember most oktoberfests/marzens, but not bad.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice clear brown color with a thin off white head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild malts and maybe some caramel.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of malts, bitter hops, and a slight hint of alcohol.

Overall: This is a great Oktoberfest! I would have this one again for sure!

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Photo of Carolvs
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased 12-pack of cans from local store - last case of Oktoberfest remaining.

A - A 'bright dark' amber color with a thick foamy head.

S - Crisp, aromatic hoppy smell.

T - Light bitterness of hops quickly hits, and then fades off smoothly.

O - I enjoyed it and would drink it again, but I don't expect a true Oktoberfest to have this degree of hop content. Quality brew, no doubt, but borderline-not-an-Oktoberfest. Compare with Thomas Hooker, Sam Adams, or Otter Creek Oktoberfests.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured put a clear, reddish copper color. Two fingers of creamy orange colored head.

S: Not much here but bread and malt.

T: Mainly caramel malt and a nice bitterness of earthy European hops. Probably a hint of darker malts adding a touch of bitterness as well. Very well balanced.

M: Medium body and medium carb.

O: One of the better fall beers or "Oktoberfests" I've had. Full bodied, but not over the top. Simplicity can be a good thing sometimes.

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Photo of scotorum
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz,. can into a Samuel Adams nonick. Ironic.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which dissipated to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Light malt.

t: Mildly malt dominant, the effort at hop balance creates a slightly sharp overall impression.

m: Light to moderate. The brewery's description of it as "full-bodied" was not my experience.

o: Decent Marzen, but that somewhat sharp tinge detracts. Apparently my palate and Tettnang and Willamette hops do not get along as well as they should.

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Photo of 57md
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a striking autumnal copper with a finger of off-white head. The nose is malty and bready. The flavor profile is highlighted by a touch of sweetness from the caramel malt. There is a slight bitterness on the finish. This is a touch lighter in body than the very best of the style, but this is still a superior effort.

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Photo of BeerNewbs
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon should require its Octoberfest be served with a soft pretzel and mustard - I mean it, even when purchased at the grocery store. This longneck is well balanced and malty. I particularly enjoyed the blended spice and nut flavors. Overall exactly as one would expect, although it was thin bodied for what I would expect from an Octoberfest brew.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Harpoon Oktoberfest

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, semi-clear/semi-cloudy reddish/brown, amber color with an eighth of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, with notes of caramel, toffee and clover.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer is very malty and bready, with notes of freshly baked baguettes or soft pretzels, followed by some caramel sweetness and finish by some hoppy bitterness that is in beautiful balance with the malty and sweet flavors of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth. Not much in the carbonation, though. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another solid American version of an Oktoberfest beer. Great balance between the hops and the malt. Very good. This is another Oktoberfest beer that I’ll have to add to my rotation.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We'll it's October, month of the Octoberfest, when every brewery has their special October brew out. Harpoon has never disappointed so let's give this one a whirl. Popping the top I get a very sweet waft of malts and grape-like olfactory inputs. The brew pours to a bright orange color with a nice large bubble head that has a creamy top. On the taste this brew is as sweet as it smells but not overly so. Typical of its style, there is not much if any bitterness present. The taste is consistent throughout with a solid syrupy mouthfeel and a very slight dry chalkiness in the the finish, that cleanses the palate of the bold sweetness. A very good beer, great for the style and quite sessionable.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep amber with definite tinge of ruby. The beer pours with about an inch of bubbly head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Moderate retention. May just have a slight haze to it, but is close to totally clear. A little darker than I expected, but looks very nice, especially the ruby.

S - Present, but non-distinct. I smell what I expect, because it is there? Or because I expect it to be there? Sweet malty notes, caramel mostly.

T - This is a well balanced beer. Not overly sweet like some other local examples, but the malt definitely wins the day (as I would expect, and as it should). Caramel sweetness and maybe something a little heavier. The description speaks of chocolate, which I can believe, but it doesn't taste like chocolate, which is a good thing. Lasting light bitterness on the finish.

M - Description says full, I say medium. Nice little thrill on the tongue and finishes clean, and a little dry.

O - I picked up a 12-pack because I needed something to last a while. Due to the quality of this beer it did not last a while. I expected to have one every night or so, and almost always had two. Very enjoyable. I'm not typically a huge fan of Harpoon, but I think they did a great job here.

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Photo of rangerred
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark copper with a one finger off-white head which fades to a few splotches. Some streaks of lacing on the glass.

Lots of caramel noticable in the aroma along with the unmistakable aroma of German hops. A little roast in there too.

The caramel malt really jumps out in the taste along with the bit of chocolate malt that is used. Earthy hops are very in your face as is the bitterness which is quite a bit higher than in other Marzens I have had. Sweetness is held in check nicely with just a touch of stickyness and lingering bitterness in the finish.

Overall, this is definitely an "Americanized" verison of the style but I quite like it. A little more bitterness and roast and it works very nicely.

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Photo of jafaircloth
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance : light Copper crystal clear, moderate white head.

Aroma: Moderate Malt, Sweet Caramel with some spiciness on the backend.

Taste: Moderate Malt and spiciness. Pronounced Caramel profile from Munich and Vienna malts. Not proper in German version, but I welcome in the US representation.

Mouthfeel: Medium Body with medium carbonation and bite. Finishes Dry with a malt and Cinnamon aftertaste.

Overall: I really like this Marzen/Octoberfest this is my second six pack. I've worked through the imports and a few domestic tributes and I've come back this beer. It's one of my favorites - CHEERS!

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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 Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It a copper color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel and toasted malts followed by some fruity notes and noble grassy hops.

Taste: Pretty straightforward Oktoberfest here folks. Very traditional and makes you feel like being in Germany.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, a little creamy, medium bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. Another local favorite I have enjoyed over the years.

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Photo of lostinfla
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ice cold from a bottle to a pint glass.
A rich medium dark amber, easily the darkest Octoberfest beer I have had to date.
Short lived, medium beige head that left clingy lacing throughout the glass.
Smelled initially like a classic German pilsner, but the malty marzen aroma really kicked in after the pour. Definitely Octoberfest time now!
As expected the flavor was rich and very full bodied and creamy. Harpoon does a great job of offsetting the sweet malty flavor with a nice hop bite at the finish. This beer improved as it warmed a bit too.

Good example of the style and consistant with Harpoons usual quality!
Fall has arrived!!!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance - The beer is served a reddish amber color boarding on copper with a one finger foamy white head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good leave of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet caramel and toffee smell. Mixing with these more surgery smells are some aromas of bread, malt, and a bit of spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice creamy bready malt base backed by a rather decent showing of a caramel sweetness. The caramel becomes more buttery in taste as the flavor advances, transitioning to a more toffee like taste. Some fruity flavors of a pear and apple develop more toward the middle of the taste with some spice hitting the tongue as well as a bit of roasted flavor. At the end some nutty flavors and a bit of grass joins the taste, in the end leaving a nice smooth, sweet, and malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The lower carbonation was actually very nice for this brew as it accentuated the creamy feel as well as allowed all the more subtle flavors of spice, nut and grassiness to really stand out a bit more.

Overall – A rather enjoyable Oktoberfest overall. It was a little on the maltier side, but was balanced nicely with a good base of sweet flavors and some lighter flavors of spice, nut and grass. A good one to try.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A desent beer that holds up well to style. The one thing that turned me off was the metallic off taste that lingered into the aftertaste or was the aftertase.
The color was right orange amber and clear. A dense head with good retention.
Aromas were light and malty.
Taste was malty. It started sweet and finished dry. No hops except for the bitterness.
Perhaps it was slightly infected but that dry metallic taste is puts me off.

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Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.
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