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

12 oz bottle
Bottled in 8/03

This beer poured an orange/brown color that was crystal clear and well carbonated. The head was fairly thick and creamy after the pour, it was tan colored by sight. It was not long lasting; it fell to nothing but a ring on the edges. Some lace was present, spotty in areas. The aroma was not all that spectacular, aromas of dark fruits, dark malt, some light hops were noticeable, an earthy presence, roasted malts seemed to dominate, but for some reason at the end of the nose it had a sweet perfumey feel to it. The tastes that flowed over my tongue were of light dark fruits, dark-rich malts, sharp hops, autumn leafs, bready yeast, and a touch of cocoa powder. It finished with an ashy-leafy feel on the pallet. The aftertaste that stayed in my mouth was rather light, it was split with roasted malts and some hops. It was light to medium in body. Not as thick as I would have thought. It was creamy and decent when it came to its blend of flavors. From the first bottle out of the case (3 months ago) (remember I live in PA) to the last one which this review was based on it mellowed and blended in flavors. Enjoyable beer.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with clumps of bubbly head. The smell is a nice malt. The taste is a nice caramel malt with a nice hopping forward. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Drinkability-wise, could have a few more.

So far, the best of the Oktoberfests I've had tonight, and about all they need at Harpoon are German lessons. Not bad, and I'd probably look for this one next year!

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Photo of homersimpson
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a quickly disappearing light beige head
Sweet nose with breadish colors and a light fruit hint
Firm carbonation, smooth texture, light body
Quite malty, with a nice balance of spicy hops. Toasty dryness throughout. Long smooth finish.
Definately not going for anything German. One of my favorite O-fest beers for that very reason.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This red-tinged deep amber O'Fest with a substantial, if fast fading off-white releases a pleasantly sweet malty aroma. A hint of citrusy hop aroma appears briefly. The full sweet caramel malt is slightly doughy and a bit oily - but not in a bad way. A lime-like bitterness is backed by a light spiciness. Almost buttery in texture, this brew is a fairly accurate representation of the style.

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Photo of beernut7
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark copper pour with a heavy foamy head. The aroma is a bit bready with hings of floral spice and malt. The first sip is very smooth and malty with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. A mellow bitterness flows throughout the brew. Overall tasty and mellow, perfectly balanced for a cool October evening.

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Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased by the Mrs. in Boston.
Enjoyed with Southfield's Star Deli pastrami dipped in Ingelhoffer's "Extra Hot" horseradish mustard
(not really that hot BTW)
Clear, crisp hops appear in the aromas of this bronze-colored beer. Beind this there is a simple, glucose sweetness reminiscent of cane. On the palate it is even, dry and light to medium-bodied. Bread crust decorated with cool, minty herbs and apple slices define the straightforward, medium-length finish.

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Photo of Gasp100
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very neat packaging. A 12oz brown bottle with cream colored label adorned with autumn leaves. Just looked like October. This one poured a deep, deep bronze with a reddish glow. The off-white head settled about 1/4 through the drink but left a nice lace around the glass all the way down. The smell was of light hops with a tinge of fruit (raison?) and the presence of alcohol was detected. The taste was of burnt malt with just enough hops to add a bright touch with an oily flavor. The mouthfeel was strong and powerful and very crisp. This was lighter than I imagined and extremely drinkable. This is a must have seasonal which will stay on the list of keepers. Wish I could taste this on tap!

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Photo of Gusler
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer as it sets in my glass unblurred amber to copper color; the head is modest in size, somewhat bubbly in texture and the color a light tan with a sealing sheet of lace. Nose is crisp and clean, slightly sweet with a caramel aroma; start is nicely malted, sweet and the top a bit thin. Finish is prickly in its acidity, nicely hopped and dry, a decent drinking beer and one I enjoy when I can get it.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick nice rich white lasting head.. this settles and lasts as a consistant 1/4 inch white sheen. Burnt orange color with lots of tiny bubble action. Sweetmalt in the nose with hints of toasted roast malt. Medium smoothish mouth feel. It feels rich. Sweet initial taste of rich malt followed by a little burnt popcorn and light metalic hop bitterness taste. Overall quite good and drinkable for the style. I like that there is alot going on on the tongue and it is not just flat sweet and malty.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Low aroma of malt and caramel. Flavor is mild, but complex. It develops and changes as it rolls through the mouth. Sweet malt at first, with other flavors initially hidden by a tingly mouthfeel. As the beer settles in around the taste buds, hints of pear emerge. Nuances of butterscotch soon develop, and a slight hop bitterness sits in the aftertaste in the back of the mouth. Smooth and delicate flavor, very enjoyable to sip.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice color to this beer, I hope it tastes near as good as it looks.
Deep amber, small head that dissapates to a lace on the top of the remaining beer and along the sides of the glass.
Light nutty aroma.
Lightly hopped up front, a little yeast, a sharp taste near the end.
Mouthfeel:Light carbonation, easy going down, slight stickiness after.
All told, an easy beer to consume, not too complex, certainly will not knock you over with flavor.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear red/brown color with a white sticky head. On-tap at the Harppon Brewery Octoberfest party. Taste is unlike any other Octoberfest beer I've had. Some sweet flavors in the middle are reminiscent of a Marzen, (this is an Ale) but hops are the feature of this one. Toasty malts and a subtle sweetness in the beginning and middle. Leafy hops show up in the late middle and last through the finish. Well balanced, drinkable and tasty and so fresh right from the brewery.

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

The beer is a dark russet brwon, tinted with orange. Excellent clarity, with some slow streamers of carbonation rising. A thick almond colored head rests atop, with excellent retention, lasting all the ay until the end of the pint. Decent lacing, leaving some sticky cobwebbing down the glass.
The aroma is dominated by a rich caramunich maltiness. Definitely an ale, with some muddiness and characteristic floral esteriness. Clean for an ale, though, with pronounced aromas. A hint of toasted malt, and an excellent dry pear scent. Some mild noble hops sneak around the back, adding balance, but definitely not standing out.
The flavor starts with a huge caramel maltiness. Not big beer huge, but overwhelming all other flavors at first. Some toasted malt peeks through, heading into some fruity pear and plum esters. Mild noble hops bounce into the finish, providing a lightly herbal citric bitterness. Very pleasant and balancing. The finish is probably the best part of the beer, as the caramel continues through and melds with the citrus hopping. Interesting and tasty. Light tingly carbonation, medium to full bodied. A dryish caramunich aftertaste, with a bit of bready yeast and a suggestion of buttery diacetyl.
Tasty and enjoyable, this is always an old standby for the autumn months. Perhaps a little better this year, with cleaner, more pronounced flavors.

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Photo of Running4beer
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pors out a dark copper with a reddish tint, medium off white head that thins to a lace. Some floral hop aroma and malt. Tastes of chocolate malt and some floral hops. I enjoyed this brew very much taste good. Easily drinkable and a smooth medium bodied mouth feel. All good here.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper, initially a sizeable head. Smelled remarkably fruity and maybe a little floral. Malty and bitter, it almost tastes like an IPA with a few amputated hops. An impressive beer, but an impressive Oktoberfest? The jury's still deliberating....

...And the verdict is:


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Photo of goz
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours red, with a smallish white head that mosty lasts, leaving good lace. Aroma is toasty malts, with some toffee playing second fiddle in the back. Flavor shows more of the toffee, pretty much balanced with a toasty maltiness, and a slight bit of hops showing up in the end. Medium body, medium carbonation. Slightly better than average, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pretty deep copper with a meduim white head. dissapates half way down the glass leaving lace most of the way down. bready nutty smell that's very inviting. hints of something fruity or flowery. hops right up front for the taste, giving way to malts. bread, and slightest hint of coffee is present. a little bit of smoke in the aftertaste, a little alcohol is their too. it has a meduim body, with maybe slightly too much carbonation. i don't have much experience with oktoberfest beers, but this is really hitting the spot today, last day of september. it's got some balls to it, i'll be getting more.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with not much of a head to speak of,a very light aroma of some toasted malt but not much there in my mind.Taste is slightly doughy and roasty but seemed a little dry for my liking would have liked some more caramel malt flavor.Not awe-inspiring by any means but a drinkable beer but wont ever seek this one out for sure.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice redish amber, slight head. Good malt taste, although a little faint. Good "session" beer, went down easy enough while watching the game. Over all, nothing very impressive, and really nothing to complain about. A good beer, that could be improved on.

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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 Scoats
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This a very dark for a marzen, almost brown. Very thick and hearty. This beer is very drinkable, very tasty with a noticably pleasant mouthfeel. Except for the wonderful (and great) color, it is very true to the style. The hops are noticable but very well balanced, though I personally prefer marzens with a dry hopped aftertaste. Last week I had numous Grey Lodge patrons tell me how much they loved this beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper ruby tone with a nice brown ruby tan head wih nice even lacing. Slight brown sugar tint with a caramel edge and full malty tone, a bit light. Great nutty edge with malty backbone of toasted syrupy tones. Easily a session brew with a medium sized body and smooth drinkability not overly complex in any way but then again neither should be the style. This has been on of the better Oktoberfest styles I've had.

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Photo of Darkale
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark copper body. Thick and fast head, long-lasting with excellent lacing.

Yeasty aroma is a good mix of sweetness and pungency.

Sweet and slick in the mouth, just chewy enough to warrant the label. Sweetness is balanced with hops and a shade of sourness.

The bitterness lingers after the swallow and is appealing. A very competent Oktoberfest.

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Photo of rabidawg
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby chestnut with spritzy carbonation. Fluffy off-white head with serious staying power. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Sticky-sweet malt with ripe fruit notes. Very mellow and neither outstanding nor offensive.

Taste: Prickly in the front with the carbonation stinging my tongue. Soft and vinous thereafter, with the sweet malt dominating. Slightly sour, woody yeast notes near the end.

Notes: A good beer, although no O'fest. Very enjoyable, and worth a shot. Just keep an open mind about things.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Autumn leaves distinguish the label from the others. 12oz brown bottle with no readable freshness date.

Appearance: Russet reddish copper with a healthy caked-on off-white head.

Smell: Fragrant hops with a hint of deeply toasted malt and a clean sweetness holding a very faint fruitiness.

Taste: Smooth and medium to full in body, hops are subtle yet gain ground towards the finish. Small but snappy hop bitterness with a toasted bread malt palate and a hint of unsweetened chocolate. Vague fruitiness in the middle yet finishes with a leafy hop flavour, a pinch of sweetness and remnants of chocolate malt.

Notes: A great "American" Octoberfest brew, and that seems to be what they intended to create. In all aspects for me it is one hell of a fall seasonal extremely drinkable, quite tasty and a clean beer all around. A top pick for me amongst the other American Octoberfest brews.

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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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