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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 1,192
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Crystal clear orange, head is thin but hangs around and clings to the side of the glass, handsome

S: Bready sweet malt backbone, hops are clean and spiciness and a little earthiness

T: Has a good malt backbone with the same hop presene as aroma, no roast just dry bready taste, hops balance it perfectly, easy to drink but still flavorful, outdoor German party beer...yes

M: Gets a little dry, decent but not overpowering carbonation

Notes: Better than the sum of its parts, which are still very good. Definitely one of the better common American Oktoberfest beers

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon Brewery - Harpoon Octoberfest Beer, poured into a stein.

Look - Pours a clear dark copper ruby with a decent sized fizzier head that retains about 1cm. Some lacing.

Smell - Dank fruitiness with a hint of sweet malt. Mouth watering. Great aroma, I thought.

Taste - Mostly malt with a touch of citrus hops. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Soda-like carbonation level that takes away from an element of the heaviness, which would have suited it quite well. I don't often think a brew is a little overly carbonated, but this one was a bit overdone. Slightly malt warm but not otherwise boozy. Great drinkability.

Overall - Solid brew, I'm not usually into the style but this was definitely enjoyable. Fans of the more traditional style may not be 100% sold on this one since it is definitely an adaptation of sorts on Harpoon's end.

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Photo of Fergyx825
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark, not so traditional w/ the Oktoberfest which is supposed to be a dark amber. This is more of a darker blackish color, unless you hold it up to the light. Head around the edges as well as on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Full bodied beer, w/ malty hopiness. No real alcoholic smell. Smells great, and exactly what i'd expect from a Oktoberfest.

Taste: bodied taste, w/ coffee hint comes to mind. Very malty. If there was a bit more body, then this would knock it out of the park.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but a thick beer. Bring down the carb, and you got yourself a good feel.

Overall: i'm a bit surprised by this beer, and my ratings show it. Best beer to date. Appearance brings it down, but it smells as its supposed to, and well in the end it gets an OK in my book.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautiful amber. Leaves a thin lace head.
Smell: Malty, dried apricots (?).
Taste: Malty, something sweet or very lightly citrusy up front, and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Fairly carbonated.

This is an enjoyable Oktoberfest. Malt is clearly noticeable on the nose and tongue. The most interesting thing for me was a dry bitter aftertaste that never quite left my mouth. I would probably get this again.

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

12 oz bottle - first 12 pack we saw this year!

a - dark amber with a nice thick white head. Good looking fall beer!

s - smells malty and nutty

t - malty sweet flavor. Some carmel in there.

m - an ok mouthful

o - I used to like this beer a lot but as I grow fonder of the IPAs I do believe I have moved beyond the Octoberfest beers. Part of the season like the foliage though!

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Photo of KidKrafty
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a beer mug. Clear amber color with a white head that eventually just went away. Lots of sweet malty aromas. The taste is sweet caramel upfront finishing with a bitter bite. It goes down smooth and easy. Good seasonal beer, prost.

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Photo of CorvetteMike
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark amber, with a medium head that lingers on .

S: Hint of cinnamon, spice, and Rye.

T: Slight sweet malty taste and cinnamon flavor that lingers on.

M: Smooth medium bodied with slight carbonation.

O: Very smooth drinkable beer. A favorites.

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Photo of fx20736
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/10/13.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug, served cold.

appearance: darkish orange amber with a 2 finger creme brulee' head. nice lacing.

aroma: sugar cookies, caramel with a little hoppiness, nice.

mouthfeel: a little thin.

taste: toasted wheat bread with plum jam, a touch of burnt toast at the end with some bitterness for balance.

notes: good, decent O-fest, comparable to Brooklyn IMO.

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Photo of nukem5
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with full head not su much lacing down walls of glass as rye IPA but a bit there.

S: Aromais slightly cloying but full of malts and some spice.

T: Taste is rich malts and some mild hops.Sadley not much else there.

M: Mouthfeel is med to full bodied with very little carbonation.

O: Overall a decent beer with good balance of hops and malts, would definitly drink this one again.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bright, clear amber color with a bubbly off-white head that settles quickly. Some decent lacing on the glass as you drink it down.

S: Roasty, biscuity, and bready malt backbone and a slight toffee sweet note. Hops are faint but earthy.

T: Light roasted but not bitter grains with a dry bready quality and a semi-sweet toffee taste to blend in with the roasted barley malt smoothness. Hops just kiss this beer to let the sweetness know it does not rule this beer completely. Finish is sweet but not cloying.

M: Light to medium body with crisp prickly carbonation.

O: Easy to drink a few and pair with some sausages or pork and sauerkraut. Better then other US versions of this style it can hold it's own but not the benchmark for the style. Will please most craft beer fans. I would get it again.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a thick and pillowy cream colored head with impressive retention, nearly two finger long after the pour. Good patches of lace around the ring.

S- sweet bready malt with some nutty characteristics, a bit yeasty with just a touch of floral hop.

T- palate follows the nose with sweet and nutty malt, a bit of caramel with a dry finish and just a bit if hop linger. Good flavor profile but would prefer a bit more malt-forward profile.

M- medium body, low carbonation and super creamy mouthfeel with a velvety finish

O- this one has great drinkability, which is probably why the label states that they brew this beer for festivals. It did however seem to be a bit subdued in the malt profile. Overall enjoyable though.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Great clarity, reddish brown in color. One inch off-white head has decent retention, though it eventually settles into just a thin cap.

S: Very clean on the nose with scents of grain, light caramel notes, hay, grassy hops, and perhaps even a touch of cocoa if you search for it.

T: Assertive breadiness on the attack. Crusty, even. Fleeting touches of cocoa and nuts. Toasted grain. Vague, light fruitiness, but clean overall. Maybe even a bit of rough wheat character. Hop bitterness with a mild grassy/spicy/oily taste. Finishes with a bite of toasted crust and cocoa.

M: Definitively medium bodied. Slight firmness, creamy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation. It doesn't quite have that nice malty firmness I expect from the style, but it's almost there.

O: Lands toward the bigger, darker end of the O-fest spectrum. Not as technically sound as some out there, but a pleasant drink nonetheless.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/19/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a small 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, and herbal hops. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; fits the style very well. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, toffee, pear, apple, biscuit, light nuttiness, floral, and herbal hops. Minimal bitterness on the finish as expected; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, biscuit, toffee, light nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice flavor balance and complexity, but it was not as robust feeling as I was hoping from the aromas; zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest style. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to drink as expected. Could have used a bit fuller flavor, but this was still a very good style representation. Definitely enjoyed this one.

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Photo of ACD
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Octoberfest Beer

Smooth and tasty!

Great beer in between the fall pumpkin beers and the winter and Christmas beers coming up

Easy drinking a great session beer for Thanksgiving or and afternoon football game

Nice beer when you want something tasty but want to not get filled up with a heavier type beer

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Photo of CHickman
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper red color with big 2 finger foamy light tan head that was full of tight little bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy lacing all over and rings as it went down. A great looking beer with a head so thick that you could run your finger through it.

Smells very malty, with sweet malt, caramel, wet wheat bread, floral hops, toffee and grains; not a lot going on, but everything present is very robust and enjoyable.

Tastes very malty, with grains, caramel, sweet malt, wet wheat bread, mild dark fruit, chocolate or cocoa powder, floral hops, toffee, faint syrup, nut and herbs; the hops show up more and add a lot to balancing the flavor. The chocolate malts leave a cocoa powder taste that mix well with the herbal notes from the hops, which then trails off with light smoky notes; very complex for the style and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium almost chewy body and a grainy sweet finish. It goes down very easy.

Overall this was very good and would make for a great session beer on a nice crisp afternoon drinking at a backyard party. A definite fall treat.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Octoberfest has a thick, soapy, cream-colored head, and a clear, copper color with some streaming bubbles and not much lacing. The aroma is of sweet and sour brown bread, with sugar. Flavor is of sweet, sugary, brown bread, lightly bitter hops, and a touch of caramel. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Harpoon Octoberfest finishes mostly dry, crisp, refreshing, and supremely drinkable. It's a wonderful beer, and I think you should check it out!


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Photo of andrewjraab
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Deep ruby red and brown color with a sticky off white head. A quarter inch of head remains throughout.

S. malty, hops, caramel, chocolate, faint floral notes

T. This is fantastic offering of the American version of this style. Nice malty and sweet start followed by a smooth and rich swirl on the toungue. Finishes with a nice snap of bitterness from the hops.

O. This is a phenomenal rendition of the octoberfest. A must try.

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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 deltatauhobbit
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangy amber color, large big bubble head, fades at a decent rate.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with subtle hints of spicy hops.

Taste is fairly straight forward, caramel upfront and dominate, high carbonation keeps things crisp and refreshing, mild hops too keep things somewhat balanced.

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Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy auburn brown, nice off white head which fades and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are nice and full of toffee and caramel malts. There's also a touch of chocolate and butterscotch. The flavors match the aromas. Flavors are extremely malty. I can pick up alot of chocolate and more caramel. There's a nice sweetness and nuttiness going on. Full flavored for such a small beer. There's a even a touch of heat. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's light, fluffy, creamy, and has high active carbonation. Really nice beer.

I like this. It's really a nice interpretation of the style. I'll look forward to it for on now.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark ruby-tinted mahogany color with a thin beige head on top. The nose is pleasant with hints of floral tones, fresh bread, sweet caramel candies. Moderate carbonation that doesn't get too spritzy. Smooth on the finish makes this one easy to drink.

Great flavors of caramel sweetness, mild toffee, crackers, bready flavors on the back end. All of these meld well make this one easy to drink. Tasty beer here that is a good representation by an American brewery. I wouldn't mind having a sixer of this in the fridge each and every fall.

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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 angusdegraosta
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer. I had one straight from the bottle and another poured into a glass. Better to pour: there's a slight metallic taste that goes away as the beers fizzes a little. Looks lovely in the glass - a golden amber, less deep in color than other examples of the style. It also has more hop character than is typical... pleasant though, backed well by the malt and just a little caramel. Nice feel. I recommend it.

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Photo of sommersb
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 10-05-2012
Freshness: Best by 11-15-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Frankfurt mug
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

A: Pours a bright copper, clear beer with a huge off-white head. Excellent retention and a very nice amount of lacing.

S: Aromas are malty sweet, with caramel plus spicy hops.

T: The taste starts with a clean lager feel, followed by roasted grain and a bitterness that then leads to an unpleasant/astringent flavor.

M: Medium body and a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes with more grainy and astringent notes unfortunately.

O: This one started well but then seemed to slide. It tasted like the malts were over-cooked, or maybe that was the hop character - either way this wasn't a very good Oktoberfest to me.

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