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100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest
40 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest

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

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Frankenfest is brewed in the tradition of classic German Oktoberfest lagers. In order to replicate the complex malt character of the original, a blend of 8 different malts was used. The combination yields a slightly darker color and a toastier malt flavor. Frankenfest is judiciously hopped with three different varieties of hops that lend just enough bitterness to balance out the rich malt flavors. It has a dry finish compliments of an authentic German lager yeast and a longer rest in our conditioning tanks. The lingering malt complexity and dry finish make Frankenfest a wonderful match with many types of food. Enjoy.

26 IBU

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by Cadyfatcat:
Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good coloring and decent head

Flavors are a little harsh and all over the place. munich malt and floral hop notes. Hop character more reminiscent of an APA. Big diacetyl character. Chewy mouthfeel but also thin at times. Alcohol is easily detectable but not overpowering as to detract much from the beer.

Had this brew with some nice marinated chicken and rice, held its own well. Perhaps when not accompanied by a meal the flavors in this beer could perturb. But it really wasn't bad, expected something more refined but perhaps the harpoon barrel series isn't about that.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice crisp looking amber colour with a frothy to creamy off-white head that leaves a fair amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is malty, a bit earthy and rubbery. Perhaps a touch of floral sweetness. Overall, the aroma is fairly basic and subdued.

Flavour hits on all aspects of the aroma but packs a bit more of a punch. Sweetness is certainly more apparent although the rubbery malt flavouring still dominates. There is perhaps a hint of caramel in the mix as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a touch oily.

This one was pretty good overall. Not great, but solid. A bit maltier than expected but still well balanced. Worth a try at the least...

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Photo of Bierman9
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bottle purchased the other day from Harringtons. Label back seems to have a date on it, 100606. Best by, or some other code? Dunno....

Franken is a clear, medium-copper colored bier. Has the hue of what I feel a Märzen should, as opposed to some darker US versions and the sometimes lighter German offerings. Carbo within is barely evident. Head was light beige and creamy, starting at about 3/4" but settling back to about a 1/8" layer of fine bubbles. Lacing is solid from start to end. The Bier emits some toasty malt, as well as a smidge of caramel. Decent, overall. Body is quite acceptable, well within the medium range. As for its feel on the tongue, it is mostly smooth, with a light bit of foaminess bubbling over the palate.

Flavor comes at you with more toasty, caramel malt. Has a very well-measured amount of sweetness.... just right, imo. This malt lingers nicely while slowly segueing into a mild, floral hop epilogue. Dry, crisp and clean in the finish, I feel this is quite solid, overall. Yes, I rather like it. What would be nice to do is gather up Alewife or Artied2, get 3x of these (about 66oz) and pour them into 2 1-litre Maßkrugs and enjoy. Throw in some Bratwürst, and you're all set...

Would be real nice to have this come out every September. Far, far better than the brew they pass-off as a "harvest ale/OFest" every year.


overall: 4.35
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of ColForbin
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon Frankenfest is session 16 in the 100bbl series and comes in a gold foil topped bomber. Pours an amber color with a substantial fluffy white head that fades quickly. Aroma is slightly floral, with a bit of caramel malt as well, but pretty subdued - nothing like one would get out of a Sam Adams ofest, for example. Taste is malty and bready, with some brown sugar notes. Maybe some toasted nuts as well. Finish is pretty dry, this beer is not cloying. I want a bit more in the body department - comes off a bit thin for almost 7%. Very drinkable, I just wish it was cheaper.

I find it interesting that this was originally a beer made for a festival that was a blend of their other ales, and now it is a lager.

Overall a good brew - I wouldn't mind in the least if this replaced Harpoon's normal Aletoberfest.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frankenfest pours a clear amber color with some small bubbles floating slowly up from the bottom of the glass. On top a fluffy white head grows quickly to a 2 finger width. The head slowly dissolves back to the beer leaving behind lots of nets and sheets of lace on the glass. The aroma is a bit faint and has pleasant notes of caramel malt, apple, peach and some grassy hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is somewhat chewy with a firm carbonated fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is mainly malt. Caramel, toast and a hint of chocolate are present. In the middle there's some fruity notes of peach. It finishes with a hoppy taste of lemon citrus. Once gone a caramel malt taste lingers in the palate.

This is an easy drinking, tasty beer. It would definitely make a great seasonal.

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Photo of UnionMade
1.79/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

On tap at Eli Cannon's during Harpoon's Tuesday night tasting.
Deep copper, topped with a slim margin of head. Decent appearance, but nothing special. The color is nice, with good clarity. The head tries valiantly to hold on, but finally gives up about halfway through. Big, buttery, malty aroma. Butterfinger brand ale. Diacetyl pretty much overrides everything but the malt it's sitting on. Caramel and butterscotch, then some more. The flavor follows suit, coming off as some kind of wierdo homebrew malt liquor, as "big octoberfests" seem to do. Caramel followed by butter followed by butterscotch, then a touch of booze. Ugh. Very, very difficult to drink. Woeful is a word that comes to mind. I fantasized about telling the waitress that it really sucked and demanding a proper beer, but wimped out. I did manage to finish it after much wincing and cheese-fry chasers, but it was perhaps the hardest beer I've ever had to drink. I'm gonna say this was tougher to finish than the old Sammy Adams Triple Bock or Piels Light. Frankenfest seems an appropriate name, as Victor Frankenstein wished to create a perfect man, instead wound up with a loathsome monster, and that's exactly what happened here. While the monster was ultimately misunderstood, I don't think that's the case here. The monster was only hideous on the outside, wanting only companionship and love, but this is terrifyingly bad through and through. I can't imagine this is actually brewed with bottom fermenting yeast, or lagered for that matter. Reeks of ale.
I absolutely hated this, and wished sorely I spent my money on anything else on the tap list. Why I keep torturing myself with Harpoon's 100bbl series is beyond me. I think it's the 4-5 good ones that have come out thusfar that keep me gambling.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bottle, no date. #16 in the Harpoon 100 Barrel series.

Rich toasted amber. Crackling parchment head of small bubbles that falls rapidly to a smattering of dust with clumps are the edges. Minimal carbonation streams issue slow risers. Bright, sharp grass and pepper hop aromas mingle with some biscuity, bready malt. Smooth and medium bodied, nice biscuity malt sweetness up front before the grass and pepper hops come into full view. Finishing spicy and relatively clean while still retaining a touch of malt sweetness. Modestly spritzy carbonation lends a lightness to the otherwise firm body. Another solid lager from Harpoon. Easily drinkable and sessionable even at 6.9%.

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Photo of taez555
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an an amber/tan body with a small off-white head.

Nose is a subtle mix of vienna and biscuit malt. Very simple and clean but with lots of classic German marzen lager notes.

Taste is medium bodied but with a slightly bigger feel. Clean with a slight graininess. Rich malt with a licorice hop flavor and noticeable but always in the background bitterness. Mild notes of caramel as well. A nice sugary sweetness dominates with this nice honey stickiness.

Frankenfest indeed. Not quite your typical marzen at all, but still very good. I like the sweetness against the malt, it really gives this beer a lot of character.

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Photo of littlebibs
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

like many reviewers noted I enjoy the malty sweetness and
the slightly hoppy kick. Harpoon has mixed in a nice fruity blend with the bready malts, I also think
this would make a great Oktoberfest for harpoon as well. Its
different enough and sure has a kick when it warms some and
I like the way the 6.9% alcohol level slowly creeps up on u. Its a delicious very drinkable homebrew fall 100 Barrel series lager I will seek out, hopefully when it comes back this way again next

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Photo of EPICAC
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've finally gotten over a cold, and can smell again so it's back to reviewing beers. I purchased this a month or so ago at Downtown Wine & Spirits. It's been sitting in my fridge since then. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a thick, beige head that fades to a patchy film leaving no lace.

Smell: Pretty light overall, but it has caramel, fruitiness and a hint of hops.

Taste: Very malty upfront, with some toasty flavors and a nice caramel sweetness that lingers through to the finish where it's met with a leafy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Tasty and flavorful, but fairly heavy.

Overall: Not a bad Oktoberfest. I've decided to calibrate my ratings to skew a bit lower. This is only the second beer to be rated under the 'new' system, so numerically it seems lower than it is based on the new system.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle, pours a deep amber with light tan head, dissipates to nothing, leaves zero lacing. Pretty disappointing presentation.

Aroma is sweet malt, almost syrupy, and a little fruit.

Taste is fruity, malt sweet, minimal hops, though a little hop spice on the finish. Clean enough, but quite fruity in esters and malt sweetness.

Mouth is creamy and slightly thick.

A decent example of style, but pretty underwhelming overall. I probably wouldn't bother again.

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Photo of horshack7
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange copper color with about one finger head short head retention. Bubbles riseup fromthe bottom continously.

Aromas: Strong apple notes a bit like apple sauce. Light cinnamon notes and hints of dried fruits. The hop notes show through a little.

Taste: Spice notes such as cinnamon and very light corriender notes. Nice fruit notes apples. Very crisp mouthfeel only a little hoppy but quite tasty.

Notes: This one from Harpoon could very easily be enjoyed year round. Such a tasty brew Cheers.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical Harpoon, 100 Barrel Series presentation, with the gold fold over the cap, no freshness indication. Pours crystal clear light amber, with a nice looking tiny bubble, near white head, that leaves plenty of fine scatered and nicely developed lacing. Nose is clean and of biscuity malts. Malt carries the weight on this lager. Bready malts then midway I did pick up sort of a rubbery dry note, and it reamins on the palate through the finish. As with many of these 100 barrrel offerings, something seems slightly off here.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Gold foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a healthy 1 1/2" beige head over the clear copper brew. Hearty head fades quite slowly, with plenty of sticky lacing. Aroma is minimal and nondescript. Taste is nicely balanced with ample malt upfront coupled with moderate hopping, and leaves a pleasant grain husk flavor lingering after the swallow. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, and drinkability for this one is great as well. A easy session beer, at least until that warming quickly starts to take over.

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Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper color. Starts with a two-finger head, but this dissipates. Moderate lace from each sip.

Mostly caramel malt aromas. Very light hop (almost imperceptible).

Slightly heavy body for the style (which I like). Good carbonation. The hop is more pronounced in the flavor profile. Still this is mostly a malty brew. Carbonation is on the high side. There's also a brandy like flavor which contributes to the complexity.

Not a traditional marzen, but I believe the departure from style contributes to the interest of the brew. I'd love to try this one in a flight of beers.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Clean, pale auburn in color. Foamy, dense off-white head that retains well. A small area of the glass is decorated by somewhat weak, thin lacing.

Burnt, toasted biscuit with a lingering musty-astringency. Notes of rustic, floral hops. Semi-sweet caramel and mild hints of diacetyl.

Clean caramel and light toffee sweetness. Fruity esters of fig, plum, and red apple. Airy, toasted malt base; clean grains and notes of diacetyl. Clean, smooth finish with a semi-sweet, malty aftertaste.

Medium bodied; smooth and rather clean on the palate.

A true-to-style Marzen that is somewhat reserved regarding intensity of flavors; however, a decent session lager for the Autumn season.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series - Frankenfest
Session 16
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours an amber orange mix. A color that matches the season very well. Fluffy head on top that provide some random trails of sticky lace.

The nose is clearly malty with whiffs that are somewhat medicinal and chalky.

Juicy and chewy caramel malt backbone. Thick malt presence. Caramel apple fruit flavors with a toasted grain quality. Very smooth, rich and a little creamy. Nicely hopped and balanced well. An interesting beer that doesn't adhere to the typical Oktoberfest guidelines.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin, but a pleasant easy-drinking Fall release from Harpoon. I'm always eager to pick up the latest 100 Barrel Series offering.

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Photo of DrJay
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of BC2. Thanks purplehops!
This one poured a deep amber with a bit of a reddish tint and a slight haze. It was capped by a thin white head that showed decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma was really bready, more bread crust really, with a kiss of hops and a bit of malty, cracked grain. Medium bitterness with a malty, bready sweetness and hint of caramel. It also had just a slight alcohol warmth and a hoppy bitterness that lasted throught the finish. A bit less than medium bodied with noticeably low attenuation and carbonation on the low side for the style. Carbonation was very fine and there was a light dryness towards the finish. An easy drinking beer for sure. My only complaint is that the bitterness at the end became a bit harsh and acrid after a while. Other than that, quite nice!

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Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent my way via BC2 by purplehops! Thanks!

Pours a hazy orange/red, thick almost tan head forms, settles to a thin layer, nice lacing, good retention. Smell is sweet, very bready, caramel, some citrus, kind of apply, some toast, bit of fruity alcohol, not bad! Taste is very bready, caramel, nice maltiness, bit of toast again, sugary sweetness, dry fruity finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, low carbonation, alcohol is nicely hidden in the flavour. A bit weak, but lots of enjoyable flavour. Thanks Stan!

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Photo of bjohnson
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pretty damn clear copper color with a frothy one finger white head. Slight retention on the sides of the glass with a film on top.
S: Big toasted grain maltyness with nice grassy hop notes. Slight sweet caramel notes.
T/M: Maltyness is the big player here with a softness to it, however tihs softness is quite bold. Sweet caramel notes dance with the grassy hoppyness. Floral hop notes are also noticeable but are quickly overtaken by the supreme maltyness. Slick and smooth through the palate. Dry finish with toasted grain aftertaste. Medium bodied.
D: Quite a malty O'fest. Frankenfest attempts to bring the scaryness of a big time O'fest, but fails to scare. Not a bad brew, but not something that's going to knock your socks off. Worth a try though as it'll be a brew that you may not be able to get after the season has passed.

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Photo of ridedammit
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Downtown in Davis Sq. I am trying to partake of as many of the 100 barrel series as possible, unfortunately i started late. I have had 5 and they are on 16. oh well. Anyway on to the review:

Pours a nice copper color with a strong head that disappears after a few minutes.
The smell is maltier than most lagers, and is quite nice. The taste is bolder and fuller than most lagers, not a crisp, but more ale-like. Mouthfeel is somewhat acidic, possibly due to high abv, overall is a good beer.

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Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of mcallister
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clean polished amber color with a thick slightly off white head that contains great retention. Some sticky lacing hangs around for the party.

Bready malts sweet with toffee and caramel. Cereal grain and a hint of floral hop.

Nice flavors with a wonderful rustic mouth entrentching feel. Malt is full of sweet cereal flavors and big on the caramel. Good carbonation spritzy in the middle with a creamy finish. An overall big mouthfeel. I though this may be past but it is drinking quite fine indeed. A hint of hop bitterness on the finish rounds out the sweetness of the malt. Very tasty.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark amber color, with a good-sized foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very malty aroma with primarily consists of caramel along with some hops.

T: The taste is much of what the smell leads you to expect. It has a very malty caramel flavor with a decent hops bite for the style.

M: Smooth & crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean & dry.

D: Tasty but not your typical O-fest. It’s a little hoppier and has a little extra kick than other O-fests. However, it proves that Harpoon can make a real Oktoberfest rather than the “Octoberfest” that they produce regularly.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange/red with a large white foamy head. The smell is a little light with sweet malt,floral, and a toasted hop scent. The taste has a sweet malt,buttery,creamy toffee, some hops, and a bread yeast flavor. The m/f is light and the alcohol is hidden well,but the metalic aftertaste really hurts this beer. Really, this is just an average beer.Cheers.

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100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 40 ratings