Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry AleHarpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Grateful Harvest is a beer brewed with Thanksgiving celebrations in mind. A puree of freshly harvested cranberries, donated by local cranberry farm AD Makepeace, lends a subtle tartness to the beer. The cranberry flavor complements the malty character derived by the combination of Munich and Vienna malts. An addition of CaraMunich malt enhances the beer’s reddish hue and adds a touch of sweetness, while Northern Brewer bittering hops complement the slight cranberry tartness.

25 IBU

Added by LtCracker20 on 10-11-2010

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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 248
Photo of hdofu
1.64/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

To the "wants" out there let me give you a heads up, this beer is a disgusting mess of flavors that don't work together.
It pours a copper color with a thin white head. It smells a bit of cranberry but mostly this horrible medicinal smell. Taste is like cranberry flavored cough syrup.... it truly is a disgusting taste to behold, I'd have given it a 1 but it at least tastes like cranberry so I gave it a half a star for that. It pretty crisp. Overall I'd say its like medicine more then beer and since theres no reason to take this as a medicine, I wouldn't recommend getting it.

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Photo of wedge
2.15/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear copper with a nice looking, fluffy head and solid lacing. Smells, initially, like dry erase markers. Yeah. Lightly sweet berries, mild caramel, and earthiness. Bitter, husky, faintly berry-like flavor. Medium bodied with some crispness. Blah - not feeling this one at all. Not much cranberry coming through, this just seems kind of harsh and...bad.

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Photo of Stunner97
2.18/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance- dark brown to slight copper red in color, very little head off leaves a thin lacing of white on top,

Smell- slight sour smell, faint cranberries,

Taste- starts off with a little bit of sweetness that quickly fades into long sourness on the finish, its not super tart but its definitely the profound flavor of the beer and the finish, theres something of this beer to me thats just off in flavor, doesnt really work the tartness and ending finish i find be quite unpleasant.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied pretty smooth and slick, low carbonation

OVerall/drinkability- To me this beer was a miss, it just had something off to me about the flavor im not sure if it was the tartness which would be expected some what in the beer but just was overall off putting, this is certainly not a beer I would ever buy again or recommend people try but maybe its just not my taste, not looking to finishing the rest this sixer,

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Photo of rangerred
2.29/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a one finger tan head. Good lacing and head retention.

Smell is of very tart fruit. There is a tiny bit of malt that comes through.

The flavor is very tart. Way too heavy on the cranberries here. I cannot really detect any malt at all. The beer finished crisp and dry with no hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is light.

This is just not my kind of beer. The cranberries and accompanying tartness is way over the top.

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Photo of hipcat
2.38/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2012 release...poured from a 12oz bottle into a fluted 10oz glass.

Harpoon describes this as a Cranberry Amber Ale with a malty, semi-sweet taste. Have to say I was very disappointed. This was neither malty or sweet. It was predominantly (overly) bitter -with a hint of cranberry. Was hoping for something like New Belgium Frambozen (except with cranberry), but it was not to be. Poured nice - deep amber with crisp lingering head but flavor-wise, was a big disappointment. Not even sure I should push it on guests.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.55/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, cranberries, some hops and some maple and spice.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then a mildly tart cranberry flavor comes in along with some semi-sweet flavors of caramel and maple. The hops presence is mild but there's not much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, I expected to find a more powerful cranberry flavor and was pleasantly surprised when I did not, however overall it's just not a good beer.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
2.55/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Out of a bottle in early January this beer was a reddish copper color with a slightly pink tinted head. The retention and lacing were sub-par. The aroma did have some cranberries, but only very faintly. The rest was all amber ale/brown ale. Nice malt profile, even if rather generic. Sadly, I instantly thought the flavors were mediocre. I tasted too much tartness and bitterness from the cranberries followed by alotta generic malt with little backbone. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation average. I get the feeling mine was old or poorly kept, but this beer just didn't have anything to be proud of aside from its motives in my opinion.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.58/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear dark chestnut color. The head stands one finger high, with an offwhite shade. It's quick to fade, however, and has a slightly ragged texture. It tries to leave some lacing behind on the glass, but not a lot by any means. Still, attractive due to the body's vibrant color.

S: This is weird...and worrying. I pick up (slight) cranberry and some sweet caramel primarily. The fruit notes, however, don't seem fully integrated within the rest of the brew - and even worse, come off a bit artificially. Luckily, they're hidden beneath the malt backbone enough.

T: Caramel hits the palate first, while the cranberry flavors...uh oh, dat artificial finish. There's a slight adjunct note in the middle; this is actually my favorite feature. Like I said before, the finish is both chemical and perfume-y, which kills it. Still, I'm glad it's kind of bland instead of bold, actually: that means I can put this down easily instead of want to pitch it.

M: Sweet, in a wholly undefined and generic matter. The thick feel just loafs around on the palate, while the decent carbonation fails to scrub the tongue sufficiently.

O: Not a car crash of a beer, just really damn dull. To be fair, it's not a car crash BECAUSE it's so dull. Proof positive that fantastic intentions alone does not a good beer make.

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Photo of soulfly1492
2.61/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Bitter fruit, cranberry, bitter cherries. A bit funky, can't quite put a finger on the source though. Some bitter apple also in the mix.

Appearance: Pale purple. Pours a large off-white head. Intense lacing.

Taste: Bitter apples and grape. A bit odd, like a mix of grape juice and soda. Dissapointed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Mildly drying. Low carbonation.

Overall: I had to try this even though I couldn't imagine cranberry doing too well in a beer. I should have known better. Nice try, but this did not succeed on any level.

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Photo of mikereaser
2.71/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 3/31/11
Pours a nice ruby red with an inch or two of foam that left some really nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is slightly metallic, definitely extract, i'm not sensing any real fruit at all. Taste is very metallic, it really reminds me of skunked Yeungling Lager. Just not good at all. I can sense the cranberry in the back but thats about it. Really disappointed, but not surprised by the lack of this beer. Light to med. bodied, good carbonation, its just missing flavor and replaced it with a poor attempt. I don't even know if i'll finish the 12 oz. bottle.

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Photo of coachdonovan
2.77/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before 2/15/12 bottle into a shaker glass. Almost completely clear brownish amber. Head looks to have some thickness to it but it fades quickly to a thin layer.

Cranberry dominates the nose, but there is something artificial about it, almost like overly sweet cranberry candy. Taste is mostly dry and bready, certainly malt-forward. The cranberry comes around in the middle to add a bit of sourness, but the finish is pretty harsh.

This basically tastes like a mediocre beer with cranberry flavor added for seasonality. I appreciate the good cause behind it, but next time I'll just donate my dollars directly to the food bank.

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Photo of SeamusLight
2.79/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Wasted opportunity.

Typically, the holidays are the time for a brewery to go wild - to indulge in strong fruit flavors, or spices, or anything which may really hit the palette. This beer does none of that.

If asked what it tastes like, the most apt description is "a beer." That's it. There is no cranberry hint. There is no noticeable bitterness. It's an ale. Harpoon played it safe, and got a boring product. Drinkable, but forgettable.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
2.81/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a shaker pint: A kind of rosy amber, transparent, with tons of fast tiny nucleation under a finger of loosely whipped-looking white head. Leaves some lacing.

Smells of strawberry yogurt with a lightly metallic twang. A little bit of cereal.

Dull berry flavor that starts like stale craisins, joins with a dull breadiness, & ends dry & a little sulfuric, with a tap water kind of taste. Not too good.

Has a nice, bracing tingle & tartness, then flattens out & has a dead sort of feel.

Just kind of tastes like something went wrong: flavor is a combination of slightly odd & lifeless, without much to redeem it. Not terrible, but doesn't shine where it counts & I can't say I'd try it again.

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Photo of Fergyx825
2.84/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: a dark amber bronze colored beer, with a little bit of head on the pour. The beer bubbles softly as it sits. What you'd most expect from an ale, except its a bit dark.

Smell: the smell of cranberry is very feint in this beer. This beer is rich with spices, with no alcohol or bitterness noted. I'm rather interested.

Taste: The sweetness of the cranberry hits you at first, then the bitterness of the cranberry hits you. It finishes with the spiced hoppiness of an ale. There is no balance in flavors.

Mouthfeel: This is a highly carbonated light beer. I feel as if an ale should be a bit thicker.

Overall: I'm a bit disappointed, it looked and smell good, but that was all she wrote.

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Photo of negroobserver
2.92/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
Best by Jan 15, 2011

C: 2.5 - Pours hazy brown color with about 1/2 inch of while head.

S: 3.0 - Malty. Sour.

T: 3.0 - Malty. Sweet undertones. Medium bitter finish. Sour cranberry aftertaste.

M: 3.5 - A little watery. Low-medium carbonation.

D: 2.5 - Beginning with the color through every other category, this beer has been at best unexceptional. The sourness of the beer and the slightly water texture don't add to the desire to drink the beer. The sour texture is kind on unusual and interesting.


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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle dated good until 1/15/11. Stunningly clear oxblood brown - red. Thin white head leaves a few lacey splashes.

Cranberry juice, toast and light brown sugar aroma. Tastes pretty much the same with a mild tart from the cranberries and some steely mint hop bitter from Northern Brewer hops.

You can't win with cranberry. I've had cranberry beers that were so sickeningly tart they were undrinkable. This has a fairly subtle use of cranberry and I feel like it's not enough. And then there's SA Cranberry Lambic. Maybe cranberry should stick to vodka.

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Photo of cbutova
2.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark red with a creamy two-finger head. The cap is creamy and has pretty good retention. A very nice pillow lays atop the ale leaving a lot of fine lace.

S- Right off the bat I notice an adjunct/corn note reminding me of many macros. There is a dark malt, slight nutty malt hint. The fruit is there and is dark, slightly tart and somewhat medicinal/artificial feeling.

T- Has a "dark" malt feeling that gives a bit of toasted nut flavor. Some spice and yeast bread notes set the stage for a disappointing fruit flavor. Slightly tart Cranberry feel that is too faint and ends up just making this taste more artificial, even medicinal. Some adjunct malt feel and pretty sweet as well.

MF- Light creamy body with carbonation that neither impresses me or turns me away. It is actually a very strange feeling beer when it comes down to it, almost a slick silky texture.

DB- This has a very similar malt, yeast and adjunct flavor of many of the Harpoon beers I have tried. I can't say that I hate it but it is cleary just another gimmick Fruit Beer that feels medicinal. Just another Fruit Beer that shows how the style needs to be all or nothing (ex. New Glarus). I can't think of any beer with just a dash of fruit flavor really getting me excited. Medicinal and alcohol flavor builds up making this a one shot thing for me.

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Photo of mdvatab
2.95/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An extra in a trade late last fall.
Poured from 12oz bottle (bb 2/15/12) into imperial pint.

A: Rich, caramelly malt, ripe plum, cranberry fruit, vanilla, toasted oak.

A: Deep amber body w/ good clarity. 2 finger off-white head falls slowly; leaves light lacing.

F: Roasted maltiness up front, cranberry bitterness in the middle, followed by a subtle fruitiness, and punctuated by a lingering bitterness. The whole combination, unfortunately, doesn't work well IMO, and comes across a bit like cough syrup...

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: I hate to be too hard in my critique, but this brew unfortunately comes across like as a bit of an amateur effort. I went into this one with an open mind, curious about what the cranberry would bring to the table, but was just not a big fan of the flavor combination.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 1.5" off-white head which vanished fast. Clear iced-tea appearance to the body with just a slight touch of amber. Slightest smell of malt. Taste is a pretty standard lager with crispness and a little extra richness. It also has a mild acidity I presume is from the cranberries but otherwise I personally don't taste a single thing cranberry about this beer.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a beautiful ruby brown with a nice light fluffy head that sits as a quarter of a finger width with almost-eggshell white coloring. The beer’s body is clear of any particles and quite translucent, despite its darker red-brown coloring. On the nose, this beer smells tartly fruity with some underlying stale grains. It’s not an overpowering smell, but the cranberry does tinge more towards the artificial side of the smell. On the tongue, the beer tastes light on the flavors with some light tartness from the cranberry, some bitters coming through, and a touch of bready yeast. The beer begins with slowly growing tart fruit which comes to a fuller, though still light, flavor in the middle of the taste and then mingles with light and stale bready malts for a while, the finish is nicely fruity, almost like a juice, while the aftertaste rings with a light tart tingle. On the mouth, the beer feels a little fierce with effervescence. The beer is light to medium in body, and fizzles off the tongue into a foam, which is odd… The mouth is left slightly puckering with tart, and definitely dry all over the tongue. Overall, I think I may have an old bottle of this beer, between the stale malts and the subdued flavors, something felt off. The beer is definitely light and easy to drink, and some of the cranberry juice does come through stronger after the beer has left the mouth, but it is a little too off in flavors for my taste. I’ll try to give this one another review with next year’s version.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - nut brown in color with some reddish highlights, a frothy offwhite head sits atop with scant carbonation

S - typical brown ale profile, basic malts and hops, muted by a mild but pleasant slightly tangy fruit aroma that I'm not sure I'd be able to identify as cranberry if I didn't know better, almost cidery

T - the taste is very similar to the aroma, basic, unexciting, however tasty. the flavor is of mild caramel malts with a fruity overtone, pleasant

M&D - smooth and flavorful, a nice holiday flavor and a tasty beer, but not terribly noteworthy

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A chilly bottle is poured into a pint glass. A slightly cranberry colored copper beer has a very small tan head of tiny bubbles. The head settled to a skim. An average amount of carbonation is seen within. The aroma is of cranberries, unsurprisingly. There is also a estery, white grape scent. The flavor has a fruit juice quality and a slightly cidery finish. It s a medium bodied beer that has a sticky coat. The beer is fairly drinkable. I probably wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, but I will be able to make it through the six pack before the beer goes bad. I don't think I'll purchase it again; I'll stick with Harpoon Leviathan series.

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Photo of Kranders
3.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber appearance, but I was expecting something a little redder for being a cranberry beer. Nice hint of cranberry in the aroma with a little bit of sweetness. Slightly tart in taste overall, but I'd say it generally lacked in the whole cranberry department. The beer just didn't seem to accomplish what it set out to do.

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Photo of Gavage
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a crystal clear reddish orange color and a short 1/2" head. No lace here at all.

Smell: a very faint fruit aroma is all you can detect here.

Taste: grassy malt profile with some very mild cranberry flavor that is tough to discern. Bitterness is mild too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, a bit less crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is short lived.

Overall: this beer didn't have the cranberry flavor I expected. The beer was very easy to drink but didn't satisfy.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.14/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a four fingered faint pink head that slowly fades to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is light hops and fruit. Color is nice crystal clear amber. Flavor is tart cranberry and hops, dry finish. $2.75 for a 12oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH. Best by 1/15/2011.

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Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.31 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
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