Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

99 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 248
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber with a red tint and slightly off-white thin head.

S: Cranberries really jump out of the glass. There is also a citrus edge and sweet malt.

T: Cranberries are prominent all the way through from beginning to end. The sweetness of the fruit quickly changes to tart and a bit of bitterness joins in the finish.

M: Medium

O: It tells you it is a cranberry ale, and it certainly is. The cranberry dominates the aroma and the taste profile. There is some balance as the sweet does quickly give over to the tart. It has a bit of zing, but the finish cloys the tongue. I think it would be good with Thanksgiving (turkey and stuffing in particular), which was the point of the ale.

 722 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Auburn brew with a lovely foam crown. Great clarity. Looks crisp.

Alright... the nose is brightly metallic with a crisp tart cranberry note. Offers some toasted bread in its maltiness with just that hint of fruit.

Steely in flavor with those toasty cereals priming the palate. The cranberry is a kiss of fruitiness and a light slap of crispness, all well in-tune with a mild autumn ale. A little heavy metal in the mouth that couples with some tangy hop bitterness. One-note, but self-serving.

Decent feel. Crisp, but trying to take down. Light-bodied to allow the carbonation to accentuate.

Not my kind of autumn ale, but it satisfies. Thin with malts and hops to allow the cranberry note to tickle the flavor. Okay.

 721 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Super filtered amber body. A thin layer of off-white head.

S - A light nose, not incredibly aromatic. Some subtle tartness, a bit of fruit sweetness. You do actually smell some cranberry. Light sweetness of the malt.

T - OK so this basically tastes like an average pale ale with cranberry juice. I guess that's what you'd expect, but really not a deep complexity or any angles taken here. Mildly hopped, drinkable pale ale, with the bitterness and tartness of cranberries. Although its subtle, there is real cranberry flavor so I give credit there. I like when a beer tastes like its special ingredient.

M - Light bodied, easy to drink. Clean and crisp.

O - Well an easy drinker, some cranberry notes. Nothing special.

 726 characters

Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.98/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a very, very deep amber/cranberry color with a faint off-white head with some tiny bubbles on top.

S: Aroma consists of a malt sweetness and a cranberry tart, with a hint of oak at the end. If you said cherries, you are dead wrong!

T: Nice malty, cranberry flavor with a hint of Vanilla and Oak at the end.

M: Sweet yet cream, lots of carbonation in the pour, but dies down during the review.

O: Being from cranberry country, it is a treat to have a cranberry craft that not everyone else can get. Its a New England thing! The only other one it its kind I have tried was Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic. Both are Bostons finest breweries, both have great harvest beers and appreciate the craftsmanship of duplicating the harvest season, cheers!

 765 characters

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.

 547 characters

Photo of ChrisPratz
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours to a nice light golden brown color with about a fingers worth of head. This dissipates to a nice thin veil of lace all across.

S: Getting alot of cranberry scent on the nose. Its not overly sweet but reminds me of those red candies around Christmas time. Im getting some citrus in there as well and also a little bit of apple and pear but they are very mild.

T: Cranberry coming thru and leading the way into some light floral hops with little bitterness. Not overly complex, it all seems rather simple. Alcohol taste isn't noticeable at all.

M: Light carbonation works well with the flavors. Crisp clean finish and minimal dryness given ABV.

O: Not overly sweet which I like, it has a nice balance of tart/bitterness at the end. Not a bad brew but i would only enjoy one, maybe two at most in a sitting.

 818 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Review from a couple months ago.

Pours a deep clear copper, with a couple fingers of frothy and slightly off-white head. This retains with a rich ½ finger, which soaps the sides of the glass with thick swathes of lacing. The aroma, well, smells like cranberry, which mixes in with the fresh earthy citrus flavors of those Noble hops and a combination of sweet caramel and bready notes from the malt to impart a pleasant fruity tanginess in the nose.

The taste has a nice lager base to it of caramel sweetness and a light graininess. A splash of cranberry is present (but much more subdued than in the nose), as is an earthy citric bitterness that gives this some zip. The finish is moderately dry with a little lingering pith but is overall pretty clean. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very smooth feeling crisp creaminess to it that makes this extremely drinkable.

For a cranberry flavored Lager, I thought that this was very well done, keeping the fruit in the nose but then more complimentary in the taste, where it marries well with those Noble hops. Flavorful and drinkable, this might be a new Thanksgiving Day go to from now on.

 1,181 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (thanks mikeg67). Pours a reddish amber with a medium short lived white head. Aroma of caramel malt and sweet fruity spices and esters. Taste is same as aroma with some tart cranberry flavor. Palate is good medium body, carbonation is good. Finish is sweet caramel malt followed by some lingering fruity tartness, cranberries and touch of nutty aftertaste. Overall a descent showing for a fruit beer. Nice holiday brew

 430 characters

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.

 816 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Best By: 02/15/12.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-mahogany body with a small, whipped, bone white head.

Smell: A simple nose of oven-toasted bread crusts atop a faintly tart fruit accent that isn't immediately identifiable as cranberry.

Taste: Bready, toasty Munich malt with a light incorporated caramelesque sweetness to it. A sip of subtly tart cranberry juice, that's all. Very little in the way of hops or bitterness. Drying, minutely fruity, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Harpoon played it safe with the cranberry here, but, maybe they just didn't want a Cranberry Lambic on their hands.

 707 characters

Photo of stakem
3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a pint glass this brew appears a very clear color of copper. 2 fingers worth of tan head sit atop the brew composed of rather large bubbles. The cap audibly recedes leaving a fluffy uneven surface atop the liquid. Patches and fingers-like patterns of lace stick all about the glass.

The smell of this brew has a slight hint of fruity sweetness suggesting the combination of cranberry and herbal to earthy hops. The cranberry is so subtle that had it not been listed in the name, I never would have been able to identify it. More sniffs reveal a grainy sweetness minorly like toffee which really mingles well with the rest of the aroma.

The taste has a very faint fruity tartness I am going to say is from the cranberry. Again, had it not been for the name of this brew I never would have blindly guessed cranberry inclusion. The mild tartness of the fruit melds with faint herbal hops and some bready to biscuit grain sweetness. The aftertaste is somewhat like caramel to toffee but with a buttery kick that lasts long into the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate to low level of carbonation that is quite pleasant for the offering. It is fizzy enough to be bubbly on the tongue but not overdone. The combination of cranberry earthy quality to tartness mixed with the herbal elements of hoppy bitterness was a bit clashing in this brew but overall it wasn't bad. Not something I would pick a six-pack up of but having it once was worth it just to say I did. Thanks again Heath.

 1,570 characters

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.54/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: auburn colored body with a small white half finger head that lasts throughout most of the beer, faded, spotty lacing

S: cranberry, allspice in the background

T: sweet, tart through the cherries, allspice is more subdued, light hops

M: light to medium, sessionable, sweet dry aftertaste and finish

O: this is good for its style and I would have this again, looking forward to Thanksgiving next year

 424 characters

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.

 634 characters

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.

 477 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.88/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice auburn color with less than a finger of head that left a small amount of lacing as it faded to a thin film

S-a fruity smell that hints at cranberry but not overpowering with a little malt

T-much like the smell, not overpowering cranberry but there is some there followed with the malt that balances the cranberry nicely

M-nice carbonation without a dry bitter finish

O-can't really taste much in the way of hops but the cranberry does a nice job of balancing the malt, very drinkable not too sweet fruit beer

 560 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.92/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this is a dark reddish-tinted brown beer with a small head (despite vigorous pouring). The nose is pleasant, offering some nice hints of cranberry, but nothing overwhelming, along with sweet malt. The taste continues this theme: cranberry is present, but never dominates. I like that in a fruit beer. Good malt presence, and bitterness offers an offset to any sweetness from the fruit or the malt. A very drinkable beer.

I think this is only my second cranberry beer. The first was the hideous, cloyingly sweet Sam Adams "cranberry lambic" of the 1990s. This is a pretty decent beer that doesn't hit you over the head with fruit.

 660 characters

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.

 326 characters

Photo of Kooz
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled poured into a standard pint glass. Pours brown with a reddish tint to it. Some light tan head, never fully dissipates and leaves a sticky lacing.

Smells acidic--that must be the cranberry--it's nice though, not too sharp. Only one note though.

Tastes nice and refreshing. There is a distinct citrus flavor--it's tart but not sweet. There's a slightly bitter aftertaste, but it's still very good. I'm giving it a 4--it's nice.

Mouthfeel is average. It's not particularly bodied, but not watery either. I'd love for it to be creamier--the added body and foam would enhance flavors in a fruit-based beer like this.

This is a good beer. It's winter now, but I could see this being really nice in the summer. unfortunately, I'm thinking it's a winter seasonal. Still, I have been on a single beer a night kick lately, and I can't help having more than one of these...

 874 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Crystal-clear light amber in color, with a somewhat coarse cloud top head, which retains superbly. The lacing is scattered and patchy, the carbonation is sparse and slow-rising.

Aroma: Lots of caramel, toasted malt, brown sugar, cranberries, and earth.

Taste: Opens with tangy cranberries, earthy notes, and dark malt. As the taste progresses, the tart notes of cranberry assert themselves fairly well against the underlying earthy backbone. Finishes with a late punch of cranberries and earthy hops that linger on and on.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Rather unique, while not superb, I have no regrets of trying it and would buy it again.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle, sealed with a pop-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

 833 characters

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.

 366 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this on the shelves the last few years and never thought once about buying it. This year someone left a bottle at my house, so I guess this is the year.
Pours a medium copper color with a good sized white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells malty with caramel and brown sugar and that distinctive aroma of cranberries. Smell is sweet and fruity and not bad actually. Taste is exactly what I expected from the aroma. Brown bread, syrupy, caramel, cranberry sauce. It was fun at first, but about half way down the glass I got real tired of the fruity sweetness. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation, sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. One sweet and fruity beer that I'm glad I got to try, but that I can pass up again next year.

 764 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.17/5  rDev +26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of fairly long-lasting head. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of cranberry in the smell, with some malt as well.

T: Tasted of cranberries (no surprise there), along with a little malt and hops. Certainly not a multidimensional flavor, but somehow highly enjoyable.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a clean, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: If you like cranberries, check this beer out. It's not a super-complex piece of brewing, but is definitely very tasty.

 561 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an exceptionally clear, dark amber-colored beer with a slight reddish-tint, Not much of a head or lacing but the clarity makes for a nice-looking brew.

Aroma is appealingly malty, with the faintest hint of tart cranberry. Toasty, a little sweet, fairly simple nose.

Taste is also pretty simple, with toasty, bready malt in the front and subdued cranberry notes that add a touch of both sweetness and tartness. The fruit is subtle and blends well with the other flavors. Hops and bitterness are quite low.

Crisp, refreshing beer with medium carbonation and a thin to medium body. Clean finish, easy to drink, very well made. Not at all complex but easily sessionable and very appealing. I was surprised at how much I liked this beer; a nice antidote to a recent glut of big, palate-wrecking booze and hop bombs. Perfect for a late afternoon fall get-together with some nuts, crackers, or other light snacks. Helping to fund food banks makes this ever better during the holiday season.

 996 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with a short lasting, thin, white head. Aroma is of dark fruit, cranberries caramel malt. Medium, crisp body. Taste is of dark fruit, cranberries, spices, caramel, brown sugar and earthy hops. Nice brew for Thanksgiving dinner.

 258 characters

Photo of jamescain
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute glass.

Appearance: Light reddish-brown with a thin off white head about a centimeter thick. The head fades to a thin ring around the center.

Aroma: Subtle spices, nutmeg, allspice, and evergreen with a hint of tartness from the cranberries.

Taste: Malty and toasty with a slight cranberry tartness and spicy finish. None of the flavors are very pronounced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with medium carbonation.

Overall: I wasn't really expecting much so I wasn't disappointed but I probably wont buy it again.

 538 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.