Owning the fine line
A Review of Harpoon Octoberfest by Harpoon Brewery
Posted on 9/25/2012 by Chops
In the mind of any given craft beer fan, the fall season means only one thing: Oktoberfest. Starting in late September, the lighter beers of summer are replaced by the amber beers of fall. Oktoberfest versions from around the globe start to fill the beer shelves and beer fans snatch them up like hot cakes. It's a time for celebration and it's hard not to get caught up in the ruckus. I have been gleefully stocking my beer cabinet and refrigerator with Oktoberfest nectar for the last several weeks. The first to come out of my fridge was the Harpoon Octoberfest.

In the glass, this beer has that classic rich deep amber coloration. Harpoon's borders on a reddish brown and resembles a good Irish red. It comes with a frothy light tan head that has good retention. On the nose, I immediately detected that signature sweet malt laced with toasted bread crust. I also found a slight candied vibe which I think adds a note of accessibility. Going into that first sip and knowing Harpoon's reputation for fine brews, I expected a solid representation of the Oktoberfest style.

Yup, pretty much nailed it. The flavor profile perfectly matches the aroma even down to the slight candied vibe. The mouthfeel is mid-bodied and quite smooth. The flavor train is mostly malty sweet with a slight hop bitterness on the finish, creating a tangy malty aftertaste. I wish there was more to say, but when a simple beer style is done well, that's pretty much all you need to know about it.

Overall, the Harpoon Octoberfest is a solid no-frills representation of the Oktoberfest style that I can easily recommend to all beer fans. You can view Oktoberfest brews as the ultimate session beers. They are meant to be enjoyed for long periods of celebration. The goal behind crafting the style is to create a memorable brew that is both flavorful and easy drinking. You want to avoid thick and distracting as well as avoid bland and forgettable. It's a very fine line that few breweries can walk. Harpoon is one such brewery, so grab yourself a six pack and let the festivities begin!

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Harpoon Octoberfest by Harpoon Brewery
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