Style: Fruit Beer
Brewer’s Notes: “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… The cranberries are harvested from the local bogs of AD Makepeace, miles from where the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock! But this beer is about more than history. We donate $1 per six-pack to the local food bank in the area in which it was purchased. Through Grateful Harvest Ale and our Harpoon Helps program, we have supported food banks and numerous other charities. It is all part of our mission to be a good neighbor.”
The label is a little on the simplistic side, featuring a checkers pattern beneath a red background, and an oval middle label with a harpoon running through the beer’s title. It’s a little stale in design, honestly, and not nearly as exciting as Harpoon’s flagship IPA label. This label is not worthy of the shelf, and should be thought about before you try to scrapbook it.
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.