Friday, September 4, 2009

Harpoon Summer Beer Review

Brewery: Harpoon Brewery | Beer: Summer Beer
Style: Kölsch ABV: 5.0% IBUs: 28
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Harpoon Summer BeerThis review is a part of an article on summer seasonals as part of the monthly beer blogging project The Session.

Harpoon was founded back in 1986 by a trio of Harvard classmates in Boston. In the 20-plus years since, Harpoon has established itself as a major player in the New England craft-brewing scene, with a portfolio of year-round, seasonal, and special releases.

Their summer seasonal, Summer Beer, was inspired by a trip to Germany by master brewer and co-founder Rich Doyle. Released in 1999, this year marks the ten year mark for the beer. A Kölsch-style ale, here's how Harpoon describe the beer:

The hopping levels provide a crisp, dry finish that make this beer particularly refreshing. Harpoon Summer Beer is a beer brewed to be enjoyed with summertime activities. It is light, refreshing, and crisp.
All of the Kölsch-style beers I've tried so far have been awesomely refreshing, and with the summer sun beating down on me here in Texas, I'm ready to dive in.

A crystal-clear, pale straw body with two fingers of creamy white head that feature good retention and patchy lacing. The clarity here is brilliant, I could read a book through this beer.

Aroma: Grainy malt with lemony and slightly spicy noble hops. Reminiscent of a good Pilsener.

Taste: A grainy, lightly toasted malt backbone. The mildly bitter and spicy hops come back in towards the end to dry the malt slightly. A crisp finish with a grainy and slightly spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with good carbonation. Dries a little in the finish.

Drinkability: Quite the thirst quencher, this goes back rapidly (as you'd expect from a Summer seasonal).

Verdict: Harpoon's Summer Beer is a straight-forward, light, and easy-drinking beer that makes for a great Summer seasonal. If you had told me this was a Pilsener, I don't think I would have questioned you, but that's rather acceptable for Kölsches.

Grade: B

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