Ahhh Boston, “New England’s City” “The Cradle of Liberty” “Bean Town”! A place where the natives refer to water fountains as bubblers, and tourists flock from all over to walk the “Freedom Trail” and peer into Paul Reveres house. Being a New Englander myself I do know one thing, Bostonians love their beer. From Boston Beer Works to the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), this city is coming into a busy season for brew festivals and all of those great Oktoberfest’s and seasonal autumn beers, which people love to drink as they watch the leaves change trying to forget that soon all of these beautiful colors will be gone… and it will be cold and grey. YAY NEW ENGLAND!!
Last winter I met up with friends at the Harpoon Brewery in South Boston where we sat at long wooden tables in the “Beer Hall”, shared flights and gorged ourselves on the hot doughy pretzels they give you to go along with your beer. The place was packed, definitely a hot spot on a Saturday night for the younger crowd. When those same friends told me that the brewery was holding their annual beer festival I knew I had to go! So last Saturday I made the rainy drive from Connecticut to Boston and on I went to Harpoon’s Octoberfest.
Just for some background, Octoberfest was the first festival Harpoon ever threw as a brewery back in 1990, luckily for me this year was the 25th anniversary of the festival; they refer to it as a “New England style Octoberfest”. The festival was held outside under massive tents; three stages were set up for German Oompah Bands! There was keg bowling, chicken dancing, a German chocolate cake eating contest and enough bratwurst to fill the bellies of the masses. Now, I know you are all thinking but Olivia, what about the BEER?!
A list of the beers offered at the festival:
- Boston Irish Stout
- Harpoon IPA
- Harpoon Octoberfest
- UFO White
- Rich & Dans Rye IPA
- UFO Pumpkin
- Harpoon Craft Cider
- Pumpkin Cider
Now, If I had drank 6 pints of beer and 2 pints of cider for the amount of time I was at the brewery, I would not have been coherent enough to remember to type notes into my phone for the #DrunkIntern blog, dedication folks!! However I did dabble into the Harpoon Octoberfest, UFO White, UFO Pumpkin, and the Pumpkin Cider…I think I did pretty well. First up:
This beer has a deep red color, there is an aroma of hops but it is not overpowering. I take a taste and I am pleasantly content, (it could be that there are also cute little old German men singing songs and eating cake at the stage to my left). This beer is full bodied it has a creamy head and is very smooth, there is a slight bitterness but it is balanced out with a soft finish.
The UFO White judging by its appearance is a light beer; it is a hazy golden yellow comparable to something like a Blue Moon. The man behind the table who serves it to me tells me it is Harpoon’s “fastest growing beer style”.As I predicted this beer is light and crisp, it smells of oranges. I am surprised they are serving it at the festival because it doesn’t go along with the theme of Oktoberfest to me; it seems to be more of a summer beer. I have the taste in my mouth long after I have finished the beer sort of sweet, wheat tones.
No surprise that the UFO Pumpkin is a hazy shade of orange. It smells sort of spicy certainly with hints of pumpkin. The mouth feel of this beer is very smooth with a delicate sweetness; it has some earthy notes that balance nicely with the spice. The UFO Pumpkin is made with pure pumpkin, it is easy to drink and you are left with that lingering spice and pumpkin taste, a great beer for these autumn seasons!
Harpoon Pumpkin Cider:
I was very eager to try this; I have had your standard craft apple ciders in the past but never a pumpkin cider! I learned that real pumpkin and pressed apples are combined with seasonal spices to craft the Harpoon Pumpkin Cider. I could smell the apples with a minor hint of pumpkin. This cider is light and crisp it is very lively, it is definitely more apple forward but I really enjoyed it because you are able to taste the cinnamon and ginger and the pumpkin gives the spices a good balance. Anyone who is into hard ciders should give this a try, I am not sure I could drink this all day but a pint or two was super refreshing!
Thus concludes the Harpoon Octoberfest edition of the #DrunkIntern blog, grab a six-pack and enjoy the foliage!
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