Beer: Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
Description: Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale pours deep amber with a wispy white head that doesn’t linger too long before disappearing entirely. The aroma is very inviting, especially this time of year, with hints of sweet caramel, toasted grains, and, of course, cranberries. The taste very much follows the nose with the toasted bready malts hitting the palate first, but the tartness from the cranberries quickly follows suit and is then trailed by very subtle earthy hops. The finish is semi-dry with the bready malts and tart cranberries lingering for a long time on the palate. The carbonation and body were both moderate, with neither outshining the other and both coming together for a nice balance. This is a solid holiday offering from Harpoon and a great take on the fruit beer style.
Food pairing: The time of year this beer is released and the cranberries both lend themselves to this being the go-to beer for Thanksgiving dinner. The tartness from the cranberries adds an extra layer of flavor to the meal and pairs well with Thanksgiving Day turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and even the pumpkin pie. This beer also goes well with the wide variety of cranberry dishes prepared this year, whether they are straight out of the can or freshly picked and blended into a dessert of some kind. Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale also stretches beyond Thanksgiving itself, just like the food, and pairs well with leftovers and the entirely new dishes one can create using them. I myself am a huge fan of a Thanksgiving panini, which is a panini filled with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and the option of cranberry sauce as well.
The final word: While Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale is far from a life-changing beer, it is a perfect brew to have around for Thanksgiving dinner and all of the leftovers that follow. While it is certainly a fruit beer, it is not overwhelming and is still at its heart a solid brew. The other bonus one gets from purchasing this beer is that Harpoon donates $1 per six-pack to a local food bank in the area in which it was purchased. Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale is just one more reason to be thankful this holiday season!
Rating: W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Wegmans, Dickson City and Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.