Harpoon Flannel Friday Amber Ale

    Review Date 11/28/2017   Last Updated 10/21/2020   By John Staradumsky

Harpoon Flannel Friday? What is that all about? I was sure I didn’t know. I saw it on the shelf,
though, and said to myshelf…err I mean self, “Doesn’t Harpoon already have a fall beer?”. Of course they do, and have for a long time. Harpoon Octoberfest. That one has been a staple for me since the late 80s.

For the longest time, Harpoon Octoberfest was (and perhaps still is) an Octoberfest ale. So, the notion of another amber ale seemed a little redundant. Then, though, I got the beer home and found out that Harpoon Flannel Friday is not redundant at all.

On the front bottle label, Harpoon describes Flannel Friday as “Hoppy Malty Crisp Amber Ale”. On the rear they say:

There are subtle, but unmistakable signs….

The first hint of a chill in the air.

The first day at the brewery when everyone shows up in flannel.

That announce the arrival of fall.

Harpoon Flannel Friday was introduced in 2016 and is back for 2017. It has an alcohol content of 5.7% by volume with 35 IBUs. It runs $9.49 a six-pack at Target.

Harpoon Flannel Friday pours to a deep tawny amber hue with a thick and rocky head of foam and a nutty malty, slightly citrusy hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a pleasing caramel maltiness with hints of toasted nut and a throughput of citrusy, piney quite lemony hops. There is a subtle aroma of tea-like herbal hops. The beer finishes slightly bitter and that makes me want another sip.

Very tasty indeed, and a fine complement to Harpoon Octoberfest my friends. The piney and malty notes make me recall my many falls spent growing up and as a young adult in Rhode Island, with the scent of fir trees in the air, a bit of a chill-and the comforting warmth of a flannel short to protect against the cold. Harpoon Flannel Friday manages to do a bit of that latter itself.

Update 10/21/2020: I got a six-pack of Harpoon Flannel Friday at Bullock's for $9.99 this year. This time I got it in cans, and they are fresh enough, packaged on 7/27/20. I didn't see Harpoon Octoberfest, sadly enough. Flannel Friday is a wonderful beer, caramel malty with those refreshing citrusy notes shining through. I do of course have Harpoon glasses to enjoy it in, and I have, but recently restored to my collection a Nutfield Brewing glass. I lost my glass from that beloved and late lamented New Hampshire brewery in my move to Georgia nigh 20 years ago. Nice to have one again, and to enjoy a tasty New England beer in it.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned