World Cup

Brewery and Country of Origin: Harpoon Brewery of 306 Northern Avenue, Seaport District, Boston, MA 02210, USA

Date Reviewed: 7-07-14

No matter who you are and what your interests happen to be, you are probably very excited for this coming weekend. That is because the World Cup Title game between Germany and Argentina are happening this Sunday at 4:00pm. We use the word "excited" because we know by now, you (at least you all in America) are either the biggest psuedo association football fans ever, or you can't wait for everyone to not care about it anymore... or you're one of the fourteen actual soccer fans in the country. Either way, this quadrennial sporting event is coming to a close. But before the third place game takes place tomorrow, it should be noted that this year was pretty exciting in terms of how the tournament played out (at least until the final four teams were determined, setting up two of the worst semifinal games ever... which set up yet another boring finals match between two teams who've already proven their dominance in the sport). 31 national teams competed in 12 stadiums (seven of which are brand new for the event) since the tournament started on June 12th with the group stages. But if you're a Boston area beer fan, you were probably more excited about another heated championship which took place last year: the annual Kettle Cup, run by Harpoon Brewery. The employee-run competition is effectively a home brew contest, with small teams' various recipes lined against each other. The winner was chosen at the company's annual outing on September 16th at their Windsor, VT location. More than 20 teams competed in the contest, with the winner being a relatively mild pale ale crafted by an all women's team of Merrill Allen, Jessie Cox, Shannon Cudmore, Liz Melby, and Carolyn Orth. This is Harpoon Brewery's fiftieth iteration of their famous 100 Barrel Series, and the fifteenth we've sampled to date. Its named is derived from the Citra hop variety and the glory of their victory.
Date Sampled: 4-14-14 At: Harpoon Brewery Beer Hall, 306 Northern Avenue, Seaport District, Boston, MA 02210, USA
Beer Style: American Pale Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.80%
Serving Type: Brewery Keg, 16 oz Tulip Glass
Rating: 3.29


Citra Victorious pours smoothly with a medium low amount of carbonation action, producing a three quarters inch tall foam head with a medium low retention rate, a white color, and an above average, almost creamy density. This beer is clear and filtered which gives it a bright rich amber copper like shine. There is no visible sediment and this beer displays an average effervescent effect. This beer shows an average amount of lacing on the glass.


This pale ale has a mostly hop influenced aroma with a fair amount of citrusy notes and a clean, slightly soapy bitter overtone. The aroma is somewhat complex with a good amount of contradicting pale grain and grassy malt, and some sweet banana fruit and clove spice notes mixed in. There is a slightly sweet caramel undertone with no earthy or nutty notes. This beer has no alcohol or metallic tinge in the aroma, which is fairly weak overall and does little to impact this beer's flavor.


This is a medium light bodied brew with a fairly low weight, an average level of carbonation, and a lower than average viscosity, all resulting in a beer that is crisp, lighter on the palate, and easier to drink than most, even in warmer weather. This beer is pretty refreshing overall and delivers a slight chilling effect with no alcohol bite or warming. There is a dry lingering finish which comes out smoothly and with a nice whispy crispness.


While fairly mild overall in terms of flavor strength, this beer has a complex yet delicate profile. This beer starts off with some citrusy and bitter grapefruity like hops with a lasting bitterness throughout, all the way toward a citrusy grapefruit aftertaste with a dry finish. This is balanced by a sweeter caramel like medium roasted malt and a slightly biscuity sweet, nutty undertone. This is accompanied by a somewhat grainy pale malt with some amber lager like grassy notes.

Our Take

The half century session in Harpoon's 100 Barrel Series is brewed with the same exact hops, malt and yeast as original homebrew. A fruity and mild beer overall, this is a casual easy drinking beer which is lovely for the late spring and summer months. This beer's wide range of flavor and fairly restrained presence makes it a versatile beer when it comes to food pairings, but we'd recommend spicy foods, sharp cheeses, very dark chocolates, or light, sweet fruit salads. Anyone looking for a well balanced beer with a present citrusy hoppy experience kept in check by a yeasty and malty secondary should be quick to grab this off the shelves before its replaced by the next session. In general, this was a good beer which was limited by a less than prominent aroma and a slightly underwhelming hop presence. Still, as a novel, limited release beer brewed by some of Harpoon's best, you'd be wise to give it a whirl.