Monday, July 7, 2008

Harpoon Brewery, South Boston, MA

Harpoon Brewery – The most recent Beer Crusade Board of Directors Meeting was held on July 1st at Harpoon Brewery as part of one of their daily tastings. Harpoon’s Boston Brewery does not conduct tours, it however does have tastings almost daily at 4pm where you can sit, learn a little about some beer and try the 12 or so beers they have on tap for FREE. They are only allowed to pour 4 oz. mugs, but if there is a small crowd you can really put some back. Harpoon is also in the midst of its Harpoon 100 Barrel promotion where they have current or guest brewers brew 100 barrels of any style of beer they want. We were lucky enough to have two of those on tap when I was there. I have very brief reviews below as 4 oz is a very small portion for me to truly capture the essence of a beer. Also since some of the below mentioned beers are 100 Barrel series, they will not be on the market very long. So here goes:

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Steve Stewart’s Firth of Forth Ale – This beer was like a Guinness Light, not a light beer, but not overpowering like Guinness can be, i.e. it wasn’t like drinking a loaf of bread. . The beer was full bodied, but was chocolate malty smooth. Unlike Guinness, it didn’t end with that metallic aftertaste, so I actually enjoyed the beer. 5.4% ABV and was rated a 3.0.

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Old Rusty’s Red Eye Ale – This is a spicy rye ale that comes of as a very acidic brown. The rye added a dimension to the beer I hadn’t tried before and it really threw me off. My review probably can’t do this justice in just 4oz, but it came off unfavorably. The beer is a 6.5% ABV and got a 2.5.

Harpoon Brown Session Ale – Nice caramel taste. The beer is slightly carbonated which takes away from the enjoyment as I tend to prefer smoother brown ales. The ale has a 4.3% ABV and rates a 3.0.

Harpoon Ale – This ale is lighter than I remembered in the past. There is an apple fruitish taste that hides behind the hops. This beer definitely surprised me and I may need to add it to my regular rotation. I’ll hold off on that though until I get to enjoy it out of the bottle. The beer has a 5.0%ABV and gets a 3.0 with a bullet!

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Triticus Ale – This is more of a wheat wine than a beer. The Jujy Fruit smell is overpowering and knocks you over. The Triticus has a silky feel to it as it glides over your palette. The beer is very fruity, and alcohol intensive packing either a 14.3% (Brewery) or 11.5% (website) ABV depending on whom you want to believe. This is definitely a one trick pony beer, because if you have more than one you’re basically stuck on your couch until your body begins to function after processing all that alcohol. Definitely worth trying if you can find it. It was actually brewed by some lesser famed Boston beer blogging brothers whose name I now forget. Definitely a 3.5, possibly more if I could try it again.

Overall I definitely recommend attending a Harpoon tasting, or for that matter a HarpoonFest. The beers are all very good, with some being exceptionally so. Of course the tasting is held right in the Harpoon Store, so you may have a few too many sips and end up with a Harpoon Cycling shirt you’ll never wear, but it’s all in good fun. I also learned a few things while at the Brewery, the first being that I now have a Board of Directors and people are interested in being a member, and two an acquaintance of mine who happens to work at Harpoon is apparently Mr. Harpoon. He’s won every company award it seems, so congrats to you fine sir, keep up the good work.


jay said...

so how does one one get on the board of directors?

Rob said...

First rule of getting on the Board of Directors: DO NOT ASK ABOUT GETTING ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.