Archive for the ‘Harpoon Brewery’ Category

Tonight’s beer is a rather new offering in the Harpoon UFO line. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Harpoon was started in 1986 by Dan Kenary, Rich Doyle, and George Ligeti. They were three friends who loved beer and loved drinking beer together but found the beer choices at the time to be limited. Traveling through Europe and experiencing the rich traditions of European brewing and beer drinking enhanced their love of beer and opened their eyes to the rich beer culture they wanted back home. They decided to build a brewery so that they could brew the beers that they wanted to drink, and invite their friends to the brewery to drink it with them. In June of 1987, a warehouse space on the Boston waterfront was transformed into a brewery and the first Harpoon Ale was brewed. Fresh, local craft beer began making its way out to Boston beer drinkers. It was hard to imagine that craft brewing would become what it has today. Though many things have changed since the early days of Harpoon, much has stayed the same. We still love brewing beer and enjoying it with friends. One thing that has changed: in August 2014 Harpoon became an employee owned company! We invite all of you to visit our Boston brewery, where it all began, and our beautiful brewery in Windsor, Vermont. Come have a beer with us soon!”

Random: “Turn” is back. It’s one of my favorite historical dramas.

The beer poured with a relatively thick white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was incredibly hazy and bright orange. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of citrus zest, wheat and yeast. There wasn’t much spice to the nose. The taste was light and refreshing with a lot of citrus, although I don’t think I could characterize it as blood orange. The wheat was present as well with very small amounts of coriander. It also had some sweetness to it. The body was light with a lot of carbonation to it, making it an easy drinker. The finish was quick and had some light citrus. A bottle as $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot and I would be happy to see it in a cooler at a barbecue.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0


Today’s selection is a Spring seasonal from Harpoon that I did in fact have in Spring, despite that I post 6 months ahead of time. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Here at Harpoon we’re all about Loving Beer and Loving Life. We’re not afraid of the snow or sleet or anything spring throws at us – we’re about getting outside with friends and embracing the day. Hibernation be damned, come join us as we make fresh tracks of our own! Hop forward without being bitter, this single hop Pale Ale showcases the piney, citrusy character of Centennial hops. Bright and golden, light and drinkable, the subtle malt flavor lets the hops shine.”

Random: My smallest cat tried to get a bumblebee that was outside of the window.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and dark yellow with moderate carbonation. The nose was very light with a hint of metal and some biscuit malt. The taste was a bit more complex, but not by much. It started with some biscuit malt that provided a bit of sweetness as well. It had a slight toasty character as well that transitioned into orange zest and grass. The body was light with just enough carbonation. It had a quick finish with grass. I have no idea as to how much this cost, since I received it as a gift, but it was an easy drinking pale. It’s not going to blow your mind, but would make for a good beer to introduce someone to craft.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

This is one of the Fall beers that I drank in October this year (now you can tell how big my backlog is). Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The original German Oktoberfest was brewed with one celebratory festival in mind. Harpoon Octoberfest is brewed with TWO festivals in mind; our Octoberfests at our breweries in Boston, MA and Windsor, VT. We love the style and it’s a great beer for the fall season. In true Octoberfest tradition, we threw our first festival here at the brewery in 1990. There were a couple thousand people here celebrating amidst the brewing tanks. We can’t quite fit everyone in the actual brewery now – last year nearly 18,000 revelers attended our Boston Octoberfest and nearly 7,000 joined us at our brewery in Vermont the following weekend. Prost! Harpoon Octoberfest is a malty tribute to fall, balanced by a gentle hop bitterness. In keeping with tradition, it is a Marzen-style beer, brewed with abundant quantities of Munich, Chocolate, and Pale malts. Those malts provide a solid, full body and create the beer’s deep color. It is a rich, flavorful beer.”

Random: Whenever I blog for awhile, the cats want to sit on the computer.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly. Despite that, it left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy sienna color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had maple leaves and wood, but not a lot of sweetness, which was odd for the style. The taste was also more woodsy than sweet. It had hazelnuts, wood and old leaves. There was some maple sweetness and caramel at the end of the sip. It had a thin body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty with some leaves, like if you stuck your face in a pile of them in Fall. A bottle of this was $1.67, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. I had no problem drinking this beer, but it wasn’t to style at all. I would have this one again if someone handed it to me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I’ve been binging on Law And Order: SVU all day. I used to watch the show religiously about 5 years ago, but stopped watching until this year. The cats are snuggled up next to me and overall, it’s a good night. Now, for the beer.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pack up your sunblock, your tent, camping chairs, and s’mores fixin’s because this summer we’re heading to camp! We are very excited to introduce this brand new beer for the summer. Camp Wannamango is brewed to evoke the best parts of the season – sun kissed days on the dock, starlit evenings around the campfire, and all the fun with great friends and great beer that summer brings. ”

Random: This beer comes in at 22 IBUs.

The brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear, golden-yellow and had moderate carbonation. The nose had notes of fresh mango, apricot and wheat. It was really fresh and reminded me of Summer. The taste had a lot of mango as well, but it wasn’t as authentic as the nose. There wasn’t any apricot on the taste either. There was some grass as well with wheat. The body was medium thickness with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with mango flesh. The bottle set me back about $1.50, which came to $.12. The was a pretty simplistic beer, but it went down easily. If someone handed it to me, I wouldn’t hesitate on throwing it back.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Tonight’s selection is from Harpoon. I find their beers to be a bit hit or miss, so let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 13%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A beer designed explicitly for adventurers and explorers, Arctic Ale is steeped in lore and legend. Originally brewed by request of Queen Victoria of England in 1851, Arctic Ale was developed as ‘life sustaining support’ for sailors sent to search for lost expeditions charting the Northwest Passage. Drawing inspiration from these curious and intrepid voyagers, our brewers have created this rich, robust, deep-flavored ale. Despite its dark coffee-like hue and aromas of bourbon, dark fruit, and chocolate, this ale is deceivingly smooth with a rich malt character and subtly sweet finish. While our drinkers today may not have the same need to stave off scurvy, this hearty ale is one that can be enjoyed today, but also placed in the hold for years to come.”

Random: This comes in at 32 IBUs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of ecru colored head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the color. On the nose, the first thing that I picked up was booze. After I let it warm for another ten minutes or so, I got some maple and leather. The taste was sweet and malty up front. It also had maple, but some notes of leather and tobacco. The dark malts came through with booze next. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation, making this a good winter sipping beer. It had a lengthy finish with cloying sweetness. I picked this bomber up for $7.99 ($.36 per ounce), which isn’t a bad price for this beer, except for the fact that it was way too sweet. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I haven’t had a Harpoon Barrel Series in a long time. They used to put out some impressive stuff, so let’s see if this one is decent.


ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2014 we became employee owned and our friends from Deschutes Brewery were among the first to welcome us to the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) club. They became an invaluable resource for us as we began to navigate our way into the new world of employee ownership. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for us to decide to brew a beer together. Two versions of the EHOP beer will be released: one brewed at our brewery in Boston and the other brewed at Deschutes in Bend, Oregon. Harpoon brewer Ethan Elston and Deschutes brewer Ryan Schmiege collaborated on both recipes. While each beer is unique, both recipes include employee-grown hops (EHOPs). The hops, along with locally sourced sage and thyme, create a full bodied amber ale that has a malty sweetness and a lingering spiciness. Both versions will be bottled and kegged for a release in Mid-Late October. Cheers to craft brewing independence!”

Random: “Criminal Minds” is really good this season.

The beer poured with a two finger, off white head that was very thick and fluffy. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with light carbonation. The nose had a lot of malt and sweetness. Toffee and caramel came through. There were herbal notes as well, but I didn’t pick up much bitterness. The taste had a huge amount of malt. Lots of caramel candy and toffee. Bread came through next. Again, I didn’t get a huge amount of hops from this. They manifested in a vegetal and herbal way. The booze was well hidden. It had a long and malty finish. This was $7.99 for the bomber ($.36 per ounce). This was a really robust amber and I’m not sure why this was classified as a double IPA. I would have this one again, although it didn’t blow my mind.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a beer from Harpoon. Honestly, I’m just not drawn to them on the shelves. I don’t find many of their beers exciting and I only picked this one up because I needed to fill a mixed six-pack. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 4.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There are a lot things that we all have to do every day; Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA was brewed to celebrate the things we want to do. With a 4.3% ABV and 43 IBUs, this newest member of Harpoon’s year-round lineup is meant for those spontaneous moments, meeting up with friends and taking a break for fun. Harpoon Take 5 was first brewed on the Brewery’s 10-barrel system in early 2014. With each pilot batch the recipe was tweaked until the desired balance between hop aroma and malt character was achieved. This final version begins with a vibrant citrus and pine hop aroma from Simcoe and Amarillo hops and follows through with a sturdy malt profile from the combination of Pale, Vienna, Carapils, and English Amber malts. Hop forward but not too bitter, low ABV but with a significant malt body – a truly sessionable beer.”

Random: I wonder what session style will become the new popular beer.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy, straw yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose had huge amounts of pine, I assume from the Simcoe hops. I didn’t pick up the citrus because the pine was so prominent. The taste was slightly more mellow. It still had generous amounts of pine, but also had grapefruit rind. There was some slight sweetness at the end from the malt. The body was thicker than I expected with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with pine resin. A single of this was $1.50 ($.12 per ounce), which is pretty cheap for a craft beer. I enjoyed the fact that it drank as much bigger beer than it was and wouldn’t hesitate in having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0