Harpoon Brewery - Big League
- ABV: 7.2%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 50
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: IPA Glass, Pint Glass, Tulip
- Malts: 2-Row, Oat Malt, Roasted Oats, Wheat Malt, Buckwheat Kasha, Chia Seeds
- Hops: Cascade, Simcoe, Ekuanot, Citra, Mosaic
Harpoon’s Big League is an amped-up version of their sub-4% ABV Rec. League hazy session IPA (previously featured in the club). The brewers doubled the recipe for Rec. League, giving us a much bolder New England-style IPA. We get a nicely bright golden color on the pour, moderately hazed, with a persistent and quite fluffy cap of pale foam. Much like Rec. League, there’s a lush and very fruity character in the aroma profile. Look for citrus notes to straddle grapefruit, orange, and lemon-lime, with plenty of engaging tropical notes evoking prominent mango, papaya, and pineapple. Soft tropical floral tones appear, as well, along with some melon and peach-like stone fruits. Brewed with a healthy dose of oats, Big League comes across quite velvety smooth on the palate, with deliciously silky fruit character bringing forth all of the notes mentioned in the aroma, all within a creamy medium body. Hop bitterness is firm but not extreme, very much as we expect and enjoy in a hazy IPA. As with Rec. League, there’s a dash of Mediterranean sea salt added, offering a hint of the refreshing verve of a German Gose. For pairing options, burgers with a fruity relish sound good to us, as does grilled chicken in a teriyaki glaze with grilled pineapple and rice pilaf. A snack of parmesan, mozzarella, melon, and prosciutto sounds great, as well. Cheers!
Harpoon Brewery was founded in 1986, quite early in the US microbrew renaissance. Before starting the brewery, the founding team of Dan Kenary and Rich Doyle traveled throughout Europe in search of various beer and brewery styles upon which they would model their own ("product research" we think they called it). Upon returning, they partnered with George Ligeti and hired brewer Russ Heissner, and by 1987 their first beer was sold as the brewery debuted on the Boston waterfront.
Harpoon has always been focused on positively impacting their local community. This is an important component of the brewery and pub lifestyle that the founders witnessed while experiencing European traditions abroad. As they say on their website, "We learned to appreciate how much local brewers meant to their communities. They were not just manufacturers of a product; they were part of the social fabric. We asked each other, 'Why not do that in New England?'" The result of this initial desire has won them overwhelming approval from the locals and beyond. In fact, in 2000 they purchased a second brewery in Windsor, Vermont, to keep up with demand. In 2014, Harpoon became an employee-owned company with the introduction of an employee stock ownership plan, a major point of pride for the entire organization. Way to go, guys! For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call 617-456-2322, or visit their website at www.harpoonbrewery.com.
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