Harpoon Brewery - Harpoon IPA
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):48
Serving Temperature:45-50º F
Suggested Glassware:IPA Glass or Pint Glass
Malts:Pale, Caramel, Victory
Hops:Cascade, Chinook, Apollo
Harpoon first brewed this IPA in 1993, and it’s become a regional New England classic. But don’t confuse it for the more recent style of “New England Hazy IPA”; Harpoon constructed their Harpoon IPA as an English-style IPA, but featuring American hop varieties to add a definite American character. On the pour, we get an attractive copper hue with excellent clarity and a robust head of tight-bubbled foam that laces nicely as it drops. Juicy citrus leads the way in the aroma, with notes reminiscent of grapefruit and orange, accompanied by touches of pine resin, herbal tones, and moderate floral notes. Below these bright hop aromas, look for the malts to offer moderate caramel and breadiness. In the flavor, we get a nice depth to the malts at the core of this IPA, offering plenty of toasted and caramelized notes to support the bold hop character. Speaking of which, those hops come through with a nice balance between spicy herbal and juicy citrus elements, with the bitterness moderately firm and well-matched to the beer’s lightly sweet malt backbone. For pairing options, we’d look to roasted meats with a fruity pan sauce, spicy chicken or beef enchiladas, Thai curry lemongrass shrimp skewers, Buffalo wings, Nashville hot chicken, or a snack of aged Cheddar or Brie with crackers and fruit. 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’ve stated 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, visit their website at www.harpoonbrewery.com.
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