Harpoon Brewery - Rec. League
- ABV: 4.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 35
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra
- Hops: Pale, Oats, Wheat, Copper Carapils
Pouring a hazy golden straw color capped with a bright head of foam, Rec. League certainly looks the part of a hazy pale ale. Harpoon designed this beer to be a super-sessionable, low-ABV brew that would invigorate and refresh the imbiber with welcoming hop character, and they have certainly made something compelling and unique, incorporating unusual ingredients, namely buckwheat kasha, chia seeds, and sea salt. On the nose, look for the hops to usher forth an extremely lush and fruity character, with tropical layers of pineapple, mango, and papaya melding with citrus juice, touches of melon, and floral overtones. Bright, effervescent carbonation, along with a dash of salinity lightly reminiscent of a German Gose, offers plenty of verve and lift, while the malt profile presents a clean base with a touch of tangy wheat. The hops shine on this stage, bringing those fruity and floral notes to bear on the palate with delicious and refreshing effect, while moderate hop bitterness keeps this dry throughout. For pairing options, the brewery recommends burgers, cheeses, and apples. We think a summer cheeseboard with 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’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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