Harpoon Brewing Company - Harpoon Dark
- ABV: 5.2%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 35
- Serving Temperature: 47-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass, Stange, or Flute
- Malts: Pale, Caramel 60 & 80, Carapils, Chocolate, Bonlander
- Hops: Apollo, Willamette
This Munich-style Dunkel Lager is normally a draft-only option, so we’re excited Harpoon has agreed to bottle a batch for us. Be sure to let this one come up a bit from fridge temperature before enjoying. Pouring deep brown with mahogany highlights and a head of light brown foam, Harpoon Dark certainly looks inviting. The aroma backs that up; look for deep caramel notes with a bit of roasty char, light chocolate tones, espresso, bread crust, and a wisp of cocoa powder, all overlaid with floral and mild dried fruit overtones. These notes transfer to the flavor too; there’s a core of brown bread, caramel, and a roasty character building to moderate strength with a lingering thread of smoke. Expressive Willamette hops offer a spicy, maybe even woody, note and just a hint of fruitiness while the moderate hop bitterness merges nicely with the roasted malt character, helping all the pieces come together in a really well-integrated way. Like all good dunkels, the beer is neither too thin nor too heavy, and at just over 5% ABV it’s quite sessionable. Grilled meats of all kinds, particularly those grilled over charcoal, make for a great pairing. Or try some pumpernickel & onion pretzels for a quick and easy pairing. Prost!
Harpoon Brewing Company 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 Ligetti 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. 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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