Name: Harpoon Brewery
Location: Boston, MA
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: Harpoon is an elder statesman in the American craft beer world. Started in 1986, they've been brewing for almost 30 years. They have quite a large production output, including a wide array of both core brands and one-offs and specialties. They're just about halfway through their 100 Barrel Series (a collection of one-offs that has produced a number of interesting brews.) Harpoon isn't bringing any of the 100 Barrel Series to SAVOR opting instead for two core beers. Note that Harpoon also produces cider as well as the entire line of UFO beers.
Beer #1: Harpoon IPA (American IPA / 5.9%)
In Their Own Words: "In 1993, Harpoon pioneered IPA brewing with this New England classic. It began as a summer seasonal and people absolutely loved it. So did we. So we made it a year-round beer, and it’s now our bestselling beer and our flagship. A New England-style IPA finds harmony in the combination of hops, malt, and yeast so that no single ingredient dominates the drinking experience. The blend of malt provides depth in body and color, and is balanced by a pleasantly hoppy finish. As the definitive New England-style IPA, Harpoon IPA is a beautifully balanced beer. The citrus and pine of Cascade hops complement a sturdy malt backbone and the floral aromas of our beloved yeast. Brewed in the spirit of fun and sociability, it is wonderfully hoppy but remarkably balanced, and is best enjoyed with friends."
Food Pairing: Lamb keftath (Ground lamb seasoned with paprika, parsley, lemon and coriander. Grilled and served with a yogurt and cucumber relish.)
Our Thoughts: A pretty perfect pairing. The citrus and pine aromatics will pair nicely with lemon and coriander, and the bitterness of the beer will cut through the creaminess of the yogurt. Harpoon IPA Is a quintessential east coast IPA and certainly an important part of Harpoon's profile. It will have a lot of competition at SAVOR in the IPA department, including at its own table.
Beer #2: Rich and Dan's Rye IPA (American IPA / 6.9%)
In Their Own Words: "After 25 years of running a brewery, Harpoon founders Rich and Dan thought it was high time they brewed a beer together. Truth be told, they didn’t want their name on it. Truth really be told, they have a running joke as to whether it’s Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA or Dan and Rich’s Rye IPA. Regardless of the order, the point is the same: they’ve been friends for three decades and still love having a beer together. It’s a testament to great beer and friendship, and it made sense, in this case, to name names. Grab your pals and toast to friendship with this Rye IPA! This beer is brewed with hops, a variety of malts, our proprietary yeast – the same yeast we’ve used since first brewing Harpoon Ale – and more hops. A lot more hops. Centennial and Chinook, and the dry hop addition of Falconer’s Flight add a multidimensional hop character, and the combination of Pale, Rye, Caramel 60, Flaked Rye, and Vienna yield a complex malt body that stands up to the spiciness of the rye and the pronounced hop flavor."
Food Pairing: Gravlax with fennel mustard: house-cured salmon on black bread with fennel mustard.
Our Thoughts: I'm a big rye IPA fan, and the idea of all of that spicy rye mixing with fennel mustard and black bread is definitely a winning combination. The story behind this beer is great, so be sure to stop by Harpoon's table to hear more about Dan, Rich, and the great brewery they've maintained for three decades up in Boston.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.