Celebrate International IPA Day with Harpoon
By: Charlie Storey, SVP Marketing Published:
IPA is a big part of our lives here at Harpoon. After 20 years of brewing this great style, it is very gratifying to see IPA as the most popular craft beer style in the US. It was not always this way. Most Harpoon IPA lovers know the story: the beer started as a summer beer offering in 1993 and was a bit of a contrarian offering… more of a tribute to Pacific Northwest IPA than a beer to match New England summers. To our surprise and delight, there was such a great response that we had to brew it again in the summer of 1994. After that, we never looked back. The beer that seemed like a noisy brass band of hop aroma and bite 20 years ago is now a uniquely balanced offering in the company of today’s highly-hopped IPAs.
The Brewery’s love for the style had led to some other great IPAs. We called our 2013 spring variety pack “IPA Adventure” to reflect our hoppy journey. Co-founders Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary celebrated the Brewery’s 25th anniversary by brewing a Rye IPA, which was in the variety pack along with a White IPA and Black IPA. White IPA is currently on shelves as a Limited Release, and will be followed by Black IPA in the fall. At the far end of the hop spectrum is Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA. This 10%+ abv beer has 90 IBUs but enough malt backbone to maintain a sense of balance. The Harpoon IPA “family” has grown as the brewery, and the craft beer market in general, has grown. We couldn’t be happier.
The upcoming International IPA Day gives us yet another reason to praise this style and share Harpoon IPA(s) with friends. Thursday, August 1st is the date of the third annual International IPA day. To make this most of the occasion, the Harpoon Beer Hall in Boston and the Riverbend Taps in Windsor, VT will be pouring IPA flights. We’ll have special brewery tours dedicated to IPA. And all Harpoon IPA merchandise will be discounted by 20% for Friends of Harpoon (both in the Brewery Stores and on the Harpoon eStore). 20% for 20 years… get it?! It will be a great day to celebrate a great style and a beloved beer.
In closing, I wanted to say something about my own IPA journey. I had my first Harpoon IPA in the Harpoon Tasting Room before I was an employee. I distinctly remember thinking two things: first, this beer is really really good and, second, I didn’t know beer could taste like this. It was my first truly hoppy beer. I have been hooked ever since. That doesn’t mean IPA is my only choice; indeed, I will find myself finding a new “favorite” amongst 100BBL beers, seasonals, or something experimental from the pilot system. When the beer is gone, there’s a tinge of sadness which quickly disappears when I pour a pint of Harpoon IPA. It is a happy reunion with an old friend, something that never gets old or loses its ability to put a smile on my face. I am looking forward to raising my Harpoon IPA glass with all of you on August 1st. Cheers!