By: Harpoon Brewery Published:
We are very excited to announce that we will begin distributing Harpoon beers to Minnesota and Wisconsin in November! This is the first time we’ve started shipping Harpoon beer to a new state in 8 years, and we can’t wait to share Harpoon IPA with our beer-loving friends in the Midwest. In addition to our beloved IPA, we’ll be sending our classic Harpoon Winter Warmer and our new year-round Golden Ale, Harpoon Sweet Spot. Our new ‘Tis the Seasonal Winter Mix will also be available and will include IPA, Sweet Spot, Winter Warmer, and Vanilla Bean Porter. Perfect for those Midwestern winters.
There’s a fantastic craft beer scene in both states, and we’re excited to add some New England flavor to them. Many of us at Harpoon have spent a lot of time drinking beers in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, and we’ve seen that there are many like-minded beer drinkers out there who love beer and love life like we do.
By: Tom Graham, Brewer Published:
Here at Harpoon, we brew like we own the place – because we do own the place. We’re proud to be independent brewers and it’s something we like to celebrate. So we called our friends at Odell Brewing Co., a fellow employee owned brewery in Fort Collins, CO, and asked them to brew a beer with us as a toast to brewing independence. The beer is the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series EHOP, an Oatmeal Pale Ale brewed with oats from another employee-owned company, King Arthur Flour. Harpoon Vermont brewer Tom Graham worked with Odell to create the recipe and brew the beer – one version at Harpoon and one version at Odell. We asked Tom to tell us about the beers, the brewing, and what it means to be an employee owner.
Can you tell us about the two different EHOP beers you brewed with Odell Brewing Co.?
Early in the conversations, we came up with the idea that we wanted to brew hoppy pale ale with oats. I’ve been calling ours “Pale Oat Ale”. The Odell recipe ended up a little stronger and we were calling it a “SOPA” for “Strong Oat Pale Ale”
How did you come up with the recipes for each?
Once we decided on the “style”, I talked with some of my colleagues about how we envisioned the beer and we agreed that we would like a very pale (in color), hop forward pale ale of about 6.6 % ABV and 52 IBUs. I put together a pilot recipe and shared it with my counterpart, Bill Beymer, of Odell. From there we independently added our own additional tweaks, with Bill adding some crystal malt to give it some color and upping the ABV by a percent or so.
Did you go out to Fort Collins to brew the beer, and did their brewer come here? What was that experience like?
I did go to Fort Collins and felt very welcome. I had a great time seeing their operation and interacting with people throughout the brewery and Bill was a great host. We returned the favor a week later when Bill came to Boston where we showed him around and Bill and I helped out with the brew.
How was the pre-GABF EHOP launch party in Colorado with other ESOP breweries? Anything, in particular, that struck you?
It was a nice event. There were five ESOP breweries represented with two draft handles each – It was dubbed an ESOP tap takeover. From Harpoon we poured our EHOP beer and Sweet Spot. Odell, of course, had their own version of the EHOP and the other breweries represented were Left Hand, New Belgium, and Deschutes. There was good attendance from the other breweries. There was a group onstage toast with a few nice words about employee ownership by Wynne Odell.
What does employee ownership mean to you?
Two things come immediately to mind: 1. That Harpoon has a known succession plan in place and it looks like a good one, and 2. That when Harpoon profits as a company, I profit as an individual. Culturally I think Harpoon has made a great effort to keep us aware that we all have a stake in our continued success.