By: Adam Bailey - Creative Director Published:
For those not in the know, Harpoon takes a “beer culture” trip to Europe each year featuring its utmost respected, hard-working, loyal, and flat-out indispensable employees, who happen to be celebrating their 5th anniversary, (and for some their 8, 12, and 17th…) on the job. This year, a group of Harpoon employees traveled to Poland to learn more about Polish beer culture. Harpoon's Creative Director - Adam Bailey, tells us what they are up to over there!
Saturday, 4/20 — Warsaw
We arrived in Frankfurt early Saturday morning with the news that the second suspect was caught. A great relief for all of us. We then got on the flight to our first destination, Warsaw.
Our first stop was Artezan a micro brewery on the outskirts of the city.
Artezan has been open for about a year and they brew about 400 barrels a year with three employees and only one of them being full time. The two owners still keep their full time job still.
We tried several of their beers. They have been greatly influenced by the American craft beer scene and are brewing some more adventurous things.
We sampled, Pacific Pale Ale — an American style pale ale hopped with simcoe, cascade, and Pacific Jade, a smoked wheat beer — fairy low alcohol slightly smoked — and, lastly a flemish style red. All were very good.
After Artezan we went into Warsaw and visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum. It was great to get a glimpse at the back story to this interesting city and see what it has gone through. Definitely worth the stop.
We split off into smaller groups for the evening. Our group checked out some of Warsaw's brewpubs:
- Bierhalle — A Munich inspired beer hall, with two locations in Warsaw where we some good dunkel.
- Browarmia — We met with more Harpooners here and had some great porters.
A long and good first day.
Sunday, 4/21 — Warsaw
A beautiful, sunny, and mild day.
Our hotel was centrally located and right near the main drag into Old Town.
We broke into small groups and toured the historic city center and the old market square visiting outdoor beer gardens, historic churches and sights.
We met for a group dinner at Podwale Piwna Company and had a great traditional Polish dinner, cured meats, fish, cheese, followed by soup, duck, fish and dessert.
We drank Polish and Czech Pilsners and then capped off the night with a stop at tiny bar where the three person band took up half the space and our group took up the rest.
A great day two.
Monday, 4/22 —Wroclaw
Today we traveled to Wroclaw.
We toured the Wroclaw's market square making stops at Piwnica Swidnicka, supposedly the oldest restaurant in Europe, in operation since 1273, which is situated beneath City Hall followed by a trip to Spiz, the oldest Brewpub in Poland, which has been open since the early 1992.
We then met our brewing friend Tomek who helped with some of the trip planning. He is a Polish beer expert and took a good part of our group to a polish beer bar and helped us pick some Polish craft beers including some by AleBrowar for the bus ride to the Widawa brewpub in Chrzastawa Mala.
Widawa had four different beers on tap for the night, Shark, an American Style IPA (brewed by Tomek) was the crowd favorite. We then got a tour of the brewery and celebrated a feast day on their back patio with barbecued kebabs and sausages. Then a group of us worked it off in a pick-up basketball game.
The brewpub is normally closed on Monday but opened for us, it was a real treat. Then we headed back to Wroclaw.
By: Amanda - Loves Beer and Life Published:
As you share all of your IPA stories, we want to share some of our own. In anticipation of this promotion, we spent some time reminiscing with some of the folks who have been involved with or supported Harpoon IPA over the past 20 years, and we asked them what they remembered. For this post, we are honored to have two more luminaries in the IPA world (Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery) tell us their IPA story.
Sam Calagione, the Founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewery, shared his IPA story with us, about how his first introduction to craft beer also introduced him to Harpoon:
"I tried my first craft beer and saw my first Harpoon Logo in the same week while I was studying for a semester in Sydney. I went to a brewpub down there with guys on my program from Tufts College. One of them was wearing a harpoon hat and I traded him my hat for his. When I graduated college in 1992 I waited tables at an early beer bar in NYC for two years while writing my business plan for dogfish head and I remember first trying and enjoying Harpoon IPA there. Unfortunately I lost my hat. Please tell Rich I will trade him a hat for a hat. Congrats to everyone at Harpoon on this big anniversary!"
When we spoke with Mitch, Stone’s Brewmaster, he referred to his favorite IPA story that was published in his book IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale:
“From 1999 to 2006, when I lived in New Hampshire, I was in the Brew Free or Die homebrew club. My knowledge of great IPA expanded tremendously. We all were brewing IPAs, and at our meetings we sampled some that were becoming available from craft breweries such as Stone Brewing Co., Russian River, and Dogfish Head. Both Castle Spring’s Lucknow IPA and Harpoon IPA became staples in my beer refrigerator, and I continued to research and explore the style at every opportunity (and yes, that meant plenty of tasting!).”
Have a story like Mitch and Sam? Share it with us in our contest for a chance at winning the "Harpoon IPA Experience" for a year, including entry to and accommodations at all of our festivals in Boston and Windsor, VT.