Harpoon was started in 1986 by Dan Kenary, Rich Doyle, and George Ligeti. They were three friends who loved beer and loved drinking beer together but found the beer choices at the time to be limited. Traveling through Europe and experiencing the rich traditions of European brewing and beer drinking enhanced their love of beer and opened their eyes to the rich beer culture they wanted back home. They decided to build a brewery so that they could brew the beers that they wanted to drink, and invite their friends to the brewery to drink it with them.
In June of 1987, a warehouse space on the Boston waterfront was transformed into a brewery and the first Harpoon Ale was brewed. Fresh, local craft beer began making its way out to Boston beer drinkers. It was hard to imagine that craft brewing would become what it has today. Though many things have changed since the early days of Harpoon, much has stayed the same. We still love brewing beer and enjoying it with friends. One thing that has changed: in August 2014 Harpoon became an employee owned company!
We invite all of you to visit our Boston brewery, where it all began, and our beautiful brewery in Windsor, Vermont. Come have a beer with us soon!
Some people think we walk around Harpoon like we own the place. Well, that could be because we actually DO own the place. In August 2014, Harpoon became an employee-owned company, with 48% of the company given to employees through the establishment of an ESOP. An E-what? ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Program. It is a mechanism by which a company contributes to its employees’ retirement by allocating shares to them which it repurchases…..yadda, yadda, yadda… Here’s what it means: we are employee owned, we are an independent craft brewer, and you bet we’re damn proud of it.
Our motto, “Love Beer. Love Life.” embodies our pride in not only brewing great beer but enjoying the experiences that get paired with it. It’s meant to be open to interpretation because we know that “Love Beer. Love Life” possibilities are endless. Here's a look at what it means to us!