Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.
I got a quick Harpoon Brewery update the other day at a tasting at Eli Cannon's Taproom in Middletown CT. Now before you blow your stack about no more Leviathan (which has been an exceptionally solid "big beer" line in my mind), just know that the Leviathan styles will live on, just branded a bit differently. The Leviathan tidbit and news about a new Boston beer hall for Harpoon were the news of note that I gleaned from Harpoon rep Roger Wilson.
The first item of concern for many of you is probably the whole business with the Leviathan series. To allay your fears though: don't worry; Leviathan will remain as a brewing variety, it'll just now be rolled under the Harpoon label itself. In other words instead of seeing "Leviathan Red Squared" on a label, it will look more along the lines of "Harpoon Red Squared." The reason for the change is that Harpoon wants to bring more hype to the Leviathan brand and it is easier to do that if it is directly connected to the Harpoon label itself. As Wilson puts it, there is a lot of higher end beer on the market right now, and CT is a state that (believe it or not) generally demands high quality beer. To better accommodate this want (or need, depending on your love of beer) Harpoon will put out Leviathan under it's label to increase brand recognition and make it stand out better. To help its prominence in stores Harpoon will also begin putting out the Leviathan series in a 22 oz bottle. This will make the beers more readily striking on the shelf. The next Leviathan coming out, Wilson tells me, is a dense farmhouse style that should be making the rounds in a few months (just in time to segue to spring).
Next up is Harpoon's new beer hall. This takes the place of offices that Harpoon blew out and replaced with brand new seating and production facilities. Up until opening the new facility, Harpoon was turning away at least a hundred people per weekend. With the new beer hall they can accommodate 300 people in addition to the people who come to the brewery tour. The hall itself is modeled after the "old world" style: boasting long tables, beer, pretzels, full view of the city (thanks to plate glass all around), and no TVs at all. The point of this beer hall, as Wilson explains it, is to hang out, drink some beer, and have a good time in the style of a beer garden. Besides a great place to chill out and have a few drinks, the new beer hall will also fill up any Harpoon growlers that you purchase there.
Though Harpoon is centered a state or two north of us, the quality of their beer, and the general "coolness" of their new beer hall makes it a very appealing place for a day or weekend trip. Once we dig out from the 4 or 5 feet of snow we have, that is. Follow me on on Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook and stay tuned for tasting notes on the Harpoon beer that was at the tasting and more news from the CT beer scene!