UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

New Harpoon Beers

The Harpoon Black IPA has a dark almost stout like appearance, but is made in the IPA style.
The Harpoon Black IPA has a dark almost stout like appearance, but is made in the IPA style.

The Harpoon Brewery in Boston has recently begun to roll out a number of new beers as well as relaunch some of their very popular seasonal beers. On Feb. 22 they relaunched their seasonal spring beer Harpoon Celtic Ale. Harpoon also had four other beers debut over the past two to three weeks, all very different and appealing to many tastes.

The Celtic Ale is done in an Irish Red style with its distinctive flavor profile and traditional red color. It is also the spring seasonal beer that Harpoon offers and goes nicely with the St. Patrick’s Festival hosted at the Boston Brewery this month.

The beer is brewed using a caramel malt giving the ale a caramel and nutty flavor. The hops used to finish it off are Willamette Hops, “which really balance the malt,” explained a member of the staff. Harpoon Celtic Ale’s deep amber color creates a truly remarkable look, and the beer also has an excellent light hops aroma.

The next rotational beer that Harpoon has recently brought out is in their Leviathan Series and called Quad. The Leviathan series is a bigger beer in every sense of the word. It is much higher in alcohol volume, typically around 11% ABV, but also has a much larger flavor profile as well.

Quad stays true to the Leviathan style and it’s hard to miss the alcohol taste in the beer. However, it is complemented by other flavors that give the beer an amazing complexity. Leviathan Quad is in the Belgian style and has a dark auburn color. It offers a slight caramel flavor with a touch of hops that balances the sweetness of the beer so as not to mask the flavor, but instead accent it.

One of the other beers to be featured by Harpoon in the past few weeks has been their most recent brewing of their Hundred Barrel series, so named since only one hundred barrels of the beer are brewed, the typical batch size at the brewery.

These beers vary in style from session to session, since the recipes are submitted and brewed by the Harpoon Brewery staff. Now in their 40th Session of the Hundred Barrel series is their Black IPA. This beer was introduced at the end of January and has been a huge hit. A number of the staff commented that the Black IPA is their go-to beer at the moment, as it is much different from their other beers and is addictively delicious.

The beer is done in the India Pale Ale style and uses a new specialty malt, Midnight Wheat. Giving it a dark almost stout like appearance, but in the IPA style. The beer is incredibly hoppy measuring in at 67 International Bittering Units, or IBUs. Putting that into perspective Budweiser measures in around the low teens, Harpoon IPA has 47 IBUs, so this beer really packs a hoppy punch.

The last two beers that Harpoon is featuring currently are two pilot brews: very small batches of beer used to try out a product. One of the pilot brews is 8 Lives. The beer has a rich golden color. It also has refreshing aromatics with a small amount of aromatic hops. The flavor of the beer is reminiscent of fruit but not very prominent on the tongue. I thought this beer had an excellent flavor and a good finish, a very approachable beer for different tastes.

The last of the new beers that Harpoon has to offer is another pilot brew, the West Coast New England IPA. The West Coast N.E. IPA was a good beer but a bit modest of a showing when you look at the other three IPAs that Harpoon has to offer at the moment.

The beer’s modesty however, did allow a number of other flavors to shine through. This beer has a golden color and mildly opaque clarity along with an intoxicating floral scent. It also has large flavors of fruit, as well as a distinctly citric tanginess, with a punch of hops, which give a good dry finish. Though this IPA was not as hoppy as I normally like my IPAs, it was an excellent batch to show how versatile it is.

Overall the newer beers that Harpoon is featuring are a tribute to the brand. Harpoon is progressively showing the Boston area their versatility and how innovative they are by striving to deliver consistently delicious and original beer styles. I hope everyone has the opportunity to try the excellent products they are coming up with. Cheers.