As a beer writer, I find it extremely hard to deliver negative criticism. Partly, that’s because there is so much positivity in the craft beer world that it’s really easy to focus on the good stuff. There are times, however, when a little honesty is important, and needed.
In order to illustrate this point, let me share a little about our recent trip to New England. We visited six breweries – some old favorites, and some brand new to us.
We started out at the new Harpoon Beer Hall.
We’ve toured Harpoon many times, but since our last visit, they’ve had a massive expansion, including adding a canning line, increasing the size of the brewhouse, and building a massive, beautiful beer hall. The hotel we were staying at happened to be within walking distance, so we popped into the Beer Hall on a very busy Saturday afternoon to check it out.
The wait was sizable when we arrived. At first we thought it was just people waiting for the tour, but no, it was just folks trying to get in. The line moved quickly though, and before long we were joking with the salty Boston doormen and walking inside.
The vibe at the Hall was vibrant and the staff was pretty friendly, though you could tell they were a little harried from the extreme busy-ness. We ordered some beer right away – the cask conditioned offering, an unfiltered version of the Harpoon IPA, dry hopped with Centennial hops (it seemed a little ‘catty’ for me), and their 100 Barrel Series, a fantastic citra-hop bomb. I love visiting Harpoon because they always have special edition beers you can only find at the brewery.