In honor of #IPAday - Beer. Its what makes a vacation.

Ok, well, maybe not QUITE... but close! Since today marks the 1st Annual International IPA Day, its fitting that the first post about our vacation is about Harpoon - right?

A summer trip to Vermont just isn't complete without a visit to Long Trail and Harpoon. After all, as faithful New Englanders we couldn't head back south without a pint or two of the brews we can't find down here.

Boston, has traditionally been a beer city. In fact, the news of their beer fetish traveled cross country by the mid-19th century. Need proof of how much those Bostonians have loved their beer? No worries, its well documented!

(12-26-1876 Cincinnati Daily Gazette)

That's right, beer was (and is) a daily staple of the the town:

(9-14-1876 Times-Picayune)

Along with commercial brews, ordinary citizens attempted all sorts of recipes. Some for Lagers, some for Ginger Beer, others that were Molasses-based. Newspapers commonly printed new recipes to try:

 (4-17-1804 Newburyport Herald)
So, its not a big surprise that Harpoon, a favorite beer of ours, had its origins in the beer-loving New England city of Boston.

 (4-18-1987 Times-Picayune)
So, you're saying to yourself... that's nice, its a Boston beer tradition. But where's the Vermont tie-in? Well, that comes a while later: Due to the financial problems of Catamount Brewery, Harpoon was able take advantage of a great building in a location in Windsor, VT.

Since Summer 2000, the facility in Vermont has been enjoying success and making its own history.

(10-08-2005 St. Albans Daily Messenger)
PS. Oddly enough, that is the full article in the day's paper. The continuation never happened - as far as I can discover!

On our recent visit, we were able to take a peek into the brewery:

Pick up a few souvenirs (hey, 10 or 15 is a "few"). And try a Summer Beer & a Leviathan series beer:

While we would have loved to do the official tour and hear more about the process of brewing and how Harpoon is made, it wasn't to be. Our timing was off. BUT, that's a good excuse for a return visit - right??


  1. Kathie, the "old" pictures make me realize how old I am 25 years after we started Harpoon! Thanks for a great blog. Let me know when you can come by either Boston or Windsor for a tour. We would love to have you back! Cheers, Dan Kenary, President and Co-Founder, Harpoon Brewery

  2. Hi Dan! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and reading! We had a great time visiting both Harpoon and Long Trail last month. Its a shame we lived so close for so many years and didn't head over to tour it sooner!

    It was fun reliving the trip by "digging" up some (not-so) old history on Boston beer drinking and Harpoon!

    Hopefully I'll be up again in the fall, since I travel to Chester, VT frequently for work.

    PS. Thank you for great beer! :)


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