Yankee Brew News April/May 2010 : Page 1
&WoMEN CRAFT BEER HARPOONARPOON Leviathans and 100 Barrels (L-R) Rich Doyle, Harpoon Co-Founder and CEO, and Dan Kenary, Harpoon Co-Founder and President, celebrate the anniversary of Harpoon’s founding. Jen Glanville, Boston Beer Stacey Steinmetz, Magic Hat By Jen Harmon Katie Tame & Liz Melby, Harpoon Jocelyn Mclaughlin, Watch City By Jen Muehlbauer jockeybox. You’ll fi nd almost too many women to count, wielding influence at every level of the industry: management, ownership, sales, marketing, event planning, quality assurance and brewing. Just peruse the extensive online membership list of the women’s beer industry organization, Pink Boots Society, for proof. S See Women p. 5 tart looking for infl uential women in the craft beer industry and you may fi nd you’ve opened up Pandora’s east. There is an ever- growing variety of beers in numerous styles to choose from. Many bar and brewpub owners educate their staff about the beers they offer and about beer and food pairings. The craft beer community is strong and growing throughout the Northeast. 2 Suzanne Schalow, Cambridge Common Back in 1986, this was not the case. Rich Doyle, Harpoon CEO 010 is a good time to be a craft beer drinker in the North- and co-founder, missed the variety of beers and rich beer culture he had enjoyed in Europe. So in his second year at Harvard Business School, he wrote the business plan for the Harpoon Brewery. Rich teamed up with Dan Ke- nary and George Ligeti, who were also passionate about local beer. On June 19, 1986, Mass Bay Brewing Co. (Harpoon) was incorporated, and the local craft brewing scene was born in Boston. “People were starting to hear about microbreweries, but most didn’t really know what See Harpoon p. 20 Guest Tap ................... 14 Homebrewing .............. 24 Tasting Panel ............... 36 Book Review ............... 52 Beer Cooks ................ 54 Tasteless Panel ............ 55 E. Massachusetts ................ 16 Boston ............................... 22 W. Massachusetts ............... 32 Maine ................................ 34 New Hampshire .................. 38 Connecticut ....................... 40 Vermont ............................ 42 Rhode Island ...................... 44 New York ......................... 49 NYC & Long Island ............. 50
Women & Craft Beer
Start looking for influential women in the craft beer industry and you may fi nd you’ve opened up Pandora’s jockeybox. You’ll find almost too many women to count, wielding influence at every level of the industry: management, ownership, sales, marketing, event planning, quality assurance and brewing. Just peruse the extensive online membership list of the women’s beer industry organization, Pink Boots Society, for proof.Maybe someday phrases like “female brewer” and “women in beer” will sound as archaic as “lady doctor.” For now, a pint can be raised to some women who have helped make the Yankee Brew News region such a great one for craft beer — not by being female, but by being great at what they do.
Jim Koch’s name is synonymous with “Sam Adams,” but do many people know the name Rhonda Kallman? Back in 1984, she was an executive assistant and worked for, among others, Jim Koch. He knew about beer and business, and Rhonda, who moonlighted as a bartender, knew about bars. Koch hired her as the account manager to help him get Boston Beer Company off the ground, and the two-person business launched in 1985.
“My role was to make the beer available and make it visible,” Kallman said.
This was diffi cult in 1985, when there were only a few dozen breweries in the whole country and Coors was considered exotic. I said, ‘screw it, let’s get a van and deliver it ourselves!’” Kallman recalled.
By the time she left Sam Adams 15 years later, her title was “Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President” — but people would still sometimes ask if she was the promo girl or the owner’s wife. She was no longer driving a truck, but she was in meetings all the time.
“I was further and further away from what I loved about the business,” Kallman said, “brand building, being in bars and talking to distributors.” Kallman left Boston Beer and went to the Caribbean with her family to relax. Her relaxation was promptly interrupted by a call From Joe Owades, a Sam Adams brewing consultant and the man credited with inventing light beer. He wanted help starting a beer company, she decided to take advantage of his light beer experience and Edison Light was born. She named the brewery New Century in honor of the year 2000. A few years later, Kallman added a caffeinated beer, Moonshot, to New Century’s lineup.
“I think what’s changed over the last 25 years for women is that we have a lot more respect,” Kallman said. “Not to be crying in my beer, but I also think we have a long way to go. It’s still a good-old-boy network. ButI love it.” It was 1987 when Janet Egelston and her brother, Peter, opened Northampton Brewery in Northampton, Mass. It was the second brewpub and the fourth microbrewery in the Northeast. The scene was so nascent, the state liquor control board had to confi rm that their project was even legal.
The 26-year-old entrepreneur hit the ground running, working seven days a week for 12- 14 hours a day.
“My daily duties were endless,” Egelston said. “I was faced with growing up fast or losing the business.” It got easier with time, and the brother and sister then opened Portsmouth Brewery in 1991 and Smuttynose Brewing in 1994, both in Portsmouth, N.H. “During the 90s [the craft beer scene] was nuts,” Egelston said. “There was a lot of bad beer out there. These days, the shelves are fi lled mostly with quality product, brewed by people who are interested in the craft before the bottom line.” Today, Janet is the sole owner of Northampton Brewery — one of the few women to run a brewery by herself — and Peter owns Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery. Citing the strong craft brewing community and the control she has over her destiny as a business owner, Egelston concluded, “I have the best job I could Imagine.” The Second Wave Former teacher, lawyer and import/export guru, Jocelyn McLaughlin wanted to open a business that wouldn’t require her to put her kids in childcare. She and her then-husband loved beer, so they opened a brewpub, Watch City in 1996 in Waltham, Mass.
“It was a tough slog in the beginning, as any startup is,” McLaughlin said.
Watch City’s owners eventually got out of survival mode and started to enjoy themselves.
Since then, Watch City and the craft beer industry in general have become more experimental and creative, McLaughlin said, and people involved in the industry have become more knowledgeable. She and her husband eventually split up, and she’s now one of the few women to run a beer business by herself.
“I get a lot of respect from the males in the beer business,” McLaughlin said, who would like to see more women get involved in craft beer. She also wishes she’d stop seeing women with giant breasts all over certain beer advertisements and media. “Beer and boobs go together, but only because women like to drink beer,” she said.
Stacey Steinmetz, Supreme Dreamer and Schemer at Magic Hat Brewing in South Burlington, Vt., may have one of the Best job titles in the business and, starting in 1994, one of the longer histories. After interning at co-founder Alan Newman’s previous company Seventh Generation, and having a short, unpleasant career in corporate America, she asked Newman for a job.
At the time, she said, there were few women in the beer industry. In the beginning she sold beer accounts, cleaned draft lines and decided to have a Mardi Gras event at the brewery … outside in February in Vermont.
“If you give people in Burlington a reason to party, they will,” Steinmetz explained.
Fifteen years later, Mardi Gras is Magic Hat’s largest event. Steinmetz tries to create buzz for Magic Hat with music events and involvement in local organizations like rape crisis centers, art centers and the HIV/AIDS prevention organization LIFEbeat.
“We’re really focused on coming up with fun ways to have a relationship with the people who are drinking our beer,” Steinmetz said.
For anyone who has heard of Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, it’s partially due to Liz Melby, Director of Communications.
She joined Harpoon in 1998, only two years after she discovered Harpoon IPA on her 21st birthday.
“It’s fl own by,” Melby said. “I love the industry, the company and the culture of craft beer drinking.” Melby is in charge of the Friends of Harpoon program, started the Harpoon Helps philanthropic program and tries to keep Harpoon involved in the community. A forward-thinking company, Harpoon has many female employees in important positions, and its festivals attract as many women as men, if not more. Some people, however, still don’t get it.
“People will write in and say, ‘What should I serve my girlfriend?’” Melby said.
“Serve her an IPA. Who knows what she’ll Like?” The main thing that’s changed for Melby since the late 90s is that people are more educated about beer, and mainstream publications are more interested in writing about it.“People are wising up and being more adventurous,” Melby said.
Boston-area drinkers should know Cambridge Common by now, but they might not know it’s run by two women. Suzanne Schalow, General Manager, has been there almost 11 years, while Kate Baker started in the kitchen and is now the Beer Manager.
In the early days, Schalow mostly knew the lawnmower beers she consumed during her rugby-playing days, and Baker knew even less. Both learned on the job and are now intent on educating others through beer dinners, knowledgeable servers and Beer Skool.
“We want customers to feel empowered as to what they’re ordering,” Schalow said.
“We’ll give anyone a sample of anything.” Schalow and Baker have also started WomenInBeer.com for organizing regular social gatherings of craft beer afi cionados in the Boston area. Women are encouraged, but men are not excluded. “We’re all in this together,” Schalow said.
Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Sam Adams brewery tour should thank Jennifer Glanville. She started at Boston Beer Company eight-and-a-half years ago as the Tour Center Director, also pitching in with cellar work, inventory management, tastings panels and forklift driving.
“I like to wear many hats,” Glanville explained.
She’s now in charge of all operations at the Boston brewery including the Visitors Center, local marketing, R&D and selling beer at the gift shop. She’s particularly excited about the three Belgian-style beers — the Barrel Room Collection — currently available only in the Boston market.
“Jim [Koch] encourages us to be creative Here,” Glanville said, who also brews specialty beers like pumpkin beer, maibock and an oyster stout. Her most well known beer may be the festival favorite, Sahti, a high-alcohol beer inspired by a traditional Finnish brew and made with juniper berries and branches from a local farm.
“Some of the guys were teasing me, ‘This is a ladies beer,’” Glanville said. “I said, ‘just wait ‘til you taste it!’” The Brewers Like many professional brewers, Megan Parisi, Head Brewer at Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC) in Cambridge, Mass., started as a homebrewer. Unlike many brewers, her previous career was performing as a classical musician. After an injury derailed her music career, she signed up for brewing, math and science courses and started schmoozing at beer dinners.
“I fi gured I’d stalk every brewer in town,” Parisi joked. That’s how she met CBC’s Will Meyers, who took a chance on her — fi rst unpaid, then part-time. After a full-time stint at Mercury Brewing (Ipswich, Mass.), she returned to CBC as its Lead Brewer in 2006. She loves the creative freedom, the two-mile commute and the active work. She thinks her shoulder injury was a much bigger obstacle than her gender, but occasionally encounters someone who assumes her young, male brewing assistant is really in charge.
“I’m sure men who are nurses run into that kind of thing as well,” Parisi said.“Women, as well as men, make assumptions.” Maria Poulinas, another career changer, tired of being a civil engineer in 2005. It’s a good thing for John Harvard’s in Framingham, Mass., that she did. She started as an assistant brewer and is now Head Brewer.
She’s particularly proud of her IPA and her stouts, which have medaled at the World Beer Championships. She’s currently brewing a wheat wine and recently made a barrelaged porter. Each John Harvard’s location brews its own beer, so Poulinas’ beers aren’t on tap in Harvard Square.
“I know a lot of people who live in Boston don’t get here much,” she said, “but it’s worth the trip.” Harpoon brewer Katie Tame had to take a longer trip to discover good beer: a vacation to London with her mother as teenager. Years later, she left her job at a biotech plant to turn her scientifi c knowledge Towards brewing. She described her job as half microbiology and half cleaning, and she spends a lot of time making sure the yeast is healthy, the water is fi ltered and the equipment is sterile. Tame is modest about the creative side of her job, but she’s the one who added oysters to a vat of beer to create Harpoon’s buzzworthy 100 Barrel Series Island Creek Oyster Stout.
“I enjoy working with people who are as enthusiastic as I am about coming to work every day and doing the job right,” Tame said.
All in the Family Martha Holley-Paquette and her husband, well-known local brewer, Dann Paquette, co-founded Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project in Cambridge, Mass., about a year ago.
“As soon people talk to me, they realize that I’m genuinely into it and not just his wife,” Holley-Paquette said.
She helps formulate beers, makes labels, packs beer, does the books and generally manages the business side of the project, all while holding down a 9-to-5 job as an academic scientist.
“The glamorous side of it, from the beer drinkers’ perspective, is getting their hands dirty and being the guy with the big hose down in the brewery,” Holley-Paquette said, but she has had a big hand in creating the Pretty Things brand and enjoys the creative freedom she has behind the scenes.
“I do love it,” she said. “I even love cleaning kegs.” Daphne Scholz didn’t even love beer when she co-founded the food and beer shop Bierkraft in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband in 2001. Hoping to learn, she partook in “Seven O’Clock Beer” when the staff would pull a new bottle off the shelf and taste it. One day, the Seven O’Clock beer was Victory Hop Devil.
“Our cellar manager said, ‘Oh, Daphne’s gonna make the hoppy face,’” Scholz recalled, but instead, “something went ‘click’ and all of a sudden I could appreciate Beer.” She’s now learning to homebrew with a group of female Bierkraft employees who’ve christened the monthly group Bitches Brew.
The occasional customer will still ask her if she knows anything about beer, and some male customers still assume that women only want to drink “super gooey lambics,” but her experience as a woman in the beer industry has been overwhelmingly positive.
“In other professions, you see that women aren’t so nice to each other,” Scholz said, “but women in the beer world are really helpful.” Former homebrewer and analytical chemist Christine Heaton doesn’t know whether it was her gender or lack of experience that handicapped her, but she had trouble breaking into the beer industry. One brewery told her all that was available was cellar work and asked if she could throw a keg around.
“That’s why they make dollies,” Heaton said, looking back on it. But she did manage to break into the pros, fi rst at a small brewpub in Pennsylvania and then at Victory Brewing, where she met her husband, Bill. They opened Pittsfi eld Brew Works in Pittsfi eld, Mass., in 2005.
“We wanted to get back to the brewpub atmosphere where we could play around with recipes and do our own thing,” Heaton said.
They both still brew, but they’ve found they need managers to take care of the restaurant so they can focus on production, expand their brewing operations — and raise their new baby.
Running a brewery while raising a newborn is hectic, but what about retiring to a brewery? Former physical therapist Nancy Chandler learned that it’s harder than it looks when she and her husband bought a defunct brewery in Skowhegan, Maine, and re-opened it as Oak Pond Brewery seven years ago.
“It’s a fun job,” Chandler said, “but boy, is it a lot of work.” Other than their son, who helps out on weekends, the two are the only employees.
That means long days of brewing, cleaning growlers, selling bulk ingredients to homebrewers and hand-bottling seven barrels of beer at a time. But Chandler enjoys spending days with her husband, tweaking beer recipes and being on a fi rst-name basis with the Regular customers.
The newest husband and wife team on the scene may be restaurant industry veterans Tim and Amber Adams, who opened Cave Mountain Brewing in Wyndham, N.Y., in September 2008. Amber Adams does everything from paying bills and ordering beer to busing tables and bartending during crunch times.
“I look very young,” Adams said, so “being a business owner, I get a lot of crap from people because they don’t think I know anything.” The upside of her youthful appearance is that customers don’t assume she’s the owner, so they are more honest with her. She laments that many locals are still drinking only macros, but she thinks the beer scene in the area is starting to pick up.
The Cruise Directors In her three short years at Harpoon, Lindsay Kick has done corporate event planning, fi nance, HR and been co-founder Dan Kenary’s self-described “right hand man.” One day, Kenary asked her to start a guild to promote and protect the craft brewing industry in Massachusetts. She contacted every brewer in the state, organized a meeting and the Massachusetts Brewers Guild was born.
Kick has organized and executed events like the UltiMAte Beer Dinner, the Beacon Hill Brewers Tasting for state senators and representatives and an upcoming summer beer festival in Boston. She’s pondering future projects such as a beer week and a beer trail. Kick, who has “tons of brothers,” is not intimidated by being a woman in the beer industry.
“We’re all here drinking good beer because we like good beer,” she said. “This industry was a little slow on the pickup, but It’s come such a long way.” Connecticut’s beer scene may not be as large as Massachusetts’, but Lena DiGenti, Director of Brand Strategy for the Plan B Burger Bar restaurants, is working on it. She thinks when craft beer afi cionados sit down at a bar, they sometimes assume they’re not going to learn anything, whether the bartender is male or female, but these restaurants want to make sure the staff is knowledgeable.
Plan B requires its managers, and soon its bartenders, to all be certifi ed as Cicerones (a national beer serving program), and DiGenti and about half a dozen other Women have already passed the Level 1 test. She enjoys introducing customers to new beers and then sending them away with information on the beers they tried so they can go to a beer store and fi nd their favorites again.
“Because there isn’t a huge craft beer movement in this area, educating people on beer has really fallen on us,” DiGenti said.
Behind the Scenes Like any industry, the craft beer business has a lot going on behind the scenes.
Marie Leduc has been making sure beer from Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vt., gets to customers since 1999. She started as a one-week temp on the bottling line while she was an unemployed retail worker.“They just didn’t let me go after that,” Leduc said.
Leduc enjoyed the hands-on work in the predominantly male bottling line and “was treated exactly the same as everybody else.” She has since been a fl oor supervisor and packaging manager, making sure the bottling line goes smoothly and ordering packaging material. She is now responsible for production planning and purchasing.
After almost 11 years at Otter Creek, “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere but here,” Leduc said.
Tami Kennedy, a native Mainer, is proud to be Director of Communication at Maine’s largest brewery, Shipyard Brewing, in Portland, Maine. For the last eight years she’s done internal communication, public relations, brand building and media relations for Shipyard. In that time, she’s started talking to more female beer writers and seen more women join the Shipyard staff, albeit in “traditional female roles” involving organizing and communication rather than manufacturing.
“Will that change? I think so,” Kennedy said. “There Are a lot of women who like beer.” Pounding the Pavement “Nine years ago, when I started, I was one of the few women on the street,” said Renée Thomas, Sales Administrator at Smuttynose Brewing in Portsmouth, N.H. “It’s becoming more mainstream.” Thomas, a former bartender, started at Smuttynose as a sales rep and now handles varied tasks such as taking press requests, doing all kinds of paperwork and working beer festivals. She’s enjoyed spending almost a decade learning from Smuttynose’s Brewers and attending festivals.
“I like talking to people who are excited about beer,” she said.
Stacey Furtado, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator at Wachusett Brewing in Westminster, Mass., was hired soon after her 2008 graduation. In college, she worked at a brewpub in Delaware and did marketing internships, so combining the two after college felt natural.
“I’m out in the fi eld with guys quite a bit,” Furtado said. “They’re taking women seriously out there. If you’re good at what you do, who’s going to say anything?”
Working the Bar Anne Becerra quit the advertising industry two-anda- half years ago, went on a three-month beer tasting tour and never looked back. She and fellow bartender, Nikki Lopez, who also manages the bar part-time, make sure customers get the right beer from the 70 taps at The Ginger Man in Manhattan. Her passion for the beer scene doesn’t stop when she clocks out. She’s made friends on the beer scene, and she traveled to California with Lopez in February to tour breweries and bars. She’s planning a trip to Philadelphia to talk to the founder of the women’s beer club, IPA (In Pursuit of Ale), but isn’t planning on starting any female-focused groups herself.
“I’d rather everyone who likes the beer meet up,” she said.
Becerra is exploring using the Internet to bring The Ginger Man customers and other craft beer lovers together to swap stories and brews.
“I don’t really know where it’s going,” Becerra said, “but I have all these amazing customers, brewers and friends here in New York, and there’s nothing pulling us together.” Danni Caynor came to the beer industry with experience as a Scotch promoter, café manager, catering captain, wedding planner and the granddaughter of a former Anheuser- Busch salesman. Four years ago, she went to the nearest good bar to her home,the Dive Bar in Manhattan, and asked for a job as a bartender. She later became Dive Bar’s Beverage Manager and Beer Sommelier and planned the menu, selected beer pairings and even helped cook the food for Dive Bar’s fi rst beer dinner.
“Female bartenders are like eye candy” to some customers, but Caynor — a Level 1 Cicerone — knows those who talk to her about the beers on tap take her seriously.
She’s also excited by the growth in the New York City beer scene.
“People were afraid of cask beer at fi rst, and now it’s fl ying off the shelf,” Caynor said.
Jen Schwertman has also seen the New York beer scene grow since she joined it. With more than a decade of bartending experience under her belt, including a gig at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver and one at The Ginger Man, she landed at the Greenwich Village beer bar, The Blind Tiger, a few years ago.
“I’m extremely opinionated, so it’s good not to be a company girl,” Schwertman said.
Those opinions come in handy when The Blind Tiger customers want to know about the beer on tap, and she thinks it’s less intimidating for new drinkers (male or female) to have beer-loving women behind the bar.
“Not every beer bar in New York has a staff with the knowledge to support it,” Schwertman said. “I’ve enjoyed helping the craft beer scene in New York in my own little way.”
Read the full article at http://ybnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Women+%26amp%3B+Craft+Beer/369315/35336/article.html.
Leviathans And 100 Barrels Harpoon
2010 is a good time to be a craft beer drinker in the Northeast.
There is an evergrowing variety of beers in numerous styles to choose from. Many bar and brewpub owners educate their staff about the beers they offer and about beer and food pairings.
The craft beer community is strong and growing throughout the Northeast.
Back in 1986, this was not the case. Rich Doyle, Harpoon CEO And co-founder, missed the variety of beers and rich beer culture he had enjoyed in Europe.
So in his second year at Harvard Business School, he wrote the business plan for the Harpoon Brewery. Rich teamed up with Dan Kenary and George Ligeti, who were also passionate about local beer. On June 19, 1986, Mass Bay Brewing Co. (Harpoon) was incorporated, and the local craft brewing scene was born in Boston.
“People were starting to hear about microbreweries, but most didn’t really know what To make of our breweries or our beer,” said Harpoon President and co-founder Dan Kenary. “We dreamed pretty big back in 1986, but I don’t think many of us thought that the U.S. would become the best place in the world to drink beer within 25 years.
Pretty amazing.” The vision for Harpoon has always centered on the beer and the relationship the beer drinkers have with the brewery.
“We wanted to brew great beers, and we wanted to make it easy for our drinkers to interact with the brewery,” Doyle said.
“That’s why events and brewery visits are so essential to us. We still follow that vision today.” “We try to stay true to ourselves, only brew beer we like to drink and meet as many of our consumers as we can by having them visit our breweries,” Kenary added. “Beer is the social beverage, and we celebrate that every day.” Throughout the 90s, Harpoon continued to be a major player in the Northeast’s growing craft beer scene. Harpoon introduced the fi rst seasonal beer in New England, Winter Warmer, in 1988. Its fi rst popular Oktoberfest celebration was held at the Boston waterfront brewery in1990. In 1993, Harpoon IPA was introduced as a summer seasonal. It grew in popularity so quickly that it was made a year-round beer and soon became Harpoon’s fl agship product. When the Catamount Brewery in Windsor, Vt., closed in 2000, Harpoon purchased it.UFO Lands in Boston 1997 was a big year for Harpoon. At the time, all the bottling was being done at Matt Brewing in Utica, N.Y., (kegging remained in Boston). A state-of-the-art bottling line was installed at the Boston brewery, and all brewing and packaging was now done in-house. This made Harpoon the largest brewery in Massachusetts. That same year also saw the debut of the UFO series with UFO Hefeweizen.
“The inspiration for UFO was the hefeweizens that were being brewed in the Northwest,” said Harpoon Senior Vice President of Marketing, Charlie Storey. “That cloudy, foamy beer, the lemons and the graceful wheat beer glasses all made for a great presentation — one that was considerably different from what Northeastern beer drinkers were used to.” The reason to give the UFO series a distinct but related identity came from the scarcity of wheat beers on the East Coast.
“This was 1988, and even craft beer drinkers were not accustomed to cloudy beer or fruit in a beer,” Storey said. “The beer itself was different, and this prompted us to consider a different brand identity. In keeping with the unusual, kind of far-out nature of the beer, we coined the term UFO based on ‘Un-Filtered-Offering.’” UFO Pale Ale was released in 1998. It was enjoyed by everyone at the brewery, but may have been ahead of its time.
“Sales were modest at best, and we stopped brewing it to focus on the Hefeweizen,” Storey said. “A decade after launching UFO Hefeweizen, we fi nally began to see a real groundswell in the popularity of wheat beers. UFO White was introduced in 2009 to give our drinkers a craft Belgian White, or ‘Wit,’ beer.” UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen was released in 2006 as a year-round beer. After the launch of UFO White, UFO Raspberry was moved to a seasonal schedule and became available only during the warmer months.
“This left a spot for a cold weather UFO seasonal, so our old favorite UFO Pale Ale was the obvious choice,” Storey said.
100 Barrels of Beer Harpoon’s longest-running series to date is the 100 Barrel Series. The fi rst beer in the series, Harpoon Oatmeal Stout, was released in 2003 and was brewed by Al Marzi, Vice President for Brewing Operations. The inspiration for the series came from within the brewery.
“We have a lot of great brewers here, and we had so many great ideas,” Doyle said. “We needed a way to get them out to people.” “We have close to 20 people who are trained to brew and who rotate through the brewhouse or brew on the pilot system on a pretty regular basis,” Kenary added.
The 30th release in the series, Island Creek Oyster Stout, debuted in February of
2010. Harpoon’s only female brewer, Katie Tame, brewed this beer. Katie teamed with Island Creek oyster farmer Skip Bennett and used whole Duxbury Bay oyster bodies in her Island Creek Oyster Stout.
Several Harpoon brewers have brewed more than one beer in the series, and some non-brewers have brewed as well.
“Every brewer is encouraged to come Up with ideas and then to brew test batches for us to sample,” Kenary said. “We then collectively decide what we like enough to include in the 100 Barrel Series. Further test brews follow that decision.”The 100 Barrel Series has been popular with a line-up of diverse beers such as Glacier Harvest Wet Hop, brewed in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by Ray Dobens. Harpoon teamed with Todd and Jason Alstrom of Beer Advocate in the summer of 2005 to brew a strong wheat wine called Triticus.
“I would have to say that the Bohemian Pilsner that I brewed was the best,” Kenary joked. “But the most successful might be Island Creek Oyster Stout. It’s fl ying off the shelves.” Dan attributes the beer’s success to two essential factors: “Great beer in the bottle, and a great story. The Island Creek collaboration has been terrifi c. I think this speaks to the continued importance of authenticity to the craft beer community, which is a wonderful thing.”Raises Gravity In the summer of 2008, Harpoon launched the Leviathan Series of big beers.
To date, there have been six beers brewed for the series with only Imperial IPA offered year-round. The other styles are Saison Royale, Big Bohemian Pilsner, Quad, Baltic Porter and Imperial Red. About 200 barrels of each beer are brewed, and there is an attempt to match the styles to the seasons they’re released in.
“We wanted to separate our bigger beers from the rest of the 100 Barrel Series, since they were such a departure from what we were doing and deserved their own branding,” Doyle said.
Choosing what styles to brew is done in a similar fashion to the 100 Barrel Series.
Ideas come from throughout the company.
“Through a collective process, we decide which ideas sound good, encourage liberal test batch brewing and then sample away until we taste something we really, really like,” Kenary said. “Like the Baltic Porter, my personal favorite.” The Leviathan Series has been successful for Harpoon, and the brewers are enjoying experimenting with new styles.
“As of right now, we don’t have any plans to make any other Leviathan beer year-round,” Kenary said. “We have too much fun mixing and matching the styles and looking forward to new ones. The series has exceeded our expectations, and plans now are to continue it indefi nitely and, if anything, to slowly add more styles. We have some fun stuff in the pipeline.”Harpoon Helps Community Harpoon’s philanthropic arm, Harpoon Helps, was created in 2003. Led by Communications Director, Liz Melby, Harpoon Helps takes on various charitable missions that benefi t hundreds of local New England charities. The volunteers consist of Harpoon employees and Friends of Harpoon (the customer loyalty program). Past missions have included the annual event Harpoon Helps Spread Holiday Cheer, where volunteers decorate and bring gifts to homeless shelters, and volunteering at the annual Harpoon Five-Miler road race to benefi t ALS research.
From its inception, Harpoon wanted to be a good neighbor to the community.
“Harpoon Helps just put a name on it and helps us organize missions with our Friends of Harpoon,” Doyle said.
The dedication that volunteers have to Harpoon Helps seems closely related to their dedication to the Harpoon brand.
“I think many craft beer drinkers are looking for an emotional connection to their beer,” Storey said. “Mass market beers are impersonal. It’s diffi cult to have a ‘relationship’ with a major brand the way you can with Harpoon. Our drinkers can visit the brewery, attend festivals and chat with brewers live or on the Internet. Helping out is a natural outcome of the sense of community that has arisen between the brewery and its drinkers.” “Broadly speaking, the reality is that craft beer drinkers want more than just quality beer,” Storey continued. “They want local, they want depth, they want authenticity.
They have a natural inclination to support their community.” Feminine Side of Harpoon Doyle has called Liz Melby the “driving force” behind Harpoon Helps. In addition to this important role, Melby is the public voice of Harpoon.
“Most of what people hear about or know about Harpoon comes from her,” Doyle said. “That is a very big part of Harpoon.” “This year I’ll celebrate my 12th anniversary here at Harpoon,” Melby said. “I have honestly loved every minute of it. It’s an amazing company with wonderful people who brew my favorite beer in the whole world. I feel pretty lucky.” Harpoon encourages its employees to experiment With homebrewing, both at home and on the pilot system in the brewery, which can brew up to twenty barrels.
“I assisted in my fi rst homebrew at the brewery in September,” Melby said. “Katie Tame allowed me to ‘help’ her brew a beer using jasmine tea for the aroma. Our beer came in second place at the fi rst annual Harpoon homebrew competition. It was my proudest moment.” Katie Tame also has dual roles at Harpoon, working both as a brewer and a lab technician.
“I come from a science background and have always liked beer and food,” Tame said. “My previous working position was at a biotech facility, and after a while of working with yeast and its byproducts, I thought of possibly combining the two.” Despite not having a formal brewing education or working in any other breweries, Tame has found brewing success with her adventurous contribution to the 100 Barrel Series. The 30th installment, Island Creek Oyster Stout, was her idea and recipe. It was brewed with whole Island Creek oysters. Even though the 100 Barrel selection group was generally receptive to the oyster stout, Tame knew it was still a risky proposition.
“I’ve realized that the name of the style could suggest that the beer might taste a lot like oysters,” she said. “Some people have said they don’t want to try the beer for fear of this, which is fi ne. That is, in part, why I wanted to brew this style of stout. It’s a style that has been made before, but isn’t readily available on the market.” Neither Melby nor Tame have experienced any disadvantages working in the Male-dominated brewing world.
“I think that the men in the industry have been very accepting of me and my female colleagues,” Melby said. “If anything, I think I probably got more props for from my male co-workers for being such a fan of craft beer.” “When I fi rst started, the guys would encourage me to homebrew more and more in order to become a better brewer,” Tame said. “They have been helpful in lending me brewing equipment, advice and a hand when one is needed.” Both Melby and Tame are happy in their positions at Harpoon and in the craft beer industry.
“I’d like to continue my lab and brewing venture, and being in a succeeding industry, I think I’ll be here for while,” Tame said.
“I see myself staying here in this position as long as they’ll have me,” Melby said.
“I honestly love the people I work with here.
In fact, I married one of them (Harpoon Creative Director, Adam Bailey). And I truly enjoy the people I work with within the industry.”
Read the full article at http://ybnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Leviathans+And+100+Barrels+Harpoon/369325/35336/article.html.