Last weekend I was invited to a sneak peek of Harpoon Brewery’s new beer hall in the Seaport District of Boston, MA. The beer hall is the new centerpiece of the brewery, exhibiting all things Harpoon. I chatted with SVP of Marketing, and Beer Hall Project Manager, Charlie Storey about what visitors can expect at the hall and the philosophy behind their beer and brand.
The brewery motto of “Love Beer. Love Life.” is clearly evident in their new beer hall. A celebration of beer and beer culture is what brings people into this stunning space. Charlie Storey explained “If you asked our founders Rich and Dan if some day they would have a beer hall, the answer would be: absolutely.” The two beer lovers weren’t able to find the beer they wanted locally after traveling through Europe, so they opened their own craft beer brewery in Boston more than 25 years ago. Since the brewery began, Harpoon has always welcomed visitors; the hall being the next evolutionary step of that idea. “The beer hall allows guests to explore the culture of beer. Guests can sit with a stranger, enjoy a beer, and have a great conversation” Charlie added.
Walk up the stairs into the hall and you’re greeted by a feature wall of more than 5,000 Harpoon beer caps. Turn right, and there’s the hall in all its glory. Taking major inspiration from European beer halls, long rustic wooden tables and benches invite you to sit down and enjoy one of Harpoon’s many different beers. The beers (many limited edition, test brews, or hard to find blends) are available for purchase while you wait for your “Beer Captain” to start a brewery tour that winds around a series of catwalks over the production floor. The best part? When you order a beer in the hall, you get a complimentary order of hot, chewy, salty, delicious Belgian pretzels. The pretzels are made with the “spiked grains” from the beer brewing process. When brewing is complete, the grain is dried out and added to the pretzel dough.
The Beer Captains (must more than just tour guides) are incredibly knowledgeable about beer and the Harpoon story. Nicky, our Beer Captain, made sure to answer every question we had in an unassuming educational way. Beer education and conveying the idea of the “grain to glass” process is an important one to Harpoon. One of their goals is to not take themselves too seriously, “except for the brewing process, we take that very seriously” Charlie added.
A visit to the Harpoon Beer Hall is a different kind of beer experience. Rather than just seeing what they do and how they do it, you get to truly experience the passion behind what makes their beer different and delicious. When I asked Charlie about the overall idea Harpoon was trying to get across by building the Hall, he answered, “Have fun with beer, share the joy of beer, those are our founding ideas.”
The Harpoon Brewery Beer Hall is slated to open to the public February 1st. Complimentary tastings are held on weekdays at 2pm and 4pm and last about 1 hour. Guided tours are given on weekends for $5 and include a souvenir tasting glass and beer tasting session at the end of the tour. The Harpoon Brewery is located in Boston’s Seaport District at 306 Northern Ave. Limited free parking is available.Better yet they’re accessible by public transportation so drink up.