Congratulations are certainly due to the Harpoon Brewery for its impressive performance at two recent international beer competitions. Harpoon scored three gold medals at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival and the European Beer Star Competition. Harpoon’s flagship IPA won a gold at the Stockholm event in the Ale 4.8% to 5.9% category and a gold in the English-style India Pale Ale at the Beer Star competition, held as part of the BRAU Beviale event in Nuremberg, Germany. Harpoon also collected a gold medal in the Maerzen category at the Beer Star event for its Octoberfest. No comment from the competing German brewers on being bested by an ale interpretation on the classic lager style.
As with any competition, it is difficult to deduce the meaning of a win unless it is put into context. I’d like to know more about the number of competitors that participated in each category (how meaningful is a gold medal when you only beat five other beers?).
I have to admit, I find it a little odd that Harpoon chose to send beer to these international events when it does not participate in the Great American Beer Festival. I expect to see Harpoon at next year’s GABF as founder and CEO Rich Doyle will take over as the chairperson of the Brewers Association’s Board of Directors.