I have been a little lax on the New England news reporting lately despite having a half-dozen interesting topics lying around. Here is a quick attempt to get one into the beer geek rumor mill.
The Harpoon Brewery of Boston is preparing for the release of a new line of ‘big beers’ to accompany its existing line of mainstream ales. The new series, named ‘Leviathan,’ will start out with draft only offerings and eventually transition into 4-packs and limited availability on draft. The line is designed to appeal to the niche of beer geeks who felt that the brewery’s ‘100 Barrel Series’ lacked sufficient punch as a specialty release. The 100 Barrel Series was initially designed to help Harpoon push beyond its stock lineup of traditional, mild flavored beers. While it offered several ‘extreme’ or higher gravity offerings, the 100 Barrel Series eventually focused on more traditional styles, such as oatmeal stout and wit, that were not designed to push the brewing envelope, the Leviathan series is expected to forage into new brewing areas for Harpoon.
Ironically, Harpoon’s first release in the Leviathan series is a throwback to the tenth beer the brewery produced as part of its 100 Barrel Series. The Leviathan Triticus, a beer originally brewed with help by Jason and Todd Alstrom of BeerAdvocate.com, will debut at the American Craft Beer Fest in June (Harpoon and BeerAdvocate are partners in the ACBF venture). The Triticus is a wheat wine of 14-percent alcohol.
This isn’t the first time the Leviathan name has been used by an American craft brewery in connection with a series of stronger beers. The Sleeping Lady Brewing Company of Anchorage, Alaska, produces the Leviathan Double I.P.A., the Pacific Coast Brewing Company of Oakland, California, brews the Leviathan Imperial Stout, and the Fish Brewing Company of Olympia, Washington, brews the Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine.
This is fantastic news. Harpoon IPA single-handedly introduced me to good, local beer. While my college buddies were sucking down Natty Ice I was being made fun of for requesting a case of Harpoon.
I have always whined about the lack of big beers from Harpoon. The 100bbl series has always disappointed. Last summer I visited their brewery for the first time and asked if they ever considered an imperial/double IPA as a limited 100bbl release and the guy I spoke to said they had one coming in August. When August rolled around, they released the Wet Hop beer which was disappointing and hardly an imperial.
Regardless, I will always support Harpoon and continue to buy their products. I’m excited to hear about this Leviathan big beer series. I look forward to trying it at the ACBF!