One of the only things on the planet that I enjoy more than beer is free stuff. So when it comes to free beer, my level of excitement is off the charts. In Boston, Harpoon Brewery is making my wildest dreams come true.Offering an hour of tasting, accompanied by some fascinating tidbits about the beer itself, this popular northeastern brewery is a go-to destination for tourists and locals alike. You get a nifty little 4oz. taster and access to over a dozen taps dispensing many of the tasty craft specialties that put Harpoon on the map. Here you’ll learn that their IPA is actually the best-selling India Pale Ale on the entire East Coast. It’s not a particularly hop heavy example of the varietal, but at 5.9% ABV, with a light body and considerable effervescence, it’s delightfully drinkable.
In addition to the flagship brew, Harpoon also offers up their Leviathan Series which includes a palate-pillaging Double IPA that clocks in at just over 10% alcohol. My personal favorite of all their offerings, it’s an intense rush of piney, floral madness from the get go. The hopiness lingers on the tongue well after its gone down.
For those that enjoy a bit tamer of a beer drinking experience, Harpoon has a whole series of unfiltered wheat ales, known as UFOs. Of these, the UFO White has the biggest following. Bristling with the aroma of coriander and orange, it has a hazy, golden yellow body thanks to the lack of filtering. It’s light, crisp and follows in the Belgian tradition of wit beer that was established more than 300 years ago. If you like sweeter, summertime sippers, you’ll find this beer quite refreshing.
Harpoon also has a continually rotating array of seasonal taps, so you might be in for a few surprises the next time you show up. The brewery is located in the thriving Seaport section of the city and offers convenient parking and a nice view of the water. Tastings are offered throughout the week at 2PM and 4PM, but it can get super crowded on Fridays, so get their early. On the weekends you can purchase a ticket for an extended tour of the brewery for $5. It includes a souvenir tasting glass, beer tasting and even a charitable donation.