New Harpoon Brewery Beer Made With Vermont Maple Syrup
Jeff Gangemi Mar 07, 2012 Artisan Beat 0 comments
In 2003, Harpoon Brewery introduced the “100 Barrel Series” to showcase the individual brewing talents of their brewers.
The most recent one – #35 out of 100 – is a locavore’s dream. Harpoon Catamount Maple Wheat was brewed using Vermont maple syrup by native Vermonter Brett Simmons. “Local maple syrup for a local maple beer is really a no-brainer,” says Simmons. “As a Vermonter, it’s nice to be able to utilize ingredients that are produced locally.”
The original version of Catamount Maple Wheat was brewed in 2009 by Harpoon Vermont sales representative John Baker. Simmons based his own 2011 version on John's recipe, and even sourced a portion of the maple syrup from Baker Farm – John’s family farm in East Dummerston, Vermont – as well as from Scrag Mountain Sugar House in Waitsfield, Vermont.
“We chose grade B syrup because of the warm color, subtle caramel notes and deeper maple flavor,” says Simmons, who adds that the hardest part of sourcing locally is knowing ahead of time how much of the local ingredient – in this case 460 gallons – would be needed for the batch.
Even though Harpoon Brewery has grown into a regional craft brewer, Simmons says that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their focus on community and on sourcing locally. “As a company we try to connect and support the people that we make beer for; without them we would not be where we are today,” says Simmons.
In June of 2000, Harpoon, which is based in Massachusetts, purchased a brewing facility in Windsor, Vermont, and now brews roughly 40% of their annual barrelage in the green mountain state. At last count, Harpoon was the 10th largest craft brewer in the country.
Every couple of months, a different Harpoon brewer is invited to choose a style of beer, formulate the recipe, and brew the beer. For a complete list of beers that have been released as part of the 100 Barrel Series (including several with local ingredients), visit www.harpoonbrewery.com.