Upon waking up hungover this past Saturday morning, my roommate had a genius idea: Instead of mourning our loss of dignity and ingestion of thousands of “drunk eating” calories the night before, we should go to the Harpoon Brewery and drink away our sorrows! You know, “hair of the dog,” right? Of course, I was more than happy to join.
Everything went suspiciously well that day. The brewery opened at 11, so we stumbled in at around 11:15. We didn’t know where to go, or what we were doing, so we parked in the “employee’s only” section directly in front of the door. Whatevs.
We trudged up a large set of stairs at the entrance and wandered over to a long line of people wrapped around the bar. We didn’t know what the line was for, but we waited in it anyway. After aimlessly glancing around for 10 minutes, I asked the person in front of me what the line was for. Apparently it was for tickets go on brewery tours. Sounds like fun!
Before getting to the front of the line, we discussed our plans for the next few hours. Based on the crowd, we assumed that the 11:45 brewery tour sold out hours ago–everyone else in line was buying tickets for 1:00 or later–and we weren’t trying to hang around in the brewery for 2 whole hours. When we finally got to the front at 11:40, we were somehow able to get 2 more tickets for the 11:45 tour. Score!
The tour was a lot of fun. The tour guides were fun and energetic, and I really did learn a thing or two about beer. Like, I didn’t know that UFO was made by Harpoon! I also didn’t know that before the sugar in beer is fermented, it is called wort. Did you know that?
In the middle of the tour, we were taken to a tasting room. Once there, we were informed by the tour guides that we could “sample” as much beer as we wanted (enough to fill our 4in tall cup for each sample) for the next 25 minutes. We took this as a challenge. I “sampled” almost every beer. It was fun.
After this portion of the tour, they took us to a particularly dangerous area of the brewery where we had to wear safety googles. Interesting that the tour is structured that way after you get the group drunk, but I digress. We learned how the beer was bottled and a few other interesting facts about the brewery.
At the end of the tour, we sang happy birthday to a recent 21 year old. We were then taken back to the taproom, which is beautifully decorated; it’s got a huge square bar in the middle, a pretzel bar in the back corner, and large iron chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. We sat down at a table and ordered a soft pretzel and, wouldn’t you know it… more beer.
The pretzel was amazing–it came with this cheese sauce that I could have happily consumed by the gallon. Or maybe I just loved it so much because drank so much beer.
In any case, I ended up cleaning out my bank account buying everything in the shop: shirts, hats, cups, and growlers. I woke up in my bed later in that afternoon rather confused about all of the Harpoon knick-knacks now in my possession. No regrets.