Hurling a Harpoon at the recession

Harpoon Brewery, one of the many great Massachusetts beer makers, are expanding their brewing capacity by about 20% this week as they install two new fermenting tanks.  According to the Boston Globe, these are some ridiculously big tanks!

The Harpoon Brewery plans to install two new 500-barrel unitank fermenters at its South Boston facility tomorrow, weather permitting.

The tanks, which stand 38 feet high and weigh 28,000 pounds, are the largest tanks to be installed in the brewery’s history, twice the size of the largest tank at Harpoon now, the company said in a press release.

So why am I reporting this to you?  Because it can only be seen as good news.  During this sharp economic downturn, you would think breweries like Harpoon, not a major producer but certainly not a small one either, would be feeling the pain.  But instead they are expanding. 

ale

And for anyone who may not have tried Harpoon’s beers, they make a really solid product.  Like many of New England’s breweries, they produce great and consistent ales.  And what makes a better cure for an economic downturn than buying delicious American ale?  Now, there is even more on the way.  It’s a win-win all around.

by Dave McBride

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Published in: on December 11, 2008 at 11:55 am  Comments (1)  
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The Tavern at the Sergeantsville Inn

On Black Friday, I ignored shopping invitations from Mr. Macy & Mr. Gimble and whiled away the afternoon talking and taking photos in the warm & cozy tavern of the historic Sergeantsville Inn with APHR cohorts Chris Poh and Ed Petersen, as well as friend Don “Juan” Garrido. The Sergeantsville Inn is quietly situated in the heart of rural, yet posh Hunterdon County, New Jersey, ranked as America’s wealthiest suburban county in 2007.

Don "Juan" Garrido Sipping a Guinness © Kathleen Connally

Don Juan Garrido Sipping a Guinness © Kathleen Connally

Sergeantsville was first called Skunktown because it served as a market center for skunk pelts in the late 1700s, but was renamed in 1827 for Charles Sergeant, a local landowner and Revolutionary War soldier. The Sergeantsville Inn was originally built as a private home but was later used as a grain & feed store, a grocery store and an ice cream parlor.

Old Speckled Hen Tap © Kathleen Connally

Old Speckled Hen Tap © Kathleen Connally

While I was sipping on a beautifully poured pint of Old Speckled Hen, Chris mentioned that a section of the handsome stone structure once served as the town’s ice house, and that some of the Inn’s staff have experienced ghostly encounters in that part of the building.

I was thrilled to learn that Ed is researching and writing a full story about the Sergeantsville Inn for an upcoming issue of APHR, where he’ll interview the employees about their adventures with the shadows and spectres that live there.  I’m looking forward to Ed’s story and to returning to the tavern later this month as I search for the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Chris Poh in the Ice House © Kathleen Connally

Chris Poh in the Ice House © Kathleen Connally

— Written & Posted by Kathleen Connally

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Pumpkin Ales – Get ‘Em While Ye Can!

Pumpkins & Haybales © Kathleen Connally
Pumpkins & Haybales © Kathleen Connally

In colonial America, English barley was costly and difficult to obtain, so brewers searched for an alternative ingredient for their ales.   Lo and behold – the indigenous & abundant pumpkin fit the bill.

Many of today’s brewers have revived the technique and incorporate roasted pumpkin into their ales.  Some of the ales include cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg and taste rather spicy; others rely upon the sweetness & aroma of roasted pumpkin.   

The Beer Advocate has a list of over 200 pumpkin ales, with some obvious standouts according to user reviews: 

(If you’ve tried any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts.)

Pumpkin ales are seasonal, so don’t hesitate!  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try a few – otherwise you may have to wait until fall of 2009.

Written & posted by Kathleen Connally

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FROM THIS PUBLICAN’S PERCH, November 2007

Chris PohAt some point during the cobbling together of this particular issue someone requested a file name for November’s content. After a cursory review of the articles my response was call it “The War Years.” Whether by intent or fortune this author and our merry band of stringers seemed to have wandered into pubs that have a profound connection to the armed conflicts that have defined this nation. It seems that guns, guts and glory have always been the convenient forte of the fourth estate.

Contained within these pages are the memories and stories of those who have fought, and in many instances given the last full measure on behalf of country. Framed in perfect settings of wood and stone, and accented with the trophies and artistic depictions of battle, these stories take on a lore and grandeur that soften the suffering and hardships of battle. But in many other locations throughout this land are much simpler rooms that serve as the final post for those that truly understand the brutality, bloodshed and tragedy of war. To these veterans and legionnaires we raise our glasses.

Next month our reporters take on rough seas and salt water. Our roving scribes will be anchored in bars from the beaches of California to the rugged coastline of Maine. As for me, the only salt that I’ll taste will be on the rim of a Margarita glass from the relative calm of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Till then we wish you a great November and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FROM THIS PUBLICAN’S PERCH, October 2007

Chris Poh

A friend inquired about the possibility of featuring a particular establishment in this publication. I think he was surprised by the rapid response which questioned the merits of this well respected edifice of fine food and drink. “If a great space, with a fantastic location, featuring outstanding product and service doesn’t warrant inclusion what does,” he asked? My answer was simply this, “…community.”

The worth of a public house is measured by the efforts of its patrons, owners and staff to establish a space that welcomes everyone as equals and treats all who enter with the same regard and respect. It is a community that provides comfort, wise counsel and camaraderie. It is the family front porch of a bygone era, and the parliament of the common man.

In this first issue, our staff’s explorations remained close to home. This being a shared belief that one should celebrate and appreciate one’s own backyard before venturing over the fence. Future editions will include images and stories from pubs located throughout North America with occasional forays beyond.

As the content of this first run came together it was apparent that it was heavily influenced by the spirit and the traditions of those who inhabit the British Isles. This was much more a case of serendipity than a function of design. Had this outcome been a matter of planning, we would not have overlooked those bold Tudors who ascended the English throne under Henry the VII. Before our time is done, the editorial staff will make every effort to recognize the people of Wales and their generous contributions to the life and legacy of the public house.

Published in: on February 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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