Happily Harpoon-ed: Brewery visits Buffalo on road trip
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 04, 2013 @ 10:05am
Recently, Buffalo has focused on its own brewers’ landscape, as Pearl Street expanded through the Pan-American Grill, Flying Bison continued to grow its brand through special events, Community Beer Works hung out weekly at the Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Market and newcomer Big Ditch Brewing Company laid plans for the Ellicott District.
While it’s been easy to hone in on the progress of local brewers, we’ve lost sight of breweries who’ve visited town in order to broaden their appeal. From Thursday through Saturday, Boston’s Harpoon Brewery will send its road trip team to Buffalo for several special events.
Founded in 1986 by Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary, Harpoon expanded beyond Boston’s boundaries to form a second brewery in Windsor, Vt. in 2000. It’s now the largest craft brewery in New England, boasting everything from seasonal pumpkin ales to rye IPAs to a line of hard ciders.
Here’s a rundown of Harpoon’s time in Buffalo (there are apparently advantages to being a “Friend of Harpoon,” which you can learn more about here):
**Harpoon Tasting at the Village Beer Merchant, 547 Elmwood Ave., Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Highlights: A simple tasting of the visiting brewery’s brews—including seasonal options including the Imperial Pumpkin.
**Harpoon Night at Essex Street Pub, 6 Essex St., Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m.
Highlights: Help Harpoon create a Buffalo-inspired beer name—you can enter a name for every pint your purchase. The winner receives a Harpoon prize pack and the fortune of having a beer temporarily renamed at the Boston brewery. While that last part doesn’t sound too enthralling to us, at least you can snack on the underrated menu. Take it away, Andrew.
**Fun Run and Happy Hour at Gordon’s, 2263 Delaware Ave., Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Highlights: In Buffalo, we’re well aware that beer and exercise don’t always have to be exclusive. Think of all the after parties that cap off our summer races! Anyhow, Harpoon will lead a 2-3 mile jaunt around North Buffalo before treating participants to a beer and appetizers. We’re not mad that beer is treated as a reward here.
**Harpoon Night at Colter Bay Grill, 561 Delaware Ave., Friday from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m.
Highlights: A quick meet-and-greet with the Harpoon Road Trip Team and the chance to buy Octoberfest, IPA and UFO Raspberry. It’s a nice addition to Colter’s already solid craft beer selection.
**Harpoon Night at Fat Bob’s Smokehouse, 41 Virginia Pl., Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Highlights: Another short meet-and-greet as Harpoon’s Friday night tour sends them progressively south, winding up at lauded BBQ and mac ‘n’ cheese joint Fat Bob’s. Remember that there’s a really nice secluded patio in the back. Harpoon will have IPA and Octoberfest in tow.
**Harpoon Helps Mission at Buffalo Olmsted Parks, 1672 Elmwood Ave., Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Highlights: The Road Trip Team hits snooze a few times, then bops over to plant a Japanese Iris near Papa Jake’s before treating Friends of Harpoon to beer and appetizers at Papa Jake’s.
**Harpoon Football Square Game Night at Armor Inn Tap Room, 5381 Abbott Rd., Hamburg., Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m.
Highlights: Playing Harpoon’s own version of “Super Bowl Squares,” drinkers will pick a square for every pint purchased, and prizes will be given away every hour. And hey, Notre Dame vs. Michigan will be on TV, so that’ll be pretty great.