Nearly at the junction of Interstates 89 and 91 in Windsor, Vermont (evidently where the Green Mountain State was “born”), you will find the Harpoon Riverbed Taps and Beer Garden … this operation is an offshoot of its big brother in Boston, Massachusetts. If you’re driving north via I89 or I90, it is extremely convenient to pop into this cool spot for some brews or a meal.
Harpoon has been around since 1986 (over 30 years!). In 2000, they purchased the former Catamount Brewery in Windsor, Vermont to allow them to expand their brewing capacity and distribution. There is a sizable outdoor space where patrons can hang out while sipping their brew. The brewery is also part of a small complex which includes the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company and a health food store.
The Cicerone decided to divert from his usual, express route to Stowe and popped in to visit and sample a few of Harpoon’s beers. Here are the results:
UFO Pineapple (5.2% ABV) This Hefeweizen has definite aroma and flavors of pineapple. Great beer for poolside in the summer!
Appearance: 4.7 | Aroma: 4.4 | Feel: 4.5| Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
Hoppy Adventure (7.8% ABV) This double IPA looks great during the pour, but suffers from the lack of aroma and flavor.
Appearance: 4.7 | Aroma: 4.2 | Feel: 4.3| Taste: 4.3 | Overall: 4.3
UFO Raspberry (4.8% ABV) Natural raspberry is added to this beer to give it an awesome color and aroma, with a pretty satisfying taste.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.7 | Feel: 4.5| Taste: 4.4 | Overall: 4.5
Rec League (3.8% ABV) There’s all kinds of crazy ingredients thrown into the mix for this beer, including hops, sea salt, buckwheat, and chia. Regrettably, the flavors all seem to cancel out.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.2 | Feel: 4.2| Taste: 4.1 | Overall: 4.2
There’s quite a sizable beer menu at Harpoon, so I hope to swing by in the future to try some of their other offerings.
The Cicerone says: Each July, the Harpoon Brewery holds a barbecue contest at its Windsor location. Its a great time to chew on some great ribs and down some cool IPAs in an idyllic setting!