If there’s anything to be said about Harpoon Brewery, they know their target audience. They follow the exact same marketing model as their chief competitor, Boston Beer Company—a model which blurs the line between craft brewing and high volume mass production while emphasizing a somewhat exaggerated notion of tightly knit New England roots. I can’t say I’ve ever been a tremendous fan, but I can’t sell them short either. They’re employee owned; and if you’re going to have an IPA… just go ahead and have your IPA. The rest of us won’t judge.
But like I said, they know their target audience. In particular, students. After all, they’ve already tried to carve an edge into the local market by partnering with such distinctly New England brands as Dunkin’ Donuts and Polar Seltzer. And come each September, there’s a whole new crop of low hanging fruit…. er, future contributors to the region’s economy to consider as well.
Allston Christmas. For some of you, it means a snarl of traffic jams and panicked newcomers who fail to realize the streets are not supposed to follow any semblance of logic or coherence. For others, it means free bean bags, George Foreman grills and the collected works of Sylvia Plath. And Harpoon is giving due homage t by releasing a limited release IPA named after the city’s unofficial holiday.
“We cleaned out our supply closet and used some ingredients (high quality ingredients!) leftover from other projects,” reads Harpoon’s press release for Allston X-Mas. ”Utilizing a unique blend of specialty malts and a blend of modern, fruit forward hops, this New England IPA features bright, upfront notes of citrus, mixed berry, and black currant with a clean, rye like spice.”
Which means it’s just like their other lines of IPAs. Just with an obligatory Boston-centric nod to remind you their marketing team has actually stepped foot outside of Vermont.
“With so many folks from the brewery that have experienced Allston Christmas firsthand, we’d always joked about doing some sort of a beer release for the holiday,” Harpoon innovation brewer Tom Graham told Boston magazine recently. “We were playing around with some Brut IPA recipes last winter and saw an opportunity to combine the two concepts — and also clean up the brewhouse a bit while we were at it.”
Allston X-Mas will be available in both draft and 16 oz cans starting August 28th for an unspecified time. Future New England-themed offerings over the next few months include South of Satan’s Kingdom Pale Ale (which has nothing to do with the music of Slayer, unfortunately) and Spruce Tip Ale.