Harpoon rolls out Leviathan series of beers
Rich Doyle wants his company to offer the kind of beer that a consumer buys to get something light and refreshing. But Doyle, the president of Harpoon Brewery, knows that his company’s latest creation won’t be filling that demand.
“When they want something to challenge their (taste buds), we should be there for them,” Doyle said.
The South Boston company has come up with a new series of beers that is designed as the antithesis to light and mass-produced beers. The beers in the Leviathan series will have plenty of malts and hops, providing a strong taste – along with alcohol-by-volume levels that exceed 10 percent, roughly twice the levels found in many beers.
Harpoon launched its Leviathan series with the release of the Triticus, a dark wheat wine-style beer with 14.3 percent alcohol by volume, at the American Craft Beer Festival in South Boston last weekend. The Triticus recipe first appeared in 2005 as part of Harpoon’s “100 Barrel Series,” and was contributed by BeerAdvocate.com founders Jason and Todd Alstrom.
The Leviathan series is similar to the 100 Barrel series in that both offer specialized beers crafted by Harpoon in limited volumes, but Doyle said Harpoon created the Leviathan series to separate out the beers that are stronger from the rest.
Harpoon’s flagship product, the Harpoon IPA, is a relatively strong beer, with 5.9 percent alcohol-by-volume. But the Leviathan beers will be considerably stronger.
Doyle said he views the limited release series as a way to help keep beer fans interested in Harpoon and to help keep the craft brewers at Harpoon interested in their work.
“It was a way for us to not worry about broad appeal, and to sell things we really liked to sell, and not worry about it not being loved by a lot of people, but being loved by a few people,” Doyle said.
The next beer to be released in the Leviathan series, an Imperial IPA, will hit the store shelves in September. The projected retail price for the Leviathan beers will be $10 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles, although the Triticus is only available on tap.
Jon Chesto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.