Harpoon Spruce Ale.
This week the Harpoon Brewery released the latest installment of their 100-Barrel Series, Vermont Spruce Tip Ale. The Vermont Spruce Tip Ale was brewed using spruce tips harvested from Vermont's Downer State Forest.
The spruce tips were used in the same way finishing hops might be used, with additions late in the boil and in the whirlpool. Harvested when fresh, Harpoon brewers say the spruce tips are intended to impart citrus, pine, spice, herbal and earthy notes to beer.
Harpoon Vermont brewer Tom Graham created the recipe and brewed this beer. "I first got the idea for this beer when reading a great book called The Homebrewer's Garden," Mr. Graham says. "When spring finally came to Vermont, my wife and I gathered a pound of spruce tips and I brewed a homebrew batch with them. I was pretty pleased with the results so I shared the beer with my colleagues at the brewery. From there it blossomed into this 100 Barrel Series beer."
Sourcing the spruce tips required collaboration with the Vermont Department of Forests. Harpoon staff and friends of Harpoon collected the spruce tips from a Vermont state park.
In order to maintain the spruce tips' freshness, Harpoon's friends at the Vermont Foodbank offered to lend their airtight food preservation system. In appreciation of the Foodbank's support, for every pound of spruce tips that were harvested Harpoon made a $10 donation to the Foodbank. In total, 212 pounds of spruce tips were harvested, and the brewery made a donation in the amount of $2,120 to the Foodbank.
The Harpoon 100 Barrel Series 7% abv Vermont Spruce Tip Ale will be sold in 22-oz. bottles with limited draft availability.