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A Brewer’s Tale (part 3)

September 14, 2010

Tonight (Tuesday, 9/14), Ray will be hosting a live chat on our website to talk about his trip to harvest the hops and the brewing of the latest in the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Glacier Harvest ’10 Wet Hop Ale. Come join us:

Here is the third and final installment of Ray’s trip and brewing adventure. Ray talks about the return trip to Boston and getting ready for the brew day.


by Harpoon Brewer Ray Dobens
Three hours after breakfast I reflected back on the words of the cashier at breakfast and took mental notes on how awesome I felt. Not awake or alert in the slightest, but also not suffering from gut wrenching nausea or abdominal cramping. All things considered this was terrific!

The truck was still using diesel at an alarming rate and this was made worse by the cooling unit kicking on every ten minutes or so to keep the Hops cool and fresh. We had to make 3 gas stops to finish the return trip to Boston.

During the trip we were in constant contact with the Todd Charbonneau, the head brewer in Boston, to keep him up to date on our progress. There was actually one point that we talked twice in twenty minutes and the first words from Todd were “where are you right now?” The second time this question was asked in twenty minutes earned him the response “we are twenty minutes further along than when we last spoke.” This is seemed funny at the time but in retrospect it might not have actually been that funny. When you arrive at work at 6am and you are trying to plan every facet of an already complicated 18 hour brew day it is not an amusing answer to receive from someone whose day you are trying to make easier.

As we got closer to Boston the reality of what we were about to do set in. We had already been in the truck for nearly 7 hours and we hadn’t brewed a barrel of beer. Todd had just mashed in the first batch. We still had 2000 pounds of hops to unload and place in various positions of readiness around the brewery.

It was going to be a long night.

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