|Harpoon Brewery's Beer Hall under construction|
The move marks the first time the brewery, incorporated in 1986, will be able to sell beer to consume on the premises and will be able to accommodate many more visitors, allowing for expanded brewery tour hours.
“After 26 years it was time to make a space that would be more welcoming,” says Liz Melby, Harpoon’s director of communications.
The 6,000-sq.-ft. office space on the second floor above Harpoon’s corporate offices will be transformed into the Harpoon Beer Hall and visitor’s center. Visitors will come in the main entrance, go up to the second floor and be greeted in a reception area. The beer hall, which will seat upwards of 250 people, according to Melby, will feature German-style communal tables and a bar where upwards of 18 taps will dispense pints of beer brewed onsite.
“We’ve never been able to sell beer on the premise before,” says Melby, who said the brewery is working on obtaining the appropriate license.
Sweeping views of Downtown Boston and the harbor on one side, and a view of the brewing operations on the other, will be part of the lure. Catwalks are being constructed over the brewery so visitors can tour it with a bird’s eye view. The tasting room will remain intact.
As it stands now, Harpoon Brewery offers tastings Monday through Friday and tours only on weekends. The expansion will allow daily tours of the brewery. The retail store, which currently sells beer, tchotchkes and wearables, will be moved to the visitor's center.
Melby says the brewery is pushing for a mid-February opening.
The beer hall will clearly not be a restaurant, says Melby. While housemade pretzels made with spent grain (grain used to brew the beer) will be offered, there will be no other food - for that, brewery-goers can check out any number of restaurants nearby.
Oh, and TVs at the bar? Nada. “Real beer halls don’t have TVs,” says Melby. “We want people to come and enjoy their experience, having beers with their friends.”
We’ll toast to that.