The story sounds like so many today, only it was back in 1986 when three beer-loving buddies decided they could build a brewery and create their own brews. Today Harpoon Brewery is a fixture on the Boston waterfront, and happily for us beer-loving folks in Vermont, it’s now a fixture in Windsor too.
From the Inn, Windsor is about a 45-minute drive—and like all Vermont drives, it’s a pretty one! The brewery is in a sleek white building, which also houses the Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden. Stop in on the weekends and you can join a guided tour. Tours last about one hour and give you an inside look on the brewing process. After the tour, step into the Riverbend Taps for a brew and burger, or one of the other hearty sandwiches, wraps, salads or starters. The room overlooks the bottling line so you can watch the action while you eat. During nice weather you can also enjoy a pint in the beer garden. And on Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, they’re serving grilled sausages with peppers and onions. Sounds pretty good to me!
But the highlight of any brewery is the beer and Harpoon has a great selection on tap. The offerings change throughout the year. Some favorites include the best-seller, Harpoon IPA; Harpoon 192, a fruity American double red ale; and a refreshing summer ale called Camp Wannamango. In addition to their beers, the company also makes a natural Harpoon Craft Cider and a tart grapefruit UFO Big Squeeze Shandy.
If you’re visiting the weekend of October 8-9, you can enjoy the Harpoon Oktoberfest, a fun two days of oompah music, chicken dancing, brats, cake, and barrels of free beer.
336 Ruth Carney Drive, Windsot, VT
Summer hours: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Brewery Tours: starting every hour
Friday, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
If you grab a six-pack or growler to go, you can savor it with the sunset on the porch at the Inn. Ah, now that’s the life!