Brewer Bytes with Harpoon Brewery
An Interview with Rich Doyle, CEO and Co-Founder
Posted on 2/6/2013 by Chops
When paying your respects to American craft beer, few breweries deserve it more than Harpoon. They opened their doors in 1986 and have been producing an impressive line of high quality nectar ever since. Anyone familiar with the Boston beer scene knows of the "David and Goliath" story line playing out there. Harpoon has managed to separate itself from the regional behemoth by developing their own distinctive signature. It's an impressive feat, which is why BrewChief founder Zack Wheeler felt honored to meet up with Harpoon CEO and co-founder Rich Doyle on a recent trip to Boston. Rich, being the gracious guy he is, was more than happy to offer up some Brewer Bytes.
What inspired you to get into brewing?
I love beer and I hated going to bars in 1986 and having all the beers on tap taste the same. I also did not understand why there was only one brewery in all six New England states. I believe in great beer and in the role breweries play in their community.
Do you have a fond memory about building your brewery?
The fond and not so fond memories are the same. We had to knock out some walls with sledge hammers and dig floor drains with jack hammers. It was hard work and also kind of fun.
How do you feel about your overall success today?
I am very proud and thankful for the success Harpoon has had. But, I do not focus on it much. I look ahead to the next challenge mostly.
What do you feel sets you apart from other brewers?
Our commitment to our community, our commitment to the visitor experience for those coming to our breweries, and the company culture of Harpoon.
What is your favorite beer or style to brew?
IPAs are my favorite style.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?
Our tap room here with my colleagues after work.
How do you feel about beer reviewing and its impact on the industry?
I believe in free speech and I think it's great when people care enough about beer to write about it. I do think that more beer reviews should be done blind to separate the sizzle from the steak.
What would you say to a beer snob who is hating on your brews?
I'd ask them to do a blind tasting with me and see if the results change.
What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?
Doing a job I love with a great group of people... and the free beer of course...
If you could change one thing about the beer industry, what would it be?
Probably make sure that one or two companies don't have too large a concentration of the overall business.
Anything else you would like to say?
Please visit our breweries and taste our beers!