Many industries have taken a beating over the last 6 months from the COVID related shutdowns and restrictions, but one of the worst hit groups is the hospitality industry. Restaurants and bars typically operate on thin margins, so this long shut down is going to shutter many permanently, and many of their employees are currently out of work for an indefinite amount of time. Needless to say, the craft brewing industry is intertwined with restaurants and bars, even most breweries with active on premise sales still rely on draft accounts at other establishments, not just to sell their beer but also to introduce it to new potential customers. That is why it’s not surprising that many successful breweries have tried to help out the rest of the restaurant industry, even as their own sales take a hit. Many breweries have brewed All Together, a collaboration with spearheaded by Other Half to support employees in the hospitality industry affected by COVID. Other breweries have done their own thing, like Harpoon who released For The Frontline, which benefits a number of local charities helping people affected by COVID. For The Frontline isn’t a completely new beer, it is actually a re-release of the original Harpoon Ale, first brewed in 1986. Harpoon For The Frontline is available for a limited time on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Harpoon For The Frontline pours clear dark orange with a small off-white head. The aroma is mild, just a touch of floral hops. This is a balanced British-style pale ale. The malts add notes of caramel, bread crust and biscuits. The hops add hints of grass, herbs, earth and a touch of bitterness. For The Frontline is medium bodied and smooth, not too boozy at 5% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean, with a little residual malt and hop flavor. This beer is fine if you like the sub-style, but I am not surprised Harpoon retired it. While there is nothing wrong with it, it tastes like a beer from 20 years ago. Still, worth a try to support a great cause! Hoppy Boston score: 3.5/5.
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