My hat is off to them for establishing this new path, and to Charlie Storey
who is leading the company into the new era. -TL
And now, this...
It was a late summer night in Boston and Charlie Storey
and I had just finished lugging kegs into a basement storefront on Newbury Street.
A crowd had gathered inside and was anxiously awaiting the tapping of a new, collaboration beer that Harpoon
had brewed with Ball and Buck
(an apparel retailer).
Wiping a little keg-lifting sweat from his
place behind a makeshift bar and with a giant smile poured the first beers around the room.
Charlie Storey & Ball and Buck
's Mark Bollman
Little did we know at the time, myself and the hundred or so others who had chatted with him that night, that Charlie Storey would soon be named the next President of Harpoon Brewery.
And I'm sure glad they've found someone as passionate as Charlie
to carry on the great legacy that Rich and Dan created.
When I sat down with Charlie Storey
last month at the brewery in South Boston, he
was clearly humbled by the importance of this turn of events that have taken shape over the course of 2014.
Of course, Charlie
will be the first to say that there's no plan on the books to reinvent Harpoon; a company that has clearly been quite successful (and is now the 12th largest craft brewery in the country).
does recognize that they've got to make some changes.
Deciding to remain independent in the face of increasing competition and global corporate interest in craft beer doesn't come without its challenges.
acknowledges that Harpoon
has got to evolve in order to compete in the new norm.
"I see two major things going on in craft," said Storey
After speaking with Storey
, along with a few other folks on the brand/management team at Harpoon
, I can tell you first hand that they know what they have to do to successfully take the brewery forward into the next era.
Charlie Storey (Photo from Brewbound.com)
When the party wrapped up on that early September night in downtown Boston, I caught up with Charlie
for one last pour at the bar he
was still enthusiastically holding down.
The lights flickered to get people to leave but Charlie
wanted to make sure the last few people got one last pour of the collaboration beer that we had worked on together.
When the last of the attendees left, Charlie
was the first to start carrying out kegs.