Like every Bostonian this month, Blondie and I have had a serious case of Cabin Fever thanks to four major blizzards and 95 inches of snow all within 23 days.
So it was with great joy that we dug ourselves out of our North End apartment and headed over to the Harpoon Brewery for the second X-Night of 2015. We brought our mugs from January so that the February date and style of beer could be etched into the glass beneath the January listing. It was our way of showing all the newbie X-Nighters that we were grizzled veterans. Or something like that.
For those unfamiliar with X-Night, once a month Harpoon organizes a gloried focus group beer tasting of a new, small batch of beer and ask your opinion of the beer. The difference between X-Night and an actual focus group is that you get paid to participate in a focus group while Harpoon X-Night charges you $20 for your opinion.
That all may be a bit cynical because X-Night is actually a fun time. It’s a relatively inexpensive way for Blondie to get out of the house and enjoy a weeknight. It’s our monthly date night. And it is neat how they etch your personalized beer mug each month. I really want to collect all 12 dates for 2015 and I’ll be bummed if I’m out of town and miss one.
This month’s brew was called Catamount 8.6. It was a simple beer, nothing too daring. I was a little disenfranchised when the bartender told me that Harpoon had bought out Catamount Brewery a while back and this was one of their old recipes with a slight variation. The whole idea of paying for X-Night is that you get to try a new and exciting beer before anyone else – a Hipster’s dream. But the Catamount wasn’t new nor was it exciting. I get that it might be hard to trot out some crazy new concoction every 30 days, but by recycling an old recipe it sort of felt like Harpoon wasn’t even trying.
I’ll give Harpoon a mulligan on this one. Boston has been shutdown for better part of a month. We are all concerned about just making it home alive, not leaving much room for creativity.
The March X-Night falls on the 18th. Hopefully we will get some fantastic new Irish beer in honor of St. Paddy’s day.