Feb 5, 2014

Harpoon Brewery The Long Thaw

The white IPA or hoppy witbier or whatever you prefer to call this type of beer has been gaining ground the past couple of years. I initially derided the style direction as I haven’t been the biggest fan of most wheat-based brews I’ve tasted. That said, these takes on IPAs has been getting better with each one I try. I don’t know if my own personal tastes are changing or if brewers are finally starting to dial in the the right flavors, but the combination of soft wheat and various hop varieties is starting to grow on me. Harpoon Brewery’s The Long Thaw is the latest tasty example to hit my tastebuds.

This 6.2% ABV Spring seasonal brings a smooth wheat body and a solid amount of grassy, grapefruit citrusy hops in a clean package. The brew is active and refreshing, if a bit sharp, but will certainly give your tongue a wake up call from the cold slumber of Winter. The Long Thaw brings a good flavor and solid bitterness that fans of IPAs will enjoy and the soft backbone that only a witbier can deliver.


The brew pours a hazy, golden amber in color with a creamy cap of white foam that proved to be fairly persistent through the drinking process.

Harpoon Brewing The Long Thaw photo


Zesty citrus, grapefruit, lemon, light pine, soft wheat and grains. Has a definite hop zing to the nose.


Lemon, grapefruit, hints of orange and pine lead the way for a wash of hop bitterness that arrives quickly before fading smoothly into the lasting finish. There is a hint of coriander/clove along with the soft wheat and grain notes. The body is crisp and perhaps a bit sharp initially, but this only proves that the beer would refresh nicely after a warm Spring day.


The Long Thaw is a fresh and approachable brew with a solid amount of hop character, bite and refreshment. The wheat (for my personal preferences) is at just the right levels and serves to support the up-front hop flavors. At 6.2% ABV, it’s certainly not a sessionable beer, but it does go down pretty easily — the samples I received didn’t last too long.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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