This weekend, Mark and I went to the Powder Keg Beer and Chili Festival, located in Exeter NH. Outside the festival, was a small fall festival with a lot of children’s activities. It was nice to walk through to get to the Powder Keg. Before entering the Powder Keg, we had our IDs checked, and received an “over 21” wristband. We were also given a map and list of what breweries were there. We then had our tickets ripped and entered. We were told to hang on to our tickets so we could come and go as we pleased. After we walked through the gate, we realized that we hadn’t been given glasses or tickets and realized the table to pick them up was to our right. We both received our glasses from a volunteer and started to walk away. We hadn’t walked too far when I realized my glass didn’t have tickets in it, but Mark’s did. I went back to the table, and at first they were uncertain what to do, but trusted that I was not given tickets and I received them. Thank goodness! We received 8 beer tickets and 5 food/chili tickets to start with; more were available for purchase.
The beer notes will not be very detailed, as most are places we will go to or have gone to already.
The beers we tried:
Angry Orchard, Boston Beer Company
- Cinnful- Good flavor, 1st sip reminded me of redhots. Tart apples and cinnamon, good combo
Tuckerman Brewing Company, Conway NH
- ALTitude- a double bock. Mark thought it was “pretty good.” I agreed
Sixpoint Brewery, New York
- Sweet Action- A hopy cream ale. Mark tried and enjoyed!
- The Crisp- I tried, good!
Great Rhythm Brewing Company, Portsmouth
- We were in line to try their beer, but noticed that they only had a pale ale (which I am not a huge fan of the style typically)
North Coast Brewing Company, Ft Bragg California
- Le Merle- a Saison Belgian style Farmhouse Ale. Really good! Would be a drink I could have if I was going to sit back and enjoy one.
- Pranqster- Belgian style unfiltered golden ale. Mark enjoyed
Prodigal Brewery, Effingham NH
- Effinghamburgherbrau- a German lager. Mark liked, said it was very smooth. I didn’t like it- 1st sip nope! 2nd sip- not cold enough.
Berkshire Brewing Company, South Deefield MA
- Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, a good light (Mark had)
- Drayman’s Porter, yum good porter! Nice coffee notes.
- Woodchuck Pumpkin- not amazing, but definitely drinkable. Started to really enjoy it ½ way through
- Woodchuck Dry Hop Cellar Series- hops infused cider. Tastes like a beer-cider combo. Not bad.
- ******Woodchuck’s tasting room is scheduled to open in May!!!!
- Puca- curry, pumpkin porter. Nice flavor. Curry adds something different to it. Mark said it was a heavier pumpkin than we are used to- really good, a different flavor.
- We were able to catch up with Butch, one of the brewers while we were there
- Little sumpin sumpin- Mark had, thought it would be more like a pale ale but it was more like an IPA
603 Brewery, Campton (soon to be Londonderry)
- 18 Mile Ale- a rye. good balanced beer
- 19th State- a red IPA. Mark tried. When I asked him how it was, he said “I don’t know. Gone?!”
Woodstock Inn Brewery, North Woodstock, NH
- Autumn Ale- Really really good! Different, nice spices. Mark said it reminded him of an Oktoberfest, only because he has nothing else to compare it to.
Uinta Brewing, Utah
- Pumk’n Harvest- typical pumpkin beer
The Chili we tried:
The Meat House, Exeter NH
- Good amount of meat, not too spicy but a nice after spice. Mark- not anything crazy, a classic chili. Well balanced
Fast Eddies, Hampton NH
- Good amount of meat. Good flavor, but either too watery or too oily, hard to tell
Stone Church, Newmarket NH
- Good! Best so far! They add chips to the cup. Chili is a regular menu item. Option to add cheese, sour cream and other options. Spicy!
Tuckaway Tavern, Raymond NH
- Topped with smoked cheddar. Nice smoked, almost BBQ flavor. It had a wicked spice to it, more of an after burn. After burn was ok because it meant they didn’t just add hot sauce to it, but a little too spicy for me! Needed some chips to eat it with or more cheese. Mark said it seemed almost pureed, it wasn’t chunky like many others. Most flavorful. If it was slightly less spicy it would be the best one yet!
WHYM, Portsmouth, NH
- Hatch Green Chili- more of a stew. Made in a traditional New Mexico style, with chili’s directly from New Mexico. Even had potatoes in it! Same type of spices, but different style. Really good!
On the Vine Marketplace, Exeter NH
- Mark tried, he enjoyed it. Good consistency. Good be a bit spicier, but it was also at the end of the day
McKinnon’s making their chili (Portsmouth)
By 3pm, at least two of the vendors were out of chili. At least 2 vendors were out of beer. At 3:20, almost all of the vendors were out of chili. Point? Come early! It is a short day, only from 12-4, but you need to arrive early to enjoy all of the chili.
This is an event to go to. Just plan on eating your chili early!