Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Co, North Conway NH

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Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company is located in North Conway, New Hampshire. It is a very busy restaurant brewery that we have now visited twice. There is a bar room, with a full bar and tables, a dining room and a smaller dining room/sun room. Both times we have visited, we have been sat in the sun dining room.

IMG_0389Taylor, who joined us on our visit to Tuckerman Brewing Co, also joined us here.

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the brewery

The menus:IMG_0395 IMG_0396

We ordered dinner and a beer sampler.

Our tasting:IMG_0400
Hoffman Weiss: 5.7% unfiltered, citrus like. Tasted less “beery” than other beers

Ms. V’s Blueberry: 4.5% nice, authentic blueberry flavor. An American Style Ale.

Czech Pilsner: 4.9% a very light Pilsner. Big malt profile. Megan did not like.

Iron Mike Pale Ale: 5.6% typical pale ale, with a hint of something else- 3 different styles of hops

“Identity Crisis” Brown: not a huge fan of this one. Grainy tasting. Mark enjoyed more than Megan, but it was not his favorite

Bone Shaker Brown: 5.5% liked better than IC. Not as heavy as a typical brown ale

Square Tail Stout: 5.8% good, but not as good as other stouts we have had. Roasted flavor.

Smoked House Porter: different flavor than most porters we have had- not chocolate, coffee flavored or smoked…

All beers seemed to be a little warmer than they could have been, hard to tell if that would have changed our opinions of the beers or not

 

Our entrees:

IMG_0403Black Peppercorn and Bacon Burger, with cheddar cheese and Cajun fries

IMG_0402Sliders- Angus Cheddar Bacon

IMG_0401Plain Wings

 

The food was good. Fries very spicy, wings plentiful and juicy and crispy.

Only downside- the service. The service was very slow and inattentive. We did not know the waitress’s name, and she never once smiled. Once our beer sampler was gone, we did not have an opportunity to have another beverage.
The room was also cold, and drafty. We found this the last time we had visited as well. This time, the heat was turned on after we finished our dinner. If it had only been one time, we would not be writing about it, but found it was quite cold on our last visit as well.
On our way out, our waitress didn’t speak to us…But the manager did ask us how our food was on the way out, which earned them some points back.

Recommendation- go for the food definitely and have a pint. Just keep in mind that it is in a tourist town, so it will take a few minutes to get a table (always is packed!) and the service isn’t awesome.

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Tuckerman Brewing Co, Conway NH visit 47

IMG_0348We recently went to Tuckerman Brewing Company, located in Conway, New Hampshire. Our friend Taylor went with us.
We arrived about 20 minutes before the tour was to begin. They had a sign on the door stating they would open the door shortly before the tour would begin. IMG_0350We waited in the car util the door was opened. At the door, ids were  checked and $5 per person for the tour was collected. Cash only.The cash only fact was not on their website or their door.

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We started with a tasting prior to the tour. They had four to choose from:

Pale ale
Headwall Alt
ALTitude
6288 stout

You could try any or all of them, in whatever order you chose.

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Pale ale: good, pale ale. Better flavor than expected. Taylor’s favorite from here.
Headwall Alt: good stronger tasting brown ale.
ALTitude: Marks favorite. Taylor enjoyed the alcohol content
6288 stout: creamy, coffee flavor. No burnt flavor. Meg’s favorite.

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Our tour:

  • Amanda was our tour guide.she went over the processes in detail, showing us where everything was.
  • They keep a silo full of grain outside, and give their spent grain to local cattle.
  • Have a separate tank with unfermented wort, which added to their beer adds CO2 naturally.IMG_0367
  • You can keep a bottle of their beer open for three days without it going flat!
  • The filtration process was described in great detail on what it keeps out.
  • Their beer is labeled with a batch number and a born on date so it can be tracked easier for quality control.
  • They bottle and box their beer themselvesIMG_0370
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  • They are currently trying to expand further south- right now you can find them in northern New England.
  • They are moving across the street soon, for a larger facility

Only downside of the tour is that their back story/history wasn’t present, although it was a detailed tour on how they do everything.

IMG_0369  This was Taylor’s first brewery and brewery tour, and she enjoyed it. She said the tour was shorter than she expected.

IMG_0363BrewWineFun/Megan and Mark

IMG_0378  IMG_0382 IMG_0385 IMG_0386me with my take of the stout!

Want to go?
Tours are Saturdays at 3:00pm. $5 for the tour and a pint glass. Get there at 2:45 so you have time to try all of the beer!

Throwback Brewery, Hampton NH Visit 43

IMG_0269  IMG_0265ready for our snowy adventure!

100_1262On one snowy Saturday afternoon, we visited Throwback Brewery, located in Hampton, NH. Throwback was founded in 2010 by Annette Lee and Nicole Carrier, with the goal of combining brewing great beer and supporting local agriculture. A women owned brewery! Throwback’s beer is made from all local to New England ingredients, so that they can help support the local economy as well as the agriculture.100_1277

Our tasting was done by Katherine, who has been with the brewery since day one. When you go in, you can try one or many. 100_1273We choose to do a full flight, trying everything on tap. For every sample sized pour, you take a gold coin. It is on the honor system, and you pay for all that you drank at the end.100_1276 100_1265

The tasting room has a home feel to it:100_1267

Our tasting:

100_1272 Oma’s Tribute: Black Lager 4.9% ABV  A light Schwarzbier with red-brown color. Easy to drink with a slight bitterness and roasted flavor. Light compared to others.
Dippity Do: American Brown Ale 5.6% ABV. Not your typical brown ale- had the hoppiness of a pale ale. I like some brown ales, however I am not a huge pale ale person…
Hippo-Hop-Amus: Black Session 4% ABV. Drinks like an IPA
Mckenzie’s BlackBEERy Oatmeal Stout: 6.3%  Anything that it an Oatmeal Stout has to be good! Smell of fresh fruit and flavors of jam. It is named after the farm where the berries were picked-  McKenzie’s farm.
Campfire-Smoked Porter: 6.4% What incredible flavor! It brought us right to our smokey campfires down in Plymouth MA. 😉 We bought a bottle to share with Marilynn and Al (Megan’s parents). Al enjoyed it more than Marilynn. Megan felt it was better on tap- had a better smokey flavor then
Donkey-Hote: Double IPA 8.2% Citrus, grass and caramel. Mark enjoyed, Megan not so much
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Some of their other delicious sounding beers…
Maple Kissed Wheat Porter
Chocolate PB Imperial Stout
Salted Caramel Milk Stout
100_1278the smoker- right outside. This is how they created the PERFECT smokey flavor found in their Campfire Smoked Porter!
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Another really cool part of the brewery is the labels, designed by Nate Walker. Nate is a local artist who is a graphic artist as well as a sculptor (take a look on his website- they are amazing and made from re-purposed materials!)
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100_1274Want to visit?
100_1263Thursday & Friday 4-7, Saturday 1-4

Check out what’s on tap now!

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IMG_0267 if you go, look for this sign- Throwback Brewery is in an industrial area. Our GPS brought us down the street, so look for this sign.

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Boston Wine Expo: the Expo

IMG_2698After we attended the Love Brews for Cheeses of the Veneto session on Saturday, we went to the main part of the Expo. We went both days, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we drove back to my parent’s house in a snowstorm (it might have been a blizzard), whereas Sunday was beautiful, but cold. Sunday we were joined by Bre and Deryl.
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We had our passes, and were ready to try some wine!

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Wines that Stood Out..

Fizz 56:  a Terlato wine. A sparkling red wine. Fruity, fizzy with a really great sweet flavor

**Just about all of the wines from the Finger Lakes region!** including:
Dr. Frank Riesling, Semi Dry 2012: Nose of orange blossom and pear. Flavors of mandarin oranges, apples and peach.
Dr. Frank Grüner Veltliner, 2011:  Floral and melon flavors
Wagner Vineyards:  all of their Rieslings were fantastic, BUT, their ice wine was amazing!

IMG_0433Roscato: When I saw this wine, I knew I had to try it- my cousin Steve had told me about it Christmas Eve 2012. This was a sweet, red wine with a fizz. It is made from Croatina, Teroldego and Lagrein grapes.  It was really good, and a great recommendation from him!

IMG_0470 100_1387Caress: By Moonlight Meadery- the only New England winery there! Honey and raspberries- mmmm!

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Pacific Rim: specializes only in Rieslings. Their Riesling and their Sweet Riesling were really good, and were also our friend Bre’s first wine that she liked there.

IMG_1934 IMG_8815Mark, Megan, Bre and Deryl at the Troublemaker RV
IMG_0461Troublemaker: A Hope Family Wine. Red blend, created in a multi-vintage approach.
They keg their wine- find that it is better for longevity, especially in bars and restaurants. They covered a fairly large section of the expo floor, as they had a full RV!

IMG_0441All of these wines from 90+ Cellars. Chardonnay, Riesling, Moscato and Prosecco. Not only were the wines great but my Dad and Ocean Works created their amazing tables! IMG_8162 IMG_7619

IMG_2655 this wine is not yet available in the US- but when it is, try it! Really great Moscato
IMG_8952A sweet red wine
IMG_2465sweet and summer likeIMG_2187

Dylan’s Ghost– tried “Hell Hollow” and “The Beast,” both excellent reds. This was one of the wineries we had heard about from others on twitter!

Other thoughts:

Pasta chips are amazing! They are made with semolina flour and Italian herbs, and are almost a cross between a cracker and a chip.IMG_0465
Celebrity Cruise Lines: had an inventive way of getting people over to their table: make your own spice tins! 100_1413
We bounced around at times throughout the weekend, going to tables that were less crowded. On Sunday, we went with people that didn’t know too much about wine, and being at the less crowded tables helped so we could ask more questions. It is always interesting to try wine with people who are new to wine or expanding their pallets.

What truly stood out, were the wineries that tell you about their wine and what makes it special. The wineries from the Finger Lakes were the best about this. The amount of information varied, depending quite often on the role that person played to the winery. Some could answer questions that you had about the wine, while others couldn’t. Those that couldn’t  often worked for the distributors. We appreciated those that were upfront with us; one told us that he was new to it, and was looking to learn all that he could. Those we didn’t appreciate were the ones that just picked up another bottle to pour when they were asked a question. This was at no fault to the organizers of the Wine Expo, but not a good face for the particular wineries. We also appreciated the tables that were area wine commissions- one person who represented 3-4 different wineries but understood each one.

One of the best things was looking at the twitter feed about the Boston Wine Expo after (#bwe2014). We tweeted with others, and asked what their highlights were on Saturday, so we could look for those the following day. It was great to learn about different wines and products through social media.

We’ve gone to other wine tastings that have you tag wines as you try them for immediate purchase… We would love to see states from places that do that to see how it impacts wine sales. Some of the wines we tried are harder to find, and it would be great to have them easily accessible! Luckily, most are available at our liquor and wine stores.

On day two, we visited more of the vendor tables (not wine). We saw wine accessories, wine racks… We felt that if those tables were giving out something, like the Hold A Plate table, who demonstrated their innovative cocktail plate by serving meatballs (that were delicious!) that people would be more apt to stop by and learn about your products.


IMG_6450  IMG_8369   IMG_4195  IMG_1547  IMG_2102  IMG_0439 100_1390 100_1399IF you go next year…

Go with a goal… maybe to try a particular country. At previous wine events, I have focused on a particular type of wine, however trying by country is easier with the layout here.
Try a wine you’ve never heard of
Don’t say that you don’t like a particular type of wine- you might just not like the way that winery makes it. Try it somewhere else.
Stay hydrated100_1368
Eat! There are many food samples throughout- bread (as pictured above), Pasta Chips, Brownie Brittle, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo to name a few… but don’t wait until the end of the day- some food tables stopped serving around 4pm on Sunday (event ended at 5). 100_1366100_1365Estelle’s Traditional Andoullie Sausage & Smoked Chicken Gumbo

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It is VERY easy to stay for the whole time- so much to see, so much to do! Even after two days!

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