7th Settlement, Dover, NH – many visits in one

Looking through our stops, we realized that we hadn’t posted about a brewery we have been to quite a few times, as it is fairly local for us. Megan posted a visit when she had gone with Kristen from Good ‘n Good for Ya, but Mark and Megan hadn’t posted a joint visit. We’ve enjoyed some great food and beers at 7th Settlement, located in Dover, New Hampshire.

7th Settlement is a Community Supported Brewery, serving Progressive American Pub fare. All of their food is farm to table- even their ketchup. They know what local farm each cow, chicken or pig came from and support local farms with their produce as well. Their baked goods and pasta are also made in house. With everything made to order, you don’t have to worry about allergies.

Throughout our various travels to 7th Settlement, we have been able to enjoy many different beers and food.

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long bar on the right and long community tables on the left. Dining room further back

 

 

 

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On one visit a while back Mark had had the Red Winter Wheat Ale and really enjoyed it. Megan had the Czech Untz, a Kolsch style ale with Czech hops. A bit heavier than expected, as we usually have a more fruity Kolsch, but it was good.

 

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We tried their main entrees, Mark their Pork special, which was a pork chop in an apple glaze with apple sauce and Gouda polenta with Brussels sprouts. Mark enjoyed the pork, the polenta and even ate most of the Brussels (even though he isn’t fond of them).

Megan had the Chicken feature, which was a Statler chicken, with Pancetta baked on, served with fingerling potatoes and carrots (which were traded for string beans). There wasn’t a bite left!

Another time we went back to visit we both got burgers. The burgers are big and really tasty.

 

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Megan went on a tour of the brewery during the Dover Mini Maker Faire, and learned a lot about the way they do things at 7th Settlement. With her was the Barrett family, Peter, Mary, Chris and John, as well as Bre.

 

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2 row barley start with for grain

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Grain room

 

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During tour, we smelled chocolate malt (smelled like fire burning a little), and learned that the hops are even local! The hops are through a hop exchange, out of Strafford.

The tour was given by one of the brewers, which had very good analogies for those not familiar with the beer process- like rowing through fondue cheese, like when you add water to oatmeal, etc
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A good description was given for the way the water buckets operate- one way entry, helps keep bacteria out

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They have large kegs in their refrigerator, for in house use. They feed into the lines at the bar, 78 feet away. This is the furthest the beer goes, unless they are going to a festival.

All beers are vegan– which is unusual, but it is due to the finding agent they use- seaweed based instead of fish based.

 

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Their average time to brew- 3 weeks. The least amount of time for one of their beers is 2 1/2 weeks, with the most at 5 weeks.
Since the tour, they have added 3 more fermenters, and 4 more conditioning tanks- nice to be growing so quickly!

Both brewers are looking to further their beer education, and hope to never stop learning.

 

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Chris enjoying his beer

Chris had recently turned 21 before the visit to the Dover Maker Faire and 7th Settlement, so it was exciting for Megan to have a beer with Chris during this trip!

 

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Chocolate Bacon Cake!

 

Another time we went back to visit we both got burgers. The burgers are big and really tasty.

We had some of their Peter Peter Pumpkin Ale as well.  A heavier, darker style pumpkin ale with a subtle pumpkin taste. It is conditioned with bourbon and vanilla beans.

 

There have been some changes recently. When 7th Settlement opened, they were sharing space with One Love Brewery. One Love has moved out, and up to Lincoln NH, so they both have more space to do their own thing.

 

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We both agree that this has benefitted 7th Settlement. They have a lot more variety of beers on tap, and have become a little more experimental, at least more than they were. We have visited more often recently because they have new beers more often, and more beers that intrigue us.

 

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Chicken wing special. The sauce was really hot, but very tasty. Megan may or may not have been crying a little… The wings were good, nice and crunchy, and homemade blue cheese was laid beneath them, very good as well.

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A beer cheese fondue with homemade bread. This was really good as well, great taste and helped Megan cool off from the chicken wings.

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We had the Gerrish IPA and Milk Stout while we were their this time. Both were good. We also tried the Kris KOLSCHstofferson, it was a little darker than we were expecting, the ‘gentle malt flavor’ they described was a little more prominent than we were expecting.

 

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Yup, those are Megan’s ski’s

 

Most recently, we skied down to 7th Settlement during the Blizzard of 2015. Yes, this month. We accepted the Facebook invite telling us snow shoes and ski’s were acceptable forms of transportation.

 

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Mark only had a little snow frozen in his beard, it was windy!

 

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Beers on tap most recently

 

Mark started with the Hero Pale Ale. Very hoppy with a good flavor, Mark liked it. A little too hoppy for Megan, not her type of beer.

 

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Mark also tried the NH Common. A good beer, light style but still flavorful, it did not taste cheap.

 

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beer menu, during the Blizzard of 2015

 

 

Megan had the Black Day Porter. Nice coffee notes, balanced flavor, good dark beer. We both liked it.

 

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an exhausted Megan, after skiing (not downhill)

 

 

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Honey Chipotle Flatbread

 

We ordered the Honey Chipotle Flatbread. It was tasty, crunchy onions with a good sauce. The Potato Bites were good as well. Mark liked the Horseradish Aioli, Megan used some of the homemade ketchup instead. The couple seated next to us ordered the potato bites after seeing ours come out- good choice!

 

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Potato Bites with Horseradish Aioli

 

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What’s on tap and what’s coming

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Sebago Brewing Company, Portland Brewpub, ME

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Our last stop during our most recent trip through Portland with Jason and Maureen was The Sebago Brewing Company – Portland Brewpub location. We figured after a long day of visiting breweries in Portland we should finish the trip off with some food, and more beers.

 

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The original Sebago Brewpub opened in 1998. After 6 years of brewing beer out of their brewpubs, they opened the main brewing and bottling facility in Gorham, ME. There are 4 brewpub locations and we visited the Portland Brewpub, right Downtown, under the Hampton Inn. It’s actually right around the corner from Shipyard.

 

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I don’t think we had actually tried Sebago beer before. Mark and Jason each ordered their own sampler tray to try all the beers they had on tap.

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Saddleback Ale – 3.9%
Light beer with a really light taste, not cheap or bad, just an ok taste that is not very flavorful.

 

Frye’s Leap IPA – 6%
Fairly standard IPA, good flavor, drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

 

Slick Nick – 7.2%
Malty, winter style beer, similar to the IPA in that it has a decent taste but nothing great. Winter style beers are not Mark’s favorite.

 

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Runabout Red – 4.4%
Fairly easy drinking amber with a malt base. Only 4.4%.

 

Royal Tar – 10.5%
Imperial stout, pretty good flavor, heavy tasting, you can tell by the taste it is a high percentage beer. Jason didn’t think it was a good beer to drink while eating, better for sipping on.

 

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Flora’s House – 4.3%
Described as ‘a love child of a pilsner and a Belgian wheat beer.’ Maureen didn’t think it was that great. Mark liked it, pretty good Belgian flavor, a little on the lighter side.

 

Imperial Small Batch – 4.2%
Fairly smooth, nutty flavor, good overall taste. Probably Mark’s favorite.

 

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2014 Barleywine – 11.1%
Heavy barleywine, not too enjoyable, bourbon barrel aged, we didn’t really like this one.

Food

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We ordered Potato Nachos as an appetizer. It was waffle fries instead of nachos, pretty good.

 

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Megan got a Caesar Salad and a Vermont Panini. The salad was ok, the panini was good.

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Mark ordered the Bacon Mac and Cheese and added chicken to it. The chicken wasn’t really added to it, it was just put right on top. He just mixed it in, it was really tasty.

 

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Jason ordered the Imperial Burger, a burger with a fried egg and
bacon on it. He described it as decadent.

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Megan and Maureen wanted desert, so they got a Molten Chocolate Cake to split, which they both really enjoyed.

Want to Visit?

Portland Pub Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 1am
Sunday: 11am – Midnight

Other places to visit in Portland:

Bissel Brothers

Allagash Brewing Company

Foundation Brewing

Austin Street Brewing

Urban Farm Fermentory

Shipyard Brewing Company

Foundation Brewing Company, Portland, ME

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We visited Foundation Brewing Company on our recent trip to Portland with Maureen and Jason. They too are located in the legendary 1 IndustriALE Way, in the same building as Bissel Brothers and Austin Street Brewing, right across the street from Allagash.

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They had been open for almost a year when when we visited. We have heard good things about them, they have been creating a bit of a buzz. Jason and Maureen tried some of their beer at a festival in Boston. When we visited, they had 4 beers on tap to try, samples were $1 each.

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Eddy – 5.7% Traditional saison, fairly light in body and flavor, not a
whole lot of flavor though.

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Infused Saison – 5.7% A brewery only option, infused with cardamom and orange. This had a much better taste, more interesting and complex, a lot of the orange flavor. Mark, Megan, Maureen and Jason all liked this.

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Burnside – 5.17% English brown ale, really good flavor, hint of caramel, one of the best brown ales we have had recently.

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Infused Burnside – 5.17% Infused with coffee, the smell of coffee is intense. The balance of coffee and brown ale flavor is good. Between this one and the Infused Saison, Megan didn’t know which to sample again! They did not have any Blaze available to taste, but we liked the beers we did taste so Mark figured it was worth a shot, and this was the only bottle available while we were there. IMG_1656

 

Blaze – 6.2% Comes in a 750 mL bottle, which is a little different for a beer. A farmhouse style ale, good taste, fairly hoppy flavor but light in body, good balance. We ‘tasted’ this at home.

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Jason and Mark enjoying their samples

 

They are in a pretty small place, we hung around the bar area. When they are open to the public you can take your samples into the back brewing area to spread out. Customer’s were playing cornhole in the back when we were there. This was one of Megan and Maureen’s favorites- because of the atmosphere and conversation. Two couples run the brewery together, and they started with
a love of Farmhouse beers.

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Growlers. glasses, and limited bottles for sale

 

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Merch for sale

 

Update August 2015:


Epiphany glass

 

Three important updates from when we visited about 6 months ago.

First is:

Epihany – Maine IPA 8%
This beer is described as a Maine IPA by Foundation, pictured above. It is a super hop-fruity IPA with little to no bitterness. Mark really likes it, and it is different than most other IPA’s, maybe that’s why they call it a Maine IPA. It was a little too fruity for Jason, and he tasted it because I actually got my hands on some cans.

 

Epiphany Cans

 

Update number 2. They can beers and distribute now! This is good news for us. Although we did just drive by Portland and stop in for a growler full of Epiphany, we don’t frequent Portland too often. They do have a small area roped off outside, for the nicer weather, which doubles the amount of people they can have tasting. Occasionally some cans make it down near the NH border, so hopefully we can get some. Which brings us to the 3rd update:

More capacity! They added a third 30 barrel fermentation tank somewhat recently. Then in the past week they added 2 more 45 barrel tanks. Hopefully that means we will see even more beer distributed and making it outside of the Portland area.

 

Want to Visit?

Thursday 3:00 – 6:00
Friday 12:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 7:00

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Austin Street Brewery, Portland, ME

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Another stop on our most recent Portland trip was Austin Street Brewery. They are located in the back of the same building as Bissell Brothers and Foundation Brewing. They are less than a year old, no bottles, just growlers and 5 oz tasting’s.

 

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Patina Pale Ale – 5.3%
Everyone liked it, reminded us of other light style IPA’s. Sometimes IPA’s and Pale Ale’s will taste similar. Floral and light, tasty, without much of a hoppy bite.

 

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Milk Stout – 6.4%
Heavy coffee smell. Dark and flavorful, coffee taste and malt flavor. Mark and Jason liked it.

 

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Crushable IPA – 3.6%
Session IPA, but not flavorful enough. You could taste the hops, but it was watered down, maybe rushed? It seemed to be lacking, none of us want a 3.6% beer.

 

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They are brewing on only a 1 barrel system. I would expect their beers to change often as they work on new recipes. They do have room to expand, when they are ready to.

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Want to visit?

Tasting room hours are:

Friday 3 – 8

Saturday 12 – 6

Visit #90! Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

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Our third stop on our most recent trip through Portland with Jason and Maureen was Allagash Brewing. They are right across the street from Bissel Brothers, Foundation, and Austin Street Brewing or should we say they all moved in right across the street from Allagash.

 

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If you want to go for a tour, you need to book it ahead of time. The tours book up quickly, and they try to keep them a fair size- so everyone can see and hear the tour guide. The tour is free, but you have to plan ahead. We booked our tour about two weeks in advance, and booked it for four people- not yet knowing who the other two people would be! We booked for the only time slot that had spots for four people, knowing we would have company. We didn’t want the others to not be able to go. The tour includes a private tasting as well.

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Cool bar in the tap room

 

If you find that you aren’t able to book a tour, you can go to their tasting room and try some there! We were unaware that they had a tap room prior to our visit, but now know we can go anytime we are in the area!

 

Our tour guide was Thadius, a local college student, which he reminded us of several times. His fun loving personality made the tour entertaining but he was also quite knowledgeable about the brewery and was able to answer questions people had.

 

We learned a lot about Allagash while on the tour. They told us what makes them special and different, not just the typical story on how beer is made, so we liked that. We learned that 80% of what they produce is Allagash White. They are the 32nd largest brewery in the US, and still a craft brewery. Their biggest markets are LA, then Chicago and Boston.

 

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They operate a 70 barrel system right now. They expanded 2 years ago, and now they are planning to add more fermenters.

This is inside of the newest part of the brewery. This was the old exterior wall, and they left the old Allagash Brewing Company sign up.

They have a custom BrauKon system for producing as much White and Saison as they can.

 

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This newer system is more computerized, but you still need the brewer to check on things and know how to work the system. They brew 5 days a week, 24 hours a day. They have 15 brewers and over 80 employees.
How are they working to be even more eco-friendly?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
*Their spent grain goes to a local farmer, Norm, to feed to his cows.
*They also use steam energy.
*Just last year, they added a beehive on premise to use the honey in the beer. They are using the most local honey they can, and are helping the honey bee population! Another cool fact about the honey- their Accountant is the bee keeper!
*They have the least water usage of breweries, and use local water coming from Sebago Lake (just over 10miles away)

 

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Old system with Thadius

 

They still use an old 15 barrel system that Rob Tod started with back in 1995. They use this older system for their more experimental brews.

 

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They use Microstar kegs, a co-op program so when they ship full kegs to somewhere like LA, a local brewery reuses instead of shipping empty kegs back to Maine, which not only makes it easier for them, but also is more eco-friendly.

Fun fact- about 60% of their production is put into kegs. This is a lot for a brewery of this size.

 

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barrels in their barrel room. Each has the beer’s name or a code name on it.

 

An interesting sounding beer we heard about in the barrel room was the Koelschip series. The Koelschip series are sour and/or funky beers. They use wild yeast to get the sour flavor, and it takes 3-4 years to actively ferment. Megan really likes sour beers, so we will be on the lookout for any Koelschip series releases!

 

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The oldest barrel we saw.

 

These barrels were in a separate temperature controlled building to age.

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large barrels and fermenting beer

 

Allagash has a pilot system in which employees can submit recipes for brewing. Like their Saison? You can thank an employee for that! The Saison is not their first new year round beer in just about twelve years.

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a little view into how large they actually are…

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empty barrels, ready to be filled

 

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the private tasting area in the barrel room

 

Our tasting:

White – 5.2%
The first Allagash beer. We have all had this before and we have liked it. Maureen thought it was light, Megan and Mark order it out at the bar sometimes.

 

Saison – 6.1%
Recommended to have with spicy food. Light and citrusy with orange and coriander taste. Maureen said it was a titch spicy on the back of the tongue. We all liked this as well.

 

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the Saison mmmmmm

 

 

Four – Quad – 10%
Takes four months to make, uses 4 yeast and is complicated to make. Smooth and very flavorful, we all liked it. Jason liked it so much he bought a bottle there, and has bought 2 more since then.

 

Tripel – 9%
Aged in Jim Beam barrels. Light for being aged in Jim barrels. Maureen said she tasted fruit right on the tongue. Good balance of beer, flavor and fruit. Mark bought a bottle of this.

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Cooler full of brewery only beers as well as beers you will find elsewhere!

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Special Release! Midnight Brett Ale

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Midnight Brett Ale:
Megan opted to purchase this one, despite having not tried it. She understood that Brett Ales can be on the tart side, and loves trying beers like that. It had the flavor and aroma of berries and sour cherries. She was very happy to have bought two bottles. Mark had hoped for a bit more tartness.

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the tap room bar, inside the retail store

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t-shirts galore!

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have a kegerator at home?

 

We enjoyed our visit to Allagash, and liked how the tour was- it wasn’t just the “here’s how we make beer,” but what actually makes them who they are. We will certainly be back, especially to see what special releases they have!

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Want to visit?
HOURS: Monday – Saturday: 10am-5pm.
Last tour at 4pm, taps close at 4:45pm

Check their website or their facebook for any changes.

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************************************
In the area? Besides going across the street to Bissel Brothers,
Foundation and Austin Street, take the drive to:
Urban Farm Fermentory
Shipyard Brewing Co.

Bissell Brothers Brewery, Portland, ME

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Bissell Brothers Brewery is in Portland, ME, outside of the downtown area. This was our second stop on our most recent trip to Portland, after New England Distillery a mile or so down the road.

 

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They are in the same industrial building as Austin Street Brewery and Foundation Brewing Company, and right across the street from Allagash.

 

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They have only been open since 2013, but have been creating a lot of buzz. So much so that there is a limit on how much you can buy, and people wait in line for some of their special release beers. They are beginning to offer more and more beer as time allows.

 

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The beers on tap during our visit…

Substance Ale
Flagship IPA – 6.6%
Mark thought this had a really good flavor, not a hard bite of hops, but still quite flavorful with a slightly more floral taste. Jason agreed, not too bitter, good taste.

 

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Single Hop Pale Ale
Lemondrop – 5%
Smooth, fairly light flavor, especially after Substance. Only a hint of lemon, all 4 of us expected more lemon. Good overall taste.

 

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The tap room is a little small, especially since they are so popular, but certainly not the smallest we’ve been in. It has a cool feeling though, people talking, having fun, music playing, a pinball machine you can play.

 

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Graffiti style artwork cover the walls

 

 

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Steel barrels with wooden tops for tables

 

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They usually have a limit for the beer they are selling, and most people in there had purchased their limit of four 4 packs. They recently expanded their brewing capacity by 66% and are just starting to see that extra capacity coming out.

 

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The 4 packs of Substance sell for $13, which is on the expensive side. It is good beer, but we won’t be buying too much of it at that price.

 

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They have a small area for merch and swag.

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The disappointing thing was there were only 2 beers on tap for us to try. Looking at facebook this past week, they have three in cans this weekend- so we expect more to come!

Want to visit?
Check out their facebook before heading out for special releases. It is good to know, in case you want the special release or want to avoid the crowds. We have heard of over one hour waits on a release day!