Canterbury Aleworks, Canterbury, NH

IMG_7456

 

Canterbury Aleworks is located at Hidden Wonders Farm, an operating farm in Canterbury, NH. You have to drive down a long, windy dirt driveway to get there, passing by several small ponds. The brewery has been open since 2012.

 

IMG_7455

Pond near the small parking lot.

 

“Canterbury Aleworks is a one barrel, water powered and wood fired showcase nano-brewery handcrafting Worldly Beer with Local Flare. A little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary!”

 

IMG_7454

 

IMG_7481

Try to ignore the reflection of Megan, and see the water wheel that helps power the brewery!

 

IMG_7469

And a composting toilet!

IMG_7470

With a comical sink.

 

IMG_7463

 

1oz samples are “On the House”, a single 4oz taster is $2 each, and four or more tasters are $1.50 each. We tried all 9 that were available.

 

IMG_7459

 

The Hops Bollocks – British IPA 6.1%
Decent hop flavor, not a super strong hop taste, some bitterness, finishes with a more malt taste.

 

IMG_7460

 

Canterbury Ale – APA 5.5%
Interesting flavor, some hops with a touch of bitterness. More of a flowery hop flavor with a hint of sweet maltiness.

 

Be Hoppy! – American IPA 6.5%
Mark likes this, pretty good hop flavor, smooth and light in body, a touch malty without much bitterness. Said to have “floral-citrus notes from the cascade hops” which Mark agrees with.

 

IMG_7461

 

Bright Idea – German Helles-style Ale 5.4%
Light lager type beer. Not a whole lot of flavor, described that way in the write up at the brewery, just not our style, looking for a little something more.

 

IMG_7466

 

Smoke House Porter – Smoked Robust Porter 5.5%
Megan said “Oh yes, this is more like it”. A good balance of flavors, medium to heavy body with a rich coffee flavor. Subtle notes of chocolate with a strong smokey taste for a finish. Good beer, they acquired the smoked malts from their neighbor at Fox County Smoke House.

 

IMG_7475

 

Brit Wit – British Wheat Beer – 5.1%
A pretty tasty brew. A different mix of flavors, a flavorful ‘wheat beer’, unfiltered and dry. Has bergamant in it from English Tea which adds a little extra flavor to it.

 

Snappy Wit – Belgian Style Witbier 5.1%
Juicy, traditional style witbier, good and flavorful, hints of orange and coriander, we liked this beer as well.

 

IMG_7476

 

Granite Ledge Stout – Espresso Oatmeal Stout 5.5%
Smells of coffee, medium to heavy body, strong espresso flavor, but you can taste the oatmeal, too. Flavorful, but the coffee flavor is a little bit of a bitter coffee taste.

 

Black and Wit – Black Belgian Style Witbier 6.2%
A black, opaque beer. Starts lighter in body than you would think by the color, finishes with the Snappy Wit flavor, orange and coriander, and a little bit of bitterness from the ‘black’. A very interesting and pretty tasty brew.

 

IMG_7478

 

As well as water power, and the composting toilet, they have other plans to be self sustaining. “We are planting our 3/4 acre hops yard here at Hidden Wonders Farm this spring! We hope to be using 100% of our own hops by the fall of 2016.”

 

IMG_7473

Comfy chairs in the tasting room. This is a cool little place, nice atmosphere and the beers were tasty, better than we were expecting. If they had bottles or cans we would have bought some, but they just sell growlers of beer to go.

 

IMG_7479

Mark at the bar.

IMG_7474

They have a Polaroid camera that you can take pictures with and ‘post to their wall’.

IMG_7467

 

Hours
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00

 

IMG_7482

 

Garrison City Beerworks, Dover, NH

 

IMG_1097

Garrison City Beerworks is a new nanobrewery in Dover, NH. They opened in December of 2014. They operate on a 3 barrel system and make “batches of original, hop-forward beers, with a focus on uniqueness and quality over quantity.” We have heard a good buzz about this place, and they have not disappointed. We waited to finish writing this after a second visit, knowing we would be back again.

IMG_1088

First Visit Beers:

Citra – American Pale Ale – 5.1%
Smells fruity – citrusy and tropical, as well as hoppy. Citrus flavor forward taste, hoppy second taste, dry finish. Citrus flavor is balanced nicely by the hops, we both liked, Mark got a Crowler to go, more on that later.

IMG_1081

tasting paddle

Balefire – American IPA – 7%
Somewhat standard IPA taste, though a little more malty than hoppy, a hint of piney taste, fairly easy to drink. Hoppiness was not overbearing.

 

Tropic Rage – American Double IPA – 8.4%
Malty flavor, more robust than Balefire, Mark liked this better. Good balance of malty flavor and hops. Not what Megan was expecting from a DIPA, better taste and easier to drink than she anticipated.

IMG_1078

Crowbar – Porter – 5.8%
Dark color, chocolaty, slightly roasted taste, easy to drink. Easy to drink enjoyable.

IMG_1083

We came in and ordered at the bar, they told us we could take a seat and they would bring the sample trays over to us, which was nice. It was a good touch

IMG_1084

Megan sipping some Crowbar.

 

 

IMG_1101

The Crowler

 

The Crowler is in place of the traditional glass growler. It is a 32oz can that they will fill up for you, fresh that day. There is no charge for the Crowler and you just recycle it. This is refreshing, because at many breweries we visit, we have to buy a growler (can’t use another brewery’s growler due to the law), so to be able to leave without paying a deposit on the container…
They had a few they had filled up earlier when it was slow, so we didn’t get to see them fill it and seal the top on, but we know it was fresh that day.

 

Second Visit:

We had a similar experience the second time we visited. The service was good, people were nice and friendly, and the beers were good.

 

IMG_2466

Jenaya and Ryan

 

On this visit we brought our friends Ryan and Jenaya. They enjoyed trying all the beers that were on tap, as did we.

 

IMG_2463

full paddle!

 

 

They had 6 beers on tap this time, several different from our last trip.

 

IMG_2471

 

Enamored – 4.6%
Chocolatey, really good flavor with notes of coffee. This stout was somewhat light in body but good and flavorful. This was most people’s favorite.

 

Anomalous – 7.5%
Really good Double IPA, says Mark. In this new style of northern New England IPA’s, it is a bright and slightly fruity IPA with a low and bitterness but lots of hop flavor. Mark got a Crowler of it to go.

 

IMG_2464

 

Citra was on again as well, this seems like one of their flagship beers. Everyone enjoyed this beer, citrus and hoppy pale ale.

 

Mosaic – 5.1%
Hoppy, piney pale ale, a powerful taste. We enjoyed this, but not as much as some of the other beers, Megan was not a big fan. Exclusively dry hopped with Mosaic hops.

 

IMG_2465

 

Crowbar was on again as well. Everyone enjoyed this beer as well. Smooth and a bit roasty, fairly standard porter, not quite as flavorful as Enamored.

 

Balefire on again as well. Again, we all enjoyed this. Seemed slightly more favorable than Mosaic. Flavorful IPA, piney and hopped with Simcoe and Centennial.

 

IMG_2467

 

We generally liked all the beers. Mark is excited to have a place like this close by. Jenaya usually doesn’t like IPA’s, but she did like these. Ryan agreed none of the beers were terrible, quite a compliment from him.

 

IMG_1095

They have 3 tables that can seat 6 people and a bar that seats about 12.

IMG_1090

 

IMG_1076

You can see some of the tanks and brewing equipment through the windows

 

 

IMG_1092

Shirts for sale

 

Update Spring 2016:

We have visited quite a few more times since this original post. The bad news is they have pretty much phased out the 32 oz Crowler can to go, which is too bad, Mark liked those. The good news is they have been canning all their beers in 16oz cans, so you can still get every beer they make to go in cans, 4 packs or single cans.

Their strong point seems to be their hop forward, New England style IPA’s. They are currently releasing a very delicious IPA called Daybreak about once a month that Mark highly recommends. Citra is still being released regularly and is still quite tasty and flavorful. They have released a bunch of other new beers that are all worth going in to sample.

There have been several limited bottle releases in the past year. Brett Raspbeerience was a sour ale brewed with raspberry’s and brett yeast, if you couldn’t tell from the name. A good, tart beer with a raspberry flavor and light body.

Nefarious was a flavorful and strong russian imperial stout, and Authenticity was a barrel aged saison fermented with wine yeast, we still have our bottle of this. They have several more specialty bottle releases planned for this year, with varying wild yeast strains and several different barrel aged beers set to be released.

 

Want to Visit?

Right now they are opened:

Thursday 4 -7

Friday and Saturday 12 -7

Check their facebook page for the most current hours

The Tap Brewing Company, Haverhill MA

IMG_1651

 IMG_1650 We recently went to the Tap Brewing Company in Haverhill, Massachusetts. They have been open since 2003 focusing on high quality food every visit. They want everyone to leave happy.

It is located in an older building which they work with instead of against. They embrace the old painted walls and the painted tin ceiling. We could tell that they do take pride in this. On their website they give a brief history.

IMG_1683

dining room mural

IMG_1686

part of a mural in the bar area

Our location at 100 Washington St has played a major role in the history of Haverhill. Built in 1882 to house the L.H. Hamel Leather Company, it later became J.M. Hickeys, a local bar for the workers of the surrounding shoe mills.  There our main dining room and bar area feature the original exposed brick and dark wood bar for a cozy, yet industrial feel.

IMG_1661They have a fair amount of seating – two bar areas, the main bar and the playpen. The playpen is an area with pool tables and arcade games.

IMG_1672

sign at the base of the stairwell

IMG_1670

part of the playpen bar area was nice too- but too dark for pictures)

They have a dining room as well as outside seating, out front on the city sidewalk and out back on a deck.

IMG_1684

dining room

IMG_1665

barrels on the dining room level

IMG_1677

fermentation tanks in the basement- across from the bathrooms for you to view on your way

They have a 10 barrel brew house, which is multi level.

 

We arrived around 1:30 on a Friday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised by how many other people were there as well. All beer consumed at the Tap Brewing Company is made by them, you won’t find a Bud or a Miller, or any other craft beer, but you should find something you will like. If you don’t know what to order, talk to the bartender, they know THEIR beer. This is definitely a plus to them selling only their beer, they get to know it.

 

We ordered 2 samplers, $8 each, not bad! That way we got to try every beer.

IMG_1658

our tasting

Year Round Beers

Commuter Ale

German Blonde Ale – 4.7% – 23 IBU

Really light beer flavor, light spice on the tongue.

 

Whittier White

Spiced Belgian Wit – 4.6% – 30 IBU

Smelled like a Blue Moon, which makes sense. Good flavor, orange peel, coriander and ajwain. Mark thought it was lighter than other spiced beglians.

 

Home Run

American Pale Ale – 5.6% – 30 IBU

Made with 3 hops, Glacier, Athanum, Cascade. Megan did not like the smell or the taste, but she usually does not like APA’s. This was more what Mark would consider ‘light craft beer’ that most people would like. It has some flavor and hops to it, but not too over powering or too heavy.

 

Leather Lips

IPA – 5% – 50 IBU

Dry hopped, fairly light in color. Definetely has that classic IPA flavor, but it has a little something extra, maybe because it is dry hopped with whole leaf centennial hops. Fairly light in color.

 

Sassy Rabbit

Rye Ale – 5.6% – 41 or 4 IBU

Mark is always surprised how smooth rye ales are. Had an earthy, nutmeg finish.

 

Seasonal Beers

Wheatless

Dampf beer – 5.1% – 21 IBU

All of the flavors and aromas of a Hefeweizen without the wheat malt. Mark thought it had the Hefeweizen smell, but not the taste.

 

Intergalactic Acid

Berliner Weiss – 3% – 4 IBU

German style with a light tartness.

More sour than we expected.

 

Ignoble

IPL (India Pale Lager) – 7.1% – 67 IBU

Hoppy punch of IPA with the smoothness of a lager. Megan did not like it. Mark enjoyed it, was super hoppy, and not really easy drinking like a lager, but good, especially if you are looking for a hoppy beer.

 

Field Guide

Farmhouse Ale – 6.7% – 30 IBU

Traditional farmhouse style, bright and spicy, one of our top choices, bought a bottle before we left.

 

On Cask

Intergalactic Acid On Peaches

Had a similar smell to the uncasked Acid. The peaches cut the tartness and added a good flavor. One of our other top choices.

IMG_1662

Mark enjoying the sampler

IMG_1668 - Copy

Megan enjoying the sampler

 

Food

IMG_1663

Bacon Cheese Fries

Big plate, good amount of cheese and bacon.

IMG_1664

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Mark really liked this. Lot’s of bleu cheese and the mix of hot sauce was good.

 

Overall, we felt like we got a lot for what we paid. Prices were good and serving sizes were good. This is another place that we would go to more often if it was a little closer to us.

 

 

HOURS

Tuesday-Saturday: 11:30am-10pm

Sunday: 11:30am-9pm

The bar is open until local last call each night. We are closed on Mondays