Cape Cod Brewing Company

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We visited Cape Cod Beer last month with Sam, her boyfriend Dustin, and our friend Andrea. We had been there before, but it had been quite some time.

 They opened in 2004. We were there a few years ago and they have expanded their tasting area since then. They produced about 5,000 barrels in 2012.

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 They have 4 year round beers. The Red, Porter, IPA, and Beach Blonde Ale, as well as a few seasonals.

 

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There are 3 bar area’s and 2 tasting area’s. It was a little confusing when we walked in because it was busy and there were a lot of people around. You also walk into the gift shop area. Eventually we figured out we could go into the back area and order samples there and sit at a picnic table.

 

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When we were their they had 8 beers on tap. You can get five 3oz samples for $5.

 

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They give you these little coins when you pay, so each time you want a sample you go back up and get a nice cold pour.

 

Beach Blonde Ale
Mark, Megan, Andrea, and Sam all liked this beer. It was very light with a hint of fruit. Dustin thought it tasted like a Coors. This is the only beer Andrea liked, she usually drinks just Bud Light.

 

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Andrea and Megan

 

Harvest
Megan thought this had a good flavor with a slight spice. Mark thought it was a little light for a harvest but liked it. Sam and Andrea both thought it was too flavorful for them. Dustin would drink a pint of this but wouldn’t search it out.

 

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Dunkel Weizen
Spicy, reminded Megan of Christmas, maybe nutmeg or spruce tips.

 

Red
Mark liked it, a fairly typical Red. Megan actually liked it and she is usually not a fan of Reds.

 

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Farmhouse Saison
Mark, Megan and Dustin all liked it. Light, flavorful, good saison. Sam thought the flavor was slightly weird.

 

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Dustin, deep in thought, thinking about the beer

 

Porter
Megan liked it, good flavor, not too heavy. Sam actually liked it. She got a maple syrup taste first. She thought it taste better than it looked, she liked the flavor but it wasn’t familiar to her.

 

Pale Ale
Dustin said ‘not bad’ but it had a weird after taste. Sam was not a fan.

 

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above the tasting room

 

IPA
Hoppy, fairly straightforward ipa, good taste.

 

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Back room where we were sitting

 

There were kids running around and being a little noisy. It was kind of distracting and annoying. Not the breweries fault, the parents weren’t paying attention. As we mentioned, it was a rainy day on the Cape so people were looking for something indoors to do.

 

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The have a food truck outside during the summer months. It is run by local teenagers, who were looking for a job before they started the food truck. It was not open when we visited, but we heard good things about it.

 

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Funny shirt

 

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Good plan

 

They have a big gift shop with all kinds of merchandise.

 

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Want to visit? Retail Hours:

Weekdays (M- F): 10am to 6pm
Saturdays:  11 am to 3 pm
Sundays: CLOSED
Guided Tours: Once daily at 11am

Please note that they stop selling samples about  30 minutes prior to close and stop selling pints about 15 minutes prior to close.

Henniker Brewing, Henniker NH

100_1164We went to Henniker Brewing Co. two weeks before Christmas. Located in Henniker, New Hampshire, it was slightly difficult to find, partially because the GPS said we were already there before we were, and partially because their sign wasn’t very large.

The brewery is owned by David Currier. He owned the building and wanted to do something fun and cool to benefit the town. Henniker Brewing Co. has a small bar, but also has a handful of tables for you to do your tasting. When we arrived, there were quite a few people there, some made a space for us at the bar. Their tasting room is not open for often at this time, but with seeing how busy they were, look for additional hours to be added with their growth. If you want more information on the brewery, the brewing process and the beers, go on a tour while you are there.

100_1175their store
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Our Tasting:100_1174

Whipple’s Wheat: 4.8% good wheat beer, dry hopped and citrusy.

Amber Apparition American Amber Ale: 5.2%. Carmel and toffee flavors. Mark- pretty good, light amber, light taste

Working Man’s Porter: 5.2% good flavor. Mark- tastes a little chocolately almost toasted or roasted. Good winter beer.

Hop Slinger IPA: 6.5%, citrus aroma with a grapefurit flavor. Mark- pretty good IPA. Meg- sweet taste at the end

Whipple’s Wheat Aged With Pineapple: they change this variety weekly to biweekly. Smells like pineapple. Good, different, fun. Mark- “pretty good, huh”

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Very busy place, many people came in while we were there to refill their growlers. By the time we left, the line was almost out the door!

Our Tour:

Our tour was given by Chris Shea- the Head Brewer. He knows what he is doing and really seems to care. He formally brewed at White Birch, and appears to see this as his chance to really do well and made a name for himself. When we walked into the brewery, it appeared to be a good sized space with lots of room to expand. We were told “don’t touch anything because it’s super expensive and super doesn’t belong to you.”

The brewery opened “a year and ten days ago” as of our visit on 12/14/13. Construction to convert the building began in December of 2011, with their first batches on December 21, 2012 and released in January 2013. Their initial brewer was James Moriarty, who had been a brewer for Cape Cod Brewery and was commuting from the Cape. When it came time for James to move on (and stop with the awful commute!), Chris had recently left White Birch and was recommended for the position.

Chris told us about how the October 2013 government shutdown impacted them. They are currently planning four seasonal beers and had hoped to have the winter beer out already. Due to the government shutdown, they were still waiting for labels to be OK’d. They are now looking for their winter beer to be released in January 2014.
Winter- roast coffee stout. espresso beans
Spring- Hop 4 Double IPA. Chris has been given the green light to change the flavor yearly.
Summer- Belgian table beer
Fall- double brown ale, possibly with maple syrup

The brewery gets their water from artisanal wells, located behind the brewery. It is neutral water, which Chris is able to build to any chemical composition, such as London water for the Porter.
They buy malt from all over the world. When they make their porter, they make it similar to a 1856 London brewery would, using 3 malts- pale, brown and black. They also use artisanal malts, which can be different colors because of the way they are roasted. 100_1166
We were shown the mill to grist case, which barely breaks open the malt. 100_1167

Some information:

  • they add hops 3x during their hour long boil
  • they currently have their beer available in 22 ounce bottles, but in 2014 will be moving to cans- 6 packs for their regular beers, 4 packs for seasonal. Once they have a canning line, help will be hired
  • Chris is the only one that works back in the brewery100_1173  100_1172  100_1171  100_1169  100_1168

Mark and I felt that the more of a craft brewery it is, and the more educated the tour guide is (here being the brewer), the more you learn during the tour.

Henniker Brewing Co. is a good brewery to keep your eye on.

Want to visit?
Tasting room is open from:
3-6pm Monday-Friday
12-2pm Saturdays
Tour- 1pm Saturdays