Northampton Brewery, Northampton, MA

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We recently visited Northampton Brewery out in Northampton, MA. We were on our way out to western Mass with our friend Bre and stopped there for beer samples and dinner. This has been on our list for a while, they have a long history and connections with some local breweries in NH.

 

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Northampton Brewery opened in 1987 and was the second brewpub to open in the region. They are currently the oldest operating brewpub in New England. A brief history: Northampton Brewery was founded by brother and sister Janet and Peter Egelston. In 1991 they opened another brewpub, Portsmouth Brewery in NH. In 1994 they opened another brewery, a small production brewery called Smuttynose Brewing Company. In 2000, Janet and Peter bought each other out of their respective businesses, which left Janet the sole owner of Nothampton Brewery, and Peter owner of Portsmouth Brewery and majority owner of Smuttynose.

 

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Similar frothy mug to Portsmouth Brewery

 

Northampton Brewery has gone through several renovations over the years, which leaves them with a pretty good sized brewpub, which includes a rooftop bar area, which we did not go to since it was December.

 

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One of the renovations added this large back room with high ceilings and exposed beams.

 

 

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They do flights of 4 beers, you can pick any 4 off the menu so we each got a flight so we could try as many beers as possible.

 

Redheaded Stepchild 5%
Pretty good for a red ale, described as ‘well balanced’, we agree.

Deckbier 4.5%
A golden ale with slightly more flavor than a typical golden ale. A light bodied beer with a light citrus flavor.

 

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Greyhound IPA
Smells like grapefruit. Light in body for an ipa, super cloudy with a very strong grapefruit flavor. Bre liked this and isn’t usually a fan of ipa’s.

ESB 5.7%
Better than a standard ESB, not quite as bitter, balanced and drinkable.

 

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Blue Boots IPA 6%
Slightly hazy, smells citrusy and piney but tastes more piney. Decent ipa.

Hoover’s Porter
Megan smelled vanilla, Mark smelled coffee and chocolate. A good porter, smooth, well balanced, a hint of coffee and vanilla, not bitter at all. We were pleasantly surprised by this porter.

 

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Milk and Cookies 5.6%
A dark beer, medium to heavy body. A touch of chocolate with some roastyness, with a cookie sweetness to the finish. Bitter start, smooth sweet finish. Not quite as good as we were hoping for from the name, but pretty good.

Old Brown Dog 5.2%
A smooth brown all, creamy, with a touch of sweetness on the finish, not very malty at all.

Mark asked about Old Brown Dog, since that is one of Smuttynose year round beers. When the businesses separated they both had rights to the Old Brown Dog recipe. We think this tasted a little different than Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, but not quite sure.

 

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Northampton American Pale Ale 5.7%
Pretty good, nice and hoppy for a pale ale.

 

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Bre enjoying her samples

 

Food

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

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Green Mountain Burger

 

All the food was very good and so was the service.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the beers as well. They do make some of the less interesting, ‘typical brewpub’ beer styles, like a Golden Ale, ESB, Porter, but they put their own unique twist to their recipes, which makes the beers more interesting and enjoyable.

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They makes all their own beer in the brewery. The also can and bottle all their own beer in house as well. We bought cans and bottles to go, which is nice to have offerings other than growlers.

 

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Mark, Bre and Megan

 

Hours

Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 1:00 am
Sunday: 12:00 – 1:00 am

As always, check their website or Facebook for updated hours and offerings.

Border Brewery, Salem, NH

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On a recent Sunday afternoon we stopped at Border Brewery in Salem, NH. They are a home brew supply store and brewery. They have a decent size tasting room considering they are inside a store. They have taken their home brewing pro and have been pouring beers since 2012.

 

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Our tasting:

PB Stout – 7.2%
A subtle peanut butter flavor, more nutty than sweat and creamy. A good smooth stout, good aroma, reminds Megan of a chocolate shop. This was Megan’s favorite.

Pecan – 5.7%
Light body, sweet, hint of caramel. Reminds Megan of pecan brittle.

 

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Porter – 5.9%
Mark thought it was a good, well made porter. Megan thought it was too plain, fairly standard.

 

Ambah – 5.9%
Just ok, not too flavorful, a little bland.

 

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West IPA – 9.2%
Fairly smooth up front, hoppy second taste. Mark thought there was a good balance of flavors, good taste for a 9.2% IPA.

 

IPA – 7.2%
Good IPA, flavorful, a little hoppier than the West IPA, but good. Megan didn’t like either IPA.

 

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Sticky Paw Brown – 6.5%
A decent brown, pretty flavorful, good for a brown.

 

Belgian Strong – 8.3%
Interesting Belgian flavor, semi heavy flavor and taste light in color but not in flavor. Mark thought it was good, Megan did not like the heavy Belgian flavor.

 

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Vanilla Bourbon Oak Stout – 7.2%
Vanilla taste is good, nice stout base, bourbon oak adds flavor but is not overpowering, as bourbon flavors often are.

 

ESB – 3.7%
Bitter taste but light in body. Ok flavor, not our favorite though.

 

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They have 3 tables made from barrels with glass tops that 3 or 4 people can sit around, a bar with space for 6 people and a standing bar along the side wall.

 

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They were friendly when we came in, we ordered 2 sample trays so we could try all 10 beers, and sat at one of the barrel tables. They didn’t interact with us much until we were done and ready to leave.

 

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Home brew supplies.

 

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Giant balloon man in the home brew side.

 

Want to Visit?

Wednesday – Friday: 12 – 6:30

Saturday and Sunday: 12 – 5

 

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Coddington Brewing Company, visit number 80!

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Coddington Brewing Company is in Middletown, RI. This was our 3rd stop on our first swing through Rhode Island. We went for dinner and some beers with Sam and Dustin. Coddington is actually less than a mile away from the Newport Storm Brewery, so if you are in the area it is worth stopping at both.

 

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Founded in 1995, Coddington Brewing Company is committed to creating and serving the best beer available – period. Hand-crafted on the premises, all our ales and lagers are 100% natural and delicious. It’s the kind of taste and the kind of freshness that isn’t available anywhere but a brewpub like Coddington Brewing Company.

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Brewing tanks, with Dustin in the foreground

They have a 7 barrel capacity at the brewpub. That means they can brew about 217 gallons of beer at a time. They had a good amount of beers on tap.

 

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Placemat

 

Golden Ale – 4.3%
Really light, not too much taste to it, made for the person who doesn’t really like craft beer.

 

Blueberry Blonde
Subtle, not overpowering blueberry flavor. They start with the Golden Ale base to make it. Megan thought it was sweet. Dustin and Sam both liked the floating blueberries.

 

IPA – 5%
English style IPA, not as hoppy as Mark and Dustin expected, and a little bit bitter. Only 5% so not that strong for an IPA.

 

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Pumpkin Ale – 4.5%
The pumpkin taste was strong, a little sweet, but a good taste. The beer is an ale and fairly light in taste.

 

Munich Lager – 6.3%
Smooth, good tasting lager. Described as robust but was a pretty drinkable beer. Sam and Dustin liked it.

 

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ESB – 5.5%
Hoppy, smooth with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, pretty good overall. Reminded Dustin of an IPA.

 

Barley Wine – 10.5%
Strong, a little sweet, robust taste. Described as a wine-strength thick bodied ale.

 

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Sam thoroughly enjoying herself

 

Irish Stout – 3.5%
Good stout, fairly typical, with a little bit of a roasted malty flavor, but only 3.5%, not sure why?

 

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The sampler was much bigger than we expected. It has 8 glasses at 7oz each, so you get a lot of beer for a sampler, and it costs $19, which is not that expensive considering how much beer you actually get.

 

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Megan got the turkey dinner, Good overall, plenty of food.

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Dustin got the cheeseburger, pretty average.

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Mark got the Tex Mex Burger, good, a little messy to eat, but tasty.

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Sam got the Pulled Pork Sandwich, really good, very filling.

Everyone thought the fries were really good. Spicy, flavored curly fries.

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It was kind of dark in the restaurant, maybe they were trying to ‘set the mood’ with the lighting, which seemed a little odd for a brewpub. That’s why some of the pictures didn’t come out that great.

Want to Visit?
Open Daily 11:00am
Serving Sunday through Thursday until 10pm
Friday & Saturday until 11pm

Redhook Brewery

We originally went to the Redhook Brewery, in Portsmouth, NH last summer (2012) with my friend Jamie. Our goal had not been completely thought out yet, so I (surprisingly) did not take any pictures.

Redhook Brewery offers tours for only $1! If you feel that $1 is simply too expensive, you can find coupons for free tours on those cute, cartoon-y maps. We actually had no idea that it was simply $1 and had brought the coupons. If its free, it’s for me!

We met Jamie at the Cataqua Pub (connected to the gift shop & brewery), as we arrived before the tour started. We all enjoyed a pint, and then went to join the tour. We had the best tour guide. He was an older man, who was passionate about the beer that Redhook offers. He told us about Redhooks history, about how they make the beer, and then ended with a sampling session. The tour was similar to most breweries we had been to, but what made it was our tour guide. He had tons of different stories and you could tell loved the beer. For the sampling session, he poured pitchers and we passed them around the room. Due to this being before we made our goal, I do not have exact tasting notes, but I can tell you that we enjoyed most, if not all, of the beer. We all left with a tasting glass, as well as some new favorites.

Mark and I returned to Redhook last night (2013) for a late dinner in the Cataqua Pub. The Cataqua Pub was named after the Piscataqua River, which divides New Hamshpire and Maine and has the third fastest current in the world. “Piscataqua” is a Native American term, metaphorically translated to “a place where people come together, and where they part on their separate ways.”

 Our waitress, Sarah, was great and knew her beer well.

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On tap:

Long Hammer IPA 6.2%

ESB 5.8%

Pilsner 5.3%

Audible Ale 4.7%

Mudslinger (Spring seasonal) 5.8%

Wit (Summer seasonal) 5.3%

Saturnaleia Double Red IPA 10% (PEASE Project)

They also offered Widmer (Portland, OR) and Kona (Kailua-Kona, HI) as guest drafts.

IMG_2538[1] Menu description of each beer.

After looking at the menu, I knew that I needed to have the Wit, a perfect summer beer.

“Redhook’s twist on the Belgian style is the addition of fresh ginger, which adds a refreshing snappiness to this lighter-bodied wheat beer.  Redhook Wit is perfect for warm summer months of outdoor BBQ-ing, sitting by the pool, or just taking a break by hanging inside enjoying the AC and watching old re-runs of Gilligan’s Island.

STYLE………………….Belgian Wit

ABV…………………….5.3%IBUS…………………..8.0 IBU

ORIGINAL GRAVITY..11.85 degrees platoBREWED SINCE………2011″ –Redhook.com

Mark decided to first have the mudslinger…

“Ah, Spring…the season that keeps us guessing.  Will it rain, or will the sun be out?  Do I take advantage of the last days of skiing, or the first days of hiking?  Do I put on jeans, or dare break out the shorts?  The season comes with enough uncertainty, so Redhook gives you something you can always count on…our Mudslinger Brown Ale.  This medium dark beer is layered with rich malty aromas and flavors of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla.  Although it may be dark in color, it’s refreshingly smooth and highly sessionable.  Mudslinger Brown Ale is the perfect beer for spring.

STYLE………………….Brown

ABV…………………….5.8%

IBUS…………….22 IBUORIGINAL GRAVITY..13.8 degrees platoBREWED SINCE………2003TIME FRAME………..Spring Seasonal” – Redhook.com

We ordered two appetizers to split-

Tap Room Chicken Strips, in Jamaican jerk seasoning & served with ranch dressing (homemade? It did taste that way)

IMG_2539[1] Nice flavor, definately needed the ranch to tame it down slightly, but all in all tasty. $10 (a little pricey for the size, but…)

We also ordered the Brew House Nachos with pulled chicken, bomber sized.

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THEY WERE LOADED! Tons of cheese, jalapeanos, olives, chicken… SO good!

The nachos were also layered, which meant you weren’t searching for toppings once you ate half of it.

Mark ended the night with the Saturnaleia Double Red IPA  (PEASE Project). Due to it being a PEASE Project beer, it is not on their website or their regular menu.

Mark said it was “pretty good, but defiantly heavy. Had the taste of a high-alcohol percentage beer.”  It had the taste of a red ale as well.

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Served in a fancy glass

A sign on our table told us about two beers that Redhook now offers that are gluten free.  Omission Lager and Pale Ale. Both are available in bottles.

****Addition 5/20/13: Omission is brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing.****

Although neither Mark or I have a gluten intolerance, we know many people that do, and think that it is great that a company like Redhook offers these beers.

Redhook felt that everyone should be able to enjoy a beer.

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We will most likely return to Redhook for food and drinks another time.

Cataqua Pub Hours

Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm
Last call 30 minutes prior to closing

Public Brewery Tours

Mon: 3:00, 4:00, 5:00pm
Tue:12:00, 1:00,2:00pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wed & Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00pm
Fri & Sat: 12:00-6:00pm, every hour on the hour
Sun: 1:00pm – 5:00pm on the hour
Starts at the Gift Shop desk.