Backyard Brewery and Kitchen, Manchester, NH

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a fairly new brewpub in Manchester, NH. They opened in July of 2017 and have been getting pretty good reviews from what we have heard.

 

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a new venture to revitalize this very large restaurant space. The Yard restaurant was in this location since 1975. The owner wanted to modernize and update the restaurant. Two of his children are co-owners as well, they decided a brewpub was the way to go.

 

The restaurant is really big inside with plenty of space for functions. The bar and main restaurant area have all been updated, but one of the side rooms still has old chairs and furniture. The inside is decorated fairly rustic, with lots of fencing made to look like you are in a backyard.

 

 

Since they are a restaurant they serve 4 oz tasters, half pints and full pints as well as flights. We all ordered a flight of 4 tasters, which was only $7.

 

 

Lazy Daze IPA – New England IPA     6.2%
A very good IPA. Classic New England style IPA, hazy, fruity tropical hoppyness dominates this beer, and it is very good.

 

MONKee Bars – Belgian Dubbel    7.6%
A dark Belgian Dubbel, malty and sweet with notes of clove and pepper, a classic Belgian Dubbel.

 

Marks flight

 

A – Line IPA – Classic IPA     7.5%
Fairly clear with a reddish tint. Hoppy as well as malty, with grapefruit and pine hoppy notes. Ok for a classic style ipa, but not really what Mark and Ian are looking for.

 

Aussie Oatback – DIPA     8.6%
A good beer, you definetely get the oats on the mouthfeel and gives it that haze. Not super hoppy for a DIPA, may be the Australian and New Zealand hops they used, very smooth at 8.6%

 

Megans flight

 

Kafija Alus – Baltic Coffee Porter     8.1%
A nice bitter coffee flavor. The coffee is well balanced in this beer.

 

Oh My Gourd – Pumpkin Spice Ale     5.5%
Megan really likes this beer. Nice pumpkin spice flavoring, a good fall beer.

 

There She Gose – Gose     4.1%
It is sour but not much else to it. It has a decent base, needs more to it though, maybe make it a fruited Gose? There wasn’t that typical salty dry finish either. We thought it was lacking a little bit.

 

Novemberfest – German Festbier     6.3%
Darker than an Oktoberfest, but pretty smooth and easy drinking, malty with a decent amount of flavor. Pretty good.

 

 

 

We were there mid afternoon so we just got a few appetizers to split. The Trailer Pork Nachos, Smothered Pretzel Tots and Chicken Fingers were all good.

 

 

Hours

Monday – Wednesday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

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Great North Aleworks, Manchester, NH

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We visited Great North Aleworks just before Christmas. Great North Aleworks is a 20 barrel production brewery in Manchester, NH.  They just opened in August of 2015, so they are still pretty new. Founded by Rob and Lisa North, the brewery’s goal is simple – to craft flavorful, food friendly beers, while maintaining a fanatical devotion to quality.

 

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Mark and Ian, on their way in

 

We visited with our friend Ian, who had tasted some of their beer previous to our visit. We had not had any Great North previously, although we had seen their cans at our local beer store. Ian got a sampler tray, 5 samples for $7.50 and we got a sampler tray plus 1 single sample, so we could try all 6 beers.

 

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nice presentation of the sampler. Good size as well!

 

Cranberry Wit – 5.5%
This is made with New England grown cranberries. A light beer in body and style, with a light cranberry taste and a hint of tartness. We would have liked a little more cranberry flavor and a little more tartness, but it was a good light wit beer.

 

IPA – 7%
A very solid IPA, hoppy, tasty, not very bitter, made as a ‘west coast style ipa’. A good, hoppy, well balanced IPA. Mark got a six pack of cans to go, and will be picking this up at the local beer store in the near future.

 

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Robust Vanilla Porter – 6.5%
Chocolatey with some roasted malt flavor, very tasty. It is described as having coffee and chocolate flavors, and it actually does! Megan thought it was delicious, one of the best porters she has had recently, as it had a full flavor. We got a 6 pack of this to go as well.

 

Smokin Rauchbier – 5.5%
Good balance of smokeyness and malt, smokey flavor is not overpowering. This is one of their 3 flagship beers, which is an interesting choice, but they are confident because it’s a good beer.

 

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Amber – 5.7%
A hint of sweetness, a good amber that stands out. Many amber beers we have had kind of just are there. This one was good!

 

Chocolate Stout – Batch A
Roasted, smokey taste, medium body, pretty good Stout, but the Porter overshadows it. This was a test batch, they had several batches the weeks previous and were having guests vote on which batch they liked better. We can’t wait to see what stout they choose as their go-to recipe!

 

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Mark got a pint of the  Smokin Rauchbier. He liked it, and wanted another taste, knowing we were buying the IPA and Vanilla Smoked Porter anyway.

 

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Megan got the Vanilla Smoked Porter, that was her favorite.

 

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Ian got a pint of the Amber, the IPA and the Amber were his favorite.

 

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They do serve food, so they can serve pints. We go the Cheese and Meat platter, which was pretty good. The cheese and sausage on the platter was a great selection, and Megan would recommend ordering one while you sit and enjoy a pint. They also serve pretzels, soup, salsa, jerky.

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The tasting room was pretty big, especially for a new brewery. They have some extra space in there as well. It wasn’t too busy when we were there, but they have plenty of room to expand and grow in this space.

The service was good, they came over to the table to see how we liked the beers, and it was the owner and brewer we were talking to. We talked about the beers we liked. It’s nice to be able to chat with an owner or brewer.

We recommend going for a visit, and bringing friends with you. There is space to hang out and enjoy yourselves!

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Swag for sale

 

We were also happy about the fact that they can their beers. Mark had seen the cans in the store, but wanted to wait until we visited to try. It’s and extra expense for a new brewery, but its a way to get your beer out there, and we have enough growlers we don’t use, we don’t need another one.

 

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Want to visit?
Hours

Thursday and Friday – 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday – 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check their Facebook page for updated hours and info.

Squam Brewing, Holderness, NH

 

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We were heading up North to go skiing and visit with our friends Jamie and Andrew, so we stopped at Squam Brewery on the way. You have to schedule a tour ahead of time. This is a 1 man, 2-3 barrel nano brewery.

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The brewery

 

The brewery is actually in the barn on the owner’s parent’s land. He has been open since 2010, selling 22 ounce bomber bottles, mostly in the Lakes region but he has expanded down to Manchester, and a little bit on the Seacoast. He began kegging beer in early 2013.

 

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Guard dog that will attack unannounced visitors.

 

The tour costs $10 each, you get a pint glass and free samples while John shows you around the brewery.

 

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We learned a lot about the operation- being the only employee John knows all the answers, because there is no one else! He sells more beer in the Summer to all the tourists who want some local beer. Right now he is trying to stockpile beer so he won’t run out during the summer.

 

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Bottle filling machine and bottle capper.

 

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We actually got to try the capping machine, it was fun.

 

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The labeling ‘machine’.

 

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Bottles conditioning in the cooler, all the beer is bottle conditioned.

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Coasters for sale. All the artwork on the bottles are watercolor paintings done by the owner’s mother in law. They are cool and really detailed, and most have a personal story behind them.

 

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Golden IPA
A bit heavier in body, not overly hoppy. Good flavor, more on the bitter side of an IPA. Tastes a little sweet at first, but after drinking a full glass you taste more of the bitterness.

On the tour we learned he uses Australian Yeast for the IPA, it keeps the temperature down when fermenting. There is no cooling on the tanks and Ale Yeast would get too hot.

 

Imperial Loon Stout
We both liked this when we tasted it at the brewery. A heavy Stout with vanilla notes and a slight coffee taste.

 

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Unfortunately, he only had the Golden IPA and the Imperial Loon Stout when we were there. We sampled both those, actually we drank both bottles. We stopped at a local store to see if they had any other varieties and we found the Covered Bridge Pale Ale and the Ice Harvest Porter.

 

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Covered Bridge Pale Ale – 6%
This is one of the bottles we bought at a local store up North. This is also a slightly heavier beer with a stronger malt base. Hop flavor is there to add to the overall flavor but does not dominate, a well balanced beer. Has a touch of sweetness to it.

 

Ice Harvest Porter
A touch of chocolate at first with a medium to heavy body. A dark porter taste with a hint of sweetness to it.

 

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 Want to Visit?
Schedule a tour! There are no regular hours.

Milly’s Tavern, Manchester NH

A brewpub on our list showed up on groupon?! Yes please. There was recently a group for Milly’s Tavern, located in Manchester NH. The groupon was for 1 tasting tray, 2 pints and an appetizer. Nice, inexpensive way to try out a new place and have/start dinner!

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Milly’s Tavern is a brewpub, having at least 18 beers on tap at a time.

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We went on a Saturday night, as we both had worked all day. When we arrived, we were uncertain of what to do, where to go. The bar and restaurant were set low, down a small flight of stairs. We looked around for a sign stating if we should wait to be seated or to seat ourselves… We must have looked confused, because the bartender came over and told us we could sit wherever we would like. We walked over to a high top table.

It took a few minutes for a waiter to acknowledge that we were there. Once he came over, we told him (as groupon tells you to), that we had the groupon. Bad move. More on that later.

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Brew offerings

We were given a sheet of paper with six squares on it to write down which six beers we wanted to try. This was nice, because we had a choice. Many times a tasting tray is set for you, without giving you the option. We chose: Twisted Ale, Raspberry Hefeweizen, Pumpkin Ale, General John Stark Dark Porter, Manch-Vegas IPA, and the Oatmeal Stout.

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Our three favorites were: Pumpkin Ale (much better than Sam Adam’s!), Oatmeal Stout (very smooth), and Twisted (tastes of iced tea, lemonade and beer). I didn’t make the connection until much later that the Twisted was similar to a Twisted Tea.

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Mark ordered a Pumpkin Ale for his first pint, followed by an Oatmeal Stout. I chose the Twisted for both of mine.

IMG_2620Pumpkin Ale

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Twisted Ale

We ordered chicken nachos for our appetizer. We didn’t get them loaded because we (well I) tend to pick off most of that, and it was a ton of stuff that would be added. They were really good, and were devoured.IMG_2618

Following the nachos, we ordered one of their nightly specials, a Buffalo BBQ Chicken Pizza. It was sooo good (and of course I forgot to take a picture of it). The crust was perfect- light but fluffy and crispy all at the same time.

It took awhile to be able to order more drinks, and to get the bill. At the end of our night there, a heavy metal battle of the bands started- made me laugh. The singer made more noises then singing or yelling. Was very… interesting.

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Although sites like groupon suggest that you tell the server you have a groupon, I have found that you are better off not. Typically, when I or others I know have told a server that we have a groupon or other deal, they disregard the table, expecting that they will not be compensated appropriately. We left a tip based on the total bill- including what we would have paid had we have not had the groupon. Although the service was not good, we wanted to prove a point that just because someone has a groupon does not mean you will not be compensated appropriately. We responded to Groupon when asked how our visit was, and let them know.  We did not hear back.