Able Ebenezer Brewing Company, Merrimack, NH

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We recently visited Able Ebenezer Brewing Company in Merrimack, NH. The brewery was opened in the summer of 2014 by a pair of former US Army Officers. Their name and branding is inspired by the Pine Tree Riot, when New Hamsphire citizesn rallied behind Ebenezer Mudgett  against the British in 1772. They have a lot of info on their website as well as depicted in the brewery about Ebenezer Mudgget and the Pine Tree Riot.

The pine tree is used is their branding and actual pine wood is used throughout the bar. They have a long live edge bar made from a large pine tree, and the sections they cut off the end they turned into small tables.

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Mike, the Head-Brewer and co-founder of the brewery, was working the tasting room for our visit. We appreciated the fact that the brewer was in the tasting room, since, as that day was as well, you are often able to learn more about the beers and the history of the brewery.

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The tap handles are custom made from pine as well.

 

We both ordered a sample tray, which was $8, they had 4 beers on tap when we visited.

 

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Auburn – Session Red Ale – 4.5%
A light, session ale, very drinkable. Light in body but still has some flavor to it. We both liked it.

 

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Broad Arrow – Vienna IPA – 6.5%
A bit lighter and slightly less hoppy in flavor than other IPA’s. Made with Vienna malts that add a little extra flavor to this beer, a little bit sweet.

 

Burn the Ships – Smoked IPA – 7%
Very smoky taste up front. It is a fairly hoppy IPA, but the smokiness cuts back on the bite a little bit. Really good flavor. They use cherry smoked malts to get the smoky flavor, but of the grains in this beer, only about 10% are the cherry smoked.

 

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Cherry smoked malts.

 

They sell pints as well, and we both got a pint of Burn the Ships after the tasters. The smokiness does fade a little bit as you get use to the flavor, but it doesn’t disappear, it is still there and a part of the flavor. This is probably the best ‘smoky’ beer that we have had, and yes, we have had quite a few.

 

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Tabula Rasa – 7.5%
Tabula Rasa means blank slate. It is technically a fruit beer, but they don’t like to label it like that, some people look down on fruit beers. They use apricot as the fermenter. It is smooth and flavorful, a bit heavier for a ‘fruit’ beer, not a light summery beer.

 

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The paddle is numbered to correspond with the blackboard, so you don’t get confused.

 

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They have a good size tasting room, and they serve pints, so it is a good place to go and hang out and drink some good beers. It was a little quiet when we were there on a Sunday mid-day, but we were happy they were open. They said the room does fill up on a Friday or Saturday night. We had a good time, enjoyed the beer and learned a lot about the brewery and the beer while there.

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They currently do not bottle their beer, but you can get a growler to go.

 

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They self distribute as well. They have beers on tap at a lot of places in Merrimack, Nashua, and some in Manchester. They haven’t made it over to the Seacoast yet, but maybe soon if they can get a few places interested in carrying their beer.

 

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You can see the tanks through a window behind the bar. They put together this system themselves.

 

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Want to Visit?
Monday – Friday 4-8
Saturday and Sunday 12-8

 

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Martha’s Exchange, Nashua NH

100_0856We went to Martha’s Exchange  located in Nashua, NH for a quick bite after going to Anheuser- Busch in Merrimack, NH with Jason and Maureen. It was relatively close by, so going there for food made a lot of sense. Seeing that it was a brewpub, we had to try some beer while we were there. It was a nice fall afternoon, so we took advantage of the weather and sat outside. The outside seating area was part sidewalk, part in an alleyway.100_0859 The inside seating areas all had white linen tablecloths.

100_0857Prior to ordering, we noticed a sign on the table that said that some appetizers were half price and drinks were buy one get one for a penny until six pm. We asked if the sampler was included in the B1G1, and the waitress thought so, so we ordered two- one for Jason and Maureen and one for Mark and I. We also ordered buffalo chicken fingers and nachos. We found out a few minutes later that the sampler was not included, but the glasses were 4 ounce pours, so that was ok.

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Our tasting:

Volstead 33′: good, familiart flavor. Someone commented that it reminded them of a Harpoon beer

Warriors Gold IPA: Whoa! Hoppy! Good flavor.

Maureen said it was too hoppy for her.

Jason and Mark enjoyed it, said it was fine, that it taste like beer.

 

Summers Sunset: spicy notes, ginger

Jason, Mark and I thought it was good

Maureen said it wasn’t too bad

 

Dr. Hoppenstein: a Double IPA. Good first taste, but I felt it had a medicine like finish.

 

20th Anninversary Old Ale: cinnamon, candied oranges and pears. Nice, flavorful, surprising.

Maureen didn’t like how it finished.

Jason, Mark and I enjoyed.

 

Oktoberfest Lager: typical tasting. Mark said it was alright.

Maureen liked it.

 

Revolution Red: Mark and Jason said it was alright. I thought it had a mediocre taste.

 

Steeplechase Porter: Jason gave it a thumbs up, Mark thought it was a light porter.

I thought it was a good porter.

Maureen thought it was disgusting.

 100_0866  100_0867  100_0868  100_0869 Where did our beer go?

After our tasting, we each ordered a drink. Maureen didn’t find a beer she liked, so she got a Washington State Riesling- Chateau ste Michelle Reisling. Jason, Mark and I all ordered the 20th Anniversary Old Ale (times 2!). 100_0874For the B1G1 for a penny deal, it was per person, not total across the check, so we had to enjoy more than one (with that Ale percentage, it was good that Maureen was driving us home!).

Our food:

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Before heading out, Maureen and I stopped at the candy counter inside the restaurant. Yummy and a good addition to the meal.  100_0871Maureen


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Want to visit?

Hours of Operation:

Monday & Tuesday – 11am to 9pm
Wednesday – 11am to 9:30pm
Thursday – 11am to 11pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am to 1am
Sunday – 11am to 9:30pm

 

Anheuser-Busch, Merrimack NH

100_0779  100_0783We recently visited Anheuser-Busch, located in Merrimack, New Hampshire with Jason (who went to Plymouth Winery, Mayflower Brewing and Blue Hills Brewery with us) and Maureen. The Merrimack location is just one of their 12 regional breweries. Each location produces for their region. 100_0785  100_0784

After we checked in (no reservations required, but we were there early and wanted to make sure we could get in on the last tour of the day), we walked to see the Clydesdales. On our way there and back, there was a good smell wafting through the air, to me it smelled like pistachios. We walked past a couple of playing fields for local youth teams on our way to the stables. 100_0811Inside the stable, the horse stalls were roped off for their protection. Many of the Clydesdales were sleeping when we were there.100_0787  100_0788  100_0789  100_0790  100_0791   
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After visiting the Clydesdales, but before leaving the stable, we saw a Clydesdale show, a sleigh, and signed up for free stuff! 100_0810  100_0809  100_0803  100_0805  100_0802  100_0797  100_0796  100_0795The sign stated a free, six-pack, but the coupon you receive I think varies depending on what state you live in (I received a $5 mail-in rebate). Almost free beer here I come! 100_0794We walked back towards the welcome center, just in time to hear the tour gathering call.

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Our tour began outside, by the Clydesdale statue. We were told that our tour guide for the next hour would be Beth. Beth told us a brief history of how Anheuser-Busch was started, and about the Clydesdales and how they came to be part of the Anheuser-Busch family in 1933. We were also told what Anheuser-Busch looks for when choosing a Clydesdale. We then stopped to take group photos (taken by factory staff) and started to walk towards the factory. We were told that the factory tour would be 30 minutes of walking and 20 minutes in the hospitality room.

On our way to the factory, we passed a hops garden. Anheuser-Busch has two hop farms, located in Germany and Idaho. The hops garden is for demonstration purposes. Located nearby were the grain rail carts. The smell that smelled of pistachios was stronger by both the hops garden and the rail carts. Our guide explained what grains were brought in (mostly rice from Arkansas and California) and barley malt. Before we headed into the factory/brewery we were told to turn our phones off- any static signal could cause an explosion in grain handling. 100_0820
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Throughout the tour of the building, the brewery process was described in great detail, and every step was gone over. 100_0824  100_0825  100_0826  100_0827  100_0828  100_0829  100_0830  100_0831

Some facts:

  • 2 of their mash tanks make one really big batch of beer
  • they recycle 99.6% of their solid waste
  • in just one room, 5.3 million gallons of beer were present
  • they have 12 regional breweries
  • they were the 1st American brewer to pasteurize beer, before milk was even pasteurized

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We were shown a video when we arrived at the bottling room, since they were not bottling at that time. The video wasn’t very informative, and as Mark said, “it didn’t really tell us anything.” 100_0842  100_0843  100_0848 100_0847

The tour ended in the hospitality room, where we were told we could each have 2 beers, and snacks (bags of pretzels). Maureen ordered first, and ordered a Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat, and a Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat. Jason ordered a Stella Artois and a Bud Light Platinum. Mark ordered a Bud Light Platinum and a Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat. I ordered a Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat and decided to try the Straw-ber-rita (to see if it was the same as in the can). I was happy that I went with Apple instead of Pumpkin, as the Pumpkin was good, but not amazing. The Apple I would definitely purchase.  This was a nice set up- only 2 downsides: 1. You had to drink QUICK. 20 minutes might seem like a lot, but it is not. 2. You can only try two beers (or pass yours around to friends and share). 100_0844  100_0845  100_0846  100_0849 100_0851

Anheuser-Busch was the largest brewery we have been to. It is crazy to think that there are 11 other breweries! I wonder how big the St. Louis brewery is… it is 5x larger than the size of the Merrimack location!100_0853  100_0854

Photo after the tour-Mark, Megan, Jason & Maureen

100_0855 Jason found a new hat!