Ancient Fire Mead and Cider, Manchester, NH

We went to the pre-opening weekend for Ancient Fire Mead and Cider. The grand opening is March 15th, tomorrow!

We weren’t sure what we were getting into besides what they had posted on facebook, but expected the regular type of meads. We were surprised, and pleased, that they have started with what they are calling ‘crushable mead’.

 

 

Mead is technically a wine that is made from honey. Usually sold in a small wine bottles, 375ml, with a typical wine abv of about 11% – 16%. Ancient Fire’s ‘crushable meads’ are around 7% so you could actually sit down and have a pint of them.

 

They do samples sizes and pints, we started with a flight of all 6 meads.

Fire Pomme – 7.5%
Session mead with apple and cinnamon
Smells of cinnamon, taste like cinnamon, too. There is a subtle apple flavor but cinnamon dominates this one.

 

Cruising Elm – 7%
Session mead with concord grapes
Clear, but with a very purple-red tint. A dry mead with grape flavor, not sweet which is nice, we both really liked this one.

 

 

Maker’s Legacy – 7%
Traditional session mead
Definitely on the more traditional side, as noted in the name, and very clear. Strong honey flavor, not sugary sweet, but a flavorful mead.

 

Leaping Off the Ledge – 7%
Session mead with lemon and hops
Smells like lemon as well as hops. Mark thought it had a strong lemon flavor, as well as honey, with a pretty mild hop character. Megan thought the lemon was strong but thought the hops were more present than Mark did; Mark likes hoppy beers and Megan does not.

 

 

Rogue Flywheel – 7%
Session mead with pineapple and chilies
Pretty much taste like pineapple and chilies. The pineapple was a little subtle followed by a nice spice from the chilies.

 

Pint for Mark

 

Feeling the Love – 7%
Session mead with passion fruit and hops
This was a hazy, lime green color. Smells fruity, and tastes like juice. A strong passion fruit flavor that was complemented by some fruity hops. Megan really liked this one, she got a pint of it.

 

Pint for Megan

 

They have a limited food menu as well, snacks, soup, sandwiches, and we ordered the meat and cheese plate, which was good. There were three different cheeses, two meats, dried cranberries and pistachios as well as three types of crackers.

 

 

They have about 6 or so tables with the classic brewery stools. They also have a bar with a dozen stools along it as well. There is other open space/ standing room.

 

 

Swag corner

 

We can’t wait to see what they do next. The mead was all delicious. None of it was overly sweet, it was well balanced with the flavors they were using.

They had a list of coming attractions, including three Cysers and three Standard Meads. They all sound great, we’ve already sent messages to family to plan our next trip there!

 

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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

Bad Martha’s Brewing Company, Edgartown – Martha’s Vineyard

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We went to Martha’s Vineyard to visit the 2 breweries on the island, Offshore Ale Company and Bad Martha’s Brewing Company. Bad Martha’s is in Edgartown, so we took the bus from Oak Bluffs.


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They have a nice set up with a barn tasting room. They had 10 beers on tap when we were there. They do tasting flights and pints, with a few food options including cheese, meat and veggie platters.

 

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Roscoe’s Brown – 5.3%
A pretty good brown, medium body, smooth, good flavor. Dustin and Pete tasted coffee notes. This was Pete’s favorite.

 

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Heather and Pete tasting.

 

Obsession Ale – 4.3%
A light IPA with a piney hop taste. Dustin and Sam agree, light in body, no real bitterness.

 

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Blasphemous Black Lager – 5.5%
Light in body for a black lager, decent flavor

 

Belgian Blonde – 5%
Really good belgian, cloudy. Megan tasted honey and flowers. This was just about everyone’s favorite. A good over all, tasty beer.

 

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Summer Ale – 4.5%
Light, crisp summer ale, light in body but not flavorless. Megan and Al thought it needed something a little more, maybe a fruit wedge. They bottle this as a seasonal beer and distribute it off the island.

 

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Dustin, Al, and Sam posing for this pic!

 

Martha’s Vineyard Ale – 5.3%
Darker, red ale taste. Medium body, decent flavor. Megan thought it had a wintery taste, nutmeg or another earthy taste. This is one of the year round beers that they bottle and distribute off the island.

 

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Island IPA – 5.4%
Piney and flowery hop flavor, light in body with no real bitterness. Another beer they bottle and distribute.

 

Smokehouse Dunkel – 5.3%
Hint of smokeyness, very light in body, a touch sweet, good beer.

 

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Wasque Weizenbock – 7%
Sweet, light in body. A malty wheat beer flavor with a hint of ‘spiced darker fruit’.

 

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Cheese and meat platter- so good! Added so much to our experience

 

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They had a good size patio area outside with a bunch of tables and benches. They had a few games going outside as well, including cornhole.

 

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Cornhole

 

 

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Mark and Megan posing with Bad Martha.

 

Want to visit? You will have to wait until Summer as they are open from May through October and reopen for Christmas.

The Seven Barrel Brewery

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We stopped for a late lunch at the The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon, NH. We were on our way up to Vermont and stopped on the way. It is right at the border on NH and Vermont, right off of Interstate 89.

 

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 “The 7Barrel was opened April 20, 1994 by renowned brewer Gregory J. Noonan. While Greg is no longer with us, his tradition lives on …. Under the ownership of Upper Valley locals since 2010, we here at the 7Barrel are focused on continuing to provide our customers with high quality fare, great craft beer, and the enjoyable and unique atmosphere people have come to expect from our establishment.”  

 

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Queche Cream Ale – 4.5 % 14 IBU

Light but creamy flavor, smooth drinking. Good for the light end of the spectrum, we both liked this.

 

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Our sampler tray

 

New Dublin Brown – 4.5% 20 IBU

Good roasted malty flavor, a touch nutty. Not bitter, easy to drink, we both liked it.

 

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The Red #7 – 5%

Not a classic red style, so Megan drank it. A pleasant malt base and medium bitterness, not as hoppy as some reds. This is their most popular beer.

 

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Pumpkin Ale Seasonal – 4.9%

Good, comforting pumpkin pie spice. Light style beer but strong pumpkin taste. Megan really liked this beer. Makes you want to cozy up with a pint, a fire and friends.

 

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Champion Reserve IPA – 5%

Traditional style IPA, was a little bit warm though. More floral hops without much of a hoppy bite.

 

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Wet Hopped Pale Ale Seasonal – 5%

Smooth hoppy flavor without hoppy bite. Hop forward with a good taste, we liked it better than the IPA.

 

Oatmeal Stout – 4.8%

Dry, traditional style irish stout. Mark thought it was a little roasty and toasty. Megan was hoping for a little more from it.

 

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Conan the Destroyer Series: Imperial Coffee Stout – 8.3%

Not quite what we were hoping for. Megan didn’t think the flavors were bold or balanced enough. Mark liked it better than the Oatmeal Stout, but you could taste the higher alcohol content. Less roasty, hints of chocolate and coffee.

 

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All gone!

 

We each ordered a pint after the sampler tray. Mark got the Wet Hopped Pale Ale and Megan got the Pumpkin Ale.

 

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Their Special Burger of the day

 

The food was good, but the French fries were a small portion considering you had to pay $2 extra to get fries.

 

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Chicken Cheese Bagette

 

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Pretty good sized bar area

 

 

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Tanks full of beer behind the bar

 

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The dining area is a mix of booths and larger tables.

 

 

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Nearby? Going to be passing through? Time it well-from 4-6 pm everyday $3 pints

 

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Want to Visit?

Open Daily 11 am to Close