Schilling Beer Company, Littleton, NH

IMG_3296

While visiting our friends Jamie and Andrew, we took the drive to Schilling Beer Company. Andrew recommended we go here. He said they have really good pizza and some quality beers. We have to agree. They are located in Littleton, NH which is about 20 miles north of the Lincoln/Woodstock/Loon Mountain area.

IMG_3310

From their website: “Schilling Beer Co. is a family-owned artisan microbrewery centered on the values of family, community and excellence. These values are reflected in the three united grain heads that comprise our logo.

Schilling is the embodiment of a dream for four brothers and Dad, who left professions and moved across continents to link up in the North Country to brew together. The name “Schilling” honors our grandfather, Dr. Richard J. Schilling (his picture hangs near the bar), and also reflects the continental European influences on the brewing.

We brew Schilling beers on a custom 5-barrel wirelessly controlled brewhouse here, in the oldest commercial building north of Concord, NH – a renovated gristmill dating to 1797.”

IMG_3290

outside seating- a bit too cold now! Love that they have it- maybe next time!

 IMG_3292

IMG_3294

let’s head on in!

It’s hard to describe these beers without using the term ‘Belgian style’ or ‘ Belgian taste’ in the description. Most of the beers have that as a taste with some extra flavoring or style in it. This is in part due to their European influences and experiences.

IMG_3301

 Our Tasting:

Erastus – Abbey-style Tripel – 8%
A heavy ‘blue moon’ flavor, a little earthy, Belgian flowers.

Foy – Belgian-style IPA – 5.9%
Andrew said it had the hoppy taste of an IPA, but not overpowering. We agree, almost like a toned down IPA with some Belgian flavors, you get both. Jamie got a little citrus fruit taste.

Trapu – Belgian-style Dark Ale – 6%
Smooth. Chocolate and light coffee notes, on the verge of a ‘cask strength’ flavor.

IMG_3306

Blonde Grisette – Belgian-style Saison – 5.5%
A tiny bit fruity and a little earthy, light beer. Andrew agree’s.

IMG_3317
Jamie enjoying her beers

Pater – Abbey-style Single – 4.8%
Spiced rather than hopped. Light, Belgian session beer, not super flavorful.

Grotius – Abbey-style Dubbel – 6.3%
Belgian style with a darker, malty taste with a little bit of ‘dark fruit aroma’s’, their term but we agree.

Resistance – Belgian-style Saison – 6.3%
An earthy saison.

IMG_3308

Dr. Oovert – Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale – 9.1%
Strong flavor, good taste. The description said ‘dark fruit and caramel’, we agree, fruity but a heavy taste. Andrew agree’s there were a ‘multitude of dark fruit flavors’, got stronger and more flavorful as you drank. Megan did not like this beer.

Le Nain – Biere blanche – 6%
50% wheat, cloudy, flavorful, a medium silky mouth feeling. German and American hops.

Schilling ‘Sticke’ Collaboration with White Birch – Wheat Ale – 5.5%
Fruity notes, smooth wheat ale. Megan said it was what she expected from White Birch.

IMG_3328
downstairs, bar area great atmosphere
IMG_3327

seating area at the top of the – love the look!

 Time to eat!

IMG_3312
Maple Bacon Pizza- AMAZING!

Yes, maple syrup, bacon, chicken and apples. Sweet and savory. This was a special, and it was everyone’s favorite. A slightly odd combination that really works.

IMG_3313
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Good amount of spice, really good pizza

IMG_3315

Loaded Pizza

This pizza was good, but overshadowed by the other 2 because they were so good. Plenty of sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers.

IMG_3322

Megan being …… an owl?

Jeff Cozzens, CEO, runs the place with his brothers. Very approachable, and was seen interacting with all customers, not just us. He was a great guy, and spoke with us and others about the beers, and how they came to be.

IMG_3319

Meg, Mark, Andrew & Jamie

IMG_3298
Want to visit?
Advertisements

The Bear Brew Pub

IMG_2274

Megan and Amanda

The Bear Brew Pub is in located in Orono, ME. Orono is a small city in mid Maine, mostly known for being home to the University of Maine. We went out to dinner while visiting Amanda and James who live a few towns over. We had read a few reviews that said it was more of a college bar, beer and pizza, makes sense. We enjoyed it, wasn’t that crowded when we were there, and the beer was good as well as their pizza.

 

IMG_2291

We decided to sit upstairs on the deck which was nice. Sometimes they have special events up there, they were doing a wine tasting the next day.

 

 

IMG_2289

 

 

The Beers

 

IMG_2280

 

Gearhead Red – ABV – 4.5%
Megan and Mark both liked it, and Megan isn’t usually a Red fan. James liked it as well, he thinks it’s hard to find a good red, and this one is.

 

IMG_2276

Pirate Pale Ale
More malty than hoppy, smooth, a little unexpected but good.

 

 

IMG_2278

Blueberry
Good blueberry smell. Too strong a blueberry taste for Megan, but authentic. Mark liked the blueberry taste.

 

Liquid Sunshine – ABV – 5.1%
A good hefeweizen. Amanda thought it was really bright. Mark liked it as well, a good, mild flavor, not overbearing.

 

IMG_2281

moustache face

Demon Stout  – ABV – 5.1%
James says ‘Now that’s a stout’. Amanda thought it smelled like coffee, lighter than Megan was expecting, especially with the name demon.

 

 

 

IMG_2279

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Martini

 

They are well known for their brick oven pizza’s, so we decided to try them.

 

IMG_2284

Heavy Veggie Pizza

 Red sauce, mozzarella, broccoli, roasted red pepper, red onion, roasted garlic and homemade pesto.

 

IMG_2285

Italian Pizza

 Red sauce, mozzarella, homemade pesto, roma tomato, prosciutto and fried eggplant.

 

IMG_2286

Bear Brew Pizza

 This is Mark’s type of pizza. Red sauce, mozzarella and Gouda cheese, hamburger, bacon and BBQ sauce.

 

IMG_2287

James ordered a steak and sweet potato fries

 

 

IMG_2294

our hosts for the weekend, and our dinner dates. James and Amanda

IMG_2295

Mark

 

Mark had a feeling there was something worth looking into. At brewpubs you tend to get less information about the business from waitresses. We looked on the website, but there is no real info about the business or the history, so he did a little digging. Tim Gallon and friend Matt Haskell were working at Bear Brew Pub while in college at U of Maine. The owner, Milos Blagojavic, was ready to sell and Matt and Tim bought the business. They took over Bear Brew Pub in 2002. They learned to brew and run the business while working there. Eventually, Tim decided he needed more space and equipment if he wanted to establish a serious brewery. Tim sold his share of the business to Matt and established Black Bear Brewery right across the street. This is what made Mark suspicious, very similar names for 2 breweries in a fairly small town in northern Maine. Then, in early 2010, Jim Bence bought Bear Brew Pub from Matt and renovated and revived the Bear Brew Pub.

 

IMG_2275

 

Kitchen Hours

Monday-Sunday  3pm-10pm

Brick Oven Pizza available Wednesday-Saturday until bar closes.

 

Bar Hours

Sunday-Thursday 3pm-11pm

Friday and Saturday 3pm-1am

Zero Gravity Craft Brewery at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, Burlington Vermont

IMG_0799  IMG_0800We visited Zero Gravity Craft Brewery at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, located in Burlington Vermont before we headed home from our visit to John & Lindsay’s.
American Flatbread is a delicious pizza restaurant, which houses Zero Gravity Brewery.IMG_0808IMG_0806 IMG_0807 menuIMG_0814pizza oven

There was not a sampler tray, so we ordered 10 oz beers. We picked the more interesting sounding, less traditional flavors or styles of beer. The waitress was good and told us the hops from the stout would kill the flavor of the gruit, so we had the gruit first.

IMG_0811Winter Gruit Ale 5.8%

No back end taste, all up front. It was smooth and flavorful with low carbonation, drinkable. Megan is a fan of gruits in general because you get good flavor but not that heavy hop flavor.

 

IMG_0812Bermuda Triangle Sour Stout 5.7%

Sounded like an interesting beer, and it was. It was light and smooth, not too hoppy for a stout. It smelled like a stout and was a dark color like a stout, but fairly smooth. Sour aftertaste. Megan thought it tasted like sour chocolate.

 

Conehead IPA 5.7%

Megan thought it was a typical IPA, she is not really a big fan of IPA’s. Mark liked it, extra hoppy. You definitely get the wheat flavor which gives the IPA a different twist.

 

IMG_0819Medicine Wheel Flatbread that we added pepperoni to. The pizza was really good.

The service was good overall.  Not the experience we usually have eating out in Vermont. The waitress we had was good. They have a lot of wait staff for the amount of tables, although it was not a real big place.

Some history:

American Flatbread Burlington Hearth opened in 2004, and they started brewing their own beer that same year. They built their own dome oven to wood fire the pizza. They started out with a 10 barrel system. Beer and bread making go together, and have, for more than 5000 years. They have an ‘unwavering commitment’ to staying true to the classic styles of a beer, which includes using the best ingredients possible. This doesn’t mean they can’t experiment, though. In 2012 they started selling beer offsite. Now they are looking to build a new brewery offsite to keep up with demand. Want to visit? Open every day 11:30 to close.

 

after we left, we found these fun jellyfish sculptures in the park:IMG_0823  IMG_0825

Granite State Growler Tours, LLC

Mark and I recently went on a Granite State Growler Tour.

picstitchGreta the Growler Getta, aka the tour bus

The tour currently leaves from Hampton, NH. Once you step on board “Greta the Growler Getta,” you are brought to 2-3 different breweries as well as a distillery and a great craft beer store. You are provided with fun facts about the Seacoast New Hampshire area, a delicious homemade pretzel, a cooler full of water, and a cooler to hold any growlers you may purchase along the way. Why pay to do a Granite State Growler Tour? How else can you visit multiple breweries and/or distilleries in the same day (without having a DD),  get some great discounts (more on that later), learn some fun facts about the history of beer in New Hampshire, and maybe make some new friends.  You also are able to interact with many of the brewers, and get special attention from them due to the tour occurring when most of the breweries are closed to the public.  Depending on what they are working on, you also might have the option to try something new, that is still in the works or not bottled yet for public consumption. It was great to have a basically care free day, with the ability to make many visits without having to worry about one of us driving.

We went on the “Sunday Driver” tour, which consisted of visits to: Earth Eagle Brewings (Portsmouth NH), Sea Hagg Distillery (Hampton NH), Top Shelf Brews (Hampton NH) and Blue Lobster Brewing Company (Hampton NH).  When we climbed onto the bus, we filled out waivers, and were given “Tasting Notes” (to keep track of any notable beers- see below),picstitch (4)

star stickers (to label growlers), a coupon to use on a future visit to Top Shelf Brews, and a homemade pretzel (made with Blue Lobster- Excess Is Not Rebellion IPA). We were also notified that if we went to Community Oven (also in Hampton, where the tour begins and ends), we could purchase a 20oz beer for the price of a 16oz beer after the tour. The tour started with introductions- we found out that David (owner and driver) and Mark (partner and tour guide) have known each other since third grade!

picstitch (1)yummy, homemade pretzel!

Oh! I almost forgot- you also receive a name tag at the beginning of the tour, to not only make sure you stay with the group, but to guarantee any of the stops know you are with the tour for any additional discounts, or special access.

IMG_3254[1]

Mark, the tour guide, really knows his history. He told us a lot of great information about the area, both beer history and otherwise. Although Mark (the boyfriend and co-author of this blog) and I did not know a lot of the area’s history prior to, we also feel that those familiar with the area will enjoy it as well- I shared some of the stories with co-workers and they hadn’t heard the stories before.

Did you know that Portsmouth is the third oldest establishment in the United States (after Jamestown and Plymouth of course!). Things were different in Portsmouth from the beginning, as they came to reap the benefits of the new world, and immediately began to brew beer from their surroundings. Spruce tips, strawberries and apples were all used to make beer, basically whatever they could get their hands on. Settled in 1630, in 1642 a tavern was established. Portsmouth was allowed to have 6 taverns, although most towns were strictly limited to 2.  Only upstanding individuals were allowed to operate taverns, and they had to pledge to not serve to Native Americans or slaves. I would love to share some more of their stories now- but I want you to have something other than delicious beer and rum to look forward to! picstitch (12)

Mark, our tour guide

The stops we made:

Earth Eagle Brewings: Located in Portsmouth, NH, also runs a home brewing store (A&G Homebrew Supply), which we had a tour of and received some great information about the brewing process in. They operate a one barrel brewery, so the beers are always changing and never quite the same. They make a type of beer I was not familiar with until now, gruits, which is beer made without hops.  See my post about Earth Eagle Brewings here!

Sea Hagg Distillery: Located in Hampton, NH creates true, colonial style rum.  It was started by a couple who thought of the idea while on vacation in the Caribbean. Rum is a true New Hampshire item, as it was written in every town budget in the 17th and 18th century. See my post about Sea Hagg Distillery here!

Top Shelf Brews: Located in Hampton, NH is a craft brew store. One of their biggest draws is that they do mixed six-packs. Mark and I bought a mixed four-pack, of four beers and ciders we hadn’t tried before but looked interesting. Great store to go to find a new craft beer, or that hard to find beer.

Blue Lobster Brewing Company: also located in Hampton, NH was started as a retirement hobby and turned into a retirement job.  They feature small batch specialty brews. See more in my post about Blue Lobster Brewing Company here!

*****

One of the great things about Granite State Growler Tour is that they are willing to go the extra mile, and do private events of any location. Both David and Mark are interested in beer, and like making new connections as well as (on their own time) trying new beer. Who knows? Maybe we will join them on a future tour, elsewhere. to cross other breweries or wineries off our list!

*****

Mark and I purchased glasses at each stop, as well as a glass koosie at Sea Hagg.

picstitch (2)

I also won a glass on the tour!picstitch (5)

We also went home with a growler of Sage Goose from Earth Eagle Brewings. Thank you to Granite State Growler Tours for keeping it cold for us in the cooler while we enjoyed the rest of the tour!

picstitch (3)The sticker on the Sage Goose top is the star sticker we were given at the beginning of the tour- so we could mark the growlers we took home.

*****

Another great thing, is that the tour begins and ends outside of the Community Oven, located in Hampton NH. The Community Oven will hold a table for any in the tour that would like to continue drinking or want something to eat after the tour. David happened to have a coupon for a pizza, so Mark and I couldn’t argue about it- we had to try out The Community Oven!

picstitch (6)Mark outside of the Community Oven

picstitch (11)Their extensive beer list!

picstitch (10)

picstitch (7)Our yummy, free pizza!!

picstitch (9)Delicious, dry rub wings!

*****

Want to go on a Granite State Growler Tour?

Saturday Beer Run

Begins at 11:00am and returns around 4pm.

Stops include:

Sea Hagg Distillery

Throwback Brewery

Blue Lobster Brewing

Earth Eagle Brewings

Venues and times are subject to change even during the tour

Sunday Driver

Begins at 11:30am and returns around 3pm.

Stops include:

Earth Eagle Brewings

Blue Lobster Brewing

Sea Hagg Distillery

Venues and times are subject to change even during the tour

Go here to register for a tour!