Beara Irish Brewing, Portsmouth, NH

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We recently visited Beara Irish Brewing in Portsmouth, NH. They are a fairly new place, opening late summer 2004, but started out bottling right away, so they are in many local stores in the seacoast area.

 

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The owners of Beara are a husband and wife team, Michael & Louise. Louise is originally from Bere Island in Cork County Ireland. They spent time in Europe together, where Michael feel in love with European beer that wasn’t mass produced or watered down. Once they moved stateside, in 2010 they began to move towards having a brewery.
They use imported Irish barley to create their beers, and as many other locally sourced ingredients as possible, like honey and berries.

 

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They have at least four beers available at their tasting room for you to try.
Our tasting:

O’Sullivan Stout
Dry, a touch roasty. Really good flavor, light in body but plenty of flavor.

 

NH Maple Wheat
Wheat base, light flavor. You taste the maple and the sweetness. A light, sweet beer, probably good for the summer time.

 

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Rye Craic IPA
Light in color. Rye smoothness upfront, a strong, hoppy second taste. Light in body.

 

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Castletown Honey Brown Ale
Good taste, smooth. Better than most browns we have had, sweet honey flavor helps.

 

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They have a medium sized tasting room in a strip mall in Portsmouth. There are several tables as well as a small bar, and some standing room.

 

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Louise greeted us when we came in, and was friendly. They told us we could sit down and brought our flights over. They also gave us some pretzels to eat. Shortly after, Michael came out from the backroom, where he was kegging beer, to say hello.

 

 

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They are still a fairly new operation, but started out bottling right away. We have seen the bottles in many local stores, but wanted to wait to try them until we visited. This is a good move for a new place, especially in a tourist area. We visit a lot of places, and unfortunately we don’t bring beer back from a lot because they only do growlers.

 

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We enjoyed our visit to Beara, and hope to see them go well. So far, they are in 120 stores/bars/restaurants in New Hampshire, and the demand is just increasing! They are about at their brewing capacity, and are looking for assistance to get to the next level. Read about that here and help them increase their brewing capacity!

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Want to Visit?

Thursday and Friday 4-8
Saturday 1-8
Sunday 1-6

 

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Visit #75 – Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Brewing Company was founded in 1994. The story started before that, though. In 1987 siblings, Peter & Janet Egelston, along with partners, started the Northampton Brewery in Northhampton, MA, which is now the oldest brewpub in New England. In 1991 they started the Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire’s first brewpub. In 1992 Peter and Janet bought out the other partners. In 1993 Peter attended the bankruptcy auction of the Frank Jones Brewing Company and bought the brewery that would become Smuttynose. In 2000 Peter & Janet Egelston bought each other out of their partnership, splitting the brewery ownership. Janet remains owner of the Northampton Brewery; Peter and his partner, Joanne Francis, own Smuttynose and the Portsmouth Brewery. Smuttynose Brewing Company was located in Portsmouth, NH up until this year, when they moved to their new location in North Hampton, NH.

 

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Eric explaining the brewing process

 

They have a wet grist mill, not dry as many breweries are.

 

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Plenty of beer here

 

They also use whole malts instead of split malts.

 

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Their bottling line, which you can kind of see in this picture, can do about 300 bottles a minute. They were going a little slower when we were there because they were doing mixed 12 packs, which need to be separated and boxed by hand.

 

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Fermentation tanks

This is certainly one of the biggest breweries we have been to. Look at all those tanks.

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They made a lot of decisions to be a green facility.

 

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Plenty of natural light. They also have motion sensor LED lights, which are much more energy efficient than fluorescents. They actually did such a good job in making green decisions that they are a LEED Certified Gold facility.

 

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A rain garden outside that helps with absorbing water into the ground and avoiding the sewer system.

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Showing off our safety glasses on the tour

 

At the end of the tour you can sample 4 beers. We tried to split up our tastings between us so we could try beers we haven’t had before.

 

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Vunderbar Pilsner – 4.9%
One of the better pilsners we have had. Light but good flavor.

 

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Farmhouse Ale – 7.2%
We both really liked this. Fruity with a slight earthy taste. Unfortunately they didn’t have any in bottles or we would have bought some.

 

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Just hanging out

 

Big A IPA – 9.5%
Strong IPA, not overpowering considering it is 9.5%. Good flavor, has a nice- little-something-extra taste to it.

 

Old Brown Dog – 6.7%
Described as having a ‘rich, malty flavor’.  It is a little more flavorful than some brown ales.

 

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Smuttlander – 9.8%
Double bock, smoother than expected, hints of toffee and molasses.

 

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Robust Porter – 6.6%
Flavorful, but light bodied to us. Good coffee flavor, hints of chocolate aftertaste. This is their most award winning beer.

 

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The table Mark is leaning on is in the tasting area for people to gather around. They are made from recycled shipping containers from their new brewing equipment and double as storage. Staying green.

 

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Part of what they are able to do with the new facility is produce more beer, but also different lines of beer. They started in 2007 with a short batch series which has become the Smuttlabs series. They say that:

our brewing staff has many ideas that can’t be done on a large scale; this is where Smuttlabs comes into play. From barrel-aging and beer souring to culinary collaborations and special projects that just don’t fit anywhere else, if a project is out of the ordinary, unique or time consuming, you can bet it’ll bear the Smuttlabs name.

 

We bought 2 different types of the Smuttlabs to try at home.

 

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Mark deciding what Smuttlabs beers to buy

 

Herbaceous – 2014 wet hopped ipa – 6.75%
Darker in color than a typical IPA. A hoppy flavor but a little smoother than a Big A or Finestkind.

 

Shebang – 2014 Triple IPA – 10.5%
Definitely a heavy beer, dark color, heavy malty flavor. Tasty but you have to be in the mood for a big beer.

 

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Big Beers and Smuttlabs

 

 

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Plenty of swag and beers in the gift shop.

 

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They have lots of plans for the land surrounding the brewery. The farmhouse that was on the property is currently being renovated to be a farm to table restaurant.

 

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They have plans to  renovate the old barn that was on the property to be a function hall.

 

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Do you recognize this old trailer? Maybe from the Finestkind IPA logo?

 

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They have plans to turn this into an outdoor beer garden during the nice weather, serving beer from the trailer with seating outside. This way you can actually come and hang out at the brewery and have a few beers.

TOUR THE BREWERY!

Tours and free samples daily. Last tour leaves at the posted time:

M-W Tastings: noon – 4pm
M-W Retail: noon – 7pm
Thursday: noon – 5:30pm
Friday: noon – 6:30pm
Saturday: 11am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 11am – 3pm

NO RESERVATIONS NEEDED

…And the fun in between- Barre & Soul, Portsmouth NH

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Barre & Soul Photo courtesy of Barre Soul

As a part of Blog & Tweet NH, I was invited to a VIP session at Barre & Soul, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire before they opened. Barre & Soul is a mind and body barre studio, with now three locations: Portsmouth (opened August 16, 2014), Melrose, MA and an affiliate in Lexington, MA (first classes began 2013).

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looks fairly easy- but its not! this move is the most difficult part of a sit up- and it works wonders! Photo courtesy of Barre & Soul

Barre & Soul was started by Andrea Isabelle Lucas. She had taken up barre classes while pregnant with her second child in 2006, and never thought she would have a bikini body again. A year later, she was in the best shape of her life- not just physically, but spirituality and mentally as well. Andrea didn’t begin barre with the thought of how great she would look, and was amazed with the results- one day, while getting in the shower, Andrea’s reflection caught her eye and she immediately had to try on one of her swim suits. In 2007, Andrea began to teach barre.

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Andrea Isabelle Lucas, photo courtesy of Barre & Soul

Andrea’s background:
*Bachelor of Arts in Women Studies, Lesley University
*200 hour yoga teacher training completed at Prana Vayu Yoga with the founder David Magone
*studied the use of yoga in healing trauma in Haiti
*studied aerial yoga, performed in a circus and burlesque troupe
*former Mind Body Manager for exhale spa, where she led their 275 hour barre teacher training
*barre fitness resource for the lululemon athletica blog

*she has been through Hell and back again (read her story here)
What is barre?
Barre method class combines ballet conditioning, interval cardio, Pilates, yoga and meditation with the benefit of a strengthened core, lengthened muscles, total body toning flexibility and a better mind frame. Barre method is inspired by the Lotte Berk Method. Lotte Berk was a professional ballerina, who, after having a serious injury combined the orthopedic exercises with her dance training. This result is a safe, yet challenging workout. Barre can be made more challenging, and can also be modified around injury.
My visit:
I met Andrea, Lindsey (Portsmouth’s studio manager), Kristin, Liz and Crissy when I took my class. They are all instructors there, and carry other hats there and in life.

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Lindsey, Andrea, Michelle (Miss Portsmouth Area 2015), Kristin, Liz, Crissy

Andrea led my class, with the assistance of Kristin. Kristin assisted us with our form. Andrea mentioned at the beginning of the class that you may dislike her and the other instructors mid class, but would still be friends when all is done. Each instructor is hard on you during the class, so you work hard.

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window box!

The set up of the room was beautifully done- many windows to allow for natural light, plant boxes in the windows- full of succulents, and barres lining four walls. The desk where you check in fits in perfectly as well.

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sign at the desk

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inspirational message at the desk

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beautiful desk that greets you as you enter

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shoe holder

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shoe and bag holder don’t mind our stuff!)

Under the barres were mats- one for each class member with two set of hand weights, two blocks, a ball and a strap. All would be used during the workout.

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set up for two

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set up for two, head on

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The workout is relaxing, fun and challenging, It is designed for all levels and they take note of any old injuries people have at the beginning so they don’t push you too hard or adjust you.

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one of the rare photos from my class

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work it!

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can you bring both feet over at once? use your abs!

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the view from barre assisted abs

I don’t have too many photos from my workout, so you will have to take a class to experience it yourself!

My hour long class was one of the quickest hours ever. I was surprised when we were done. The workout was fast paced, so you don’t get bored, stop paying attention and also so your muscles don’t catch on!
I stayed and chatted with some of the other students and instructors for a bit after, and was able to see what a fun group they are.

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Photo courtesy of Barre & Soul 

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Barre & Soul

 

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Photo courtesy of Barre & Soul

 

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Photo courtesy of Barre & Soul

Will I see you next time?

Class Schedule

interested in a two week trial? $25 unlimited for two weeks! Click here for that and their other programs!

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myself and fellow Blog & Tweet NH-er: Devan from The Daily Dev!

 

Stoneface Brewing Company, Newington NH

IMG_1229A few weekends ago, we ventured over to Stoneface Brewing Company, located in Newington, New Hampshire. They have a very convenient location for travelers heading up north- right off route 16 at exit 4! They are located in a good sized-warehouse space with room to grow!IMG_1228

While we were there, we enjoyed trying a few beers, and learned about Stoneface (what they are doing and planning on doing) from the Brewer himself! The brewer went to school at the University of New Hampshire, so he knows the area well. For upcoming beers, they plan on making a sour summer style beer (should be coming out soon, if not already!) and a Russian Imperial Stout around October.

IMG_1231Our tasting: IMG_1230
Pale Ale: pretty hoppy 5.6%. Very hoppy upfront, with a smooth ending.

IPA: 7.2% surprisingly smooth, not bitter at all. Sweeter than expected, especially for 7.2%, a more floral hop taste This is their most popular beer.

India Red Rye: very good, 5.5%. Megan’s favorite of the three. Wasn’t what she expected for it based on it being both a red and a rye.

If you want to try Stoneface’s beer, but can’t make it for a tasting while they are open, you can head to a local bar. They have their beer available at many local bars, including Gaslight in Portsmouth. Gaslight goes through about 11 kegs/week of their beer du to having it at all four of their bars. 11 kegs!! Stoneface Brewing has also been pairing up with local establishments for “Meet the Brewer Pint Nights,” which proves to be helping business.

IMG_1234They have such a cool growler filler- and there is one other of this kind in New England! It first fills the growler with CO2, which helps the beer preserve it’s flavor and aromas. Oxygen+beer=bad. To use this machine, they turn a lever, it fills up with CO2 and then the beer of your choice!

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love their logo!

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what we went home with- IPA and India Red Rye

 

Update February 2015:

This has become one of our favorite breweries in the Seacoast area. Stoneface IPA is one of Mark’s favorite beers, he tries to introduce it to as many people as possible. They have done some work to the facility and have added more tanks so they can keep up with the demand.

We did get to try the Stoneface Summer Vice as well. It was interesting, and tasty, a sour beer. They had 2 types of syrup to add to it that totally changed the flavor of the beer. Cut the sour and made it more sweet.

This winter they have had a Porter available as well. At only 5%, this is a very smooth and drinkable.

 

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Special bottle releases

 

They did their first limited bottle release in late October, I think, of Hopulization, a Double IPA. They followed this with a Russian Imperial Stout in November, and another round of Hopulization in January 2015.

 

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Hopulization – DIPA – 8.9%
Smells of hops. A malt flavor base with lots of hoppy after flavors. Definitely a strong, hoppy beer. Good beer, and definitely worth trying if you can, but not quite as good as the regular IPA.

 

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Russian Imperial Stout – 9.5
It’s been a while since we had a taste, we are holding onto the bottle for something special, I guess. They have bourbon barrels that they are aging another batch in, hopefully we get our hands on some of that, too.

 

Want to Visit?

Hours have expanded significantly since first opening

Monday – Friday: 12 – 7

Saturday: 12 – 4

As always, just Facebook for the most up to date info.

Earth Eagle Brewings

picstitch (18)Mark and I visited Earth Eagle Brewings, located in Portsmouth NH as part of the Granite State Growler Tour (see here for our post on the tour as a whole!).

When we walked into Earth Eagle Brewings, we were greeted by Butch, one of two brewers. picstitch (14) He walked us through A&G Homebrew Supply, which provides supplies for local home brewers. In A&G, the four main ingredients to make beer were gone over- water, grain, hops and yeast. We were each able to feel, smell and taste some malted barley.picstitch (13)Hops help to change the flavor of the beer, making it taste fruity or nutty. Yeast is added, and produces alcohol.

Process: In the one barrel brewery, the beer moves from the hot liquor tank to the mash tank. The sugars are pulled out, and the liquid goes to the boil kettle. The left over spent grain then goes to a farm in Berwick, Maine. The liquid is then cooled from 212 degrees Fahrenheit to 65-70 degrees via a plate chiller. The beer then enters a fermentation room, moves to the refrigerator and then to the tap to be enjoyed.

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Butch explained that Earth Eagle is a one barrel brewery, and the beers are always changing. Earth Eagle Brewings produces empyreal ales made with hops (beer) and un-hopped ales called gruit. Gruits are ales made with herbs, a more traditional style before the use of hops.  Occasionally, they will add herbs to their beer, and hops to their gruits. They try to use fresh, local products when available.

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Following our tour, we enjoyed a tasting. During open hours, anyone can go in and have/buy a 4oz sample, a 32 oz growler or a 64 oz growler.

Our tastings:

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Sage Goose: immediate smell of sage. Smooth herbal sage and gooseberries. No hops. 4.7% ABV. We bought a growler!

Sol Sister: had a familiar flavor, almost of clove. Sweet, woodruff fern, eleuthero root. 5.6% ABV.

Purl the Elder: different flavor. Elder flower and ground ivy. Nice balance and flavor. 6.3% ABV

Diurnal Hoppy Blonde: Hoppy with a smooth finish. Most similiar to other beers, still different but not as different as others. 4.2% ABV

Fur Trapper: My immediate thought- I like this. Oh, it’s a dubbel, no wonder!  Belgian dubbel big bear. Each barrel contained 10 pounds of Belgian candied sugar! 7.1% ABV

Jack Wagon: Spicy nose. Double IPA. Typical, but good. Big Beer, 8.1% ABV

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We didn’t try a beer or gruit here that we didn’t like! One of the great things about us taking home a growler is that we have to go back soon to get a refill and try something new!

Want to visit Earth Eagle Brewings? They are open 7 days a week- Monday-Friday: 4pm-9pm. Saturday: 3pm-9pm and Sunday: 1pm-4pm. Great hours that allow those that work to visit while not on vacation. They are great with posting what is on tap on their facebook page, so check it out if you are curious before you go.

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Upcoming Events I am looking forward to!

Very exciting events approaching- which means more posts!

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Soon, I will be going on a very exciting bus, named “Greta the Growler Getta.” Greta is the Granite State Growler Tours tour bus. The tour bus brings you to 3-4 breweries in the Portsmouth/Hampton area (Seacoast area of New Hampshire), as well as a local rum distillery.  Check out their facebook page for updates. I will soon be posting on the tour bus, as well as the breweries and distillery. 🙂

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In September, we will be attending the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, located in West Dover, Vermont. The festival a weekend long (September 20-22), although we will attend for a day. It is $26pp, which includes a tote bag, wine glass and tastes.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday September 20

Village of Wilmington

5:00-8:00 pm Village Stroll, Wine Tasting Seminars and Valley Chefs Soup Contest

Saturday September 21

Mount Snow Resort

11:00- 5:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-5:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 5:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sunday September 22

8:30 AM Pancake Breakfast

11:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-4:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 4:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sounds like it will be a great event! I can’t wait to go! Look for my review the following week. 

Powderkeg Beer and Chili Fest

Our last event that we have planned is The 2nd Annual Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival, in Exeter NH. It is happening Saturday, October 5th. The festival will feature beer for all tastes, as well as chili from local restaurants. There will also be live music all day, Also nearby is the 14th Annual Fall Festival, featuring local crafters, vendors and street entertainment. The Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival has over 53 different breweries attending! Many I have had the pleasure of tasting, but many I have not. Look here for the complete list. More interested in the chili? Look here to see who will be there- I already see a lot of great restaurants I know and love!

General Admission tickets are $30 ($35 after Sept. 22nd) and include a Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Fest souvenir tasting glass, 8 beer sample tickets, 5 chili sample tickets and live entertainment. I can’t wait to go and try some new beer and chili!

Are you going to any of these events? The Granite State Growler Tour will be great, I will be able to cross off a few breweries off of my list! I also think the idea of taking a bus is not only a safe way to go, but a fun way to go. I have been at other breweries when a tour stops in, and they always look like they are having a ton of fun. Although I won’t technically be crossing off any breweries or wineries off of my list by attending the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival or the 2nd Annual Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival, both events should be both fun and educational. I also like meeting the winery and brewery representatives at another place than their winery or brewery, because it can help you to determine when you should visit based on what is going on at the respective place, what they are currently working on, etc. Very exciting and fun events up ahead!