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

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Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Company, West Ossipee, New Hampshire

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While on our way to the North Conway outlets with Taylor and Lance, we passed Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co. We did not know Hobbs Tavern was there prior to, but after looking it up and seeing that they do make their own beer, so we stopped on the way back.

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Old style carriage outside

 

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It is a large restaurant area with lots of wood and exposed beams.

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Fireplace with couches

Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co opened in Spring of 2014, after a 14 month renovation of the building.

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beer menu on display

Black Sheep Cream Ale – 5.3%
This beer was ok. It was not as creamy as Megan expected, which she liked. Mark and Lance got most of the taste as an aftertaste, Lance did not like it. Mark didn’t mind it. It was their light beer for non-craft beer drinkers, at least it didn’t taste cheap, it just didn’t have much flavor.

 

Something Went A Rye IPA – 5.2%
Everyone liked this beer. Everyone agreed, it wasn’t super hoppy, probably because it was a rye, and everyone liked the taste.

 

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Taylor and Lance

 

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Stay away from ….

 

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my beers!

 

Leaf Peeper Rauchbeer
This was an interesting beer. It had a secondary, surprising taste that was sort of smokey. It surprised us. Megan did not like the smell, Lance would not have a full beer of it. Mark said the more you drank of it the less surprising and strong the smokeyness was.

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Quick, drink!

 

Pebble Pale Ale
This was light and not as harsh as many pale ales. Megan thought it was creamier than expected, Lance described it as dry. Mark got a subtle, familiar taste. Maybe spruce tips?

 

Born to be Mild
This beer was ok. We were trying to figure out what it actually was. Lance thought it tasted like a Sam Winter Lager, but we couldn’t figure it out.

 

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They have a Chocolate Stout, a blonde, and a heffeweizen. We didn’t get to try these, due to not being available that day, but they all sound good.

 

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the menu

 

 We all ordered dinner- after a long day shopping, we were hungry!

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Lance had the Blackened Fish tacos, which were good and plentiful.

 

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Mark had the Marbin Cristo, which is their take on a Monte Cristo, which we didn’t know about. It was ham and turkey on French Toast with a side of NH Maple Syrup.
It was interesting and very tasty.

 

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 Megan had the Hobbs Burger with onions, which was gone in a matter of minutes.
She had truffle oil fries, which were good.

 

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Taylor had the Hobbs burger plain, which was good as well.

 

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 They had lots of interesting decorations and a certain rustic,
cabin like feel, which was cool.

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It wasn’t too crowded when we were there, however the service was not great. It seemed to take a long time to get our sample trays, only 2. We were checked on once after we were brought our food, and then didn’t see the waitress again until well after we were all done eating and waiting for the check.

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Just hanging out- don’t mind Meg’s hair

 

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On a rustic wagon wheel bench

 

Want to Visit?
Open 7 days a week

 

 

 

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What

 

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are

 

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they

 

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doing?

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

Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Co, North Conway NH

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Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company is located in North Conway, New Hampshire. It is a very busy restaurant brewery that we have now visited twice. There is a bar room, with a full bar and tables, a dining room and a smaller dining room/sun room. Both times we have visited, we have been sat in the sun dining room.

IMG_0389Taylor, who joined us on our visit to Tuckerman Brewing Co, also joined us here.

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the brewery

The menus:IMG_0395 IMG_0396

We ordered dinner and a beer sampler.

Our tasting:IMG_0400
Hoffman Weiss: 5.7% unfiltered, citrus like. Tasted less “beery” than other beers

Ms. V’s Blueberry: 4.5% nice, authentic blueberry flavor. An American Style Ale.

Czech Pilsner: 4.9% a very light Pilsner. Big malt profile. Megan did not like.

Iron Mike Pale Ale: 5.6% typical pale ale, with a hint of something else- 3 different styles of hops

“Identity Crisis” Brown: not a huge fan of this one. Grainy tasting. Mark enjoyed more than Megan, but it was not his favorite

Bone Shaker Brown: 5.5% liked better than IC. Not as heavy as a typical brown ale

Square Tail Stout: 5.8% good, but not as good as other stouts we have had. Roasted flavor.

Smoked House Porter: different flavor than most porters we have had- not chocolate, coffee flavored or smoked…

All beers seemed to be a little warmer than they could have been, hard to tell if that would have changed our opinions of the beers or not

 

Our entrees:

IMG_0403Black Peppercorn and Bacon Burger, with cheddar cheese and Cajun fries

IMG_0402Sliders- Angus Cheddar Bacon

IMG_0401Plain Wings

 

The food was good. Fries very spicy, wings plentiful and juicy and crispy.

Only downside- the service. The service was very slow and inattentive. We did not know the waitress’s name, and she never once smiled. Once our beer sampler was gone, we did not have an opportunity to have another beverage.
The room was also cold, and drafty. We found this the last time we had visited as well. This time, the heat was turned on after we finished our dinner. If it had only been one time, we would not be writing about it, but found it was quite cold on our last visit as well.
On our way out, our waitress didn’t speak to us…But the manager did ask us how our food was on the way out, which earned them some points back.

Recommendation- go for the food definitely and have a pint. Just keep in mind that it is in a tourist town, so it will take a few minutes to get a table (always is packed!) and the service isn’t awesome.