Great North Aleworks, Manchester, NH

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We visited Great North Aleworks just before Christmas. Great North Aleworks is a 20 barrel production brewery in Manchester, NH.  They just opened in August of 2015, so they are still pretty new. Founded by Rob and Lisa North, the brewery’s goal is simple – to craft flavorful, food friendly beers, while maintaining a fanatical devotion to quality.

 

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Mark and Ian, on their way in

 

We visited with our friend Ian, who had tasted some of their beer previous to our visit. We had not had any Great North previously, although we had seen their cans at our local beer store. Ian got a sampler tray, 5 samples for $7.50 and we got a sampler tray plus 1 single sample, so we could try all 6 beers.

 

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nice presentation of the sampler. Good size as well!

 

Cranberry Wit – 5.5%
This is made with New England grown cranberries. A light beer in body and style, with a light cranberry taste and a hint of tartness. We would have liked a little more cranberry flavor and a little more tartness, but it was a good light wit beer.

 

IPA – 7%
A very solid IPA, hoppy, tasty, not very bitter, made as a ‘west coast style ipa’. A good, hoppy, well balanced IPA. Mark got a six pack of cans to go, and will be picking this up at the local beer store in the near future.

 

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Robust Vanilla Porter – 6.5%
Chocolatey with some roasted malt flavor, very tasty. It is described as having coffee and chocolate flavors, and it actually does! Megan thought it was delicious, one of the best porters she has had recently, as it had a full flavor. We got a 6 pack of this to go as well.

 

Smokin Rauchbier – 5.5%
Good balance of smokeyness and malt, smokey flavor is not overpowering. This is one of their 3 flagship beers, which is an interesting choice, but they are confident because it’s a good beer.

 

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Amber – 5.7%
A hint of sweetness, a good amber that stands out. Many amber beers we have had kind of just are there. This one was good!

 

Chocolate Stout – Batch A
Roasted, smokey taste, medium body, pretty good Stout, but the Porter overshadows it. This was a test batch, they had several batches the weeks previous and were having guests vote on which batch they liked better. We can’t wait to see what stout they choose as their go-to recipe!

 

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Mark got a pint of the  Smokin Rauchbier. He liked it, and wanted another taste, knowing we were buying the IPA and Vanilla Smoked Porter anyway.

 

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Megan got the Vanilla Smoked Porter, that was her favorite.

 

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Ian got a pint of the Amber, the IPA and the Amber were his favorite.

 

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They do serve food, so they can serve pints. We go the Cheese and Meat platter, which was pretty good. The cheese and sausage on the platter was a great selection, and Megan would recommend ordering one while you sit and enjoy a pint. They also serve pretzels, soup, salsa, jerky.

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The tasting room was pretty big, especially for a new brewery. They have some extra space in there as well. It wasn’t too busy when we were there, but they have plenty of room to expand and grow in this space.

The service was good, they came over to the table to see how we liked the beers, and it was the owner and brewer we were talking to. We talked about the beers we liked. It’s nice to be able to chat with an owner or brewer.

We recommend going for a visit, and bringing friends with you. There is space to hang out and enjoy yourselves!

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Swag for sale

 

We were also happy about the fact that they can their beers. Mark had seen the cans in the store, but wanted to wait until we visited to try. It’s and extra expense for a new brewery, but its a way to get your beer out there, and we have enough growlers we don’t use, we don’t need another one.

 

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Want to visit?
Hours

Thursday and Friday – 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday – 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check their Facebook page for updated hours and info.

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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

The Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille, New London NH

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We stopped at The Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille in New London, NH on our way back from Vermont. It is only a mile of off Interstate 89. We sat on the dining room side for a late lunch, we only peeked into the bar side.

They have been open since 1996, and are have an interesting operation going. They of course use local ingredients and local products to make their beers, including the hops the grow and harvest right outside the restaurant.

 

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Solar panels are visible from the dining room. Solar power provides 100% of the energy to heat the water and tanks in the brewery.

 

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We did not know that!

 

 

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We ordered 2 samplers, the Seasonal Sampler and the Year Round Sampler.

 

Seasonal Sampler

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War Saison
Smokey, paprika flavor. Smooth taste, not overbearingly smoky.

Pale Rider Saison
Smells and taste similar to a Blue Moon. Light in color but malty and a little bit citrusy, with that coriander taste.

 

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Famine Saison
Smells like pickles, doesn’t taste like pickles though. Taste like a typical saison, was ok, but the first 2 beers were more interesting.

 

Novemberfest
Certainly has a fall beer taste to it. Lighter than an Okterberfest. Reminded Megan of Cherrios.

 

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The sampler trays are made from a hard plastic, which is a good idea. They could be washed a million time and will not get stained or damaged like everyone else’s wooden trays.

 

Galactus
Much cloudier, maybe a weiz with a sour? Gruit, somewhat sour, but not super sour. It was our favorite beer.

 

Year Round Sampler

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Wild Flower Honey Ale – 5.1%
Brewed with flower, honey and aromatic malts. Megan expected more honey upfront, but was hidden by the malts.

 

Perley Town English Style IPA – 6.69%
Good, unique ipa flavor. Smooth, a little less hoppy. Made with barista malts for a distinct bready malt influence.  

 

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Lupulin Suplex Double IPA – 8.7%
Really good double, flavorful, strong but tasty with a bright, citrusy, hop flavor. Megan liked this for a double, still not her type of beer though.

 

Crocket’s Corner Oatmeal Stout – 8%
Good, very dark color, smooth and flavorful taste, slightly roasted. Megan was hoping for a little more flavor from it.

 

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Mikey’s Vyce Black IPA – 7.74%
Very hoppy, strong flavor. A little too strong, you can taste the high alcohol content a little bit.

It was $5.99 for a 5 sampler tray. They had 8 regular and 5 seasonal beers on tap when we were there. We could pick the year round/regular beers, but they were out of 4 different beers that were on the menu.

 

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Kielbasa Flatbread

We ordered an appetizer to have with the sampler trays. It was really good.

For dinner…..

 

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Meatloaf Sandwich

 

Really good, homemade, good cheese, good bbq sauce, the fries were good. The bread seems fresh liked it was baked there.

 

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Siracha Chicken Sandwich

 Really spicey, but in a good way.

*

The restaurant was rustic, and very home like.

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Want to visit? Open for Lunch and Dinner!
Monday to Saturday – 11:30am-9:00pm, Sunday 11:30am – 8:00pm

Our 49th visit: Harpoon Brewery and the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden, Windsor, Vermont

 IMG_0639We traveled in Vermont a couple of weekends ago to visit our friends, John and Lindsay. On our way to visit them, we made a few stops. Our first stop was Harpoon Brewery and the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden, located in Windsor, Vermont.IMG_0634  IMG_0635  IMG_0638

Years ago, we visited the Boston location of Harpoon, and knew they were different from one another but uncertain as to how. The Vermont Brewery has a full restaurant, with a long bar, multiple tables and a nice fireplace.IMG_0657 IMG_0662
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We sat at one of the tables near the bar, where we could see the full beer menu behind the bar and the tap handles. IMG_0642  IMG_0643

We ordered appetizers and a beer sampler. They had two sample trays to choose from. We choose the tray we had tried less of in the past.IMG_0644

IMG_0646  IMG_0640Our Tasting:IMG_0647  IMG_0648  IMG_0649
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UFO Pale Ale: 5.3%, 37 IBU. Medium body, traditional British Pale Ale with an assertive hop character

The Long Thaw (White IPA): 6.2%, 45 IBU. Spiciness of a Belgian Wit, and the American Hop characteristics of an American IPA

Celtic Ale: 5.4%, 25 IBU. Very different than what I expected it to be. Malty and complex. Moderate hop with malts. Smooth, medium bodied. It didn’t present itself as a red ale to me- it was much better than what I expected.

**Beer Tasting Extra**
We mentioned we would be interested in trying this one, and our waitress was great and brought us a little taste:
Pumpkin Chai: 5.7%, great pumpkin smell. Good balance of chai and pumpkin. Not as pumpkin-y as UFO Pumpkin, however, we considered it a good “late winter, early spring” pumpkin beer- a cozy flavor.

Boston Irish Stout: 4.3%, 30 IBU. Similar to Guinness, a little darker and maltier. Fill bodied and creamy.

Glasses we ordered:
Kitchen Sink: 7.2%, 35 IBU. At inventory, they took everything they had left and combined it (ingredients that is- not beer!). Medium bodied, tasted lighter than in appeared. Good flavor, but hard to place.

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IMG_0665Black Forest
: 9.8%, 24 IBU. Interesting cherry and chocolate flavors, but not intense of either. Could be a little more flavorful, but not bad at all. Not as sweet as expected. Not overbearing, but while drinking it, you can tell it is a higher ABV.

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Food:
IMG_0656Sweet Chili Wings, from their specials menu.
Crispy wings, then tossed in sauce. Nice zip to them- just spicy enough that you don’t need to dunk them in dressing. Sweet too!

IMG_0655French Fries: crunchy, beer battered

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IMG_0677wish I had bought this sweatshirt- it was so soft!
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Tours:

FRI 5 PM to 7 PM (starting every hour)
SAT 11 AM to 5 PM (starting every hour)
SUN 12:00 PM to 4 PM (starting every hour

 

 

 

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Around five, it began to get busy. We finished up around that time and hit the road…

Want to visit?

We recommend it!

Hours of Operation:

SUN – WED 10 AM to 6 PM
THU – SAT 10 AM to 9 PM

 

 

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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.

Madison Brewing Co.

After the long drive to Vermont for the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont and our quick tasting at Northshire Brewing, we had to stop for lunch. A brewpub? Why not!? We stopped at the Madison Brewing Co, located in Bennington, Vermont.

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I ordered the Southwest Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken, pepperjack cheese, bacon, lettuce… Chipotle aioli and tomato were also part, but I left those off) which came with a side of fries. 100_0625 Mark ordered the Brewmasters Steak Sandwich (sliced bistro steak, portabella mushrooms, shallots, Vermont smoked cheddar, and garlic mayo served on herb ciabetta) which came with ale fries.  100_0623

We started our beer drinking there with their sampler- 8-4oz pours. They were presented nicely.100_0621  100_0622  100_0626

Our tasting:

Sucker Pond Blonde

Mark: really, really light with a dull, citrus flavor

Megan: tasted like tap water mixed with cheap beer

Buck’s Honey Wheat

Mark: Not very honey-ish. I think I should be able to taste honey and would expect it to be sweet.

Megan: good balance of honey and wheat. More honey would be too sweet. Once we added the lime wedge, I enjoyed it even more

Wassick’s White Wall

Mark: nothing “standoutish,” which is good. Liked.

Megan: Similar to a Blue Moon or Shock Top. Good with the lemon added

Crowtown Pale Ale

Mark: Light start with a hoppy finish. Like

Megan: similar to the first beer, but slightly more hoppy. Unfiltered water flavor

Mike’s Irish Red

Mark: Like it (usually does)

Megan: Don’t mind it, which is surprising because I typically don’t like reds. Might be more flavorful or different

Old 76 Strong Ale

Mark: agrees with the description provided. Fruity undertone for such a “heavy” beer

Megan: Indifferent, would drink it if it were given to me, but I wouldn’t choose it

IPA (seasonal selection)

Mark: Almost tastes light, better than the average IPA

Megan: love the smell. Rich, complex. Very flavorful

Battlefield Stout

Mark: good flavor, a little sweet on the tongue

Megan: Interesting smell, good flavor. A good stout

Mark: They seem to be more about the variety… good to be a local kind of place…. Odd choices, but a little bit of everything (in regards to both food and beer)

The food was really good, but none of the beer really stood out. If you are in the area and looking for a bite to eat, I would recommend it, just stick with the style of beer you usually drink.

Bathroom signs:100_0630  100_0631

Brewery:

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Bar/wall near bar:

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