Liar’s Bench Beer Company, Portsmouth, NH

We just visited Liar’s Bench Beer Company in Portsmouth with Mark’s sister Michelle. Liar’s Bench has been open for a little less than a year, we just hadn’t made it over there yet.

 

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They do full pours as well as samples. Megan and Michelle just did samples of the first 3, Mark tried all 6 beers on tap.

 

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New Norman – Kolsch 4.9%
This was a collaboration brew with Magnolia Brewing Company. Megan thought it was kind of basic, Mark thought it was not quite as clean as he expected from a Kolsch, with an earthy flavor to it.

 

Doctor Criminal – Berliner Weisse 3%
A light, sour beer with a dry finish. Pretty classic in style. “There is no fruit added to the beer, so you can appreciate it in all of its sour goodness.” Mark and Megan thought it could have been a little more sour. Michelle did like it, and she is not a big fan of sour beers, so its made to be more approachable.

 

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Megan and Michelle’s samples

Hai Ikki – Rice Saison 5.7%
Really smooth, from the rice we assume, with a mild peppery saison finish. This was Megan and Michelle’s favorite.

Punxsutawney Swill – Brown Ale 5.2%
Has a roasty nose, a smooth brown ale, pretty flavorful for the style, better than the average brown.

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Young Upstart – IPA 6.6%
A hazy New England style ipa, smells really, really fruity but doesn’t taste quite as fruity. They say balanced in the description, Mark wanted the flavor to follow the nose. Still a good ipa, medium body, hoppy – fruity/ citrusy with a very minor bitter finish. Pretty good overall.

Pound of Flesh – British Strong 7.5%
Clear with a reddish tint. Not what Mark was expecting, a sweet, malty beer that was better than expected.

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This is a cool, popular spot on the West end of Portsmouth. Michelle noticed when we first walked in that everyone there was our age or younger. More people came in as we were there, some older people, but the crowd was generally pretty young.

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Megan and Michelle

They serve food, just a few selections, hot dog, bratwurst, and sausage. They serve food so that they can serve pints, as that is the law in New Hampshire for serving pints, you need to have food.

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A pretty small place, but they use the space well. They have 2 long tables that people can stand around, they fit about 12 people each and 1 long table to sit at.

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There is room to stand around and some standing counters around the edges of the room. There is Foosball as well.

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Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 2:00 – 9:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00
Monday: Closed

As always, check Facebook or their website for updated hours.

Deciduous Brewing Company, Newmarket, NH

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Deciduous Brewing Company opened in mid August of 2015. They are a ‘constantly striving, boutique brewery’ in Newmarket, NH. The brewery is co owned by Frank Zagami, his wife Maryann, and David Sakolsky. David is the head brewer at Deciduous, and formerly the head brewer at Blue Lobster.

 

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They do 4 oz tasters for $1.50 each, we tried all the beers they had on tap. While we were there, they had 3 beers in bottles that were unfortunately not available to taste.

 

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Aggregation – 2.4%

Gose – 60% white wheat
A little tartness, really light in body. The addition of salt gives it a dry mouthfeel.

 

Arose – 4.8%
A strong smell of hops, well balanced. Hop and malt flavors, not overly hoppy or bitter, their take on a house pale ale or table beer.

 

Cumulation – 4.5%
Dry hopped ‘imperial’ gose
Tart, light in body, Megan tasted the salt on her tongue, had a dry finish.

 

Auroral – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with blood oranges and lychee fruit
Really tart, a sweeter sour flavor. Megan said it was like a sweet tart. This was a very good sour beer.

 

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Lambent – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with raspberries and passion fruit
Tastes less tart than the Auroral, more fruit flavor with a hint of tartness. Megan said it was juicy.

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Jack O Lambent – 4.5%
Roasted pumpkins with toasted pumpkin seeds from Coppal House Farms in Lee, NH
Slight tartness, toasted pumpkin seeds are the main flavor, with a dry unexplainable finish, does not finish tart.

 

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Agricultural – 6.3%
Dry hopped wheat IPA
Melon flavored hop taste, light to medium body, bitter and piney finish. Not either of our favorites.

 

Phenotype – 5.8%
Dry hopped IPA
Smells of tropical fruit hops at first. Had a tropical hop flavor with a bitter finish. Bitterness takes over as the main flavor and kind of over powers the good hop flavors.

 

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Epiphyte – 8%
DIPA
More of a malty style DIPA, heavier body and flavor, a touch sweet, slightly bitter finish.

 

Renascence – 8.1%
Multi grain porter, rye and peat smoke malts
Smokey porter, pretty tasty, we liked it.

 

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Introspection – 10.3%
A 100% Brett fermented Russian Imperial Stout.

We decided to buy the Introspection bottle, even though we couldn’t sample it. It was very tasty, we shared it with friends who like RIS’s and they really liked it as well.

 

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They do a lot of interesting styles of beer, which seems like where their strength is. The IPA’s Mark was not a big fan of, but the Gose and Berliner style beers and the Introspection were really good.

 

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They have a pretty decent sized tasting room. It wasn’t too crowded when we were there, we showed up right at 12:00 when they opened on a snowy Saturday. Shortly after, people began to stream in.

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They are located in a small strip mall across from the Mill in downtown Newmarket. We went to Panzanellas’s after sampling to eat. The moved into the newly constructed strip mall to double thier space, they have been opened in Newmarket for 13 years.

 

Current Hours

Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Friday 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check Facebook for their most up to date info and hours.

 

Squam Brewing, Holderness, NH

 

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We were heading up North to go skiing and visit with our friends Jamie and Andrew, so we stopped at Squam Brewery on the way. You have to schedule a tour ahead of time. This is a 1 man, 2-3 barrel nano brewery.

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The brewery

 

The brewery is actually in the barn on the owner’s parent’s land. He has been open since 2010, selling 22 ounce bomber bottles, mostly in the Lakes region but he has expanded down to Manchester, and a little bit on the Seacoast. He began kegging beer in early 2013.

 

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Guard dog that will attack unannounced visitors.

 

The tour costs $10 each, you get a pint glass and free samples while John shows you around the brewery.

 

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We learned a lot about the operation- being the only employee John knows all the answers, because there is no one else! He sells more beer in the Summer to all the tourists who want some local beer. Right now he is trying to stockpile beer so he won’t run out during the summer.

 

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Bottle filling machine and bottle capper.

 

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We actually got to try the capping machine, it was fun.

 

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The labeling ‘machine’.

 

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Bottles conditioning in the cooler, all the beer is bottle conditioned.

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Coasters for sale. All the artwork on the bottles are watercolor paintings done by the owner’s mother in law. They are cool and really detailed, and most have a personal story behind them.

 

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Golden IPA
A bit heavier in body, not overly hoppy. Good flavor, more on the bitter side of an IPA. Tastes a little sweet at first, but after drinking a full glass you taste more of the bitterness.

On the tour we learned he uses Australian Yeast for the IPA, it keeps the temperature down when fermenting. There is no cooling on the tanks and Ale Yeast would get too hot.

 

Imperial Loon Stout
We both liked this when we tasted it at the brewery. A heavy Stout with vanilla notes and a slight coffee taste.

 

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Unfortunately, he only had the Golden IPA and the Imperial Loon Stout when we were there. We sampled both those, actually we drank both bottles. We stopped at a local store to see if they had any other varieties and we found the Covered Bridge Pale Ale and the Ice Harvest Porter.

 

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Covered Bridge Pale Ale – 6%
This is one of the bottles we bought at a local store up North. This is also a slightly heavier beer with a stronger malt base. Hop flavor is there to add to the overall flavor but does not dominate, a well balanced beer. Has a touch of sweetness to it.

 

Ice Harvest Porter
A touch of chocolate at first with a medium to heavy body. A dark porter taste with a hint of sweetness to it.

 

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 Want to Visit?
Schedule a tour! There are no regular hours.

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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…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!

 

SoMe Brewing Company, York ME

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sign just outside the brewery

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their door

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view of the outside, from the parking spots

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  their sign on the street

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on our table

On a recent warm Saturday, we took a drive to SoMe Brewing Company in York, Maine.  Their set up is nice- fits in well in the beach town it resides in. They have a table and chairs outside, which helps create a very inviting feel. We went inside, where there was ample seating, as well as a tasting bar and popcorn area.

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local artists photos are available

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nice sitting area

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view of half of the indoor seating area.

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t-shirts

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staying with the local theme- beach

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door to the brewery

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sitting area in the tasting room

 

SoMe Brewing is very new, opening December 14, 2013. They had planned on opening before then, but were held up by the government sequester. SoMe is owned by a father/son team, with the son also being the brewer.  We had the opportunity to speak to Dave (the son in the equation) for a bit, and learned quite a bit about the brewery. He is very passionate about craft beer and brewing, and quite involved in the craft beer scene.
SoMe Brewing’s plan when opening was to rely on word of mouth- not to spend a lot on marketing. It is working! We had arrived shortly after they opened, and were told that after two it would become quite busy- it did. When we left at 2:45 there were quite a few small groups of people, and more strolling in. Dave’s wife, Jen, also works at the brewery, and she came in to take over so he could continue to make the beer.
The beer is only available at a few restaurants, and they recently started to bottle. They knew people would be coming to their space to try beers, and stay and enjoy beer. They invested in the space, and you can tell. It is very put together and comfortable.

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tasting bar

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tasting flight/sampler

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beer list

Our Tasting:

Agamenticus Amber: American Style Amber Ale. Megan liked it, although she doesn’t typically like amber ales. Mark liked it as well, smooth but flavorful. 35 IBU, 5.5%

Foghorn Coffee Porter: Robust Porter with Carpe Diem Sumatran French Roast Coffee. This was a very good, coffee flavored beer. Still tastes like beer, but has a true coffee flavor. It is made with cold brewed coffee that is poured in the brew tank. 33 IBU, 7.2%

Whoopie Pie Stout:Very good. Milk stout aged on coca nibs and vanilla beans. Slightly sweet with a dark color. 28 IBU, 6.5%

Crystal Persuasion: Not an IPA but and Imperial Pale Ale. Good flavor, very hoppy. A little extra taste, lime maybe? Megan liked it, not usually a big pale ale fan. 70 IBU, 8.5%

Apostrophe IPA: Hoppy and bitter, but good. Uses mosaic hops, which is just the name of one particular hop, not a blend. 90 IBU, 6%

Goldilox: West Coast Imperial IPA. Good hop flavor, good balance. 100+ IBU, 8%

They have an amber with maple syrup, grade B, aging in oak right now. They will also be doing an Imperial Whoopie Pie in a few months aged in bourbon barrels. We’ll have to go back to try both of those.

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after our tasting tray, we purchased larger tastes 🙂 Crystal Persuasion and Whoopie Pie Stout

 

None of the beers were super weird, but not ultra traditional either. The beer was definitely their own and there wasn’t a beer we did not like. It was a good balance, being unique but not being too weird.

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their logo, on the tasting tray

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tanks in the brewhouse

They would like to expand, and see themselves having food. Right now they have popcorn, chips, etc and may be adding hot dogs and sausages before further expanding. One step at a time. This is one of the things we really liked about them- they want to have food, but want to make a name for themselves with their beer first, as beer is their first focus.

Want to visit?
Hours of Operation:
Thursday/Friday: 4-8pm

Saturday: 1-7pm
Sunday: 1-5pm

Want to try SoMe, but can’t make it in? The 7-11 in Kittery has an expansive craft beer selection, and currently has a few cases of their bottles. Check out SoMe’s facebook page for more info

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the beach is just a few minutes away!

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🙂

A New Seacoast Brewery! 7th Settlement Brewery, Dover NH. Part 1

A few weeks ago, I was honored with an invitation to meet Kristen, from Good ‘N Good For Ya at the 7th Settlement Brewery. The 7th Settlement Brewery recently opened in Dover, NH and Kristen was there for a networking event. Although I was not able to be there for the beginning of the networking event, it was great to have an opportunity to: 1. Meet Kristen, who is part of Blog & Tweet NH and 2. see (and taste) 7th Settlement Brewery.

This is not a full review, since I was there for only a short time, and it wasn’t with Mark- as our goal states we both need to be there. Mark and I will be back to visit after Christmas at some point.

IMG_406598334-300x224Myself and Kristen

photo 21896- Cochecho Winter Wheat

photo 17th Settlement’s Blackboard Menu- it changes daily with all locally sourced food!

photo 3Roasted peanuts- yum!

Want to visit?

Hours: Sun/Tue/Wed 11am-11pm, Thu/Fri/Sat 11am-midnight

Check their website or their facebook for the most recent menu