Special Release NH Beers, Somewhat Recent

Here are some special release beers we have tried over the last several months. All of them are NH beers, and most are not available anymore, but still an interesting read.

 

Smuttynose – Big Beer Series
Gravitation – Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale – 11.5 ish %

 

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A heavy style Belgian beer, red in color and flavor, Belgian base with lots of flavor. Mark enjoyed it, Megan did not.

 

Smuttynose – Big Beer Series
Zinneke – Belgian Style Stout

 

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Complex flavor. A dark, robust taste with a roasty and malty flavor, all built over a dark Belgian base.

 

Smuttlabs – Smuttynose Specialty Line
Gose – 4.75%

“tart wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt”

 

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That’s what’s on the bottle, and that’s what it taste like. A light style wheat beer, a tartness, not overly sour, with a coriander taste and a slight salty finish.

 

Smuttlabs
East Coast Common Ale

 

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This was a Smuttlabs collaboration brew with Stoneface and Great Rhythm Brewing. Mark had this on draft and several bottles. Hoppy with a hint of citrusy smell. Medium body with slight bitterness or malty taste. Very good overall beer, too bad it’s a special release.

 

Smuttlabs
Farmhouse Pale 
‘ale brewed with French Saison yeast and Brettanomyces’

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Really light in body, definite Saison taste/ finish. There is a little tartness to it which compliments the Saison nicely. We both liked this better than the Daily Brett.

 

Smuttlabs
Daily Brett – 5.9%
‘ale brewed with Brettanomyces’

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Smells like a sour but only has a slight tartness to it. The tartness fades quickly and you get more of the malty  beer flavor. Medium body with a with a slight off taste. We were hoping for more sour.

 

Stoneface Brewing Company
Special Releases

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Hopulization – Double IPA – 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.

Hopulization was first released in late October, then again in late January, with the RIS in between.

 

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Russian Imperial Stout – 9.5%

It’s been a while since we had a taste, we were 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.

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Mozaccalypse – Double IPA – 8%

This was a really good beer. Great taste, bright, smooth flavor. This beer was double dry-hopped with Mosaic & Azacca hops. Hopefully they consider bringing this back. Update: They brought it back! We wrote this after the first growler-and-keg-only small release.  Then they did quite a large bottle release, and 2 weeks later still had bottles and then offered growler fills.

What have you tried recently that is worth sharing? Let us know here or on our facebook page!

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