Everybody Must Get Stone(Face)d

 

 

Stoneface Brewery is where dreams come true. Not only do they have a great selection of beers to taste, but I got to drink them while hanging with the chillest dog around, brewery black lab Jack. I never said I had big dreams.

Small, but filled with alot of great quirks, Stoneface  allows drinkers to taste any and all of their 8 beers on tap or fill up a growler or two to bring home to enjoy while watching football all day on Sunday.

Now it may be a weird thing to say, but I judge a lot of places by their bathroom. Stoneface’s was one of the coolest ones that I have ever seen. The walls are completely covered in the world’s best memes ranging from Roger Goodell bashing to Michael Scott’s ridiculous quotes, and everything in between. I could have spent all day in there reading them all but people may have started to think things. Another one of Stoneface’s cool quirks was the visitor maps. There, people are able to pin where they’re from. What started as a map of the States has a side section of countries people have come to the brewery from. It was cool to see people traveling from Laos, France, and even Australia!

Keeping with the world traveler theme, the brewery imports hops from different countries. Pull Start, the Blonde Ale, was a light, German-hopped golden ale with different hints of melon. Traveling west of the U.S, the Oated Ella features Australian hops making this cloudy beer better than shrimp on the barbie (Sorry, I had to). Coming back locally, much like my beloved Allagash Little Brett, Blip bursts with Mosaic hops giving it a light, hoppy taste. The perfect IPA for non-IPA lovers. Summer Vice, the Berliner Weisse, was very tart and a little tough on the taste buds. Going darker and hoppier, the APA, American Pale Ale, was very smooth and light with just the right amount of hoppiness. If you want to go even hoppier, the IPA takes citrus notes  with an “irresponsible” amount of hops, as Stoneface describes.

Stoneface is a great pitstop either on your way to Portsmouth or for the legal UNH students , hit it up on your way to campus. If you can’t make it to the brewery, pick up some bottles at your grocery or beer store. It’s definitely worth it!

About

Stoneface Brewery
436 Shattuck Way, Unit 6
Newington, NH

Hours
Monday- Saturday 12 p.m.-7p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-2p.m.

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Harping on it 

Whenever I’m in or around Boston, I always make some excuse to make a trip to the Seaport to visit Harpoon Brewery. If there’s one brewery tour and beer hall I swear by, it’s them. With the usual lines outside the building, so do a lot of other people apparently.

Modeled after the great German beer halls, Harpoons beer wonderland is centered by one long, large bar next to long tables and benches stretching down the beer hall. If you’re lucky enough to squeeze yourself into a full table, you may end up meeting new friends. This is the one brewery that I can do serious damage at, in a good way of course. Aside from the beer, do yourself a favor and get one of their pretzels. I seriously have dreams about these, especially dipped in the IPA cheese. It’s truly what dreams are made of. If you’re feeling something a little sweeter, grab the cinnamon sugar pretzel with the cider  icing. My stomach is literally growling for these as I’m writing this. Ok, I’m done drooling.

Onto why we’re really here: Beer. Harpoon has one of the biggest tap selections for a brewery, hence why I can do some serious damage. My friend and I ordered two of the three flights, trading sip for sip. Of course, I had to go UFO. If you’re not familiar with Harpoon’s UFO series, it is their unfiltered, lighter beers. I was surprised to see UFO Pumpkin on their draft list as it was only the first of September, but basic bitches rejoice. It seems every year, the fall/pumpkin beers sneak earlier and earlier into the summer. I, for one, am not ready for it as summer beers are my love. Nevertheless, I downed the UFO Pumpkin (surprising, right?). Of the pumpkin beers on the market, Harpoon’s is one of the better ones. It’s a much lighter beer than most and they don’t drown the beer in spices like many do.

Of the UFOs, UFO White is the best. It is much like an Allagash White but lighter and more of a crispy taste. The UFO Raz as the name suggests, is bursting with raspberry flavors. Very refreshing and has just enough kick in it. Finally, the UFO Hefeweizen is a pretty good hefe. The customary banana taste isn’t as strong but still an overall good hefe.

Switching flights with my handsome counterpart, who had ordered the traditional Harpoon flight. I decided to start heavy with the Boston Irish Stout. To my surprise, this stout wasn’t as heavy as most, but more of a dry stout. This flight also features Secret Alloy Ale, which is one of their bottled beers. One of the coolest things about this beer was the partnership with drum/cymbal gods Zidjian. This pale ale has a very coppery taste . With the Pumpkin UFO and now the Flannel Friday, Harpoon has made it impossible to boycott fall beers until fall. This amber ale is the perfect beer to sit by the fire wrapped in your favorite flannel any day, not just Friday. Finally, I fell in love with Sweet Spot. This golden ale had the perfect crispness with hints of wheat and citrus. So good that I had to order more when I was at the White Horse Tavern in Brighton later that night. As I browsed the large draft board, I noticed a Pina Colada beer which was something I had never seen before. So of course I had to try it. It actually ended up being my favorite beer that I tried. The coconut and citrus hints were perfectly proportioned through this beer and was not the sweet beer that I was expecting, which was a good thing. I wish it wasn’t a limited edition because I want more!

I’m not just saying this because I love a good brewery tour, but if you get the chance, take the Harpoon one. Not only is it very informative and the crew is great, but the sampling portion is the best around. Word of the wise, if you’re looking to do a tour, get there first thing in the morning to book a tour as you cannot get tickets online and tours fill up very fast, especially on weekends. During the tour, you see where the magic happens and learn a lot about the history about the brewery. But the best part is the tasting room. With 12 beers on tap to try, you are given 20-30 minutes to try as much as you can. The brewery version of beat the clock. This is great for many reasons. Yes, you get a lot of beers and the shots of beer get you feeling good, but you also have the chance to step out of your comfort zone and try beers you wouldn’t normally try.

It may be a little of hike to head deep into the Seaport, but Harpoon Brewery is so worth it. If you’re like me, make a day of it. Head to Harpoon before the crowds then adventure your way down the pier and definitely make sure you hit the Whiskey Priest and Atlantic Beer Garden before they’re torn down next year to build more condos. Just what they need. And yes I lied, I’m still drooling over those pretzels.

About

Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, Ma

Hours
Sunday- Wednesday 11a.m.- 7p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 11a.m.-11p.m.

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Whoooo ‘Nose?

I’m always a fan of dressing for the occasion, but little did I know where I’d end up when I slipped into my owl dress and headed out on a random adventure. On a whim, I decided to head to Smuttynose Brewery last weekend and was surprised when I pulled up to find cars lining the streets. I soon found out that Smuttynose was having an owl festival celebrating their limited Orville beer and the On the Wing Raptor center, who released a hawk and an owl that they had been rehabbing during the event.

So here I am staring eye to eye with these beautiful birds wearing an owl print dress; yes, as nerdy as can be. So the next step obviously was to drink the owl beer. Orville, named for a barreled owl at the On the Wing Raptor Center, whose injuries inhibit him from returning to the wild so he stays with the organization helping to foster other birds as they prepare to head back into the wild. The beer itself is is an amazing saison/farmhouse ale hopped with Falconer’s Flight, which gives it a citrusy flavor. Orville was also created by Smuttlabs, Smuttynose’s beer laboratory where brewers experiment with different flavors.

Events like this, are one of the many reasons why I love Smuttynose Brewery. Their dedication to the community as well as charities/organizations make them a remarkable place. Aside from their work helping others, their recent LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification shows their dedication to the environment. They are only one of two (Sierra Nevada Brewery) to have this certification. They’ve taken trees that have been cut down on the property and turned them into tables for their restaurant next door, Hayseed, and all of the honey used for the restaurant is from bee hives on site.

Aside from having all of these inspiring qualities, the beer is great as well! One of their most notable beers is the Finestkind IPA. This light bodied beer is full of hops, hops, and more hops. The ultimate beer for the hoppy beer lover. My favorite of their beers is Hayseed. This is a summer saison with hints of lemon; perfect for a summer day. Vunderbar, which is not only fun to say, but great to drink. This German pilsner tastes of  grain and lemon.

If you’re looking for a fun place to spend an afternoon, check out Smuttynose in Hampton. Go for a brewery tour, play some corn hole and grab some food at Hayseed. Smuttynose has it all.

About

Smuttynose Brewery
105 Towle Farm Rd
Hampton, NH

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