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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Saturday’s are for the Brews

After a week hiatus of living in a frat-beach house drinking watered down Miller Lites and PBRs playing flip and slip, it’s time to return to real beer. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, inflatable slip and slide with flip cup on the end. Definitely not the kind of week to drink heavy IPAs while binge drinking for four days.

My first stop of regaining my craft beer street cred was Newburyport Brewing Co, which has been on my list for some time. I have had the Pale Ale many times before in cans and have always enjoyed it. This was no different at the brewery. This beer has great carbonation with a little bite at the end.

NBPT’s two IPAs, Melt Away and Green Head, were the core of the draft list. The Melt Away was a very hoppy, light beer which was the easier of the two IPAs for a non-IPA drinker. The Green Head, one of NBPT’s most popular beers, had a defined piney taste which overruns the taste buds. IPA lovers may kneel before the Green Head, but it was much too strong for me.

Finally, my go-to is the Belgain Ale. The Belgain was a smooth, cloudy beer which is definitely the most “drinkable” of the list. I was disappointed that the Kolsch was not available during my visit as it is one of my favorite types.

For a Saturday afternoon, the place was very calm but I could see this place filling up quickly as they have an indoor taproom with games as well as an outdoor lawn area. There is an area inside with bongos and drums and hosts live music every Friday night. Though there wasn’t any live music at the time, Stevie Nick’s smooth, sensual voice echoed through the brewery with some live recordings.

I’d recommend Newburyport Brewing Co as a pit stop if you’re heading to downtown Newburyport for the day/night. Check it out!

About

Newburyport Brewing Co
4 New Pasture Rd
Newburyport, MA

Hours
Thursday-Friday 3p.m.-9p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m.- 9p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.-6p.m.

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Slumming It

In the short amount of time that I’ve visited Somerville, I’ve come to love the little neighborhood culture and has become a great town for local breweries. Tucked behind one of these neighborhoods is Somerville Brewing, or SlumBrew. Though I can’t tell you how to get there because my Lyft driver drove in circles insisting he wasn’t lost (spoiler: he was).

Slumbrew’s atmosphere definitely fits in with the “neighborhood” vibe. With two locations, the brewery and the beer garden in Assembly Square, there’s enough beer to go ’round.

Like usual, I am drawn to the lighter beers. The first, Float, was a witbier with citrus lingering through this wheat beer. I could drink 5 of those and feel refreshed. The Happy Sol was definitely an interesting take on a Hefeweizen. Usually a cloudy, banana and clove beer, this Hefeweizen bases itself in blood oranges and wildflower. I’d consider this a hippie hef, if you ask me. Still good though. The second I saw Scooter on the menu I was excited. This strawberry wheat beer was the perfect beer to put a little life back into me after a day of brewery touring. I could not taste much of the strawberry but the hints of it added to the fresh taste of the beer.

Niles Crane, yes that Niles Crane, is a blonde ale, which was a smooth, simple beer. I may be naive but still trying to get the reference to the blonde ale. Gose the Destroyer had me at the name. Maybe because my friend and I are nerds and automatically think of Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer (most of you will have no idea what I’m talking about- but it used to be a great band). Anyways, back to beer. This sour beer was very tart with a pronounced hibiscus taste. Our wonderful waitress, who we ended up befriending because she was so nice, brought us some samples of Island Day, the IPA. I think as I’m reviewing more and more beers, I’m starting to appreciate the IPA alot more. This hazy beer explodes with flavors of pineapple and mango. That fruity aroma gets me every time.

Do yourself a favor, get the food. We got the Basil Pesto pizza and could have ordered two because it was so good. An hour later we were still drooling over how good that pizza (and beer!) were. I can’t wait to try the beer garden in Assembly Square next! Perfect excuse for a shopping and day drinking adventure.

Slumbrew – Somerville Brewery
15 Ward St
Somerville, MA

Hours
Monday- Wednesday 4pm-11pm
Thursday- Saturday 11am-12am
Sunday 11am-11pm

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‘Naut Your Average Brewery

Winner for most pleasant surprise is definitely Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville!

The walk through the business park on the way to Aeronaut makes you start to wonder how cool could this brewery really be?

The second you walk in the door, you’re transported to a hip, beer wonderland. You’re met with sounds of a live band with horns blaring right in the middle of the beer barrels. People are playing Super Mario projected onto the wall for everyone to watch and groups of people are huddled around tables playing board games.  This is the place to be, I’ve finally realized.

My friends and I grab our flights of beer, rather Michelle grabs a giant platter of our beer samples, and we spot a back room with more seating. This wasn’t just any back room. It’s a factory of different businesses such as Somerville Chocolate and a coffee bar, neither of which were open as it was a Sunday afternoon but my woman senses know those smells anywhere! Then of course, the Aeronaut lab which looks like an actual science lab where beer magic is made.

Before coming to Aeronaut, I had never had any of their beers. So of course, I had to try one of everything because like I’ve said before, I’m drinking for your benefit and am willing to be the (drunk) lab rat. Someone has to, right? I dove right into the Summer in Cologne, the Kolsch, which was a nice, light, crisp beer. Like most Kolschs, this is a very drinkable beer for any kind of beer drinker. The Hop Hop and Away, as the name suggests, blasts with hints of hops but was on the lighter side. As someone who doesn’t drink alot of hoppy beers, I greatly enjoyed this one. A Year With Dr Nadu was the token IPA. This hazy amber beer surprises with a hint of grapefruit which makes it stand out from other IPAs. Finally was the Toasted Brown Ale. Something about sitting next to chocolate and coffee shops  while drinking this felt perfect as it had the ideal balance of both flavors.

If I lived closer to Somerville, I’d definitely make this one of my usual spots especially since I’m a sucker for Trivia, which they have on Tuesday nights. This place just had a cool, laid back vibe and felt like the perfect neighborhood spot.

Aeronaut Brewing Company
14 Tyler St
Somerville, MA

Hours
Tue – Thu: 5pm-midnight
Fri: 5pm-12:30am
Sat: noon-12:30am
Sun: noon-8pm

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Hootie and the Night Shift

 

Over the past month or two, I have had a couple of people tell me that I needed to try Night Shift Brewing, saying that this is the kind of place that I’d like. Curiously, I looked into it and discovered their incredible flavors. After visiting, calling this place my favorite brewery would be an understatement.

My Night Shift flight is by FAR the best flight that I have had. Every single beer I tried, I fell in love with. I guess I understand how those guys on the Bachelorette can fall in love so quickly with someone they just met. But these beers won’t break your heart, just your bank account.

On the light end, I started with the Whirlpool, a refreshing, citrusy pale ale. It definitely tops my list of pale ales. Earlier this week I met up with my best friend in Boston to do some mid-week, mid-day drinking. She was the first person to introduce me to Night Shift and said that I NEEDED to try the Furth because of my Hefeweizen obsession. This was one of the best American made Hefeweizens that I have ever had. This cloudy wheat beer explodes with tastes of banana and orange. Of course I had to have a couple at the brewery and naturally leave with a four-pack of it. Another beer with hints of banana was the Kehl, which is my favorite type of beer to say: Zwickelbier. Yes, you just stopped to say it right? Finally, was the  Trifecta, a smooth, vanilla-aged Belgian pale ale.

The brewery itself is very spacious and the perfect spot to bring all of your friends. They have a large area inside as well as a patio out front. This weekend, there was a wedding and another wedding reception held there, which is so cool. Instead of having in-house food, they host a food truck of the day. In my opinion this is even better because it’s like there’s a new menu every time you visit!

Finding out about this place is a blessing and a curse. I will be taking many roadtrips down to Everett and might need to open up a credit card just for this or just pour all of my money on the counter and tell them to give me one of everything. Okay, my bank account will probably buy me one beer, who am I kidding.

So if you are heading into the city, stop by Everett on your way and visit Night Shift Brewing. It’s a hoot! (C’mon their logo is an owl; I had to be cheesy with that).

About

Night Shift Brewing
87 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA

Hours
Monday-Saturday 11-11p.m.
Sunday 11-6p.m.

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Whole ‘Lotta Soul

 

When searching for my next brewery conquest, I stumbled across Barreled Souls, which seemed like a cool sounding place. I was wrong. It’s completely badass.

When you pull up to the brewery you come across a law office but if you head around the back, you enter the cellar to Barreled Souls. To me, it felt like some underground brewery that only the cool kids know about. As the name suggests, the brewery is full of barrels of beer, where all of the beer is fermented. They’ve taken the barrels a step further making the seats and tables out of them. Because of the cellar feel, everything is very dim and took a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkness of the bar, but once it did, it really creates a great feel to this brewery.

One of the first things I noticed about beers on tap were their high ABV. The Honey Pot, a wheat wine with malted wheat and honey, stood out at 12.9%. So, I took one for the team and tried it out for you. This was far from a sweet beer, but a darker, tamer taste of the slightest bit of honey. You could definitely taste that this was a beer that could take you down very quickly.

The Stay Puft was what I would call a dessert stout. This stout was like a drinkable s’more. With graham cracker and marshmallow flavors, this stout was pretty sweet but not overly sweet-sickening. The Space Gose was a very bitter, sour beer that bursts of tartness. The beer is flavored with lemon zest, coriander, and Maine sea salt, which I’ve never come across before.

Anytime there is a tequila barreled beer, I am automatically drawn to it, like the basic bitch I am. The Rosalita Tequila is the brewery’s Rosalita barreled in tequila. My charming smile actually got me an extra taste of the regular Rosalita, which ended up being my favorite beer ironically.This blonde ale bursts with hibiscus flavor and agave. It was a very light beer and very drinker-friendly. The Rosalita Tequila is the same flavoring but the strong fruit taste is decreased.

I loved everything about this place from the beers to the atmosphere to the bartender Chloe (who is awesome and beyond friendly!). If you want to relax, you can kick back and play some cards in the barrel seats or the brewery has two shuffleboards or corn hole outside if you’re up for a competition. If this was closer to where I live, I’d be here everyday. I guess that’s a good thing for my wallet and liver.

About

Barreled Souls Brewery
743 Portland Rd
Saco, Maine

Hours
Monday-Thursday 4:00  – 10 p.m.
Friday 4 p.m. – 12 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.- 10 p.m.

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Hook, Line and Drinker

 

If you’ve ever been a UNH student or Seacoast resident, odds are you’ve been to Redhook Brewery. It’s a Wildcat’s right of passage to do the Redhook tour with your friends on the weekend, or at least it was when I was a student four years ago.

The brewery, located at Pease, is half brewery- half public house. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend taking the tour. For a couple bucks, you get to see what goes into your favorite Redhook brews, visit the bottling/kegging area and my favorite, peak into the test lab and see what they’re experimenting with. At the end of the tour, you can sample Redhook’s staples such as Audible Ale, ESB, and Longhammer IPA.

After the tour head downstairs to the Cataqua Public House, Redhook’s restaurant. Do yourself a favor, order a flight. Redhook has one of the most impressive, and largest flights. I’m usually drunk after one flight and I’m far from a light-weight. The Long Hammer IPA is one of Redhook’s most known beers, after the ESB. This India Pale Ale bursts with hops and a slight pine taste. Redhook’s most popular beer, ESB (Extra Special/Strong Bitter) delivers a slight bitter taste, as much as the name would suggest. This darker copper brew offers a slight spice and just a touch of fruit.

The beer that packs a punch when it comes to ABV is the Big Barrel Double IPA. Despite the malty flavor associated with IPAs, the BBDI  simmers down with hints of orange and pine and at 8.6 ABV, it gets the job done. The American Pale Ale, is exactly what you’d expect. It’s the perfect beer to grab if you’re out downing beers with your friends.

For Hefeweizen addicts like me, Redhook offers a menu of Kona Brewing Company and Widmer Brothers beers. The Widmer Hefe is not the traditional hefe as it’s missing the signature banana and clove taste. Regardless, it’s still a good, light wheat beer. Kona’s Big Wave Golden Ale was probably my favorite beer that I tasted. The tropical aromas and tastes is the perfect additional to this light ale. Aside from the beers, the restaurant’s menu is top-notch. My weakness is the ESB-battered fish or the bison burger.

One of the greatest things Redhook is known for is the Redhook fests throughout the year. Hook Fest is a giant outdoor party with bands playing throughout the day, lawn games, local food vendors, and of course, beer. As someone who has been to many of these, I’m telling you to try it out. There was even this one time that it was freezing rain and I was still bundled up outside enjoying it. Luckily for you, Hook Fest is coming up on August 20, so mark your calendar! This is just one of many events thrown by the brewery so head to their website and keep tabs on their event page or Facebook.

About

Redhook Brewery
1 Redhook Way
Portsmouth, NH

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