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.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

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.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

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

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Don’t Buy Beer From Strangers

Growing up, your parents probably told you not to talk to strangers. Well at 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover, NH, they encourage people not to buy beer from strangers, though drunk enough, I’ll buy beer from anyone. The brewery prides itself on being community-centric as in their home of Dover and the craft beer community, as they just hosted the second annual Seacoast Microbrew Fest.

Right in the heart of Dover, 7th Settlement provides a relaxing setting, rather than many of the surrounding nightlife bars. One of my favorite things about 7th Settlement is their “give a beer” board. There, you can buy your friend a beer and they can see it on the board the next time they visit and have one on you. Anyone reading this, feel free to put me down for a couple. Worth a try, right?

The night before heading to 7th Settlement, I hit up the Barley Pub in North Hampton and the bartender insisted that I try the 1623 Almighty Brown Ale, though I’m not much of a dark beer fan. The ale  is packed with tastes of caramel, chocolate and toffee with just a hint of bitter and sweetness. It might convince me to be a dark beer person. During my visit to the brewery, I was hooked on the 007th Golden Rye. The rye cuts through the hops of this golden ale creating a very smooth beer. As smooth, you could say, as James Bond himself. I was also drawn to the Nitro Cream Ale. When I think of Nitro I think of a dark, stouty beer, but this was much different. Instead, it was a stouty pale ale, very light in color, with a nice creamy taste.I had never had anything like this beer before.

Not only does 7th Settlement have great beers, but their food is exceptional!  They boast a farm to table menu, endorsing eating local as well as drinking local. My recommendation is Sunday brunch at the brewery, because who doesn’t like brunch and beers?

So meet up with a buddy for a beer after work or pack all the kids up on the weekend and head to 7th Settlement. There’s something for everyone there and it really makes you feel like you’re part of a community.

 

About

7th Settlement Brewery
47 Washington St.
Dover, NH

Hours
Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. – midnight
Sunday 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

 

#tbb Throwback Brewery

 

Ever wanted to hang out in a farmhouse with your favorite beers? That’s Throwback Brewery. Located at Hobbs Farm in North Hampton, this is one of my favorite brewery locations. Head inside the farmhouse to the bar and check out some flights or hang outside with the chickens, literally. Aside from the chickens, test your corn hole skills and hang with the cutest dogs in town. Back when I first moved up here, I used to pass by this farm before it was a brewery and I always knew it as the farm with the albino donkey, Jericho. Jericho has since passed but has lived on through Throwback Brewery.

Throwback, to me, stands out from all of the other breweries.The brewery prides itself on drinking local, as all of their ingredients come from 200 miles of the brewery, which is amazing! Another one of Throwback’s quirks is how your tab is assigned to your bobblehead. When you order, you can be Spiderman, Batman, The Dude.. the possibilities are endless.

One of Throwback’s biggest perks is their variety of beers. They have everything from stouts to pale ales to double IPAs. With all these choices, you have to get a flight, or two. Just like my previous post about having career aspirations of being a beer namer, Throwback’s are some of the most creative. The thing about She Sells Seashells is that when you can no longer say the name of the beer, you’ve probably had enough. But if you’re like me, you can barely say it to begin with. Once you get through the tongue twister, this blonde ale is very smooth with melon hints and a slight bite of lemon.

The Hefeweizen obsessed person I am, I always make sure to get at least a sample of Hog Happy Hefeweizen. The banana flavoring is a great balance for this wheat beer.  Aside from these two Brews, I needed a fruity taste. The Rhubarb Wit gives a nice fruity blast to a Belgain White. Picture a less crisp Allagash White with a slight rhubarb taste. Finally, of course, I headed for the highest alcohol percentage: 11.6% with the Not Too Shabbey. This beer is aged in a bourbon barrel and tastes like a malted lemon drop. In other words, dangerously good.

Last weekend, Throwback celebrated their fifth birthday and introduced a number of new summer beers that I can’t wait to try. The Buenos Grassias is  a blonde ale filled with local berries and lemongrass. The one I’m most excited to try is Watta Melon, a watermelon blonde ale.

Do yourself a favor,grab some friends and take a Saturday afternoon and spend it at Throwback. You wont regret it.

About

Throwback Brewery
7 Hobbs Rd
North Hampton, New Hampshire

Hours
Wednesday 4 p.m.-9p.m.
Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m.-9p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.-7p.m.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

 

 

 

 

All Good in the Hood

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s no beer as good as German beer. Last weekend I stumbled upon a hidden gem in Exeter, New Hampshire: Neighborhood Beer Company. Neighborhood specializes in German beer with an American twist. I have to admit, I think I’ve found one of my new favorite breweries.

Normally, my favorite German beers are Hefeweizens and Kolsch, so naturally I headed right for the Hallowed Hammock Blonde Ale and Familiar Stranger Dirty Blonde Ale. Of the two, the Hallowed Hammock was my favorite. This easy-drinking ale had hints of caramel and apricots and was definitely the kind of beer you could sit and have a couple of, dangerously good. I was a little disappointed not to see a Hefeweizen on tap but I’m hoping soon! Unexpectedly, I became obsessed with the Boss Flamingo Bronze Ale. Described as one of the rarest beers in the world, Boss Flamingo has distinctive tastes of fruit and bitter hops. Neighborhood describes this beer as an “Americanized, “imperialized” interpretation of the Bavarian Forest Dampfbier. By the way, it also has the highest alcohol percentage of 7.2%, which is an added bonus. Finally, I tried the Forbidden Firecracker Golden Lager, which was a crisp Pilsner.

Aside from the tastes, I found myself sitting there wondering where I could get a career in naming beers because Neighborhood’s were so creative. Not only were the beers named creatively, but the grilled cheeses as well. Take your pick from a list of famous tv moms such as Carol Brady and Carmela Soprano.

The most dangerous thing about Neighborhood was the bowls of pretzels everywhere. Before you know it, you’re on your third bowl. Another feature is a window behind the bar leading into the actual brewery so you can watch how your beer is made at the same time.

I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Neighborhood Beer Company because my biggest regret is not grabbing a growler of Boss Flamingo before I left.

About

Neighborhood Beer Company
156 Epping Road
Exeter, New Hampshire

Hours

Wed-Thurs 4 p.m.- 8p.m.
Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday  1p.m.-5 p.m.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

 

Road Trip: Portland

 

 

Foundation Brewery

 

Just a few yards from Allagash Brewery, Foundation Brewery provides a great follow-up. It’s a small, but definitely growing brewery with a great sense of community and different tastes. While I was there I tried the Zuurzing and the Coco(nut) Pebbles. The Zuurzing is a sour farmhouse with a good balance of sweetness and tartness. I loved the Coco(nut) Pebbles. I am a coconut fiend and this stout perfectly captured the coconut and dark chocolate tastes. Since first visiting the brewery a year and a half ago, the brewery has added more barrels and is currently expanding their space. In the summer it’s the perfect spot to sit outside, enjoy a lobster roll and some samples or pints of some great beer. On the flipside of it Austin Street Brewery, which I wished we had time to visit. But next time!

Shipyard Brewery

Living in New England, you have probably had Shipyard at one point or another, especially as most people drool over the Pumpkinhead in the fall. For me, summertime with Shipyard is where it’s at, which was apparent as I filled out my tasting board of mostly fruity beers.Sunfish, Melonhead, and Blueberry are the epitome of fruity beers so naturally I headed for those and added in the Estival which is infused with tequila. Before tasting the Melonhead, Sunfish has always been my go-to summer beer. Filled with grapefuit and peach it’s the perfect refreshing beer on a hot day. After tasting the Melonhead, I may have a new favorite. From the first sip, I fell in love. Melonhead bursts with flavors of watermelon. I’m not the biggest blueberry beer fan but on occasion I like to indulge in the Seadog Blueberry. My favorite thing is when bars fill the glasses with real blueberries, which I wished the brewery did. Finally, anyone who knows me knows that tequila is my best friend. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the Estival which infuses tequila. It’s a great beer with a slight taste of tequila but it is far from overbearing. Ultimately, if you’re in the Portland area, shoot over to the Shipyard Brewery. They have the biggest selection of beers to taste and for me, I love the idea of these boards. If I were ever to open a brewery, this is how I would do it.

Liquid Riot

Liquid Riot, formerly known as In’finiti Distillery, has a little something for everyone. It doubles as a brewery and distillery and sits right on the water in the Old Port. As I walked into bar I was immediately drawn by the retro feel of the place even though I was rocking out to Beyonce at the same time. We didn’t get a chance to experience much of the distillery as we just stopped in for a bite to eat and a cold one. I tried the Zwicklebier, which is a German-style lager lightly hopped with Tettnang and Hersbrucker. German beers are the king of all beers in my opinion, sorry Budweiser. This was a great German lager which paired amazingly with my fish and chips. I definitely want to visit again and get more on the distillery side because everything I saw looked great!