Take Me Down to the Garrison City

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where the grass ain’t green but the beers are pretty. 

Now I’ll tell you, there aren’t many things that can get me to Dover, NH, but Garrison City is definitely one of those things. This small, but lively taproom is located right in the heart of town. They have been slowly making a name for themselves but I still feel like they are underrated as they have some of the best beers in the state in my opinion.

The Hygge Lyfe, an Imperial Belgain Stout, is not a beer that I would normally be drawn to but the flavors of cinnamon, chocolate and currents are perfectly balanced to create a solid beer. The Burn the Car and Save the Plates had me right from the start as I recognized those Lumineers lyrics. This Kolsch was a traditional style with a smooth, crisp taste. Now I’m not a big sour person, but I have been finding more and more that I like; Spindrift is no exception. This sour with rose and salt flavor did not kick you in the tongue as much as many other sours do. It was very easy to drink.

Now onto the IPAs, which I think are Garrison City’s best beers. The Starter Jacket was a dank, floral IPA which was a great beer. My favorites, though, had to be Tesselate and Equilibrium. Tesselate tasted exactly like an orange creamsicle. This creamy, orange-y IPA melted in your mouth and could drink this over and over again. The Equilibrium, on the other hand, was full of peach, mango, and lemon creating a flavor-filled juice bomb. Finally, the String Theory, was a Pale Ale with what Garrison calls “the kitchen sink of hops.” With a combination of so many hops you get a slightly floral, slightly citrus flavor, making a flavor-filled beer.

Garrison City is definitely a must-stop in New Hampshire if you’re looking for a quality juice bomb.

About
455 Central Ave
Dover, NH

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Pining for Flight-skis

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There’s a reason that I make trips up to Portland almost weekly now: the breweries. Every week I’m learning about the next big thing in Portland and Lone Pine is no exception.

Once you step into the small brick building, you’re transformed into a little ski lodge with tables, couches, and lots of beer. If you’re lucky, hit it on a Sunday and RedZone will also be playing.

Lone Pine, by far, has my favorite flight vessel that I’ve seen so far. Made from old skis, these flights are a lot better than those awful shot-skis that I could never reach in college.

Their beers are some of the smoothest and most flavorful around. The Portland Pale Ale was packed full of citrus flavor and very smooth and clear. Brightside IPA is dank and full of tropical notes. The most prominent to me was a strong papaya taste.

The Kiwi Cannon was one of my favorite beers that I’ve had recently. This IPA was very creamy in color and had a light kiwi hint that was not too overpowering. Finally, Tessellation was an impressive DIPA. Brewed with Mosaics, this DIPA takes on a great deal of mango and citrus taste, but there’s a slight hint of a blueberry which created a interesting flavor.

I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Lone Pine for some more flight-skis.

About

Lone Pine
219 Anderson St
Portland, ME

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Ms. Jackson, if you’re Masty

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Because of the beer nerd that I am, I always seem to think I’m ahead of the trends and am always stumbling upon the next big thing. When heading to Mast Landing Brewing Co in Westbrook, ME, I thought I was uncovering Maine’s next big secret. Boy, was I wrong. Right after the doors opened, the place was full. Guess the secret’s out.

The brewery itself is a fun hang out spot with tables and stand up tables. The second you walk through the door, all you smell is hops everywhere (I know, hard to imagine for a brewery). Some people love the smell of flowers, some like the smell of rain; but me, hops are my favorite smells. I was in heaven.

Then there’s the beers. Gunner’s Daughter has to be one of the best dark beers that I’ve had. The Peanut Butter Milk Stout has all the makings of a damn good dessert. The stout was very light and had a subtle peanut butter bite. The Seavey Island was a pale ale with a crisp mango taste with a smooth finish.

On the IPA side, Mast Landing hit the flavors just right. DDH Tell Tale bursts with hints of tropical fruits like papaya perfected with Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe hops. One of my favorite hop combinations out there. The best beer had to be Dash, though. It was one of the best juice bombs that I’ve ever had. Equal balances of citrus and floral hops made this beer one that I’m still dreaming of.

I’m already planning my next visit to Mast Landing as I’m obsessed. It makes for the perfect beer trip with the Industrial Way breweries (Allagash, Battery Steele, Austin St., and Foundation) minutes away.

About

Mast Landing Brewing Co
920 Main St.
Westbrook, ME

Hours
Tuesday-Thursday 4p.m.-8p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12p.m.-8p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-5p.m.

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This is the (Great) Rhythm of the Night

There’s no beer that I love more in life that a nice Juice Bomb. Juice Bombs, commonly referred to as New England-style IPAs have been bursting onto the craft beer scene and becoming some of the most sought after beers. Perfected by Trillium, Bissell Brothers, and more, these juice bombs are exactly what they sound like, hazy IPAs packed with fruit flavors. AKA my second most need on a summer day. The first being a sunscreen to save the Irish, but no one’s perfected that yet.

Great Rhythm in my backyard of Portsmouth, NH prides itself on making a number of New England-style IPAs and have quickly become a favorite of New England beer drinkers.

If you want a variety of types of beers, Great Rhythm may not be for you, but if you love IPAs, it’s worth a stop. Squeeze, hopped with Mosaic, is a melon flavored IPA with a strong after taste. I’m not the biggest fan of melon but it’s pretty good. Sticky, the heaviest in my opinion,  has more of an earthy, orange taste. Tropical Haze, as the name suggests, is packed of citrusy flavors such as passionfruit and guava but doesn’t quite hit the haze part. Still a great, drinkable beer and would definitely have a couple again. Hi-Fi had the taste of a DIPA but was only equal to a IPA, which was very deceiving but citrus and earthy notes combine for a solid beer. Finally, I had been mostly  looking forward to trying out the West End IPA and it lived up to the hype. This IPA was very hazy and very drinkable, again with citrus flavor.

With the recent upset of Portsmouth’s most beloved restaurants departing (cough, my Coat of Arms and Blue Mermaid), the West End  is taking advantage and becoming the up and coming spot. Great Rhythm is at the center of all of it. Overlooking the river, the outside is a great spot to grab some beers and enjoy Portsmouth. Plus, the tourists are confined to downtown so it’s a nice break. As an IPA lover, this place is very solid but I’d like to see what else they can do. I like to see breweries experiment with different types of beers. Show me what ya got Great Rhythm. 

Make sure to add Great Rhythm to your Portsmouth beer adventure or if you’re sick of waiting in the miles of traffic headed to “Vacation Land” up north. They make excellent road sodas (as a passenger, of course).

About

Great Rhythm
105 Bartlett St
Portsmouth. NH

Hours
Wednesday-Thursday 12p.m.-6p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12p.m.-8p.m.

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Whatever Floats Your Moat

 

Tucked away in the beautiful White Mountains, you’ll find one of the best breweries in New Hampshire. Everything about this brewery screams northern New Hampshire. I mean with a view like that, Moat definitely is the most scenic brewery.

As for the beers, Moat’s flights are like a long gondola to the top of the mountain. The Square Tail Stout was one of the most drinkable stouts I’ve ever had. The coffee notes were perfectly balanced with chocolate.  Bone Shaker Brown is the next level down with a light, caramel taste for a brown ale. The IPA, East Intervale IPA, blasts with floral and citrus tastes. Such a great IPA! I need to find more. Iron Mike Pale Ale, unlike the name suggests, is a much tamer pale ale with crisp grapefruit hues.

Moving to the lighter of the brews, the Czech Pilsner is very light bodied and crisp beer that would be best for anyone looking for their everyday beer that they can crack open. As far as blueberry beers go, I’ve never really gotten into them, until Miss V’s Blueberry. I was renting a beach house with some friends over the summer and my friend said I needed to try it. Before I knew it, I was asking for more and more of it. I was addicted. Even as snow covered the ground, this still tastes just like summer. It’s nice to pretend when you’re wrapped in a million layers, right? With a name like Hell Yeah! Helles Lager, you know this is going to be a good beer. Like the Pilsner, the Helles Lager is the perfect beer for the regular beer drinker. Finally, the Hoffman Weiss was perfect with hints of banana and cloves in this cloudy unfiltered beer. Heaven in a glass.

Much like heading down the mountain, you want to head back up and do it all over again. And much like me trying to snowboard, because admittedly I’ve never skied, I’m hurting halfway down the second time. Yeah, I’m more of the sit in the lodge and drink kind of girl.

Judging by the size of the flights, you’d expect their food menu to be the same. Wrong, it was more. I could spend days there because there was so many different things I wanted to try. But let me tell you, get the Hush Puppies. THE BEST. I’m craving them so bad as I write this.

About

Moat Mountain
3378 White Mountain Highway Rt 16
North Conway, NH

Hours
Open 11 a.m. til “Last Call”

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Lord of the IPAs

A brewery in a castle can only be home to complete royalty: Lord Hobo. Located in Woburn, MA, Lord Hobo is the king of IPAs. When you visit the brewery, you feel like royalty with  free unlimited samples of all of the beers. Yes, this is heaven. A dangerous heaven, but heaven nonetheless.

Before coming to the brewery, I was a big fan of Lord Hobo. If you’re a lighter beer drinker like myself, Hobo Life is the way to go. This light, citrus beer is the perfect refreshing brew. Hobo Life is different. You could drink a whole pack and still feel like you could, and probably will, keep going. If you want to take it the next notch up, Steal This Can adds a little more hoppiness with floral smells and orange and possibly a hint of grapefruit. Don’t let the name fool you, though; don’t try to steal this can from me. That’s just risky.

Boomsauce, to me, is the most known Lord Hobo IPA. The combination of hops in this beer, including my favorite Mosaic, creates a strong hoppy aroma before the beer even hits your lips. But let’s be real. Everyone wants to drink a beer with a badass name like Boomsauce. Rounding out this amazing selection of IPAs is the Imperial IPA, Consolation Prize. Even though it had the highest ABV, at 9.5%,  this IPA was very drinkable. With an ABV like that, you expect a big bite of bitterness but is very smooth.

The brewery is a great place to meet up with friends and play some of the games they have or as a stop on your way into or out of the city. If you’re in Cambridge, be sure to check out the Lord Hobo Bar, which is on my beer bucket list. Aside from all of the Hobo beers on tap, they featured many other local breweries.

 

About

Lord Hobo
5 Draper St
Woburn, MA

Hours
Monday-Thursday 4p.m.-9p.m.
Friday 4p.m.-10p.m.
Saturday 12p.m.-10p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-6p.m.

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