News from Smuttynose
& the Portsmouth Brewery
What do you think makes a pub unique? Beer of course, is an essential part of any pub. Though we don’t recommend it, you can drink beer alone at home. In my opinion, pubs are unique and valuable because they provide a place for anyone to stop in and chat. A 2010 British survey found that 50% of respondents had made a new friend talking in a pub, while 43% chose the pub as the first place they think of when asked where they would go for a conversation.
The link between beer and conversation is centuries old. The American Revolution fermented in the now-historic taverns around Boston, not in living rooms and backyards. Nearly two centuries later, James Watson and Francis Crick went directly to their local pub to share the news of their discovery of DNA, not to a local coffee shop or convenience store. And, we can thank countless lively pub debates for the creation of the Guinness Book of World Records.
In this digital age, the nature of conversation has changed. Communications are now texted, emailed, Facebooked, tweeted and blogged. Phone calls are less frequent, and the last letter I received may have been brought by a California Condor.
In our effort to keep up with times, The Portsmouth Brewery recently began posting short videos of different members of our staff reading the daily lunch specials for our Facebook page. The experiment has only been running for about two weeks and we haven’t been able to film each and everyday. Though some of our staff have been reluctant to appear on camera, others that have read the specials to the world have enjoyed themselves and gotten some great feedback.
We hope these specials videos will grow into a valuable part of our social media, but that won’t happen on its own. Your feedback, thoughts and even complaints are all vital contributions to how we do what we do at both Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery.
So I ask you dear readers, please comment on our Facebook pages, send us emails about what you like and what you don’t like. Engage us. We want to converse with you and we hope that you’ll engage us, even if we’re having beers on opposite sides of the world.
Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoy this newsletter; whether you do or not, please let me know.
Minister of Propaganda
Smuttynose Tours are Fridays at 3pm and Saturdays at 11am. Our tour lasts about an hour and a complimentary tasting is included. Please call ahead (603-426-4026) for groups of 8 or more.
Portsmouth Brewery Tours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 3pm. Visitors will receive a coupon for a half-priced sampler paddle.
Now, for some housekeeping. We don’t want to clutter up anyone’s inboxes, so we cull our mailing list from time to time. If you don’t wish to receive this newsletter, please click on the unsubscribe link at the top of this page. (Not clicking "confirm" doesn’t automatically unsubscribe you.)
Portsmouth Brewery News
Notes from the Mash Tun
It’s been a very exciting and very busy summer in the brewhouse! Tod and Tyler have been brewing at a break neck pace, but have still managed to create some new beers for you despite beer festivals, special events at Portsmouth Brewery and vacations.
The most exciting new release from the basement is called Fru-it Gru-it, though for one of the creative partners, it could just as easily have been called "What I Did on My Summer Vacation." The first-ever dark
gruit brewed with fruit was masterminded by Tod and Sam Calagione, President and Founder of Dogfish Head Brewing in Delaware. Starting with an amber porter as a base beer, Tod and Sam proceed to get medieval on that mash by adding a wide range of herbs and fruit that reflect the local terroir of both New England and Delaware. John Forti, Curator of Historic Landscapes at Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth’s living history museum, brought a large basket with mounds of freshly-cut, local herbs for inclusion into the brew. While we don’t know when it’ll go on tap, we will be bottling 15 gallons of the batch for sale in our retail store. Check into our Brewers Blog for more information about the brew, including when it’ll go on tap.
In addition to the Dogfish collaboration, the bearded ones have brewed a double batch of the ever popular Bottle Rocket IPA, which should go on tap in mid-August.
After run of five different wheat beers, you can expect to see some more exotic summer beers on tap in the coming weeks. The Ween-inspired Saison de l’été comes in at 5.5% and is spiced exclusively with white pepper. Our annual double batch release of Bluebeery should be hitting the taps towards the end of the month. Le Chat Noir is on tap now, while a special batch of Whipper Snapper will be brewed with only Magnum hops.
Finally, we’d like to bit a fond farewell to Tyson Demurs, Assistant-to-the-Assistant and full time bottler for nearly two years. He’s taken a position all the way across town at Smuttynose. Brian Routhier, a recent graduate of the Siebel Institute, will be taking Tyson’s place after recently completing an internship at Smuttynose. Don’t worry, Brian already has a beard!
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Dogfish Head Namaste, coming Sunday to a Beerunch near you!
We’re very excited to announce a new meal at Portsmouth Brewery: Beerunch!
Beginning on Sunday August 14 at 11:30am, we’ll be offering an weekly brunch buffet exclusively in the LaPanza Lounge. Don’t expect a Vegas-size buffet; we’ll be offering three choices each week so that the food stays fresh and delicious. The best part is you won’t have to wait very long to begin refueling yourself.
To celebrate the new offering, we’ll be tap 5 gallons of Dogfish Head’s
Namaste, that will only be available during Beerunch hours exclusively in the LaPanza Lounge. Namaste, a witbier spiced with coriander, lemongrass, and orange peel, began as a collaboration between Dogfish Head and Birra del Borgo in Italy. It’s only released once a year and we’re very lucky to have even the small amount we’ve got.
We hope we’ll see you on Sunday!
Support Your Local Farmers
Did you know that our current menu uses ingredients from these local suppliers?
Meadows Mirth Farm, Stratham, NH
Heirloom and assorted squash
Heirloom and assorted Cukes
Blueberry Bay Farm, Stratham, NH
Wild Miller Gardens, Lee, NH
Kale, Lots of Kale
Breezy Hill Farms, South Berwick, ME
Pork for Sunday’s Roast Pork Borinqueño
All that are missing are your arms, neck and head.
We debuted our 20th Anniversary work shirts on our birthday party back on June 1. Our staff has been wearing them and many of you have bought them from our retail shop. If you’re worried about someone confusing their shirt with yours, then you’re in luck! We are now offering customizable Dickies shirts! You can have your name stitched right into the polyester! Please call (603)431-1115, email or visit our retail store for more information.
-The sound system upgrades in the LaPanza Lounge should be complete by mid-August. A test run of the PA function passed with flying colors.
-Our beer garden, open into the fall for lunch and dinner, offers some of the most cozy out door dining in Portsmouth.
-We’ve got two kegs of Smuttynose’s Short Batch #12, Noonan that we’ll be tapping Tuesday, August 16 at 6pm. We’ve finally made the list of Smuttynose Short Batch accounts and we’re very excited to have these rare beers for you to try here. Tappings will be announced ahead of time so that you can plan to join us for one of these rare and occasionally elusive beers.
Downtown, Underground Food Specials
Weekly Specials Downstairs in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge…
Cheap Chicken Wings – a half dozen for $3; a full dozen for $5.
Cheap Chicken Wings – a half dozen for $3; a full dozen for $5.
One Dollar Taco Night – Tacos filled with your choice of shredded chicken, ground beef or vegetarian for a buck a piece.
One Dollar Meatball Sliders
Parking Violation Night and $2 Dogs- if you bring in your parking ticket and a payment, we’ll mail it for you and give you a pint. We offer tofu pups and large hot dogs, with buttered and toasted buns and a range of toppings including chili, sauerkraut, relishes and mustards.
Old MacDonald’s Got Nothing On Us!
This is on Towle Farm house, where we’ll build our new home; we promise.
Though it seems like we just released Homunculus, 2011’s Farmhouse Ale has shipped to nearly all of our wholesalers and should be arriving at your favorite Big Beer outlet very soon.
As in past years, the 2011 release is a strong, unspiced saison, but its been tweaked a bit this year. We dropped the starting gravity from 17º Plato to 15º Plato, which means there are less sugars in the wort at the start of fermentation. This results in a slightly less alcoholic beer, but fret not dear readers; the beer tastes better! By reducing the alcohol content, the final taste is more complex as it allows the other flavors from the malt, hops and unique yeast to present themselves.
Malt: Pilsner, Aromatic, Wheat
Hops: Warrior-Bittering, Liberty and Sterling-Finishing
Mojo: Cane Sugar-to lighten the body, Enzymes-to make more fermentable sugars
Yeast: White Labs Belgian Saison I WLP565
Starting Plato 15º Plato
Finishing Plato 0º Plato
We haven’t seen a Big Beer sell out as quickly as Homunculus. If you missed out, and you live near the brewery, then you might consider joining our
Big Beer Series Subscription. In addition to members-only socials for beer releases, you’ll get all sorts of other perks including membership in Portsmouth Brewery’s Imperial Pint Club and a custom membership card.
News From the Construction Front
After a period of dormancy, Peter has published a
new blog update about the long and winding road that will take us to our new home on Towle Farm, which you see here.
If you can imagine a brand new, energy efficient production facility to the left of the barn in the foreground of this picture, you’ll have a vague idea of what the new brewery will look like.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the Towle Farm project is not dead in the water, we’ve just haven’t had a whole lot of news to announce recently. A number of you have recently sent us emails asking about the status of the project and at least one person asks on every tour. We appreciate your interest in the new brewery and hope to begin sharing more news with you this fall, when we hope to break ground.
DoBrO to GBBF
Dave shows off his signature on the brewers wall at The Rake in London. Photo by Claes Skold
Director of Brewing Operations, David Yarrington recently returned from London, UK where he represented Smuttynose at the Great British Beer Festival. We sent firkins of Big A IPA and Noonan as well as bottles of Robust Porter, Old Brown Dog and Shoals Pale Ale. This marks the first time we’ve been represented in the UK. David reports that the craft beer scene in London is very small but intense, with US craft beers finding footholds in several cutting-edge pubs around the city. He also said that it was interesting to see a beer culture so fixated about alcohol percentage. Of the local breweries,
Devoted readers will remember that we’ve won "Best American Beer" at the festival three time in the last nine years, including last year’s inaugural Michael Jackson Award. While we came home empty-handed this year, we’re already looking forward to next year.
Have Fun Storming The Castle,
and Don’t Forget the Beer
In the summertime, when it seems like every band in the world is touring, people (yourself included, I’m sure) like to drink beer. We’re happy to be able to offer you better beverage choices at a few big concerts this summer.
The Gelston Castle Estate in Jonesville, NY hosts a summer concert series on their sloping, green lawns in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. They’ll also be the first large concert venue selling only craft beer and we’re very excited to be part of this first in music history.
If you’re camping at their Roots, Rock and Reggae Festival, you can rasta out with some Finest Kind and Star Island Single. We’ll also be featured at their Funktobertfest concert/East Coast edition of the Lagunitas Beer Circus, which takes place from October 7 through October 9.
Finest Kind IPA will be pouring in the Big Beer Garden at the August 26-28 Dave Matthews Band Caravan tour stop at Governor’s Island in New York City. The line-up includes, The Roots, Robert Randolph, and New Hampshire’s own Wood Brothers.
Visiting the ‘Nose
Come here for beer!
We offer tours on Fridays at 3pm and Saturdays at 11am. If you’re in the area outside of the tour hours, don’t be bashful. We won’t be able to give you a tour through our busy production area, but we do have fresh Smuttynose beer and merchandise for sale and we don’t mind pouring a sample or two, especially in the mid to late afternoon. You can find us at
225 Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth.
Friday, August 12- Smuttynose Tasting and Prize Drawing at Table & Vine
, West Springfield, Massachusetts. Western New England Sales Manager Jessica Robertson will be at Table & Vine offering samples and entry blanks for a contest to win a trip to Portsmouth. She’ll be conducting another sampling on August 19.
Saturday, August 20- Kappy’s 114 Grand Tasting in Peabody, MA. Joe Grotto will be on hand to give you samples and answer your pressing Smuttynose questions from 3pm-6pm.
Saturday, August 20- We’ll have a special firkin of Cask Conditioned and super-dryhopped Finest Kind IPA in the NERAX booth at the Blues N Brews Festival in Westford MA. This will be the only Smuttynose beer at the festival.
Sunday August 21- Smuttynose Tap Takeover and Pig Roast at Portsmouth Gaslight Company in Portsmouth, NH. Live music, whole hogs and some special kegs including Noonan, Homunculus, Farmhouse Ale and Belgian Stout. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.
Sunday August 21- Connecticut Public Television/WNPR Craft Beer and Chili Challenge. After trying up-to-but-hopefully-nowhere-close-to 20 chilis from area restaurants, you can have some soothing Finest Kind, Old Brown Dog and Star Island Single
These aren’t our only events! Have you ever met Joe Grotto? If you haven’t but really want to, find out where his southeastern New England events are by looking at our events calendar.
In This Issue
A Concise History of the Samuel Haley House You’ve seen the Samuel Haley House on the Shoals Pale Ale label for years. Local Historian J. Dennis Robinson has constructed as thorough a history of this durable home as he can. The resulting narrative is yet another interesting piece of Shoals lore..
Passport: New Hampshire’s Craft Beer and Culinary Pairing Event New Hampshire’s premier beer and food pairing returns for its third edition. A few significant changes have been made, including the addition of Chef Evan Hennessey who’s coordinating all the pairings.
Downtown Portsmouth’s gift card – good at over fifty unique shops, cafes, theatres, inns, specialty stores, restaurants and more. It’s the perfect gift for family, friends, loved-ones, and co-workers.