Here in Portsmouth, the end of August brings a certain waning. Kids go back to school, the height of tourist season ends and temperatures begin receding to a comfortable nighttime sleeping temperature. Tourism shifts from the Seacoast to our inland neighbors as leaf peeping begins.
One thing that doesn’t wane is our event schedule. It almost seems like the folks who organize downtown events wait for Seacoasters to get some of our town back to kick-off a September event schedule so full, it’s like a clown car- and we’ve definitely called "shotgun" for the ride.
Here’s a list of September Seacoast events that we’re either sponsoring, planning, exhibiting or attending. We can’t go into too much depth about these events because there are so many, but we have included the appropriate links should you want more information.
Saturday, September 8- Vintage and Vine– We’re pleased to be one of the first breweries to participate in Strawbery Banke’s food and wine gala fundraiser. Food from thirty chefs will be available along side of samples of hundreds of wines.
Sunday, September 9- The Portsmouth Criterium– For the eighth year, downtown Portsmouth is turned into a short course bicycle track. Join the crowds of onlookers for full day of cycling and fun. Smuttynose reprises its role as title sponsor and, for the first time, is fielding a team for the Community Challenge race.
Friday-Sunday, September 14, 15, 16- Telluride By The Sea– A specially curated program of six films, many of them being shown for the second time in the US, comes The Music Hall direct from the Telluride Film Festival. It’s one of the best cultural events of the year.
Saturday, September 15- Passport– One of the country’s most unique beer events returns to historic Strawbery Banke for an evening of curated beer and food pairings, historical characters and fundraising for New Hampshire Public Television. Passport has already sold out for this year, but it’ll be back and even better next year.
Friday, September 21- Clean Water Music Series– Sponsored by sister brewery Smuttynose, this installment of PREP’s environmentally conscious music series pulls into the legendary Stone Church in Newmarket, New Hampshire. King’s Highway and Todo Bien will kick out the jams while PREP raises awareness about water quality in our Seacoast community. Just remember, we can’t make great beer without great water from the Piscataqua Estuary!
Saturday, September 22- Fishtival– Celebrate 400 years of great New Hampshire seafood at Prescott Park with locally caught seafood samples, a touch tank, educational exhibits about the Gulf of Maine, boat tours and a chance to meet fishermen and women who put food on our plates.
Wednesday, September 29- Seacoast Science Café #1- This free event, held in our Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, brings members of the public together with climatologist Cameron Wake and sociologist Larry Hamilton for a discussion about climate change; what we know and what we believe. You can learn more about the Cafés below in our newsletter.
If you live in the area, please come check out some of these events (that’s the whole point of me telling you about them). If you live somewhere else, then you probably have similar organizations and activities that make your hometown a better place to be too. Find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods and enjoy being a member of your community.
Thank you for reading this newsletter and have a safe, fun Labor Day weekend,
JT Thompson Minister of Propaganda
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Portsmouth Brewery News
Notes from the Mash Tun As the Jones regime takes shape in the brewery, one of the first things to manifest is a buzz of activity.
In addition to some new beers (which we’ll talk about below), former bartender Matt Gallagher has joined the brew crew and a few equipment improvements have begun, not the least of which is a new, custom-built grain mill from Canada. Our serving tanks are getting some much needed love and rehabilitation and a new hot-water-on-demand system means the guys have been able to do the first ever double brew day in the history of Portsmouth Brewery! Now onto the beer…
Autumn has apparently become collaboration brew time. Assistant Brewer Matt Tarpey brewed a single batch with his old co-workers at O’Connor Brewing in Norfolk, VA. The American Mild, named Mild Child, (3.7% abv) is brewed with a tongue-numbing 2.5 pounds of hops per barrel. Matt says O’Connor’s Head Brewer Jimmy Walsh should be coming up to brew a batch in New Hampshire soon.
Autumn is a magical time in New England when the bounty of our local farms and gardeners can finally be enjoyed. We’ll be returning to Blueberry Bay Farm to collect organic pumpkins for the annual double batch of Pumpkin Ale. Tyler says his Saison l’Automne will return to the taps with additions of squash and spices.
Finally, we’re excited to announce what we hope will be the beginning of an ongoing series of season gruits, brewed in collaboration with
John Forti, The Heirloom Gardener and Curator of Historical Landscapes at Strawbery Banke. A recent visit with John and his assistant Erik, yielded freshly cut hyssop, horehound, bergamot, heirloom apples, native hops, lavender and rosemary, to name some of the botanicals that will infuse their essence to a new beer. The unnamed gruit will be tapped in conjunction with Passport, New Hampshire’s Craft Beer and Food Culinary Tour.
If those weren’t enough, the boys in the basement have Cream Ale, Whipper Snapper, the 4% abv Petite Saison, the horizontally-fermented Oktoberfest, new addition Portsmouth Pale Ale and the next single-hop Project X, this time highlighting the Glacier hop variety.
Tyler is an active blogger and his
Brewer’s Notes is the second best place to keep up with our rapidly changing taplist. Obviously, our bar is the first!
Pints with Professors
Pubs have long been tied to the free exchange of ideas. The American Revolution had been gestated in the pubs of Boston and you could easily swap out the words "Irish Revolutions" and "Dublin" in the beginning of this sentence and still be accurate. Watts and Crick went straight to their local in Cambridge, UK upon discovering DNA, and those are just a few examples from history.
The continuing proliferation of flat screen TVs in bars has done little to maintain the pub’s role as a center of intellectual discussion, but in an attempt to cleanse our own karma, we’re very happy to announce the Seacoast Science Cafés!
Each Café will bring the coastal community face-to-face with researchers to engage in dialogue about the latest scientific discoveries on the interactions between ecosystems and society. These gatherings are also meant to be fun, so banish your flashback to high school Biology class.
Four events are currently scheduled for 6pm in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge. No need to make a reservation or buy tickets, you can just show up.
The Topics: September 19: What Do We Really Know and Believe About Climate Change?
October 17: Getting To Know Snow: Volunteer Climate Scientists Take an In-Depth Look at NH Snow
November 14: Forest Ecosystems and the Winds of Change: The History and Future of Forests as a Cog in the Earth System
December 5: The Health of the Great Bay: Great Big Challenges and Great Big Opportunities
Hot, Hot Happy Hour Challenge
Buster Poindexter for our next Firkin Friday (Sepember 14) because we’re tapping a firkin of habanero-infused Whipper Snapper!
If this spicy cask wasn’t enough, Assistant Brewer Matt Tarpey is taking on 20 challengers in a spicy eating challenge. Here’s how it works:
The first 20 people to sign up, in person, with Head Brewer Tyler Jones on the 14th, will meet a plate of six Volcano tenders and a pint of the chili-infused beer at our Big Table at 6pm. To win the contest, competitors must finish their tenders and pint before Matt. Each winner will get a $25 gift card to Portsmouth Brewery.
Sign-ups begin when we open our doors at 11:30 am and contestants who coat their mouths with wax WILL be disqualified.
Here are a few small briefs from around the Brewery:
-Chef Todd has a whole suite of new kitchen equipment coming in. You won’t get to see it, but it’ll be an excellent upgrade for our staff.
-You’ve got about one month left to enjoy our patio, so grab a hoodie and enjoy the cool early autumn evenings.
-We’ll have a tent on Market Square during the Portsmouth Criterium. Stop by and say hello.
-Our local farmers/suppliers are bringing in their harvests, so ask us what’s local next time you’re in.
-Even though it seems early for this, we’re getting bookings for holiday parties already. Just sayin’.
-We’re looking for an Assistant Manager, so if you’re interested, email General Manager
-Beer socials are being planned, so stay tuned for more information!
And Don’t Forget Our
Weekly Specials Downstairs in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge…
Sundays:Homemade, handmade pierogies filled with potato and cheese and tossed with onions and butter- two for $1!
Mondays:Beer braised spare ribs, tossed in BBQ or mustard glaze, and tempeh "ribs" – digits of cider-braised tempeh, lightly fried then tossed in BBQ or hot ale sauce. Only 50¢ apiece!
Tuesdays:Tacos filled with your choice of shredded chicken, ground beef or tempeh for a buck apiece.
Wednesdays:$1 meatball sliders
Thursdays: Parking Violation Night plus $2 grilled hot dogsserved with a variety of tasty house-made toppings.
New From Smuttynose
Our production and packaging teams have done an excellent job keeping the Pumpkin Ale flowing. We’ve only got about 13 batches left to brew and package but there are plenty of kegs, six packs and twelve packs out in the trade at your favorite beer stores and restaurants.
Aye, laddie! Scotch Ale returns to the Big Beer Series after a three year hiatus. This year’s release offers a special barrel-aged infusion! We secretly brewed a small batch of Scotch Ale earlier this year and then aged it in red wine barrels so we could blend it back with the larger portion of fresh beer. And that’s just what we did!
Scotch Ales are beguilingly malty, exhibiting notes of caramel, toffee and a smoky character that comes from the use of smoked malt. Hopping is kept to token levels of bitterness and ours is right in line with this description.
This year’s release comes in at 8.2% abv. Shipments will begin on September 24.
The last batch of Vunderbar Pils will ship to all our markets in the middle of September. While we’re sad to see this beer go on hiatus, the return of our award winning Big A IPA is certain to provide a nice hoppy salve. Big A will be available in four packs and on draft from October through January. If the amount of emails we’ve gotten is any indication, a nice crowd is awaiting Stash when he returns.
Our next Short Batch Series release is a tribute beer for our friend, Lindsey Altschul, who passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of the summer. Lindsey was, among many other things, a lover of great beer. The beer, called Lindz, is a kolsch brewed with 100% local, organic malt. Since this is a tribute beer, most of the batch will stay local and release gatherings will be held around the Seacoast. Details aren’t yet finalized, but will be posted on our blog and Facebook page and we’ll send an e-blast to you all.
If you find yourself missing out on some Big Beer releases, why not subscribe to our Big Beer Series? Each subscription is good for nine releases and includes private release socials at Smuttynose.
Towle Farm Updates
After years of waiting, working and planning Smuttynose has officially broken ground on our new home at Towle Farm!
We held a ceremonial groundbreaking on August 16 with our staff, local Hampton officials, Seacoast brewers, bankers and construction company folks and US Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
The recent state of the economy caused lots of difficulties in securing financing for the brewery, but the final piece was secured on August 10. The bulk of the $18 million came from private loans and cash. The gap funding came from a complex loan package sourced from The federal Economic Development Administration, the Business Finance Authority and the Coastal Economic Development Finance Authority as well as the Small Business Administration’s SBA 504 program. We are certainly thankful for each organization’s contribution towards our new
The building should be complete in September 2013 and we’ll give you updates when we’re able. In the meantime, you can follow progress at your own pace by logging into
Our sales staff has recently begun expanding our social media platform, creating regional channels to make more relevant communications to our followers. If you’re in a market that doesn’t have a focused channel, then keep your eye on our events calendar.
-We recently received lots of text messages, emails and social media posts after a few pieces of our advertising ended up on HBO’s hit show, "True Blood" Take a look at this screen capture.
–Smuttynose IPA was named co-runner up in the American beer competition at the Great British Beer Festival. This is IPA’s second placing in London, having won the whole thing in 2004. This is the fifth time our beers have been recognized in London, making us the most recognized American brewery in the history of the GBBF.
-We’re finalizing preparations for 2012’s Great American Beer Festival. We’ll be in booth I 13, pouring Vunderbar Pils, Robust Porter, Baltic Porter, Wheat Wine and Winter Ale. In addition to these five, we’ve also entered Really Old Brown Dog, Homunculus and Imperial Stout into the competition. The festival takes place October 11-13 in Denver, CO. Smuttynose will also be participating in the new Farm to Table Pavillion, where Chef Adam Duyle is curating food pairings for Smuttynose IPA and Old Brown Dog.
-We’ve got three new employees and one who’s changed roles. Joanna Manzo will be managing Field Sales in central and southern New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania. Josiah Stevens has joined our packaging team and Cody Floyd is the newest member of brewing staff. Making the shift from Packaging to the Cellar is
Here are some of the non-profit organizations we are currently collecting donations for at Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery:
The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center is both a leading pediatric teaching hospital and a fully functional pediatric hospital that focuses on rare and unusual conditions.
Northeast Passage seeks to create a world of barrier-free recreation for individuals with disabilities equal to what their non-disabled peers experience.
Discover Portsmouth Center is the gateway for arts, culture and history in our city. Their current exhibit features the history of Smuttynose Island.
Team Socs’ Jimmy Fund Walk Portsmouth Brewery bartender and team captain Donna Marcotte hope to collect $25,000 in donations to fight cancer this year.
These are just a few of the many non-profits we’re able to support because of you.
9/7 & 9/8- Joe Grotto will be at BeerAdvocate’s Belgian Beer Festival while Jess does her second weekend on the taps at the Holyoke Canoe Club Beer Fest. Be careful, we hear they start paddling after a few beers! Joanna will be in Pittsburgh, PA, flying the seal flag at the Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction, an organization that facilitates the reuse of building materials.
9/15- Pat Fondiller and Glen Bulloss are teaming up on 2012’s Freaktoberfest! Pat is on the organizing committee for this blend of burlesque, craft beer, sideshow freaks and god knows what else. Glen is a trombone player in the Elby Brass band, who are on the music bill for the night. Freaktoberfest is the annual kick-of event for NYC Craft Beer Week.
9/25- Philadelphia’s Boilermaker specializes in craft versions of the old fashioned "beer and a bump" drinks. They’re hosting Smuttynose for an evening of beer and spirits pairings.
9/30- Lace up your shoes for a run around the town we’re soon to call home! The Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon and Half Marathon will flood coastal roads with svelte runners who’ll get to kill their blister pain with Smuttynose beer at the end.