Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lunch at the Portsmouth Brewery in NH

While on vacation, my wife and I took a trip over to the New Hampshire coast, to the town of Portsmouth. Portsmouth is the home of 3 different breweries - The Portsmouth Brewery, Smuttynose, and RedHook. I wanted to visit all 3, but time forced me to limit my visits to one. I selected the smallest one - the Portsmouth Brewery - figuring they had the smallest distribution range, and because I had heard that they had good food too. The rumor was true, as we soon found out. We started out with a sampler "sled" of the 10 brews they had on tap. Since this brewery is owned by Smuttynose, 4 of the brews were their creations. The picture shows the sampler, which was great. The closest one, which we drank before we remembered the camera, is Portsmouth's Dirty Blond Ale - a very creamy light ale that was really refreshing. It's followed up by their Octoberfest, a nice malty brew. Then came my favorite - Hop Harvest #2, which had lots of grapefruity American hops. The 4th beer was a Milk Stout, which was smooth and sweet - much better than my own pathetic attempt at brewing this style. We then tried a Pumpkin Ale, which was perfectly spiced. Bottle Rocket IPA followed the Pumpkin, and it was sweeter, and less hoppy than the Hop Harvest. The four Smuttynose varieties were all excellent as well - Old Brown Dog Brown Ale, Portsmouth Lager, Smutty Shoals Pale Ale, and Smutty Maibock.

The food portion of the meal was equally impressive. Since we had just had burgers at the Gilded Otter, we decided to go with something different - a Blackened Salmon sandwich for me, and a Veggie Sandwich for my wife. My salmon was perfect - moist and spicy, with Chipotle mayo. The centerpiece of my wife's sandwich was a huge grilled Portabella mushroom. She was as pleased with her sandwich as I was with mine. Both came with a big helping of spicy fries, which we shouldn't have eaten, but did anyway. Once again, I bought another pint glass for my collection.

You can't go wrong with lunch at the Portsmouth Brewery.

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