Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Hampshire's pride: Smuttynose

     New Hampshire has just a snippet of seacoast, about twenty miles' worth sandwiched between the long and storied coastlines of Massachusetts and Maine.  The major town in this bit of oceanfront is Portsmouth, a classic New England place with a great craft brewing history.    This was where Peter Egleston opened a seven-barrel brewery, the first in the state,back in 1991--doing so because Massachusetts law would not license him to build a second brewery there after he and his sister had started one in Northampton in 1987. The original plant, doing business as Portsmouth Brewing Co, is still in the same location downtown.  Egleston opened a larger production brewery in 1994, naming it Smuttynose after one of the small islands off the nearby coast.
     This summer, Smuttynose moved into elegant new quarters in Hampton, NH, a few miles outside Portsmouth.  The site was known  as the Towle Farm for over two centuries, i.e., back to the
Revolution.  The brewery itself is in a modern building, but done up with nice landscaping.  The pub is in one of the old farm buildings, refurbished for the new purpose, and another old building has been fixed up for concerts and special events.

  The previous brewing system capped out at 43,000 barrels a year.  The new plant features an 85-barrel system with fifteen fermenting tanks capable of holding 200 barrels or more. Sales are projected to hit 63,000 barrels this year and the system could go over the hundred-thousand-barrel line without stress.
   The tour guide, the much younger person in the picture, told us that the bottling line has a fill rate of 300 bottles per minute.  Much faster than Ron, a college classmate from long ago, can fill his homemade wine in Claremont, Calif.
   Smuttynose is now sold in 23 states, in the east and midwest with a bit shipped to California, the guide said. The longest-established brand is their Shoals Pale Ale, but the best seller is the IPA (hopheads are everywhere, it seems).

(Visited 6/14/14)

No comments:

Post a Comment