In the mood for a different State of brews!
So what does one do with a drab winter day in southern Maine when the snow is almost gone and the temps are too mild to go on the ice? How about go next door to New Hampshire to try out a couple of “new to you” breweries? After all it’s not a very long drive (about 35 minutes), it’s Saturday around noon-time, and some good friends are supposed to be there too. Let’s go!!
The first of the two breweries we visit is called Stoneface Brewing Company (Stonefacebrewing.com) in Newington, New Hampshire. The logo is a hop with a side edge in the formation of The Old Man of the Mountain (cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains of NH that appeared to be the profile of a man’s face, but had unfortunately collapsed in 2003). What a fitting way to keep the “Old Man” alive 🙂
I tasted four brews, Berliner Weisse with Blackberry (3.7% ABV), Kolsch (5%ABV), Dated Ella (5.2%ABV) and Porter (5.5%ABV). Not surprisingly the Kolsch was my favorite, clear and crisp with floral and herbal notes. And surprisingly the Porter was my second favorite…the bitterness was not too much and the finish was quite smooth. The Berry was too sour for me, but actually the blackberry flavor made it palatable. The Ella (heavily dry hopped with Australian Ella hops) was fine, but a bit too robust for my tastes. There was a lot on tap so I’ll have to come back.
The atmosphere was cozy, smaller than I thought from the outside because it actually had a kitchen that served really good pub food with a gourmet flair. I want another burger from there too…Nice job Stoneface!
Our next visit was to Great Rhythm Brewing Company (greatrhythmbrewing.com) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire overlooking the North Mill Pond. The taproom was small, but the tunes gave it a great vibe.
I tried the Tropical Haze IPA (6.8%ABV) and Resonation Pale Ale (5.2%ABV). I usually don’t like IPA’s, but the Tropical Haze had a nice fruity balance that helped lighten the finish. Resonation was crisp and easy for me to enjoy as a Pale Ale.
We may come back here during the summer because I can imagine it being much more picturesque by the pond, and perhaps they have outdoor games and seating then too 🙂