Monday, December 10, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch #18: Durty

Smuttynose Short Batch #18: Durty

Smuttynose is proud to introduce our eighteenth Short Batch Beer, "Durty," a brown IPA!

There's no denying that IPA is king of the craft beer world right now.  The style is getting so popular that even the big brewers are attempting their own versions, while IPA sub-styles, like session IPA, double IPA, white IPA and black IPA, continue to be created and defined.  Brown IPAs combine the caramel and nutty-biscuity flavors of a brown ale, with an American IPA-sized does of hops; it's pretty straight-forward, but pretty delicious.

On to the beer...Durty is a big beer (8.4% abv, 55 IBU) packed full of big hops.  We've used Polaris, a new German high alpha variety for bittering, followed by American hop icon, Nugget, for the flavor additions and finally, a boatload of Simcoe post-fermentation for dry-hopping. The malt selection isn't too different from Old Brown Dog, but it's a bit heavier on the nutty character and dark cocoa notes.

Durty will debut at Smuttynose on Saturday, December 15 from 3pm-5pm (unless you join us for a tour that day).  We hope that this time change will allow more of you to come to Portsmouth for Durty, and other Short Batch releases.

This will also be our first Short Batch to appear in 22 ounce bottles, each of which are bottle-conditioned.  Bottles will retail for $9 and there will be a remarkably small amount (25 cases) of off-premise distribution in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  They will ship from Smuttynose on December 17 and be available at a very minute number of beer stores (see below).  If you'd like to know when these accounts will have the bottles, we suggest you contact them directly, as we don't know when they take deliveries from our wholesaler.

Vital Stats
8.44% abv   55 IBU

Malts: North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, Chocolate, C-60, Brown
Hops: Bittering- Polaris, Flavor- Nugget, Dry Hop- Simcoe
Yeast: American Ale Yeast
Batch Size: 106 logs, 69 cases

New Hampshire: Top Shelf Brews (Hampton)
                               Hampton Falls Village Market (Hampton Falls)
                               Johnson's Market (New Durham)
                               The Beer Store (Nashua)
                               Bert's Better Beers (Hookset)
                               Barb's Beer Emporium (Concord)
                               Ayotte's (Hudson)
                               Discount Beverages (North Conway)
                               Portsmouth Provisions (Portsmouth)

Massachusetts:    Table and Vine (West Springfield)
                                Craft Beer Cellar (Belmont)
                                Liquor World (Somerville)
                                Kelly's (Dalton)
                                Spirited (Pittsfield)
                                Domaney's (Great Barrington)
                                Liquors 44 (Hadley)
                                Ryan and Casey (Greenfield)
                                Yankee Spirits (Sturbridge)
                                Julio's (Westboro)
                                Bogie's Beer and Wine (Beverly)
                                Redstone Liquors (Stoneham)
                                Blanchard's (Jamaica Plain)
                                Ball Square Fine Wines (Somerville)

*We haven't quite finalized all the case allocations for the Boston area yet, so there will be a few surprise drops.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brown, Belgian and Bourbon-barreled: welcome Zinneke to the Big Beer Series!!

2012 Smuttynose Big Beer Series Release #6

"Zinneke" (pronounced zinn-eh-kuh), Smuttynose's new Belgian stout and Big Beer Series release, will begin shipping to wholesalers on November 12!   

This relatively new sub-style combines Belgian, American and English influences to create a beer whose total is more than equal to the sum of its parts.  Here’s how Zinneke breaks down and adds back up.

Part 1) Start with a strong stout.  This is the Big Beer Series after all 

Part 2) “Belgianize” it by altering the grain bill and fermenting the wort with a Trappist yeast strain. We backed off the heavy caramel and roasted malts to create a more complimentary flavor profile for the yeast, which contributes fruity esters and leaves a light body for deceptive drinkability.

Part 3) Put some wood on it!  10% of the batch was brewed early and aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months.  Why? because it adds complimentary vanilla and toasted oak flavors to what’s already there.  Think of it as an infusion of awesomeness!

These three parts combine to create a beer with dark color and light body with prevalent flavors of dark fruits, vanilla and toffee, while subtle chocolate flavors appear in the finish.

This deep brown-colored beer has lots of dark fruit flavor and a nice chocolate highlight in the finish.  We'd suggest pairing it with creamy desserts, roasted vegetables and rich, roasted meats, like duck.

What in tarnation is a "Zinneke?"

The name of our new beer is endearing Brussels slang that originally described the mongrel dogs that lived around the River Zenne during the Middle Ages.  The multi-cultural residents of Belgium’s capitol city, have since reappropriated the term as a tongue-in-cheek nickname for themselves.
TRIVIA: Zinneke began life as Short Batch #10: Belgian Stout in September 2010, but like several other of its series-mates, it has graduated to a larger release.

Vital Stats
8.4% abv 50 IBU
Starting Extract 18.9° Plato
Finishing Extract 3.75° Plato

Malts: North American 2-Row, Carawheat, Munich 10L, C-120, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Brown

Hops: Magnum, Glacier

Mojo: Dark #2 Belgian Candi Syrup
Yeast: WLP-500 Trappist Ale Yeast
Batch Size: 200 barrels (6200 gallons)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here Come The Hops!

Monday, October 29 marks the anticipated return of our award-winning Big A IPA!  After a five month hiatus, The Great British Beer Festival award-winning double IPA returns for a limited engagement.  We can only brew 100 barrels a month from October through January, so supplies of twelve ounce four packs and kegs will be limited, but available, throughout our distribution.  Tell your local beer store or beer bar that you need to see for yourself why the New York Times named Big A the top IPA in America and Men’s Journal picked it as one of the top 25 beers in America!

Here are the vital stats:

9.7% abv  120 IBU

Malts: North American 2-Row, British Pale Ale
Hops: Bittering: Magnum and Cascade
            Flavor: Magnum and CTZ
            Dry: Cascade, Nugget, Sterling, CTZ

Recommended Food Pairings:
Vietnamese, homemade guacamole, spicy scallops, tandoori chicken and spicy biryanis

Monday, October 8, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch 16: Lindz

Lindsey, as we'd like to remember him

When Lindsey Altshul passed away unexpectedly this summer,  our community felt the loss in a deep, wide and profound way.  When I say our community, I don’t mean just our beer community, but our regional restaurant community and our arts community. Lindsey touched a lot people’s lives, including members of our staff, our customers and accounts in our home market.  He did this in many ways, from the simple sharing of a pint or a quick origami lesson, to providing a detailed list of museums, music venues, bars and restaurants to someone visiting New York City for the first time or offering solo folks a spot at his annual “Christmas of Misfit Boys.” Diners at Pepperland Café, the South Berwick, ME restaurant he co-owned with Chef Kevin Hahn, were never asked "what would you like," but the rather telling question, "what's your pleasure?" 

Lindsey was also great lover of craft beer, well before it was trendy or common place; serving as one of the earliest treasurers for NERAX and travelling to Belgium, visiting breweries and stocking his cellar, before stocking cellars was even a thing.  He once told me a story about buying an entire barrel of Cantillon lambic that wasn’t able to find a home anywhere else (imagine that happening these days!) and then bottling it off to be better saved for a later date.   His passion for beer was also manifest on the four taps at Pepperland Café in South Berwick, Me, which he co-owned with chef Kevin Hahn.  Those four lines often have one of the most interesting and diverse line-ups on the Seacoast.

Arts and crafts folk work within their medium, so the decision to brew a memorial beer for Lindsey began not long after his memorial service.  He loved Kolsch and supported local agriculture, so this was another no brainer.  It gave us a chance to use grains from Valley Malt, a two-year-old Massachusetts maltster who seeks “to provide the Northeastern craft and home brewer with artisanal malt from locally grown grains.” 

This beer also gave us a chance to revisit a style we hadn’t brewed since the late ‘90’s.  “Smuttynose Kolsch” was part of the inaugural Big Beer Series, but to call it a success would simply be erroneous.  Our wholesalers sent pallets of cases back to the brewery, explaining that “people won’t buy it because they can’t pronounce it.”  My how times have changed….

About The Releases:  The allocations are very different for this Short Batch release than what we typically do, for obvious reasons.  Almost the whole batch is staying here in New Hampshire for a two-part roll out.  The accounts listed below, will all be tapping kegs of Lindz on Thursday, October 18 at some point in time that day.  Please contact each account for details. We hope you'll join us in raising a pint in memory of someone who’s dear to you.

As with all Short Batch releases, a limited number of bottles will be available exclusively at Smuttynose on Thursday, October 25 from 5pm-7pm.  There will be a two bottle limit.  Bottle sales will take place both inside our retail nook and outside under a tent (weather depending of course). 

About Kolsch: Kolsch (German for “from Cologne”) is one of the two German ale styles, the other being altbier from Dusseldorf.  Both of these styles are unique in the ale family because they’re cold-conditioned like a lager, while Kolsch tends to be lighter in both body and color.  If you've never tasted a kolsch, you're in for a treat.  The first sip reveals a pronounced hop bitterness and a soft, slightly-bready malt character.  You're not going to be knocked over by big flavors in one sip. Kolsch are appraochable beers that are typically well carbonated and show a great depth of subtlety- and they’re very drinkable, whether or not you can pronounce the name properly. 

New Hampshire
The Press Room
Portsmouth Brewery
Blue Mermaid
The River House
The Black Trumpet
The District

The Barley Pub

Popper’s at the Mill

The Black Birch
When Pigs Fly

South Berwick:
Pepperland Café


Novare Res Bier Café
Pi Men Miyake

Nocturnem Draught House

Vital Stats
5.27% abv  10 IBU
Starting Extract 11.1° Plato                       
Finishing Extract 1.3° Plato

Malts: Valley Malt Organic Pilsner Malt, Valley Malt Organic Munich Malt, Valley Malt Organic Wheat Malt, all grown in New England and malted in Hadley, MA.
Hops: Motueka, a newer variety from New Zealand
Yeast: WLP-029 German Ale/Kolsch

Batch Size: 30 barrels (60 cases of bottles, 20 half barrel kegs, 50 sixth barrel kegs)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch #17: Herbaceous

Her • ba • ceous [hur-bey-shuhs, ur-] adj  1: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an herb

It’s that time of year again, hop harvest time.  And what could be better than a wet hopped beer?  Since the East Coast is about 3,000 miles from the hop fields, our access to these beers can be a tad limited.  Thirst no more beer drinkers; Smuttynose is ready to fill your pints with Herbaceous, our new Short Batch, wet-hopped beer!  

We’ve been talking about brewing a wet hop beer for several years, but the freshly-picked hops need to either be dried and baled or, in the case of wet-hopped beers, used in a brew within hours.  Getting hops from Yakima Valley was a daunting expense for two reasons.  One, we needed 150 lbs and two, they had to travel 3,000 miles as quickly as possible.  Well, the stars aligned this year, which means we snuck the overnight shipping charges past Peter while he was busy with the construction of our new facility at Towle Farm in Hampton.

His oversight is your gain, because the beer came out beautifully.  We decided to go with a very simple malt bill using nothing but Vienna and CaraMunich II, from Weyermann Malt, to brew an amber ale as the base beer.  Bittering was done with Magnum and we used Willamette and Sterling for the flavoring additions.  The 150 lbs of freshly-picked Citra were used exclusively for the wet hop-as- dry hop component that we felt was the best way to showcase the pungent essence of hops right off the vine.  The best way for you to showcase these ethereal hop flavors it to drink the beer as soon as possible, just not on your way from Smuttynose.

We've got 46 cases of bottles going on sale on Thursday, October 11 from 5-7pm.  There will be a two bottle limit and as always, we'll have Herbaceous on tap for you taste.  If you haven't been to Smuttynose for a Short Batch bottle release, please enter through our tour entrance located in the back corner of our building at 225 Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth, NH.

 Stat Box

4.35% ABV 50 IBU
Starting Extract: 11.6° Plato Terminal Extract:  3.5° Plato

Malts: Weyermann Vienna and Weyermann CaraMunich
Hops: Bittering: Magnum, Flavor: Willamette and Sterling, Wet: Citra from BT Loftus Ranch
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale
Batch size: 30 barrels (46 cases for sale)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raise the Haggis! Scotch Ale is back!

Exactly one week from today (on September 24),  Smuttynose Scotch Ale will begin shipping for the first time in four years.  Since 2008, we've heard a constant, yet subtle, din of voices trying to resurrect its thistled visage (I'm looking at you specifically, Martha).

If you're not familiar with Scotch Ales as a beer style, they're all about malt sweetness and smoke (at least in the US).  This has lead to a common misconception that all ales brewed in Scotland fit this description, though a closer examination of brewing history shows that Scottish brewers have always brewed a range of styles, including IPA as well as other lighter and more subtle styles.  History is interesting, but some details will always be forgotten; as such, you'd be hard pressed to find a traditional American-style Scotch Ale that doesn't use some portion of smoked malt. 

Smuttynose Scotch Ale is still smoky, though we've substituted beechwood-smoked malt for malt smoked with peat, the "traditional" American choice.  The change results in a softer smoke character that we prefer. 

Another non-traditional aspect of 2012's Scotch Ale, is that it's a blend of non-barrel-aged and barrel-aged beer.  Many moons ago, (all the way back in March), we brewed a small 30 barrel batch of Scotch Ale, which was then aged in red wine barrels for about six months, before being transferred into the main batch just before bottling.

As always, each wholesaler's Scotch Ale allotment will ship with their first order after the 24th.  We will also have bottles for sale at Smuttynose, in addition to a small number of brewery-aged 2008 Scotch Ale bottles recently released from our stash.  Feel free to stop by between 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday as well as during our tour hours which are Friday from 5:30-6:30 and Saturdays at 11am and 1pm.

The Stat Box  
8.2% abv
28 IBU

Starting Extract: 18.05° Plato 
Finishing Extract: 3.1° Plato

Malts: North American 2-Row, Munich, Carastan, Chocolate, Smoked Malt
Hops: Willamette
Mojo: Red Wine Barrel Magic
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale Yeast
Batch Size: 200 barrels (6200 gallons)

Suggested Food Pairings:  Mutton, smoked fish, empanadas and, of course, haggis.  The malt character in this beer gives it the ability to stand up to spicy foods while the smoke character will pair well with other smoked flavors or with creamy desserts like flan.

Towle Farm Update 9/17/12

Here's a brief update on Towle Farm construction, but we should have more (visually) exciting stuff later in the week.

As of Friday, September 14, most of the work that has gone is site prep or behind the hill from what our webcam can record.

One of the first significant projects to be completed is the construction of two "ponds" on the backside of the property.  Unfortunately, these won't be for fishing, but they do serve a significant purpose toward minimizing the environmental impact on the surrounding land. 

In the above photo, you can see a trench with a concrete barrier at the end of it. This simple system is designed to collect rain and other surface water which will then be slowly dispersed through the slot in the concrete barrier.  Another pond is being built on the back side of the apple orchard.  According to the site supervisor, grass and other vegetation will be planted along the banks soon, which will be very attractive and give an early hint of completion.

If you've been checking the webcam, you've seen lots of dump trucks and excavators, prepping the site so it's stable, flat and ready for the building.  This stage isn't the most visually stimulating part of building a brewery, but it's obviously a vital step.  Geotechnically speaking, the back side of the land has been a bit easier to level out and prepare than areas near the front of the property, which have turned up lots and lots of giant rocks. The flattened land you see to the left is the future home of our warehouse and loading docks, so just imagine a sea of Smuttynose cases and kegs just waiting to ship out all over the East Coast!

 This gaping hole is right next to the barn.  There are still plenty of rocks to be pulled out of this space and plenty of digging left before reinforcing the ground.  Our visitor's center and offices will be on top of this hole.  Every member of the construction crew was excited to get all the rocks off the site, saying that it'll look much better and more like the final version.
This final picture is a draft rendering of what our water treatment plant will might look like.  The plans are still being tweaked, but hopefully the sci-fi look won't disappear.

That's it for now, but please stay tuned for more updates.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Looking For Towle Farm Updates? Look No Further!

As many of you know, on August 16, we officially broke ground on our new brewery at Towle Farm after four years of hard work and planning. Over those four years, we've had a large number of inquiries about our new brewery but, until recently, we didn't have much to say.

Now that Smuttynose mark II is underway, we thought we'd let you all check in at your own leisure, through the magic of a webcam; just click on this link.

The cam is mounted on a pole just south of the historic barn and points directly at the front of what will become the main entrance to the brewery.  The silver tank you see on the back of the site is the collection vessel of our waste water treatment system.  If the camera were able to turn to the right, you would see the farmhouse, which will be transformed into a 95-seat restaurant pub.  You can see the house in its current location, as well its original basement in the photo below.  The basement has been filled in and leveled out so that we can build our fermentation cellar in its place.

Once the exterior of the building is complete, we plan to move the camera inside and aim it one of our production areas, to keep the content dynamic.  Until then, we hope you enjoy watching our progress!

*We'd like to send a special thanks to Mike McCormack of Sebectec, who installed and maintains the camera.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch #7, Redux: Strawberry Short Weiss

Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weiss, our take on a Berliner Weisse, is lightly tart, refreshing and incredibly drinkable.  It's also one of our staff's most beloved beers.

We'll be releasing bottles exclusively at Smuttynose on Thursday, August 9 between 5pm and 7pm in our tour nook.  Bottles are $15 each and we've chosen a four bottle limit to try and spread the beer around a little better.  Kegs begin shipping on August 20.

As the name implies, this style is indigenous to the German capitol and serves as a sharp contrast to traditional Bavarian weizen beers.  Traditional Berliner Weisse are highly carbonated, served in special wide-mouthed, bowl-shaped glasses and are packaged without flavoring.  The beer's light body and tart flavors are the result of a partial lactic fermentation.  The lactobacilli consume a portion of the wort sugars, creating lactic acid.  This accounts for the tartness and lightness of body, since the bacteria can consume sugars that brewers yeast can't.  We've chosen to add strawberries to our beer as a nod to the Berliner custom of offering a shot (mit Schuss) of either raspberry or woodruff syrup to the glass of beer.

So, why are we calling this a redux?

Our first Berliner Weiss was brewed in the winter of 2008 just as the "ice storm of the century" glazed a very large portion of the Northeast.  New Hampshire was hit particularly hard, with 400,000 customers losing power, including Smuttynose.  Our plan for the beer was to divide the batch in two, a small lactic fermentation and a large, traditional yeast fermentation that would then be blended back together.  Thanks to poor timing, we lost power right as the yeast batch was at the peak of fermentation, causing a massive temperature spike which filled the beer with headache-inducing fusel alcohols.  The large yeast portion had to be dumped, leaving only seven or so barrels of bacterial ferment.  Running a clever bootleg, our brewers added a healthy slug of ale yeast to complete the fermentation while bags and bags of organic strawberries followed a few weeks later.  The batch was kegged off and distributed with little fanfare. 

When our packaging manager asked about revisiting this for his wedding beer (Congratulations, Chris and Emily!), everyone who remembered the first batch got really excited.  We hope you'll get to try it and see why.


The Smuttynose Team

Strawberry Short Weiss Vital Stats

Starting Extract: 8˚ Plato
Finishing Extract: 1˚ Plato
5 IBU   3.7% ABV

Malts: North American 2-Row, Wheat
Hops: Saaz (for both First Wort and Whirlpool additions)
Yeast: WLP-300 Hefeweizen Ale
Other Ingredients: Natural Strawberry Puree, Lactobacillus

Batch Size: 27 barrels  (30 cases of 750 ml bottles, 121 5.2 gallon kegs)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome, Tank 28!

Tomorrow, we'll be filling our newest fermenter, "Tank 28" for the first time. 
Tank 28 is the last tank in a third expansion of our fermentation cellar.  This most recent expansion cannibalized warehouse space to install a total of four 200 barrel fermenters and one 200 barrel bright tank.

Previous expansions took place in 2008/2009 (three 200 barrel fermenters) and again in 2010 (two 200 barrel fermenters and a 200 barrel bright beer tank).

The Craft Beer industry is growing by leaps and bounds. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer production volumes grew by 13% industry-wide in 2011.  Contextually, 2011 Smuttynose production volumes increased by a staggering 28.6%.  In short, we need more places to put beer.  But with ground breaking on our new home at Towle Farm on the verge of being scheduled, we’re not sure that this will be the end of expansions at Heritage Avenue.

Tank 28 traveled 3,183 miles from Canby, Oregon to Portsmouth, NH. It was built by JV Northwest with whom Smuttynose Founder and President Peter Egelston has worked with since they built the brewing system for The Northampton Brewery in 1986.  The fabricators opened in 1981 and they build equipment for food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies.  

Here's a clip of the tank being removed from between two stacks of hottubs and rotated in mid-air:


New Hampshire's own WMUR-TV shared this nice photo montage, as well as a short video piece, which we weren't able to track down. 

Seacoast newspapers Foster's Daily Democrat and The Portsmouth Herald each ran articles as well.  We thank all three of them for their support.

Tank 28 Stat Box:

Height: 22.5’
Diameter: 9’ 10”
Weight: 7,200 pounds
Total volume: 8024 US gallons or 259 US barrels.
Working volume: ~200 US barrels of beer, or four batches of Smuttynose beer

If our working volume is 200 barrels and the cycle through the tank takes three weeks, then our new tank will produce about 3,500 barrels (108,500 gallons) of beer in a year. 

The difference in these two volume measurements is a necessary part of fermenter design.  Fermentation is a very turbulent process that causes large amounts of carbon dioxide to be produced and then released through the volume of beer. This violent gas production causes the beer to foam, kind of like what happens when you shake a bottle of beer before your friend opens it.  The extra head space allows that foam to form, while minimizing or preventing foam-overs, which are messy and cause beer loss.

We’ve had to make significant modifications to our building for each expansion.  For this most recent expansion, we had to lease off-site warehousing to make space for the tanks, as well as extend the roof height and install a portal, through which the tanks were inserted and will later be removed when we move to our new home.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 16: Homunculus Returns!

The second release of our hoppy, Belgian golden ale, Homunculus, will begin leaving our warehouse on Monday, July 16.  Just a reminder that joining our Big Beer Series Subscription ensures you'll get bottles of each release before we begin shipping it to our wholesalers.  Here's all the information on this year's release. 

Smuttynose’s Homunculus returns to the Big Beer Series after a wildly successful 2011 debut.  Inspired by hoppy, golden Belgian ales, Homunculus’ prototype was a 2007 Short Batch Series release called “The Gnome.”  It was a nice tribute, but we needed a new name for the bottled version.  Not only is “homunculus” a memorable name, but it’s also synonymous with “gnome.”

So what is a Homunculus?  The term, Latin for "little human,” shows up in disciplines as diverse as psychology, alchemy, and biology.  As you can see from the label art, we were captivated by the biological roots of the term.  Before the creation of ground lenses and microscopes (circa 1600), medieval scientists had many theories that explained the origin of human life.  “Preformationism,” widely accepted at the time, proposed that each new child grew from invisible, miniature versions of themselves (homunculi). 

Enough genetics, let’s talk about the beer!  Like the label says, Homunculus is a hoppy, Belgian-style golden ale. A special yeast strain creates an array of fruity esters which complement the hop aromatics.  The simple grain bill of 2-Row base malt, German Carahell, and some cane sugar lends a touch of sweetness, but more importantly, a lightness of body.  Magnum hops are used exclusively at the beginning of the boil for a clean bitterness, while late boil additions of Sterling contribute a subtly spicy hop flavor.  We’ve already got the makings of one tasty beverage, but Homunculus' real moxie comes from its pungently aromatic dry-hopping.  Our brewing team selected Saphir, a newer German noble hop variety, as this year’s dry-hop.  Saphir contributes a clean, subtle aroma reminiscent of tangerines.

We'll begin shipping Homunculus the week of July 16 and it should begin appearing in beer stores, bars and restaurants not long after that, depending on when each order goes out.  

Stat Box
9.37% ABV
45 IBU
Starting Extract: 20˚ Plato   Finishing Extract: 2.5˚ Plato
Malt: North American 2-Row, Weyermann Carahell
Hops: Bittering-Magnum, Flavor-Sterling, Dry-Saphir
Yeast: White Labs Trappist Ale Yeast, WLP-500
Special Guests: Cane Sugar, to lighten the body.
Production Size: 200 barrels (6200 gallons)  

Homunculus pairs well with a wide range of dishes.  Its fruity notes will accentuate earthy foods like terrines and pâtés, sausages or hearty stews.  Homunculus also has enough acidity to stand up to white, creamy pasta sauces and grilled salmon.  For cheese courses, we suggest any variety except blue cheeses.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Short Batch Series #15: Rye IPA

We're pleased to announce the release of our new Rye IPA! 

Bottles will go on sale exclusively at Smuttynose on Thursday, June 28 at 5pm in celebration of New Hampshire Craft Beer Week.  We've only got 20 cases of 750ml bottles (see Tyler's excellent modeling job below).  Bottles are $15 each and come with their own brown bag.  We don't know how sales will be during the release, but if there are any bottles left, they'll be for sale in our retail nook, while supplies last.

The beer uses our best-selling Finest Kind IPA as template, but a few key changes make this beer quite different.

1) We tweaked the grain bill adding 30% rye malt and swapped Aromatic malt for C-60.  Rye adds a spicy note while Aromatic malt adds a more subtle flavor than C-60 but increases malt aroma.

2) We lowered the mash rest temperature a few degrees, giving the final beer less body and more drinkability.

3) We jacked up the dry hopping to four times the level of Finest Kind. You know what that means, big aroma in your olfactory.

See you Thursday, and yes, we will be pouring samples so you can try before you buy.


The Stat Box
7.0% abv
65 IBU
Malts: North American 2-Row, Rye Malt, Crisp Pale Ale, Aromatic
Hops: Bittering-Magnum, Flavor-Amarillo and Simcoe, Dry Hop: Simcoe and Amarillo
Yeast: WLP-001 White Labs American Ale Yeast 
Batch size: 25 barrels



Monday, May 14, 2012

Windy City Whistlestop

We've been in the Chicago market for over a year and Windy City Distribution has done a great job representing us, but we'll occasionally dispatch one of our Field Sales Managers for some key events.

For American Craft Beer Week, which starts today, Smuttynose's two bass-playing beer salesmen, Joe Grotto and Pat Fondiller are hitting the streets at these great events:

Thursday, May 17th- Beer Under Glass at Garfield Conservatory
Friday, May 18th- Smuttynose Tasting at the Clark Street Binny's from 5pm-7pm
Saturday, May 19th- Smuttynose Tasting at the Marcey Street Binney's from 5pm-7pm (it's right near Goose Island's Brewpub and the Siebel Institute)
Saturday, May 19th- Smuttynose Tap Takeover at Jak's Tap, starting at 8pm.
Sunday, May 20th- Smuttynose Tasting at the Willowbrook Binny's, starting at 8pm
Tuesday, May 22th- Smuttynose Tap Takeover at the legendary Map Room, featuring Brett & I, Oak-     Aged Belgian Stout, Finestkind IPA, Old Brown Dog, Star Island Single and our award-winning Robust Porter.  Taps start flowing at 7pm!
Wednesday, May 23rd- Smuttynose Tap Takeover at Bigby's Pour House starting at 7pm.

Remember, you can see our full slate of events on our Events Calendar.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 Big Beer Series Release #2: Really Old Brown Dog

Shipments Begin March 12!!!

Really Old Brown Dog returns to the beer market beginning on March 12.  This malty, wood-aged take on an old ale is our tribute to Olive, our ball-chaser, squirrel-wrangler, and loyal companion of Peter Egelston, our Founder and President.  

Really Old Brown Dog was first brewed in 2007 and has become one of our fastest-selling and beloved Big Beers.  In addition to our two dog-themed beers, we also host a Brown Dog Pinup Page, to which you should feel free to submit pictures of your favorite pets or simply browse candid shots of other people's.

The beer itself is complex.  You'll taste malty character that's reminiscent of whole-wheat, digestive biscuits while tannin and vanillin notes add depth and complexity to the malt.  A final wash of dried fruits and port adds a lively third dimension of enjoyment for your taste buds.

Food Pairings:  If you're looking for a cheese pairing, blue cheese almost has to be the best option, due to the port character in the beer.  Roasted root vegetables or anything heavy on tomatoes are nice options for the non-meat eaters, while the carnivores on this list should try lamb or venison.

The Stat Box   
10.1% abv
20 IBU

Starting Extract: 20.5° Plato 
Finishing Extract: 2.5° Plato

Malts: North American 2-Row, Aromatic, Crisp Pale Ale, Carafa II DH, C-15, Carared
Hops: Sterling
Mojo: Port-soaked oak chips
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale Yeast
Production Size: 200 barrels (6200 gallons)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Portsmouth Beer Week Rare Kegs

We've got a number of special beers being tapped during Portsmouth Beer Week.  To help you plan better, here's a short list:

Tuesday, February 28 at the TJ's IPA Tap Takeover, we'll be pouring Finestkind IPA and Big A IPA.  The hops start flowing at 8pm.

Wednesday, February 29 (Leap Day) brings around the annual J. Lohr vs. Smuttynose Beer vs. Wine Dinner at The Blue Mermaid.  Our line-up features rarities like Satchmo, Bourbon Barrel-aged Robust Porter, and the newest batch of Vunderbar Pils.  You will need reservations for this seated, pairing dinner.

Thursday, March 1 will see the new batch of Brett and I, on tap at The Press Room along with 2006 Wheat Wine and Vunderbar Pils.  The show starts at 8 and your cover charge goes entirely to (H)Eat.

On Friday, March 2, The Flatbread Company will be tapping a log of 2007 Farmhouse Ale at 8pm. 

There isn't anything rare on tap for Saturday's Pub Tour, but you won't want to miss it.  The gathering begins at 1pm at The Press Room and the groups depart at 2.

The River House's Brunchfest on Sunday morning will feature another log of Brett and I, in case you miss the Battle of the Bands.

The full details can be found on the official Portsmouth Beer Week website, run by the 2BeerGuys.

We'll see you out and about in town!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Devizes, Day 1

After getting into the UK, Dave and I took two trains to get from Heathrow Airport to Swindon, where we would meet Brian Yorston, Head Brewer at Wadworth.  Brian is both the man who'll get our beer ('Murrican Mild) into firkins and also our de facto host.
Wiltshire, the county where Devizes is, has a very old and very rich history going back to the Druids.  Brian has been an excellent host and tour guide, driving us all around the county.  Our first stop after the Swindon rail station was a cruise through Avebury which has larger, less-known stone circles that are older than Stonehenge.  Right after the center of town is this immense earthen mass, Silbury Hill, the largest man made hill in Europe.  It's 131 feet tall and covers 5 acres of space.  Like a number of things in this area, it's mysterious.


Our car trip ended at a Wadworth pub (there are about 250 of them and they are literally everywhere) called the Waggon and Horses, where we had our first pints of Wadworth beer and a traditional Sunday roast of British beef, carrots and parsnips, green beans, roast potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding.  It was delicious after a long trip.

The Waggon and Horses from the A4

Sunday roast, unchanged for centuries

After lunch, we arrived in Devizes and checked into or hotel, called The Bear (the name made Dave a little nervous).  It's only from the 15th Century but has a great pub full of Wadworth beer.  We strolled around town, had a few pints (all at Wadworth pubs) and then went to a local chippy for dinner.  It was greasylicious and it felt like we'd gone to the Gilly's of Devizes.  Then we slept.

 We met Brian at the brewery at 10am after a tasty breakfast that included delicious pork products and Marmite.  What began as a simple look around the place turned into a nearly 4 hour tour of the entire Wadworth facility.  We saw everything from their old coolship room and their massive cask racking plant to their lab, visitors center and 125 year old steam engine-powered brewhouse that will be used to brew 'Murrican Mild."  We'll share more info about it in another post, but the two most striking features are the open kettle (it's called a copper in the UK) and a tank that sits between the mash/lauter tun and the kettle.  Brian told us this odd vessel is largely pointless these days, but was used for adding sugars to the wort when brewers were taxed on the malt they used rather than volume or beer strength.  

The rest of the brewery was a complex of additions of buildings.  There were so many more incredible things we saw, a master cooper's work space, 100 year old brewing logs, new ideas for our tour at Smuttynose, that I can't possibly describe them all.  Fortunately, this won't be the last blog post, so stay tuned readers, the fun's just beginning!

Dave and Brian check out a square, open fermenter full of beer

This is the top of the historic hopback which will be full of leaf hops and orange peel tomorrow.

The steam coil of the historic open kettle

Wadworth's main mill is from 1932.  It's looks like an antique typewriter and is apparently built to last and last and last.

A small portion of dirty firkins waiting to be cleaned and refilled.

Two operations heads in their natural habitat, the tasting room.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty!!

This evening, Dave Yarrington (Smuttynose's Director of Brewing Operations) and I will shuffle down to Logan Airport to depart for a week-long business trip/beer geek dream adventure.

We've got a number of destinations, but our core destination is the town, Devizes (Deh-vi-zis), "Wiltshire's Hidden Gem."  This small town of 11,000 people is home to the Wadworth Brewery where Dave is brewing a single batch of a new beer called " 'Murrican Mild" that will be sold exclusively in JD Wetherspoon's pubs around the UK.  We'll tell you more about the beer in another post (here's hoping for abundant, free wi-fi), so for now,  I'll explain a little more about this trip. 

The Wetherspoon's pub chain has over 835 outlets around the UK and is known for low prices, long opening hours and for its strong support of British craft beer, a.k.a. "real ale."  In an effort to bring something unique to their chain-wide real ale festivals, Wetherspoon's began flying in brewers from around the world to brew guest beers in the UK for sale exclusively in their own pubs.  This is a pretty remarkable way to get a delicious, international array of craft beers that aren't imported into the UK and Smuttynose is very proud and excited to be part of the 2012 festival.  You certainly wouldn't say "no" either. 

I'm not sure how many years they've been doing this program, but I do recall some of the other brewers who've gone over in the past.  Tonya Cornette (Bend Brewing Company and only female winner of Brewmaster of the year at the World Beer Cup), Matt Brynildson (Firestone Walker), Toshi Ishii (ex-Stone and current Ishii) and last but not least, our friend Mitch Steele (Stone).  As you can see, we're joining a pretty great list of brewers and rightfully so (thanks Mitch). 

All conceits aside, this is great opportunity to represent not only US craft beer, but New England and New Hampshire as well. 

We'll be joined by a few other international brewers participating in the fest.  Kjetil Jikiun from Nøgne Ø (seriously, can anyone tell us how to pronounce that?), a brewer from Russia and Richard Chennells from Zululand in South Africa, with whom I graduated the American Brewers Guild Program.  While not everyone will be brewing at Wadworth, our paths will be crossing at some point and I'm sure that'll involve pints and pictures. 

Stay tuned for updates both here and on our Facebook page.  We'll be posting throughout our journey if you'd like to follow along.  Wadworth is one of the finest examples of Victorian tower breweries in the UK, so that'll be a particularly photo heavy post.

Until next time, Cheers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heritage Ave. Expansion Update 2/8/12

Though it's not the greatest picture in the world, you can see the completed roof extension for our newest expansion to our Heritage Avenue brewery.  Though you can't tell from this picture, we'll be craning in a total of five new tanks under this steel canopy.  The initial drop will be three 200 barrel fermenters and a 200 barrel bright tank while a fourth 200 barrel fermenter is on order and should be online for a busy summer season. 

We've installed some process piping underneath our horizontal bright beer tanks as well, so we're just really waiting on the tanks, which should be here in a few weeks from JV Northwest.

The next update will be the tank delivery and install which will be taking place right around Portsmouth Beer Week.  We'll look forward to sharing some cool pictures and videos when we've got 'em...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Robust Porter Recognized Again As Good Food!

We're pleased to announce that Robust Porter has won its second consecutive Good Food Award at the 2012 awards ceremony on January 13 at San Francisco's historic Ferry Building.  The ceremony was hosted by Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse and pioneer of farm-to-table cuisine.  The Good Food Awards recognize tasty, authentic and responsibly-produced American foods across eight categories; beer, spirits, charcuterie,cheese, pickles, chocolate, coffee and preserves.

This brings Robust Porter's medal count to six winning medals: two Good Food Awards, two gold medals from the Mondial de la Biere, one gold medal from the Cleveland International Beer Festival and one gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival.

Peter's sister Diane, Smuttynose's Left Coast Emmisary, accepted our medal and reported back that a beef brisket braised with Robust Porter, made by Wise Sons Delicatessen, was among the most delicious dishes at the Awards reception.  Diane was very gracious to represent us this year and we certainly appreciate it.

Smuttynose happily sends a big "Thank You" to Emily, Jen and the rest of the Seedling Projects staff for organizing and growing this great event.