Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013 Towle Farm Update

Portsmouth Beer Week seems like a perfect time to share an update on the construction of our new brewery at Towle Farm in Hampton.  Here it is!

Despite three weekends of snow storms, work continues at an impressive rate.  I can't say I envy the work crews out there, but I certainly appreciate the work they've been doing under such cruddy conditions.  The building is far enough along that our brewing and packaging staff recently went out to the site for the first time to see the progress and walk through their new work space.  They were pretty amazed and excited.

One things they're excited about is our new brewhouse, which is being built right now.  It's a four vessel, 100 hectoliter (~85 barrels) system from top German firm, Krones.  This powerful piece of machinery is from the same Combi Cube line as the system Founders Brewing recently installed, though theirs is a bit smaller.  The new technology will greatly increase our consistency and quality, which is vitally important when brewing and packaging beer.  There's so much to say about the system, that it'll get its own post once it arrives on our shores.

Otherwise, here are a few updates and photos from our builder's representative and project manager, Clark James.

-The warehouse is almost fully enclosed, save for the overhead doors and interior partition separating it from the bottling area.

-The panel crew has been working to affix insulated panels to the exterior of the building.  The building won't actually be yellow.

-The roofers are progressing with insulating the sloped roof, and have installed membrane ("TPO") on much of the flat roof.

-Masonry has been completed on several of the interior block walls, and the masons have begun installing the stone veneer on the exterior on the front of the building.

-We hope to start framing in the brew pub within two weeks.

That's not all:

We're working with the folks at Applecrest Farm, a local orchard, to revitalize the Towle Farm Orchard.  Many people have asked if we'll make cider.  While it might be fun, I believe we'd need a winery license and that isn't remotely on our radar right now.  On the other hand, we will have a pub at Towle Farm, so I can certainly imagine many more culinary uses for the fruit, than fermentory ones.

Smuttynose is lucky to have two beekeepers on staff and we'll be able to use their skills on our new beerhives!  The bees will arrive at their new home at Towle Farm in April.  Clark, who is one of the beekeepers, says we've got Italians with Carnolian queens.  If you're asking about mead, the same answer to the cider question applies here.  

Construction began with the warehouse.

If you were in our pub, this would be your view of the brewery.

Snow can't stop the Harvey Construction crew!

The main entrance is in the lower left-hand corner of this shot.  
The offices are just above on the second floor.

Here's a cool night time shot, looking straight down the fermentation cellar.  

The backside of the warehouse is closing up.  Note the barn on the right.

If you'd like up to the minute views of the new brewery, check out our webcam at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smuttynose and 2013 Portsmouth Beer Week

According to the Brookston Beer Bulletin, there are nearly 100 beer weeks in America, but ours runs from February 24-March 4We've seen beer awareness in the Seacoast grow a great deal since we tapped our first keg of Shoals Pale Ale at the Stockpot in June, 1994Back then, we had to try and explain why our beer was different than cold, yellow and fizzy.  Now, we've got a region full of craft beer drinkers and we're very excited to celebrate the beer culture that's finally taking root here.
Bill Harris has worked very hard to put together this slate of events.  Thanks to him, we'll be tapping some rare barrel-aged beers, showing some love to some of our favorite accounts and debuting Noonan, our new Black IPA.  We're pretty excited and our brewers, bottlers and sales folk will be out during the week, drinking and making merry with you all.  We hope to see you at one of these awesome events.

Saturday 2/23: Seacoast Winter Beer Festival at The Gas Light, Two sessions plus VIP, please visit for more information.  
            The 2BeerGuys and Seacoast Beverage Lab have reunited with the Gas Light to host the Seacoast’s only winter beer fest.  This year’s edition has brewers set up on heated space on their famous deck, as well as the third floor, where last year’s fest was.  The VIP session begins at 11am while the first session starts at noon and runs to 3pm.  The second session runs from 4pm-7pmWe'll be featuring 2011 Scotch Ale and 2011 S'Muttonator, so make sure you have a hearty lunch!

Sunday 2/24: Rolling Out The Barrels with Smuttynose, Sam Adams and WHEB at RiRa from 3pm-5pm.
            RiRa will be pouring, Big A IPA and three year old, a barrel-aged variant of one of our most prized Big Beers, Baltic Porter, while bearded Smuttynose staffers will be there to schmooze.

Monday 2/25: Smuttynose Wine Bar Takeover at the Black Trumpet, starting at 6pm. 
            Chef Evan, Denise, Marion and RJ open their doors and draft lines to debut our newest collaboration beer: Bloom!  Bloom is a Belgian golden ale brewed with edible flowers grown by the Trumpet’s staff at Meadow’s Mirth Farm.  If that’s not cool enough, you can also try recent Short Batches Durty and ParadoX as well as a 2010 Baltic Porter aged in bourbon barrels.  Each beer will also have a food pairing curated by a Smuttynose staff member.  Foodies won’t want to miss this chance to take over one of Portsmouth’s most beautiful dining rooms.

Tuesday 2/26: Smuttynose Rare Beer Tapping and Pairing at The Thirsty Moose, from 6pm-8pm
            2012 Really Old Brown Dog, bourbon barrel-aged Robust Porter and bourbon barrel-aged 2010 Wheat Wine will join Finestkind IPA, Old Brown Dog, Robust Porter, Shoals Pale Ale, and Big A in the largest draft account in Portsmouth.

Tuesday 2/26: The Return of the IPAs at TJ’s, from 8pm-10pm
            Portsmouth’s own hop-stravaganza returns for a second year to TJ’s.  We’ll be featuring our double IPA, Big A, and Paradox, our very limited session IPA brewed with experimental hop 01210. 

Wednesday 2/27: The Blue Mermaid, The Third Annual Smuttynose Vs. J. Lohr Beer vs. Wine Dinner, reception beer at 6pm
            This annual event includes passed appetizers and four delicious courses, each paired with a Smuttynose beer and a J. Lohr wine.  At the end of the night, diners will choose the winner, so please help us stack the deck!  Our beers for the night are: Star Island Single, Old Brown Dog, 2012 Homunculus, 2012 Scotch Ale and a cask of 2013 Baltic Porter aged on cocoa nibs.  For more information, please call the Mermaid at (603) 427-2583.

Thursday 2/28: Fun With Firkins at the Coat of Arms, featuring Smuttynose, Throwback and Moat Mountain, from 6pm-8pm
            We’ll be pouring Finestkind IPA dry-hopped with experimental hop 01210.  Fellow Granite State brewers, Moat Mountain and Throwback will also be on the beer engines for your drinking pleasure.

Thursday, 2/28: Belgium Comes To Portsmouth!  The Gas Light, from 8pm-10pm
            Beer Week returns to the scene of the Seacoast Winter Beer Fest!  2012 Zinneke and 2013 Gravitation will be pouring as part of the Gas Light’s collection of Belgian treats.  Alpo, their beer buyer, can really assemble a beer collection, so you won’t want to miss this!

Friday 3/1: WXGR Gourmet Lounge, a live broadcast cooking show, featuring Rudi’s and Smuttynose, Rudi’s in the Square, from 6pm-8pm
            Rudi’s chef will demonstrate how to cook two dishes, incorporating a Smuttynose beer into each.  The Gourmet Lounge is open to the first 70 people who show up.  These lucky folks will be able to enjoy Durty and bourbon barrel-aged 2010 Baltic Porter on tap. 

Saturday 3/2: Art²: Artisanal Beer and Locally-Themed Art, Opening Reception, at 6pm
            We’re teaming up with the fine folks at Sam Adams and the Press Room to open a crowd-sourced art event.  The call has gone out to the Seacoast to create locally-themed or -influenced art, which will be on display (and for sale) at the Press Room for the entire month of March.  A bourbon-oaked Finestkind cask will be on the bar for your drinking enjoyment along with bourbon barrel-aged 2010 Baltic Porter, bourbon barrel-aged 2010 Wheat Wine, and 2011 Farmhouse Ale.  $1.00 from each pint goes to (H)EAT, a local organization that helps local families bridge heating and food deficits.  if you want to submit art work, please email the Press Room's Tristan Law at tristanklaw (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sunday 3/3: A Day of Rest and Liver Recovery

Monday 3/4:  We’ll probably go to lunch at Portsmouth Brewery