Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kate the Great......has come and gone!

Greetings all. It was a sad morning for me when I walked into the brewery only to look at Tylers long face to realize the end had come. Kate had left the building! I am veklempt, saddened and BLOW AWAY how quickly and well recieved this beer was and is no longer on tap. The bottles (900 hand filled!) were sold out in less than 6 hours! The 5 barrels on draught lasted all of 4 days, I hope people were able to try Kate. This years version was as good as ever but would really improve with a little more aging. I would imagine another 6 months will make her shine. We are already planning for the next batch. I might have a little more cloaking on this batch and have the black beauty in stealth garb 'til just before release. Peter, Tyler, Brennen and I will discuss. As far beers to look forward to we will be releasing our Imperial IPA in about amother two weeks and then next up will be our double Witt. Tyler what is next on your radar screen? As always the beers on tap at the brewery are constantly in flux. Well that's all I've got for now. Cheers! todm

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rain Check

Hey all,

First off thank you all fro coming yesterday for the Kate release. There was WAY more people here than I would have never thought. As those of you with a rain check know, we came up 120 bottles short of the 900 bottles we were going to because of equipment/time restrictions of the Portsmouth Brewery Bottling line (aka one head Malvico filler). Those of you with your rain check come on in on Fri (6/26/08) between 11:30am and 2:27pm to claim you Kate. And then after 2:27pm we go back to the old school first come first served for the rest of the Kate until it is gone.

I got to run.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Hey all,

It is minuets away from being 24 hours left until Kate makes her debut. Captain Hook is twitching as the clock is ticking down. I want to apologize on the lack of posting I have been doing lately, we are getting super busy around here. I mean we have been bottling for 4 straight days to get the 900 bottles ready for tomorrow! Luckily our intern Zach Bodah starts the first of the month so we will be getting an extra set of hands in here for the summer.

Another adventure we had was the American Craft Brewers Festival in Boston last weekend. The festival went over very well and there was a great showing of great breweries from around the country. I don’t want to make you jealous so I wont list all the breweries that were there, but it was a great time. We brought our IPA, Saison, Wild Thang and Dirty Blonde; no Kate was brought down to the dismay of about every third person asking if we were pouring it. We wanted to saving it for you guys out there reading this and coming tomorrow.

The Stout has changed over to the Oatmeal. We used flaked and malted oats again in this batch. It came out very nice and will be a good appetizer to have while you are milling around the bar waiting for 2:27pm.

Well I have to get back to the bottling! See ya all tomorrow!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Market Square Day!

Hello all,

Today is Market Square Day here in Portsmouth. If you are reading this and are planning on coming downtown for the festivities I wish you good luck finding parking. For Market Square Day the streets are closed off, vendors of all sorts are everywhere, plus all the restaurants and bars are open and ready for you. A good time for all ages here in Portsmouth.

But back to the beer! I have a couple of beer changes that I want to share with you.

First off the Scotch ale is gone. But we filled that tap handle with our Saison. Saison's are deemed Farmhouse style ales because every person that worked in the fields as part of their payment received beer from the owners own special recipe made in his farmhouse. This makes every Saison slightly different. Ours is light in body with a very nice fruity and spicy notes for the Belgian yeast strain we used. Robust in flavor but sill very drinkable.

Secondly, The Wiezenhiemer is going to kick in about 35 seconds. So I am telling the future to you, and my crystal ball says that Wild Thang is to follow. Wild Thang is a wild rice beer. It is not made completely from wild rice (sorry if you have a gluten allergy) but there is enough added to the mash to give a beautiful nutty character to the beer. The late additions of Sterling hops add a cherry flavor to the light bodied beer.

Thirdly, The cask has changed to Oaked Bottle Rocket IPA. Bringing IPA back to its root of traveling across the seas in a wooden barrel. We didn’t rock it back and forth for days on end to totally simulate the traveling. Or vibrate it at 135 hertz (OMmmmmm ☺). But the oak adds some nice tannin character with a hint of vanilla that play nicely with the hoppy IPA.

That’s it for now!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cask beer is grand!


Finally! The beer engine is back up and running. So come on in as ask your server/bartender what we are offering on cask today and have a hand pulled pint.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Hefeweizen is back

Hey all,

Since I was away this weekend doing my groomsman responsibilities for one of my good buddies from 3rd grade Tod has to work the Sat shift. But good news has come from it. The Hefe is back on as promised. I know that most of you out there reading this are really savvy in your beer knowledge. But the Portsmouth Brewery's is a German style Hefe, not and American style (like Windermere bros). So try it w/out a lemon before you fire some fruit into the brew. I hope that you will enjoy the spicy and fruity note in the beer that are naturally occurring form the yeast strain and will think twice about fruiting a beer in the future.

Cheers to No FL!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Breathing, and sleeping, again in Portsmouth

Whew! The sleepless night are over now that the issues surrounding Kate the Great have been resolved. The people have spoken. The laws have been laid out. I know that there will be some unhappy soles out there but I am convinced more people will be able to get this wonderful stout for more days than our previous release. The timing in December was perfect depending on how you look at the half full glass. The BeerAdvocates deemed this wonderful elixer the 2nd best beer on the planet and the #1 beer in America!! WOW!! No wonder there was such a fast run on poor Kate.There will be a limit on the amount of bottles available per person and no growlers available. If we had a 50 barrel capacity things would be different. But realistically, with only 75 cases being produced (and let me tell you how excited I am about this prospect) and the remainder available in draught only I am convinced the beer will last longer for more people to enjoy. I hope to meet many of you out there in "blogland" at the release of Kate on the 24th. Till next time. Cheers! Todm

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How Kate Gets Divvied Up - the Final Word

As those of you who've been following this blog & our newsletter know, the big question here at the Portsmouth Brewery is how are we going to divvy up our limited supply of Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout, which is due to go on tap in a few weeks' time? The rumor mill has been working overtime, with lots of conjecture, opinion and a few "facts" mixed in. Please consider this the definitive source of information and accept no substitutes.

Before we start, however, here's some background: this past December, as he normally does, Tod put his imperial stout, dubbed Kate the Great, on tap. At roughly the same time the December issue of Beer Advocate Magazine appeared, naming Kate as the Best Beer in America (and Second Best on Planet Earth), a judgement based on the thousands of Beer Advocate reviews posted online over the previous year. Needless to say, the beer sold out very quickly, leaving folks clamoring for more, and asking when Kate would make her next appearance. Frankly, the whole experience was quite gratifying but a bit overwhelming. (Here's Tod's interview on New Hampshire Public Radio.) In January, Tod & Tyler brewed the next batch, which they planned to put in tap sometime in late spring or early summer. 

In response to many inquires, and just for the fun of it, we chose an utterly random date and time for Kate to make her reappearance - Tuesday, June 24, at 2:27 pm - and even placed a countdown clock on our website. Well, we really stepped in it this time. After receiving reports of bottles of Kate trading on e-Bay for silly prices, and hearing ominous warnings about lines of people pitching tents on our sidewalks on June 23, we realized that we'd need to establish some protocols. Given my reluctance to establish arbitrary limits, we asked our newsletter subscribers to help us find the most equitable way to distribute the very limited amount of this tasty libation. The four options that were voted on ranged from no limits, to moderate limits, to strict limits. 

With several hundred votes submitted, the people have spoken, and they have chosen, by a significant plurality, Option Four - two bottles per person per day.

So, this is how it is going to work - 
• This batch of Kate consists of approximately ten barrels. Five barrels will be transferred to a serving tank to be offered on draft; the remaining five will be bottled. That's seventy-five cases, or nine hundred bottles.
Kate the Great, both bottles and draft, will go on sale at 2:27 PM on Tuesday, June, 24th.
Bottle purchases will be limited to two per person per day; Portsmouth Brewery Imperial Pint Club members will be allocated an additional two bottles - not an additional two per day, just an additional two.
There will be no quota on cases offered for sale each day, as was originally suggested. In other words, if 450 people show up on Day One and each buys his/her alloted pair, the beer will be sold out on Day One. 
On June 24th, bottles will be sold downstairs in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, not in our retail store, due to space constraints. After the 24th, bottles will be sold in the store, during regular store hours. Bottles will not be available after ten PM, as per standard policy.
The cost per bottle will be ten dollars, same as before, NOT twenty as has been rumored.

We are not going to offer Kate in growlers. Instead, we have upped the amount to be bottled from forty-five to seventy-five cases. This was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day, we decided the 22-ounce bottle is a better, more stable package, and that the inevitable spillage that happens when filling growlers is not worth it.

So there you have it. We're looking forward to hoisting a glass of Kate with you on the 24th!