Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year all!

Greetings beer lovers,
Well, here it is the last day of 2011...... WOW! That was a fast year! I hope all have had a good year and are looking forward to 2012. That whole Mayan calender has me a wee bit wonderin' but I am more interested in making beer and have a good time in 2012! We have just brought another beer back into the fray.... our Munich Dunkel which is a lovely well balanced dark amber lager that should quell all you session lovers!! Be careful tonight and have a safe and Happy New Year and look forward to our milk stout coming in the first of the new year.... Cheers! Todm

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Satchmo in da house!

Greetings beer lovers,
We got lucky and snagged a few logs of the limited release Satchmo, from Smuttynose, that will be our Sunday special beer!. Satchmo is an English style brown porter with black Trumpet mushrooms foraged by no other than Evan Mallet of the Black Trumpet restaurant here in Portsmouth. The collaboration between Evan and Smuttynose has had a great effect on the use of non traditional ingredient in the Smutynose short batch and might get Dave and crew to think about other weird ingredients(?). The mushrooms add an aromatic quality to the beer that Charlie Ireland from Smuttynose calls "Fun-guy" (fungi- yuk-yuk!). The brown porters of England have a well balanced body with a touch of residual sweetness and not a huge amount of alcohol either(approx 4.5%abv.) making for a great drinking brown porter. Lastly, the addition of sherry soaked oak chips during conditioning adds in a "barrel" character to this unique short batch series. Come on in on Sunday and enjoy a pint or two of this wonderful brown porter. Cheers! Todm

Friday, December 23, 2011

More Information Regarding Kate Day 2012

Good afternoon,

Most of you know by now that Kate Day, the day we release our highly regarded Russian Imperial Stout, will take place at the Portsmouth Brewery on Monday, March 5, 2012. Up till now we haven't posted many details because, frankly, we hadn't worked them all out. I'm writing today to provide more information about this popular annual gathering, pointing out similarities and differences between the upcoming Kate Day and previous years' events. As in the past, I'll use a Q&A format (which will allow me to cut and paste shamelessly from my last year's post):

When will Kate Day take Place in 2012?
Kate Day will take place on Monday, March 5, 2012.

How much Kate the Great will be brewed?
Tod and Brian have brewed a somewhat larger batch than in years past: fourteen barrels, divided more or less equally between draught and bottles.

I heard a rumor that you’ll be using different bottles this year. Is that true?
You heard right. We have decided to abandon the familiar 22-ounce “bomber” bottle and have chosen instead to use the classic “Steini,” a  bottle most commonly associated these days with beers such as Duvel and Piraat.

But don't Steini bottles hold less beer than bombers?
I'm glad you asked. Yes they do - 11.16 ounces versus 22, to be precise.

Does that mean you’ll be offering more bottles for sale?
Another great question! Yes. This year we will make 2,000 bottles available for sale. More than double the number from years past. (Yes, sometimes less truly is more.)

How much will these new, smaller bottles of Kate cost?
Last year we raised the price of 22 ounce bottles to $15. This year we have pro-rated the price to account for the smaller bottle and will charge $8 apiece.

Will growlers of Kate be available?

Last year you switched from using calendar pages to a lottery system using scratch tickets as a means of distributing bottled Kate. Do you plan to use scratch tickets again this year?
Understanding that no system is perfect, we really like the way the scratch tickets worked last year. It is an equitable way to distribute a limited number of bottles where demand greatly exceeds supply; it reduces the crowds forming on our doorstep and down the block on Kate Day, which keeps our neighbors and the local constabulary happy; and it enables us to raise a significant amount of money for local non-profits. Consequently, we WILL be using scratch tickets this year, as well. Here's how it will work:

- 15,000 tickets will be available, with 2,000 “winners” mixed randomly among them.
- These tickets will be sold at the Portsmouth Brewery for $2 apiece starting ABOUT three weeks prior to Kate Day, until they run out.
- 100% of the revenue generated by the sale of these scratch tickets will benefit five non-profits, including the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire. (For the curious, the Portsmouth Brewery does not take a tax deduction for these funds.)
- Sale of scratch tickets will be limited to ten per person per day.
- Scratch tickets must be purchased in person at the Brewery. None will be sold by mail.

• If I don’t live near Portsmouth, how will I be able to purchase a ticket?
This is where you become resourceful and ask your Aunt Tillie in Kittery or your BA trading partners to help out and buy tickets for you.

• So I've got a winning scratch ticket, now what to I do?
A WINNING SCRATCH TICKET HAS NO CASH VALUE - it merely entitles the bearer to purchase a single bottle of Kate at his or her convenience any time from March 5 through April 15, 2012. An individual can purchase as many bottles of Kate as he or she has winning scratch tickets. Winning scratch tickets become invalid after April 15, 2012.  Any bottles of Kate remaining unsold after that date will be made available to the general public in our retail store.

• When and how will people be notified when scratch tickets go on sale?
We'll post on our Facebook page and send out a tweet the morning they go on sale, ABOUT three weeks before Kate Day.

• How is draft Kate going to be released?
We plan to use the system we employed last year: the Portsmouth Brewery will open its doors for business at 11:00 am on Kate Day. We will let people into the building in groups of 50, spaced 15 minutes apart, until the restaurant is fully seated. This is to assure that service (and beer) flows smoothly, enabling us to provide the best hospitality throughout the day. The official tapping of Kate will take place around 11:30 am.

• If I come with a large group of friends, will we all be able to sit together?
We'll do our very best to accommodate groups of all sizes on Kate Day, but we can't make any promises.

• Will we be seated with people we don’t know?
Perhaps. In order to make sure that all of our guests are seated and served as expeditiously as possible, a certain amount of communal seating is required. Kate Day is probably not ideally suited for a romantic date, but it is a great opportunity to make new friends!

We will provide more details over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Please keep in mind, the purpose of Kate Day is to have fun, to celebrate good beer and gather with friends, old and new. At the Brewery we try to do our best to deliver on that. We look forward to serving you. 


Peter Egelston

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidaze!!

Greetings Beer Lover,
A happy Holidaze to all! Hopefully, all of you have finished your holiday shopping and are just about ready for some Holiday cheers! In the unlikely event that we run out of Holidaze Porter before the official Holiday...... Oh wait.... we just ran out of Holidaze Porter!! Shoot! Anyway, we have replaced Holidaze with another cheerful beer our Imperial Porter. Dark and chocolately this one is just missing the ginger spiciness but it is..... oh so good! Lots of roastiness rounded out with some residual sweetness from the crystal and caramel malts plus some flaked barley, this porter rocks the Christmas tree! So, be sure to stop in for a couple of pints and be sure to say hi. Have a safe and merry holiday. Cheers! The Brew Crew, Tod and Brian

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Weekly Specials!

While this isn't explicitly beer news, it's definitely worth posting.

Chef Todd Sweet and Sous Chef Jon Hebert have created a new menu of Weekly Specials.  These new dishes incorporate elements of Korean, British and New Orleans cuisines just to name a few.  "Our goal with this menu," said Chef Sweet, "was to serve dishes that are grounded in something familiar but also offer something unique.  We like the idea of dining by appointment, so what you're seeing here is our best attempt at giving you seven delicious reasons to visit the Brewery."

The new specials menu also offers a significant increase in vegetarian options from its predecessor.  Take a look:

Stout Shepherd's Pie- Lamb and local carrots simmered with herbs in our Stout and baked with "neaps and tatties"  $15.95

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie- Tempeh, forest mushrooms and local carrots simmered in our Stout and baked with "neaps and tatties" $14.95

Veggie Gumbo- A hearty stew of Dirty Blonde Ale-braised greens, chick peas and seasonal veggies served over basmati rice $14.95

New York Strip with Lobster- A chargrilled, center-cut New York Strip served with chunks of lobster and a Smuttynose Star Island Single Hollandaise $34.95

Brewhouse Duck- A crispy duck thigh and seared duck breast served with an Old Brown Dog au jus, barley pilaf and bok choy  $24.95

Korean Barbecue Beef Tacos- Sesame-soy grilled beef in whole wheat tortillas with avocado, daikon and chili paste.  Served with house kim chee and cucumber-rice salad  $14.95

Meatless option with marinated tofu  $13.95

Sage-grilled Local Pork Kabobs- Grilled, marinated Breezy Hill Farm pork with an orange-rosemary glaze and served with winter squash, broccoli rabe and a risotto cake  $18.95

Curry Rice Noodles with Seared Scallops- Rice vermicelli stir-fried with shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers and bean sprouts tossed with curry spices and tamari  $23.95

Meatless option with marinated tofu  $13.95

Remember, you can order each dish all day long on its designated day.

We hope to see you soon at Portsmouth Brewery!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Special Beer for Sunday is Throwback's Maple-Kissed Honey Porter

Greetings beer lovers,
I just wanted to send out a heads-up for Sundays beer special. For this Sunday we're running Throwback's Maple-Kissed Honey Porter from our neighbors down in Hampton NH. Annettes' unique porter is brewed with maple syrup and wheat..... (duh!) as the name implies!! It is a medium bodies black porter with a touch of sweetness from the maple syrup with deep chocolate notes and a nice finish. Would be really great with the Pastrami sandwich, strip steak, Ziti and the Stout cake!! Just saying..... Cheers! Todm

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wow! 4 years went by really quickly...

Greetings beer lovers,
So, with a saddened heart we all say farewell to Tyler and best of luck at Smuttynose. I know I'll miss Tyler and all he brought to P-Brew but he'll only be a stones throw away over at Smuttynose and hopefully won't be a total stranger. We are in the process of interviewing candidates to step up to the task of assistant brewer along with Brian Routhier. Brian, BTW, has been on board for about 3 months and is doing a stand up job filling kegs and bottling that beer, transferring beer, cleaning tanks, harvesting yeast as well as brewing beer. That is about all we do here. BUT THAT IS PLENTY TO DO!! The new assistant will be responsible for all of the above as well and also being an integral part of the Portsmouth Brewery community. We are excited to bring someone into the system that has a new perspective on all that is The Portsmouth Brewery.
Enough of the sadness...... we are running some great early winter beers which include the Winter Rye and Winterweizen both excellent examples of warming winter beers. If you have not had the pleasure of having a wee bit of the Scotch ale you ought to get in here soon as there is not much left. However, there is an even bigger beer to follow. This years Wheat Wine which has that crazy toffee-like character as well as the dry hops( this was new for this year.... 10 pounds of leaf Cascade into the conditioning tank. Yum!) KtG is starting to condition and we just put in the Imperial Porter. Lots of black beers. In addition to those dark beers is the 5 C's Pale Ale. Just a little bit smaller than the IPA version at 5.5% abv. but all the same hops and great flavors. Can't wait. The end of this week brings a collaboration with Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Co. Dave Yarrington, Executive brewer at Smuttynose, Mitch and I will be brewing an old school IPA using Cluster and Bullion as well as Tomahawk in a beer we'll be calling Clusters Last Stand. It is an IPA and won't be out 'til later in Jan. but should be a great one. I gotta get back to work so we can ready the brewery for all of the aforementioned work. Hope you are enjoying the Holidays and be sure to stop in for one of our tasty winter beers. Cheers! Tod M