Large, old-looking traditional style place. Crowded on a weekend at lunch time, but I squeezed into a barstool and got good service, one very tasty beer after another. Friendly staff and clientele. Very tasty food, so I’d recommend eating here too. A must-visit. Best to park in the garage just around the corner, follow the signs.
I guess it’s cool to visit the place that was at one point home to one of the most hyped up beers around in the old Kate the Great days.
It’s a nice building right in the middle of downtown Portsmouth/Market Street area. A nice big bar area with some high tops, booths, and regular tables. They also have a downstairs area for boozing it up.
All the beers written on the chalkboard and consisted of Portsmouth and Smuttynose beers. I just tried the Portsmouth stuff. Honestly, they were average brewpub beers, which I had kind of expected from recent-ish reports on the place. There are some "special" bottles in the fridge as well of interesting Smuttynose offerings, for instance. But didn’t purchase any.
Sitting at a table, we got pretty lackadaisical service. Pretty much saw our waitress three times--to order, to drop off the drinks, and then when we asked to pay. Oh well, wasn’t really planning on staying that long anyway.
Overall I was not impressed by this brewpub. The ambience was great and the service was fine, but both the beer and the food (the two more important factors, I would say) were lacking. They had on tap about six Portsmouth beers and four from Smuttynose. Nice to see them supporting another local brewery, but almost half the taplines? All the beers were overwhelmingly average or just slightly above. The condition of some seemed a bit off. For food we had mussles, veggies and hummus, and clam chowder. The mussle broth was so salty it almost rendered the dish inedible. The chowder was fine but absolutely nothing special. The hummus was good if slightly bland, and the veggies were not particularly flavorful. Given these facts, the prices (mussles at appx. $15, hummus $7, chowder $4) were definitely not warranted. I’m glad I had the chance to check this place out, but given my experience I wouldn’t go out of my way to revisit.
theisti (884) Kansas | August 23, 2010| Updated September 8, 2014
Cool older building in the center of town. It was buzzing with locals and tourists on a late Tuesday lunch. Service was
prompt and friendly. Food menu was pretty standard brew pub, with a focus on mussels - which I had. The mussels were really fresh and well prepared - though really salty, I like that, but others may not. They had 7 of their own beers on, plus 3 Smuttynose beers. Nice place, though with the big souvenir shop it felt a little over the top touristy. I guess this is the heart of Portsmouth, so I can’t blame them. Overall, well worth the stop. I made the drive up from Boston
and it took about 75 minutes.
76 = ★★★ (Worth the visit, must for locals, and visitors with time)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
If you’ve been in 100 brewpubs, then you’ve been in this one a few times. They have the brewery set up kind of behind the bar. They had 10 things on tap with 3-4 guest taps and a couple on cask. The beers were solid and professionally produced but nothing too life altering. It’s a solid enough place though I don’t think of it as a destination type location.
Nice brewpub in a very pleasant Maine town. Well worth the visit. The ambiance is local. Lots of wood: everything is wood. Big enough to relax but small enough to feel cozy. Friendly service. Excellent selection for a small brewpub: it’s nice to get ten beers in your first flight. It was $15 for the ten samplers when we were there, alternatively $1.75 for two of them. No guest taps as far as I know unless you count Smutty.
Oakes (816) Vancouver, British Columbia | June 21, 2008
Nice place, wooden and stylish. Wide variety of brews on tap, though I managed to miss all the really special ones. No Kate the Great for me. Grumble. The best brew was the American Mild that I got a bomber of from the gift shop. The food was interesting, but didn’t blow my mind. At least they gave it a go. Will return next time I’m driving by.
Located downtown, there is a large $1 an hour parking garage just behind. Old building with some modern, and nautical, touches. Filled with locals around 1PM on a Thursday. Exceptional customer service from both ladies working the bar. 6 beer flights available for $6, a wide range of styles including some cask options. A guest cider and two from Smuttynose. The quality of the house beers was very good. I did not try the food. There is an attached retail shop with bombers to go, reasonably priced, and other swag. Person working there was very helpful also. I was ashamed to have never tried their beer but glad to have the opportunity to do so. Essential stop.
The ambiance of Portsmouth Brewery is like a cool old-school pub. We spent our time downstairs which is basically just a bar with a pool table and a shuffleboard with a few tables and a couch. Very chill environment in the basement. I had a pint of mint and Chinook infused stout on cask. I thought it was very tasty. It’s a solid stop.
chriso (715) London, England | July 14, 2010| Updated September 6, 2012
Visited in April 2010. A good place to while away a few hours in the centre of Portsmouth. Which is just as well because, although Portsmouth is a pleasant place to overnight and wander round, we found really very little else of note beer-wise in town (apart from the Blue Mermaid which is very much a restaurant rather than a place for a few beers). Very busy on a Friday evening - there was a line but we only had to wait about 5 minutes. Would have preferred to just settle in at the bar but it was too crowded for that so we were seated in more of a dining area to the left. It was some sort of gourmet food week in Portsmouth so they had a special menu, which was very good. Don’t know what the food is like at other times. Eight of their own beers plus a Smuttynose available - some solid offerings but nothing particularly exceptional. Sampler trays available. Service was efficient and friendly. There’s a shop in the front where you can buy some of the beers plus other merchandise. Well worth a stop.