Stopped for dinner and drinks on a Sunday in late June 2016. Cool intimate space. Bar seats about 8, tables for another 20+. Decent crowd, but not crowded. Seven of their own beers, and seven guest taps when I went.
Food menu seemed a touch high on a few items, but our bowls (lotus, and jambalaya) were pretty awesome. As my wife reminded me, we all too often think ďlike AmericansĒ and expect price to reflect quantity, not quality. The food price here reflects the latter, and the quantity is enough to feel sated, especially while drinking. For having ďonlyĒ seven of their own beers on, they cover a nice array of styles, with a saison, a kolsch, two sour gruits, a weizenbock, porter, and an IPA. The guest taps offered a few more styles, and a cider. Worth a stop, and this may fit in our travel plans for dinner stops in the future.
This place has hired two brewers assigned with overlooking two different brewing methods. One primarily does ales: typically, IPAs/DIPAs, porters, stouts, browns, and English-based bitters. The other is a forager, who is often responsible for disgusting herbal throw-up beer prevalent in the 12th century. I really did enjoy the sour beer they made with sweet gale, itís just when they have a wormwood, anise and pine bark ale on along with four other beers that taste nothing else but Everlcear and toothpaste, I start to worry. Iím really glad to see that they finally fixed their flight glass problem. If you had ordered a flight a few years ago chances are high they came in these big chunks of wood with the wrong sizes for the holes. The glasses often would get stuck and took quite a bit of prying to get them loose. It was frustrating to say the least but also managed to be mildly amusing among wildly drunk patrons including myself. Sandwiches were just plainly alright when the kitchen first opened, and they were pricey too. A few years whoosh by and their sandwich game has been stepped up thoroughly, totally worth the price theyíre asking for. Their IPA bases are astonishingly good and juicy. Yeah, itís a young white hipsterís paradise. And I donít even mean this as an insult. The people who come in for drinks are generally always ridiculously friendly and engaging. Only a small portion are pompous windbags. Bartenders know their shit, though itís usually not totally free from at least somewhat impatient sass directed at order-lingering customers who say "um..." upon looking at their menus after sitting down. Cool decor, fun, jiving music (live music is a nightly thing now). Iíll be back most certainly. I felt like I was swimming against a heavy current just to walk up to the bar. This place has always been crawling with people, and sometimes their pets, even. I mean, this is Portsmouth after all. A tiny operation serving gruits and IPAs will now be trendy because of its uniqueness. Not necessarily "bad", but it also doesnít really mean anything. My brain has this habit of unintentionally questioning whether or not they started brewing gruits just to be different, or because they genuinely believed that they could make a great addition to the style. And for as much I know, they have. However, I donít think that Iím ever going to not worry about if new gruits on their tap line will actually be worth it or a revolting mess. Iíve had a lot of strange, uninteresting, and nasty Medieval-resurrected beer at this place, some of which Iíd prefer not to remember. But you canít make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, I guess.
Visited later in the afternoon on a Monday. They have a small parking lot, but there is street Parking and a garage close by if that is full. Small taproom with ten or so tables, plus a bar and some patio tables. Great variety of styles brewed, plus some guest drafts and a cellar bottle list. The beer I had was all very good. Pricing was fine. I had a flight of 7 beers. Highly recommend visiting when in Portsmouth.
The family and I stopped in town to reminisce for a few hours since I havenít been back to town since living here 12 years ago and we were passing by. Small place on side street that I diverted our walking tour to. Friendly staff minimal crowd on a Monday afternoon. Grabbed quick growler to go to share with friends I would have tried a gruit if just for me but went with saison. Anyways cool addition to town
A funky little place. Itís located sort of in a back alley not far from the waterfront. They have a little tasting room with a handful of seats at the bar, some tables, and then a little "patio" area out front.
Seems to be a lot of experimentation here and in particular with hopless beers/gruits. Normally that would make me cringe, but they actually do a pretty good job with those. On the whole, I enjoyed their beers, in fact. And if those arenít your thing, they have a few guest taps as well.
The people here were extremely friendly and helpful in suggesting local places to get drinks and food. Their suggestions panned out quite well, I would say. Itís a neat little place and I would certainly recommend stopping here if youíre in Portsmouth.
Off of a side street,as the picture indicates this place has a real hole-in-the-wall feel. Itís cozy and eclecticly decorated as many places are these days. They had 6-8 of their own beers an another half dozen guest taps. They seem to do a lot of gruits which gets a bit old after a while. The food was good though a tad pricey. The bartender was cordial though she got slammed as soon as I came in so they could probably use more help to get things out quicker. It was a pleasant enough experience though not particularly memorable.
Stopped by mid-day Saturday which was a mistake as parking was next to impossible. I was able to get into a garage a block away right before they put up the "full" sign. WARNING: Do NOT come here if you are in a hurry. More on that later. Itís a small eclectic place. 6 house beers on and about just as many guest options, including a cider. The house beers were solid, and their gruits were inventive and tasty. Iíd like to comment on the food, but more on that later too. Prices were reasonable. Why not come here if youíre in a hurry? There is not enough staff, to cover the business. Food moves SLOWLY! I ordered sliders the same time I ordered my beers, but I canceled my order when they still hadnít come 40 minutes later. When I tried to pay, they shorted my change. I think their hearts are in the right place and they were working hard, but they need to find some ways to be more efficient.
Eclleteic spot, interesting decor, but thatís about it. 6 beers on tap 3 of which were average gruits. 2 really solid ipaís. The ipaís were worth a tick, but drink those and head on unless youíre a gruit note. Service was slow. They have snacks and some paniniís but overall a pretty limited menu.
Excellent brewery and pub located right in downtown Portsmouth but still tucked away enough that itís never overrun by the summer crowds.
Beer -- Top-notch selection, which has always focused on their own brews. If you go, youíll have six in-house beers to choose from, which are well made and crazily inventive. Theyíve also recently put in an additional 6 "Guest Taps" that have had some cool beers from around the state and country on.
Food -- Super impressive food here. They could have easily slapped in a panini press and called it a day, but instead their kitchen is staffed with really passionate chefs that make phenomenal food at really reasonable prices.
Ambiance -- They recently expanded and now the room has probably 10-12 seats at the bar and 5-6 tables. Itís intentionally low-key, with painted stuff all over the walls, but it works. Plus, you get to see the brew process through the door in the back of the room, and the brewers are always coming through and chatting.
Overall -- Go!
Very small place when I went but I heard theyíre expanding the footprint soon. Iíve been twice. the beers are simply awesome! Very well crafted. The staff is very chill, reasonable prices, tasters, some seating but not a lot. Nice patrons...very young crowd. Iíd go back every time Iím in portsmouth.