The summer after Zoe was born, Amy and I took a much need vacation to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I knew almost nothing about the tiny hamlet other than one of my favorite breweries, Portsmouth Brewery, operated there. That alone sold me on the trip, but it didn't hurt that Amy loves fresh seafood and the opportunity to shop. So, off in the cah to New Hamp-shah, we went.
What a gem that little town turned out to be. Cobbled avenues, with homes built right against the water. Market Street, the main drag in town, is lined with eclectic shops and eateries. It's a town, meant to be walked through. One of the highlights of the trip was the outdoor, American roots music concert in Prescott Park. Hugging the Piscataqua River, the quaint park hosted a rockin' night of roots music — supplied by the Molenes and Guns, Girls & Glory. That town was a true slice of Americana.
Needless to say, I have a soft spot in my heart for Portsmouth. When I came across this little tidbit, I smiled. Peter Eggleston has done a phenomenal job with Portsmouth Brewery over the last two decades. Their Murphy's Law Red, Milk Stout and Altbier are tremendous. Portmouth's sister company, Smuttynose offers Old Brown Dog Brown Ale and a Robust Porter, both top my all-time-favorites list.
The craftsmanship and dedication to beer is amazing, but what really sets Portsmouth apart from other breweries, is their sense of community. I can't imagine the entire city has much more than 20,000 residents, and the brewery has really grabbed onto that small town vibe. They've become part of the fabric of town, sponsoring events and having a Community Pint Night, where 25¢ of every pint sold is donated to charity.
My recommendation is to pack the car, the kids and the cooler for a road trip to the Granite State. Birthday events start on Wednesday, June 1 and continue until Saturday the 5th. At the very least pick-up a sixer and raise a glass to a brewery that's been doing the right thing for twenty years!