Friday, June 21, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Thanks to everyone who continue to flood our taproom and enjoy our beer. There has been a lot of confusion over what our hours are so here you go. We are open for your tasting and growler filling pleasure Thursday and Friday from 4-9pm, Saturday from 3-9pm, and Sunday from 1-4pm. Cheers and we hope to see you all again soon.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
|1 hour plus wait on 11/17/12, huh?!|
|Takin' care o'business whilst gittin'er done.|
Just a quickie to let you know that our hobby has become a business! Thanks to the many fine folks who have found us and quaffed our empyreal ales and wonder gruits!
We are located at 175 High Street, Portsmouth NH inside the same building as A&G Home Brew Supply. It's the old Tech Arts building that also houses 3 Bridges Yoga, Port City Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Grim North Tattoo in the front. Our entrance is on the side of the building, in the parking lot under the A&G sign. Our tasting room hours are Thursday & Fridays 4-9pm and Saturdays 3-9; Sundays 1-4pm. Get the latest deets and tap line-up on the FB: Hope to see you soon--cheerios! Photos: Jay Fortin
Monday, November 12, 2012
|With 1/3-barrel Brewzilla in Amy & Alex's garage, 2009.|
In November 2009, after reading Stephen Buhner and Sandor Katz, we started brewing on the picnic table in my back yard. Buhner inspired with accounts of medieval brewing practices and insight into humanity’s connection with plant world. Katz provided a reassuring “anyone can do this” ethos and a deep reverence for the microscopic life-forms who conduct the real alchemy of brewing: fermentation. Alex and I were attempting a hop-less interpretation of DFH’s World Wide Stout--going big right out’ the gate. Proud to say the beer tasted incredible out of the fermenter, humbled to say it was an infected mess when it was finally poured from a bottle. Big huge lesson #1: clean your stuff, well, and often.
And we were off.
|Is that Ju-Ju, Gris-Gris, or Mojo in the tasting room?|
Three years later, maybe to the day, we will start selling our beer. This is in no small part to Alex running with an idea to open a home brew shop. A year and a half ago, he and his wife (my sister) Gretchen took the plunge and opened A&G Homebrew Supply. As you might imagine, our homebrewing acumen grew as we enjoyed access to, and wholesale prices on, lots of supplies and equipment. Another bonus involves the old adage: “The best way to learn is to teach.” With Alex suddenly in a brew store 7 days a week he had to teach it. He read books, magazines and scoured the interwebs voraciously--and we continued to brew a new batch every week or two.
And lets not forget the resurrected Seacoast Homebrewers Club who eventually took to meeting at A&G. All of us are better brewers because of the friendships and support that club members have given each other over the last few years. Nothing like geeking out once a month whilst discussing and drinking the different brews we bring. (Thanks and cheers, ya’lls!)
|In the brewery proper 2012, upgraded to a one-barrel system.|
Please join us for our opening day, Saturday November 17th from noon to 4 pm, and experience what we are brewing for yourself--empyreal ales and wonder gruits. Prost!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Greetings and salutations my fellow zymergyists and cultured imbibers. It’s another news-flash from EEB land and yes, things continue to progress, at a pace not unlike the growth of a tree or the changing of the seasons. We emerged from lawyer-limbo about a month ago and promptly sent money and paperwork to Uncle Sam and his old pal Daniel Webster. The feds and the great state of Cow Hampster have been payed and besotted with details like what we’ll do with the business if one of us croaks and what exactly our doors are made of and yes, everything in-between. We’ve got a bit less than a month during which time they will visit our humble facility and pass judgement.
Speaking of facilities, we have been in an odd loop regarding refrigerators. Alex scored a beaut a year or so ago which worked like a champ until 6 tap holes were drilled in it and the compressor suddenly crapped out. A local business that maintains and traffics in such things seemingly hooked us up with a four-tapped fridge, but not only did this crap out, the rep we had left said company before we got our money back. So we are fridge-less, still out a chunk of change, and giving said company a small window to redeem themselves with. Our suds certainly ain’t bad at room temp but it isn’t ideal and party taps are no where near as sexy as fixed tappage’--those freeze-dried turkey heads coming in the mail will be badass (kidding!).
Yeah, the suds. Well lets start with the challenging part; batch #4 of a chaga/madrake gruit is, like it’s earlier incarnations, officially destined for the drain today. We think we're finally on to the issue but rest assured that we aren’t going to serve you anything we don’t like. Jive Turkey (pineapple pale) and Dynamo Humm (DIPA+tripple gruit/bourbon barrel aged) were hits at the recent New England Homebrewers Jamboree. And finally, we won some medals at the FOAM Blues and Brews Fest last month in Mass. NE Gangsta tagged a bronze in IPA, Fur Trapper a silver in Belgian Strong, and Mary of the Marsh gold in the herbal/spiced catagory.
American Brewers Guild’s Advanced Homebrewers course, taught by co-owner Steve Parkes, international brewer extraordinaire. Not only do they have a teaching facility but also a functioning state-of-the-art 15bbl brew system to boot, and a tasting room. My general knowledge about brewing was reaffirmed and I got the low-down on the chemistry and math behind brewing--crucial stuff, particularly if’n you wanna go pro. Steve served it up straight, authoritatively, and fielded the river of incoming questions with narry a pause. He was approachable, knowledgeable, and has named his fermentors after the members of the Ramones. He’s got a solid, unique, and tasty IPA on tap at their Drop In Brewery which is a sign of folks who know their shite.
So there you have it. Quite the mixed bag, eh? Who knew such trials and travails awaited us? Thanks again for your interest and well wishes. As always, viva Las Vegas.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Greetings fellow zymurgyists and HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! It once again has been months since our last confession and these are our tales. If this post seems tainted by a bit of underlying cynicism, fear not. It is only our frustration with this noble endeavor of trying to sell you our beer. I have given serious thought to marking myself permanently with a memento from this trying time, a tattoo pronouncing our predicament: Hurry Up and Wait. We've got the beer—hell we've had that base covered for a while now—so that means we've got the brewery, and we even have a tasting room with 3 sinks, a busted fridge, some boomin' speakers, and a 30” cast iron Belgian lion. What, might you ask, is missing? The short answer is paperwork.
|Our tasting room shrine to the Belgianese|
The long answer is that we are, and have been, in a special place called lawyer-limbo. It's a strange land where time and space seem to stretch and bend, where simple things become lumbering behemoths and the language—oh the language! 'Tis a tongue so complex and verbose that an interpreter needs to be at your side for every oration. And dude, we haven't even started dancing with the state or the feds yet...
Clearly our challenge is to cultivate patience, patience, patience. Also trust, trust that this process is going exactly the way it should be going and at exactly the right speed. Too namby-pamby for you? Yeah, us too but what are we gonna do? We'll do what Charlie says: “Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.” But that's a challenge too because we have sooo much yummy brew to relax with, too much really, which brings me to my next subject: our brewings.
The darker ales from late last fall are still quite viable and still evolving. The Jean Claude Cochon is a fine and full porter with the smoke and pork notes markedly muted—maybe too much. The previously cacophonous smoked and oaked Kumbaya has matured into a rich balanced porter/stout. The Axe Man and Grapple Load are holding up very nicely as is the wonder gruit Mary of the Marsh. These beers have been schooling us for months and I like to think we are learning.
|Not up to par? Time to pour.|
Latest batches include a 55gallon bourbon barrel full of what's tentatively called Shizam Wagon, a previously mentioned mix of Jack Wagon, our grande IPA, and Shizam, our tripple gruit. Prelim tastings have been verrry positive. We need to bottle and keg it up soon but who's gonna drink all of that?! The Fresh-Cut From Down Under is a delectable pale featuring just motueka hops from New Zealand. The first batch of Shamanata, an almost-wheat wine with chaga and maple syrup, was ultimately a bust. Took us a while to figger out what happened but we finally realized that we were neglecting to clean the inside of the ball valves on our fermenters—oops. Our hopped beers were unaffected but the gruits were totally vulnerable. We've got batch #2 of Shamanata in secondary and without the unwanted bugs and dirt, it's tasty!
|I.P.Amber topped off with some Mary|
Alex messed with his New England Gangsta IPA recipe a bit and wound up with a new brew. He chucked some amber malt at it and the addition proved too worthy a match for the hops—not what he was looking for. None-the-less it's tasty and getting more tasty with time—for now we're calling it I.P. Amber (which typically indicates major dehydration but never mind...). We're also drinking a Fresh Cut Saison (yum!), there's a Straight-Up Saison in secondary, and some original recipe NE Gangsta. We just bottled up December's batch of Fallen Angel barley wine and had another go at our very first beer, a gruit based on DFH's amazing World Wide Stout, called Chinese Rock.
And so, as we continue to meditate on the concepts of patience and trust (whilst brewing our brains out), stay thirsty my friends, stay thirsty.....