Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth BreweryPortsmouth Brewery
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
119 Beers
3,152 Ratings
Place Score: 94
Ratings: 319
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: 8
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

56 Market St
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 03801-3705
United States
phone: (603) 431-1115

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

The Portsmouth Brewery will typically have 6-7 of their own biers on tap, plus usually 3 from their sister brewery, Smuttynose. They may also have a guest tap on, which has seen Moat Mountain and Sierra Nevada as recent "guests". Growlers cost $4.00 for the glassware, then $10 to $18 for the actual brew, depending on the style. Be advised, they don't usually growler any of their stouts. Also available in the pub are 22oz bottles of Smuttynose Big Beers, plus their "Brewers Cellar" offerings, with items such as Chimay and Ommegang. The adjacent store sells a wide array of high-quality clothing, as well as 22oz "bombers" of Portsmouth bier, ranging in cost from $5 to $10.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 | Reviews: 197
Reviews by charlesw:
Photo of charlesw
2.88/5  rDev -32.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

The main part of the brewpub (where I ate) is tall and long. At 5pm on a Saturday night it was also extremely loud (the acoustics could use some work). The tables appeared full yet there was no wait and we were led to a booth as soon as the hostess bothered to notice us (this took a minute).

There is a largish selection of their own brews up on the big board (~ten beers) in plenty of different styles. All brews sampled were just fine, thank you!

The menu seems reasonably varied and mostly avoids standard pub fare. Sure, you do have fish and chips, but you've also got a pepper steak. The specials sounded really good and so we ordered them...

A cup of soup is pretty small, but tasted ok. The fries of the cheese fries were soggy and the cheese gooey. The romaine in the caesar was wilted and the salad was WAY overdressed. The tuna (one of the specials) wasn't what we'd expected from the description given by the waitress - it was very lightly seared (as stated) but was covered with a sour relish that (unfortunately) penetrated into the fish giving it an unpleasant flavor. In addition, the tuna steak was poorly cut and fully 1/3 of the portion was entirely inedible (we were unable to cut through the gristle/fat of that section and so couldn't even attempt to eat it).

Again, constructive tips might include keeping a closer eye on quality. Establish some standards, write them down, ensure that everyone knows what they are (signs off on them) and then enforce them.

Now, that said, would I go back? Well, my beer was pretty darned good, so maybe I would for that. But I would have to go at a slower time or to a different part of the establishment where the noise was more muted. I would not recommend it as a place to eat! But, heck, I might even eat there again. Next time I'll order my salad with the sauce on the side and something safe - like fish and chips.

More User Reviews:
Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

On a Saturday late afternoon, this is a hopping place. There are more than a dozen beers made on the premises. Most of them unrated by BA. As busy as this place is, there are a number of tables available for the dinner crowd. It feels a bit like a factory.

Photo of Nickcal
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great food, great beer, perfect vibe, not much else to say.

Photo of AJNIDEK
4.89/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Truly outstanding place. Both the beer and the food consistently impress me.

Photo of BostonBrewRu
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Cool bar, good beer, down stairs was real low key and had some great servers.

Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Portsmouth downtown is adorable, and I was shocked to learn the city's population is under 25k. That's smaller than my hometown in Iowa, where the fanciest restaurant is an Applebee's and you thank your lucky stars if you manage to find a place that has Sam Adams on tap.

The brewery is right in the middle of downtown, about two blocks away from the Thirsty Moose. The facade is geometric and bright yellow, the inside is more like a regular pub--bricky, warm lighting. Low-key vibe in spite of the fact that they seem to *always* be busy. Very nice staff.

There's a secondary bar downstairs that has all the house beers along with a limited liquor selection. They also have shuffleboard.

The beer selection was large and uniformly excellent, although they didn't have much by way of innovative or Xtreme styles, so if you absolutely must have a triple jalapeno gose or whatever you may be disappointed.

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Typical brewpub, usually a few nice offerings and always some tasty specials. They have a nice bottle list with vintage smutty's available and they tap some gems from time to time (KtG during Portsmouth beer week among others). Always a solid option when in downtown Portsmouth.

Photo of AdamTebbs
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Had a great time here. Great place to have a couple of really good beers and met some nice people.

Photo of TheBungyo
4/5  rDev -5.9%

People in New England probably take the setting for granted but for me just parking and walking to the Portsmouth Brewery was an experience. The old narrow streets, historic looking buildings really are charming. Being right in the middle of all of this makes Portsmouth Brewery feel much older than it is, which is cool.

The interior is heavy on wood, with a long bartop, and high chairs. Tables stretch pretty far back providing ample seating (which actually was not enough the last time I attempted to visit ... the wait was promised to be an hour plus!). Very nice looking and again, definitely bringing to mind the look of a classic pub.

I found the beers somewhat hit and miss, but not enough to detract from my experience. The food though was outstanding. Just looking at my plate of fish and chips was enough to put me in a state of awe. The fish was lightly battered yet very flavorful and perfectly cooked. I can't wait to get back and have more.

Photo of jco3
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Great place, I believe this is NH's first brewpub (I'm sure to be corrected if I'm wrong ). Great food. great beer, awesome atmosphere. Pricing is average.

Photo of hudsonheat
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

good food, decent beer

Photo of bosshop
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Second time visiting and just love this place. Everything is done right. Was fortunate enough to get my palate entangled in two pints of 'Nuggins' ipa. More fortunate to discover they bottled (that day) a bunch of bombers and selling them in the small retail shop. Their plough mans ate is about the best I've ever had.

Photo of arnold931
4/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We were there on a nice summer day. Sat outside on the patio. They had a nice selection of beers available. They also have a great gift shop with a good selection of tee shirts and glassware. The staff was very friendly and Portsmouth is a nice town to visit. A tip...don't try to drive downtown. Just park and start walking.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

our first stop on a maine coast brewery trip, lots of fun. right in the heart of old Portsmouth, the location is unbeatable. sprawling dining room, loud and chatty. we were lucky enough to be seated in the quaint courtyard reminiscent of European cafes. cozy back there, there were maybe 7 beers on, and a handful of sister smuttynose brews as well. all were decent, save maybe the wild thang, but the experimental pale ale was lovely, and the food was all impressive for the price. fresh chowder and pretzel bun topped the list for me. cool atmosphere back there to just hang out and session beers. service was okay, I think he had a dip in his mouth, but was friendly and seemed to care a bit about the beer. I would call this a must stop in a very cool little city. get yourself in the courtyard though, very relaxing on a nice summer day. bathroom doors are also really cool, for whatever that's worth.

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I’ve been coming here ocasi9onally for over 15 years while passing through the area. It has never disappointed me. They always have a good selection of beers on tap, and are always solid. Sometimes there are some more adventuresome brews available, such as the Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weiss that was up on my most recent visit. It is in a nice older building in downtown Portsmouth. I always enjoy the ambiance of these old places with the high ceilings. The food is pub fare, but with some more "modern" variations to some of it. The service has always been great.

Photo of Birdsong73
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

This was the one place I wanted to go when I went to Portsmouth. Luckily for me, the couple who I was visiting also wanted to go there. The first impression I had was the bar and restaurant area is adorned with finished wood. There are no neon signs or random pieces of "beer art". There were some televisions, but they were not obtrusive. In the back of the eating area is a series of large windows that allows you to view the large beer vats. Over the main bar is a series of hand designed signs identifying which beers were on tap. They had approximately twelve beers on tap, most of which were their various beers, but they also had a couple of Smuttynose as well. They covered many different beer tastes from an IPA, to an Irish stout, to light lagers, etc. Obviously it is the beer that brings people there, but it is the food that brings them back. The food at this place is top notch. Besides the high quality of the food, the Brewery has a philosophy that they want to use local farms for all/most of their foods. It is all handmade of exceptional quality. I had the fish sandwich and the fish was caught about thirty minutes from Portsmouth and was fresh. It was so good, that my wife and I went back a second time. The place is awesome and an incredible establishment in Portsmouth. If you are close to Portsmouth, I encourage you to go. You won't be disappointed.

Photo of csniezek
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I make a point of stopping by here pretty much any time I'm in the neighborhood. There's always something awesome on tap, and their house-made pastrami sandwich is to die for. I just need to be more careful about bringing back their growlers when I'm done with 'em.

Oh, and parking is only $0.75 an hour right around the corner. How do you top that?

Photo of ZEB89
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Right on one of the main streets in downtown Portsmouth, easy to find. Very lively atmosphere, energetic and fun! Wait staff was very helpful and friendly, they even were educated in the nuances in the beers on tap, which is rare. There were ten taps, 8 from Portsmouth Brewery and 2 from Smuttynose which rotate quite frequently, again not the most taps but all local. Food was the average pub food, burgers, sandwiches, etc, but with more flavor. Definitely recommended for another visit if you are into the local brewery scene.

Photo of mltobin
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Over the years, I have been here several times. For me, it is usually a nice "rest stop" while driving to/from different parts of Maine. Thankfully, it is not very far off I-95. The only real trick is finding parking, especially during peak times when the weather is warm.

Anyways, they do a steady business and thus it can be hectic at times. Despite that, their staff is quite attentative to their thirsty patrons. And for those who are unsure about a certain beer on type, they will give you a small sample before you commit, which is always appreciated. Aside from Portsmouth beers, they always have a few Smuttynose options and small selection from other craft brewers such as Founders on tap.

The food is above average, they have the typical burgers and sandwiches, but also mussels and few other offerings that aren`t typical "pub grub". The meals have always hit the spot for me and are a good thing to have when one has a couple beers here. For those who want to same brew home, they will fill a growler to go. Or you can grab a bomber at the adjoining retail, as well as shirts, glassware and other swag.

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

This is my favorite place to go in the NH seacoast area. The atmosphere is great. I like the open feel of the main dining room and the bar. It's usually pretty packed and lively during dinner hours. The beer selection is good, with brews from both the brewpub and Smuttynose. Lastly, the food is phenomenal. Everything I've had has been delicious and well presented. Their chef and kitchen also do a great job changing up the specials daily and they make a lot of beer inspired dishes. Awesome place.

Photo of MThiele360
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What can I say about the Portsmouth Brewery that hasn't already been said? I live about 40 minutes away in the Manchester area but I still manage to be a regular here.

The atmosphere at the Portsmouth Brewery can often hinge on when you're there. The upstairs restaurant attracts everyone from college kids to families with small children. On summer nights and weekends, the wait for a table can be lengthy. On weekday afternoons, you can't go wrong with Donna behind the upstairs bar. I also like the lounge for early evenings and weekend afternoons, but it can attract a bit of a college "bro" crowd in the late evenings (like most places in Portsmouth).

The quality of the beers is very high, and has stayed that way since Tyler Jones has taken over for Tod Mott. It's a brewpub so there's going to be good ones and not-so-good ones, but Tyler is doing a nice job keeping the beers consistently good as well as introducing some new beers and styles. One of the things I think makes the Portsmouth Brewery stand out is their willingness to experiment, with new beers being introduced all the time.

The service is one of the best aspects of the Brewery, and is what keeps us locals coming back in. Even if you're only in once every couple of weeks, they remember you and are all very friendly. All of the bartenders are knowledgable about the beers and you can often find Tyler sitting at the lounge bar in the early evenings.

Selection is varied. Typically they have 6 of their own brews on tap as well as 4 "guest" taps (usually from sister brewery Smuttynose but they often have other brews on). On occasion, some of the guest taps get pushed out in favor of more house beers. They also have one cask engine. The styles vary by season - they usually have some entry-level stuff (a pale, a blonde) on for the tourists and novices that wander in, but the styles they have in rotation run the gamut. I gravitate towards the IPAs and farmhouse ales they do.

I give high rankings to the food. Everything is very well crafted and they have something for everyone, whether you have vegetarians in your party or you're looking for a steak. They have weekly specials, a catch of the day, as well as a different cheap food item Sun-Thu in the lounge. $1 taco Tuesdays can't be beat.

Overall, the Portsmouth Brewery is still a must-stop in what is becoming a clogged Portsmouth craft beer market.

Photo of Kit
4.59/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Portsmouth Brewery is a great place to grab a beer, lunch, dinner, or a quick snack. They also serve good cocktails, wine, and local sodas. Their scratch kitchen serves up locally sourced seafood, veggies, and meats, with regular daily specials, and other "special specials." It is one of my fave places to eat and drink, and a regular lunch stop!

It's a little loud--old brick and metal, but the side dining room is a bit quieter. Beers are posted in large, colorful chalked letters in several locations in the establishment. The bathroom doors are made from old brewing tanks!

Their food is really tasty and made from scratch right there. There's an Asian-fusion influence--(curried mussels, Korean beef tacos, miso soup), some Mediterranean touches (falafel, hummus), and great bar food snacky staples--a daily devilled egg, Ploughman's plate of in house charcuterie that's a cheese, a couple meats, a jam made with one of the beers, coarse mustard, cornichons, and a pretzel roll (today's had Capicola, Pork House Pate, NH Brie, and Orange Marmalade with Sage and Hefeweizen.)

The servers are friendly and know a lot about their beer, and beer in general. It's a popular, busy place, and service is efficient. They don't take reservations, except if you want to reserve the "big table" in the back for a good sized group--check the website for more info! ALSO they validate parking in the shop, and have 2 gender neutral bathrooms by the shop, in addition to the restrooms in the main dining area.

They post their specials on Facebook, including what's on tap, in the cask and wine and beer cocktail daily specials.

They have an imperial pint club for a fee, and a rewards program. They have tasting paddles, and it's usually possible to taste a beer before you order it, as well as to order a half (8 oz) beer. They use proper glassware--ie Pilseners are served in pilsener glasses, saisons in globes, etc. And there is glassware, t-shirts, beer ephemera from both PB and SmuttyNose Brewery in the shop next door.

Photo of Rifugium
3.26/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

This place was definitely not at all what I expected. Atmosphere was pretty much like a full-blown chain restaurant, Rock Bottom, Applebee's, what have you. A lot of brosephs. I guess I expected something a bit more low-key and intimate for some reason. Oh well. The bar seemed disproportionately small, but there were plenty of dining tables, as well as some of those intermediate bar/table hybrids, which is where I parked myself.

There was a good selection of beers on tap, including a few Smuttynoses. However, overall I was quite disappointed by the quality of the beer. Again, I guess I just expected more. With all the hype over the now-gone Kate the Great, I thought there would be some other good brews, but there was really nothing better than your common amateur homebrew, with a few exceptions. And having never actually had KtG, I can almost come to the conclusion that it is/was probably nothing more than an overhyped/homerized beer as well. Not that the beer was terrible, I just didn't have anything that I thought was very good or distinctive, and I sampled everything they had to offer.

The service was fine, and our waitress was on the ball the whole time. The menu consisted mainly of comfort foods, but everything was pretty tasty. the waitress saved me from almost ordering a vegan meal. Well sorry if I know what "reuben" means but not "tempeh." I'm just not in that loop. Prices overall were reasonable. Nice merch shop as well.

I'm glad I took the trip up to visit, but honestly I'd never go back here for any reason. It's just not my kind of place, and the beer was mediocre at best. In the unlikely event that I ever find myself in Portsmouth again, I will be right around the corner at Earth Eagle, which is definitely worth revisiting.

Photo of seplo
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been here a bunch of times over the years and nothing ever changes, in fact it might get better.
the atmosphere about this brewery is one of the main reasons i keep on coming back. My friends and i always seem to chat it up with the friendly locals that inhabit this place.Everytime i've been here everyone is so nice.
the service is superb even when the is a wait to get a seat.They really know how to train their waitresses, you never wait more than a couple of minutes before being waited on.
they have a great food selection ranging from burgers, seafood, salads, sandwiches and soups(no disrespect to them, i cant remember everything).Their clam chowder and fish chowder is the best ive had.
They have a great beer selection from beers they brew themselves(that is constantly changing) to a local brewery called Smuttynose, they always have 4-7 beers i can easily drink.
the quality of the beer and food is unmatched by any other place i have reviewed or been to. i will be making many more trips up there and i suggest that you do too

Photo of NHSURF60
5/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is one of my favorite places within the Portsmouth area. They rarely ever make a beer that I don't like, and their beer selection is always great (and always changing!). The food is exceptional. Make sure you try the Black Bean Dip.

I usually refill my growler every time I visit, usually once a week. The growler itself requires a $4 deposit. It then costs $10 to fill the growler with a "regular" beer and $18 dollars for a "premium" beer. Rinse out your growler when you return and they will provide you with a brand new, freshly cleaned one for your refill.

The brewery tours are free and very fun. It is interesting to see how they make their beer in such a small area.

I have never had a problem with service on either floor and the bar tenders, waiters and waitresses all seem to have a decent knowledge of all the beer they sell.

Visit the brewery, if you have not already. You won't be disappointed!

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Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH
94 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.