1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth BreweryPortsmouth Brewery
BA SCORE
95
world-class

280 Ratings
Ratings: 280
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.62%
Active Beers: 102
Beer Ratings: 2,993
Beer Avg: 3.84
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 280 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roopy40
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

So Valentine's weekend, the wife and I planned a nice weekend to Portsmouth. I knew the KTG release was on that Monday, but I couldn't make it up. I was hoping something would be left, but no dice. Anyway, still made the trip to the brewery and had some lunch.

I started with the Trippel which was delicious and yeasty. We had the calamari, which was very good and a bit spicy I might add. After having some water, I cleared my way into the oatmeal stout and I had the meatloaf. I'm just a comfort food junkie, what can I say? The stout was nutty, oaty and very creamy. Wonderful beer. On to dessert, or lack thereof because we were stuffed, but mine was the Bottle Rocket IPA. Bitter citrus and flowery hops dominated the nose and the bitter finish was very pleasant.

For all the food we got and beer we drank, it was extremely reasonable. We may just have to make this a yearly trip. I also shopped the store and got some glassware, a shirt and a book. I will be back and thoroughly enjoyed my experience.

roopy40, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%

I was here for the latest KTG release on Feb. 9. 2009. Wow, what a day!

I was extremely impressed with the staff. They were dealing with a huge crowd and did so without missing a beat. They were very friendly and kept everything flowing great. I stayed in the lower (basement) potion of the establishment on my visit. When I got in to get my bottle the upstairs portion was very crowded, so I just held my ground. Did make a quick appearance upstairs just to check the vibe and decor. The downstairs was really cool. It was like hanging out at a friends basement bar. Decent sized bar, pool table, couches...it's all down there. The prices were pretty good, too. Overall, I was very pleased and look forward to spending more time there on my next visit.

Edit: Actually got to eat here on my latest trip up. Food was tasty, but our server disappeared for long periods. I wouldn't hesitate to come back for a meal again, though.

Imstillthegman, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of zerofear13
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Went here on 02.09.09 - Kate the Great Day. So take this review with a grain of salt, as normal days' experience might vary. I'll just talk about the actual brewpub and beer, so I'll try to leave out as much as possible about the actual KtG.

The atmospher was amazing. Everyone was incredibly friendly and having a great time. The service was excellent considering the conditions. The wait staff was attentive, friendly, and pretty fast.

Not really sure how to rate the beer selection. It was all of Portsmouth's own brews, obviously, but even then the selection wasn't huge. Only like 6-7 brews readily available on tap: Rocket IPA, Dubbel, Tripel, Wit (I think), an Oatmeal Stout, Lager, and one or two others that I don't remember. Not a huge selection. I think they could've had a wider array of brews.

The food was delicious. An added bonus. And the food came out amazingly fast to boot.

Prices were good. Very reasonable. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

Overall, a great stop. The brewery/brewpub is set in a very quaint little area. I loved walking around, checking out the shops and stores. In summary, stop in here and have a brew if you're in Portsmouth. And if you'd never really be near Portsmouth, make it a day trip, because it's a great, great little city.

zerofear13, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Went here for KtG day this past Monday. Under extreme conditions, the staff performed mighty admirably. Jeremy and Donna behind the upstairs bar worked diligently to keep those at the bar happy in addition to the tables. The place is full of newer woodwork, with decent tunes and a lot of windows to let light in. All have a friendly disposition. As far as food goes, I had a bowl of gumbo - maybe not the most traditional stuff in the world but it did the trick. Prices aren't bad at all. Selection is about 10 Portsmouth taps and a few Smutty taps. All of their beer is quality. Must-stop in Portsmouth.

IBUnit63, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

Cool atmosphere; a renovated warehouse. Upstairs and downstairs, with a lot of skylights to let in natural light. Brick and metal, beautiful. All beers are Portsmouth beers, but there is a very good selection to choose from. Their beer sampler is one of the best I've ever seen. 8-10 beers in 8 oz glasses, including seasonals and the good stuff. The food is good, not great, but their Portsmouth Kate more than makes up for it. Do not leave without trying it. Can be a bit pricey, I liked it better when Portsmouth was not so nice.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of indiapaleale
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

This is what a brewpub should be. The Portsmouth Brewery has a great location right in downtown Portsmouth. Its a great mix of locals and tourists. The vibe is very relaxing and the decor is perfect, exposed brick and woodwork galore. The brewing equipment can be seen from the main dining area and their is a great big bar area in the front.

Beer selection is great. They always have a large selection of beers on tap and something special or seasonal and even a cask ale a lot of the time.

Food is amazing, everything on the menu is delicious. The service is pretty much spot on although some of the servers are not the most beer savvy people on the planet.

Tod Mott is the brewer here and has become pretty famous on the beer scene. Every beer brewed here is excellent and the best part is you can go in their gift shop and get bombers to go.

I love this place and wish I lived walking distance away.

indiapaleale, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of cleeze
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

I love the brewery.Everytime I roll through town I stop and get my growler filled with goodness.

And their quality can compete with brewers nationwide! Did I hear someone one say "KATE THE GREAT?" because she's one tasty bitch if ya ask me! Speaking of that can't wait til feb for the keg tapping!

service is alright. Had a few rude servers but hey I'm there for the beer right? Keep me filled with goodness is all I ask.

And they always give a great selection too. Wide variety of styles on tap which I love and they got great seasonals. I'm digging their holidaze porter right now.

Food is good too. Their burgers, mussels, and calamari are DANK!

cleeze, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of irishtjb11
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

i personally love this place. ever since turning 21 i've found myself always trying to convince my friends for at least one beer at the brewery. ive eaten here several times and found the food to be well priced and well done. a bit more eclectic than typical pub food as well, lots of vegetarion and vegan dishes as well as quality sandwiches and seafood. i also cant get enough of the beers on draft, their own brews are terrific as well as the smuttynoses that are always on tap. the selection always ranges from standard, but exceptional ipas and lagers to some rarer brews like smoked dunkenweisens. can't say enough for the overall vibe, great art on the wall (as well as a newly framed obama poster); super laid back, super mellow. though this place is full of quality, it avoids the impression of being a bit upperclass or for an older crowd. it's ultimately the epitomy of what i look for in a brewery as well as a place to have a beer.

irishtjb11, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of scarletfire79
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

always a spot whenever we're even close to the area. on a recent visit the place was fairly packed, as is commonplace on the weekend or any night really. but we were seated quickly and served well. the beers are always changing and i really dig the 10 beer sampler tray. every one of them solid. the food is just as great, from sandwiches to seafood the menu is nice. how i wish there was a brewpub as good as this on my side of the state, Elm City Brewing in Keene being the next best IMO. all in all the king in new hampshire. stop by tuesdays for the charity night where you get a token with each pint to donate to charity. awesome place guys.

scarletfire79, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of sethmeister
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%

My wife and I spent a weekend in Portsmouth and ended up at Portsmouth Brewery several times. We just couldn't stay away.

The food is excellent and much of it actually is cooked using various Portsmouth beers. The Alehouse Mussels appetizer, which is steamed in Portsmouth's Cream Ale broth, is delicious and the clam chowder was some of the best we found in town. There's an ever changing Brewer's Table menu which showcases various appetizers and entrees and suggests beer pairings.

The atmosphere is friendly and warm and every time we remark that we seem to make friends - odd considering I'm not outgoing at all. Maybe its the beer!

Speaking of which... the beer is truly excellent. In particular the Witt2, a double wittbier, was fantastic. A couple weeks later they had Hop Harvest I casked w/ Cascade.

Check the website to see what is available on the taps and on cask as it is changing all the time.

If you are anywhere near NH Portsmouth Brewery is a must. I honestly can't think of anything that would make this place better.

*** Edited Oct 12 08 ***

We were there again last night and I had the Hop Harvest II on cask, dry hopped with Magnum hops. WOWOWOWOW!!

If that wasn't enough I had the Stout Elk Steak which was exceptional.

sethmeister, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of acme401
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

Come for the Beer! Stay for the Food!

I have no problem driving from Boston just to have lunch at the Portsmouth Brewery. It has been amazing every time I go.

The first time I entered the Brewery some years ago, my then girl friend was shopping and I needed a little break. I had heard good things about the Brewery so I stopped in. I ordered my first beer which has turned out to be one of my all time favorites, Old Brown Dog. Damn what a good beer. The bartender then suggested that if I liked chowder I should try today's special, The Cajun Crab Corn Chowder! My god it is the best corn chowder I have ever had! It was so good, I called my wife, told her to get her butt over to the bar to get some of it. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon in to the evening at the bar. It turned out to be one of those historically fun and memorable evenings. Since then we hit Portsmouth a few times a year to shop and I go to the Brewery.

The menu is very very good. Just large enough to be very eclectic without being unwieldy. Some of my favs are the Rhode Island Calamari for an appetizer, The Beast (it's a Roast Beef sandwich with onions, horseradish, gouda and mushrooms on a great onion roll) or the Toasted Vegetable Baguette. If you are looking for more than a sandwich the Fish and Chips are amazing. Whomever made the batter should be given a medal, so light and crispy! I love it! When you go, keep your eye out for the specials, some of them shouldn't be missed.

The Beer! The reason you came here! It's SO GOOD and SO FRESH! They have about 5 or 6 beers that are on tap year round, a Cream Ale, Stout, IPA Brown Ale, Pale Ale, and a Lager. Then there are the seasonal specials. From a funky Blueberry ale (made with real Maine Blueberries') to a Porter that will knock your sox off! Half the fun it trying them all, and to help you out they have a sampler with a taste of all their beers served on a long plank. Don't forget, you can take the beer home with you! For about $12, you can take home a Gallon Growler filled with your favorite brew, and if you bring the glass jug back, it only cost $8 for refills! Such a deal!

acme401, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of gixxerman
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Cool place! I stopped in around 4:30 and it was packed, I was able to snag the last available seat at the bar.

A few Imperial IPAs and I was set up.

The place was pretty noisy with a mix of tourists and locals. The staff is very accommodating with samples, ect.. A very organized choas, I never had to wait for the next beer. they are adequately staffed and run the show like a machine. I don't try the food, but everything that went past me looked great.

They do keep it very neat and clean here. There is also a whole seperate giftshop with its own entrance off the street.

Parking is what you would expect from Portmouth, but it is a nice place to walk around.

gixxerman, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

My friend and I stopped in Portsmouth just to go to this brewery. We were not disappointed. It was a beautiful day, and we went in for lunch. The place was quite clean, and there were multiple sections for people to dine in. We chose to sit outside in their little patio area.

The service was prompt and our waitress was very friendly. The food was tasty, and the beer was even better. I had the Imperial IPA with the Beauty sandwich, a vegetarian offering.

We were out of there in less than an hour.

MusicaleMike, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of lpayette
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Finally made the trip down here for, you guessed it, the June 2008 release of KTG. I don't do all that many beerfly reviews but I felt the staff and overall experience deserved one.

The atmosphere from the outset of walking in was very nice. I love the sign outside with the stein of beer just starting to overflow. There seemed to me to be A LOT of seating here. Perhaps the best part is that there is also a downstairs bar area that seems a bit more cozy and for those just looking to enjoy the bar aspect and not so much the food. It's a nice touch that puts this a step above most places.

I can't say enough about the quality of the staff that was there for the release. Everyone was very accommodating, and it also made me proud as a "not quite local" that my friend and I were greeted several times by some really friendly locals who seemed equally enthusiastic about the beer.

The food was pretty good, though I can't say too much about it as I got a standard burger and fries. It was still pretty good though, and everything was reasonably priced. Overall a great place to go. Just wish I lived closer.

lpayette, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of blackkristos
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%

There for KTG Day. I would say probably the worst day to visit, but everyone there did a fantastic job. Got there around noon and settled into the pool table in the lounge downstairs. The beer was great as usual and the staff was overly cool. The whole atmosphere of the place is quintessential Portsmouth, slightly hip, but too laid back to be annoying. I did not have a chance to try the food, but it looked tasty.

The bar seats were comfortable, the imperial pint club cheap and the pours a-plenty. Certainly a great place to stop and easy enough to get to and from the highway that it should make summer trippers happy.

blackkristos, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Went up for Kate the Grate day which was an easy 1 hr 45 min drive from Keene and very pleasant. Arrived at 2PM, just in time to recieve my calender day of October 24th for KTG bottles. Everyone I talked with was friendly and very helpful, we got seated within five minutes, and there had to be 200 + people at that point, of course most folks were at the bar. I had the clam chowder and a saison while I waited for Kate to be tapped. The food was excellent, good portions, high qaulity...even on a VERY busy day. The waitstaff seemed to have their shit together and were friendly and attentive. I thought the idea of hading out "tickets" for Kate was a wonderful idea, I had lunch and the Saison, IPA and wildthang while I anxiously awaited to be called for my bottles instead of standing in line for more than an hour.

The building is old-school and charming with lots of room inside. I will be back soon, Kate or not.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Visited Portsmouth on Kate the Great Day (last visit was about 10 years ago). I have to say that it didn't seem to have changed all that much. Nice inviting bar area to watch the game with ample tables and seating to contain the hordes. Staff were very friendly, and service was impeccable (thanks Jen B). Draft selection was ample and diverse and the food was well-portioned and delicious, although a bit on the high side in my opinion. Beer was reasonably priced, and the $5.00 I spent on a glass of Kate was the best $5.00 I've ever spent. Well worth the 2 hour drive from Providence (just wish I wasn't the desginated driver on the trip ;)

Jwale73, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of RixBeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

We were seated quiet quickly on this KTG day. We took a few moments and went over the menu. Not knowing (and being blind) we missed the chalkboard beer lists. Oops our B. I had a 1/2 lb. char-burger with swiss. Wow I keep saying that fresh food is best food! This is fresh and good! Tried a paddle of all the beers [except KTG]. Bought some growlers and waited for our #s to be called so we could get some Kate.

O yeah we played pool in the Plaplanza lounge while we waited.

Nice people! Good food! Better Beer!

O yeah Imperial Pint CLub $14 and you get 4 more ounces in each pour.

Good place!

RixBeer, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of kaos14
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%

My My what a place! I feel fully qualified to review this place since I have been there at least 7 times in the last 5 months, which is no joke, since it is about 2:15 to get there from my parent's place in RI. It is very nice clean place with pleasing decor. There are lots of tables in a couple different areas, a few tables in the bar area and a decent sized bar. There are usually about 8 Portsmouth beers on tap at any time along with a few guest beers that are most often from their sister brewery, Smuttynose. The bar tenders will be happy to give you a taste of anything. However the jewel of this place in my mind is not advertised on the chalk board. There is a beer engine downstairs and there is something on cask every day. If you love real ales like I do you should always order whatever is on cask that day as it has never failed to disappoint me. On my last trip, I was lucky enough to get two pints of their Scotch Ale oaked in Lagavulin casks, ths was one of the most delicious and unique beers I have ever tasted. On top of this is you have good timing your cask ale might be brought up from the bar downstairs by the head brewer himself. The great part is that aside from the awesome beer, the food is great too. Not exactly cheap but just about everything I have had has been really good. I particularly love the Alehouse Mussels steamed in a sauce using their Cream Ale. Several other menu offerings use their beer as an ingredient. I honestly can't say enough about this place. I should mention that there is lots of gear and glassware for sale in the little shop attached, and this is also the place where the bottled beer is sold out of a small cooler. Growlers are sold at the bar and aren't too expensive.

kaos14, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of corey0212
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%

Wow. I'd been looking forward to this for a very long time, and my expectations for this place were not just met, but were pretty well shattered. First off, the place looks fantastic. It was immaculate, they've got the huge picture from the Smuttynose Robust Porter on the wall, the tanks are well-lit and gleaming, huge skylight over our table, nice-looking bar....just an awesome place to be. Our waiter was fantastic, and really let us take our time with the 10-beer sampler and appetizer (chicken tenders with Old Brown Dog BBQ sauce). There's nothing worse than feeling rushed, and on an increasingly busy Friday night, we felt anything but. The beer? Unreal. I loved pretty much everything on the sampler (wasn't wild about the Weenie Rocket), and ended up going with the Bottle Rocket IPA with dinner, and an Oatmeal Stout afterwards. For food, we went more pub-grub style (steak bomb for me, mushroom melt sandwich for my wife), but we were really impressed with the sophistication of the menu, specifically the Brewer's Table menu. Took home 8 bombers from the shop, and left with a huge smile on my face. I will be thinking about The Portsmouth Brewery until I get back up there!

corey0212, May 26, 2008
Photo of kmo1030
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

finally a trip to portsmouth brewing company...
the atomosphere is of the pleasant large brewpub type, though it does have a nice bar area. exposed fermentation tanks and high ceilings.
the service was prompt, helpful and friendly.
the selction of beers was pretty good, i can't remember for sure how many there were on tap, but it must have been at least 10. i had the wheat wine, the scotch ale, and the oatmeal stout, all of which were pretty top notch. the scotch ale was my favorite.
the food was good and worth coming for by itself, i had the ale steamed mussels (awesome), and the meatloaf, which they had a unique take on, with a chipotle glaze.
this place didn't disappoint, a must try if you're in the area. i know i'll be back.

kmo1030, May 14, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Recently went in for dinner and to finally try some of the famous Portsmouth Brewery beers (excluding what I've had of Smuttynose of course).

The tap list was pretty varied, Black Cat Stout, Sour Brune, Winterweizen, a couple other Portsmouth brews and a few Smuttynose beers. Went with the Black Cat first and was disappointed, then followed up with the Winterweizen shortly before the the food arrived and found that beer to be quite delicious.

The food was very good, had the pulled pork. A very interesting menu, don't expect to find many of the usual suspects that most pubs have, especially when you see that you can substitute fries for chips and salsa (and not the usual onion rings).

The waitress was nice although we were seated on the upper section so we didn't get visited too often but were rarely without something for long.

If I lived in the area, I could easily imagine visiting this place often as the pub atmosphere is very laid back and enjoyable. Make sure to visit this place!

deltatauhobbit, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of YonderWanderer
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%

Portsmouth Brewery is an outstanding place to stop in for just a beer or to have a great meal. Separated into different rooms, there are several dining areas, a bar, and a lounge downstairs. Selection is always outstanding with several Portsmouth brews, 1-2 Smuttynose brews, and a guest brew (most recently, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot). A cask is also available downstairs. Service has always been good, and the food is damn tasty. Prices are completely reasonable, and the atmosphere is welcoming and enjoyable. I stop by every time I'm in the Portsmouth area - one of my favorite beer stops overall. I highly recommend it.

YonderWanderer, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of jneiswender
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

My wife and I went to this place for dinner. We were immediately seated. My wife had the chicken tenders and I had the fish and chips. Both were done quite well. Fairly standard. Side sauces are worth a try. The sampler beer selection is very generous. TEN BEERS on the sampler tray. The beers ranged in flavor from quite good to somewhat undrinkable. The motif is very brewpub. Nothing really stands out with the interior. The service is really good. Very friendly and easy to talk to. Helpful. You can tell that they have actually drunk the beer. The are honest about what is good and what is bad. The food had some selections that are standard pub fare and some different offering to challenge the pallet. One of the bad things about the place is the noise. It is a very noisy place. For a place to eat, the noise is really bad. One has to practically yell at the person you are eating with. Parking in the nearby parking garage is validated here.

jneiswender, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of mbrandon2w
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Portsmouth Brewery has become a regular stop on my way up to my future in-laws to either grab lunch or a growler.
The atmosphere is always pleasantly busy and vibrant.
The service has always been very good, and the waiters and waitresses have always been friendly.
The food is very good. Some things get a bit pricy, but so far, it's all been worth it.
The building itself is very nice. Both the bar area and dining areas are great, with nice woodwork and interesting artwork on the walls (some from Smuttynose labels).
The gift shop is also cool, with good prices and the opportunity to take home some bottles of brews as well.
The beers are always excellent and the guest taps are always quality brews (today it was SN Bigfoot).
It's also very cool to watch Tod work in the brewhouse, which you can do from the dining area.
If you haven't gone yet, make sure you stop in sometime. It's a great place.

mbrandon2w, Feb 21, 2008
Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH
95 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.