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Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth BreweryPortsmouth Brewery

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 121
Beer Ratings: 3,142
Beer Avg: 3.8

Taps: 10 / Bottles: 8
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
95
world-class

256 Ratings
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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.

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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

2.55/5  rDev -40.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5 | $$$

Located in the heart of historic Portsmouth, where, by the way, it is impossible to park on a Friday night in the summer.

Large space, with a undersized bar area at the front and a dining room and patio dining in the rear. The decor was no more intimate than a TGI Friday's, but did have good views of the fermentation vessels.

The menu was also Friday's like inform and substance. The food was overpriced (for what you got) and of very low quality. In fact, it was one of the worst meals I have every had. I ordered the stuffed flounder, which one would assume is of somewhat high quality considering the geography. Well, I made an ass out of "u" and me. The mussels were just decent and the meat and cheese platter was a joke.

The beer list was limited to five house beers and a few Smuttynose guest taps - whoopie!!! For a brewery that produces Kate the Great, the rest of their line, as well as their flagship location left very much to be desired.

Avoid!

08-20-2010 16:27:55 | More by plaid75
Photo of irishpilot777
irishpilot777

Indiana

2.78/5  rDev -34.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5 | $$$

I will start this review by saying we were kicked out the night before because the bartender called us liars and said we had fake ID's because my workmate had a worn Kentucky DL. That being said, we really wanted to try their beer, so we tried again the next day for dinner. There was not even a question due to a much nicer server. I really was looking forward to a good experience. Everything seemed in order, if not a bit contrived and high brow. I don't mind that though, and we ordered off their beer menu which only included their house brews, the best of which were not being brewed at the time(disappointing). The menu seemed to lilt toward the less demanding palate, and was a bit of a disapointment. I ordered a Thai style dinner entree that qualified as the most bland, least inspired thing I have eaten in years. I was completely unimpressed and found myself longing for a pull from the tap at Rich-O's back home in Indiana. I would give this place another try next time I am in NH which will be... never.

08-07-2007 18:39:32 | More by irishpilot777
Photo of charlesw
charlesw

New York

2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

09-28-2003 14:49:11 | More by charlesw
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -29.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2

A multi-room (side, main bar, patio) brick/industrial brewpub, with a "dive-bar" downstairs.
6 beers on tap, with 4 Smuttynose as well. Blueberry, cream ale, American Pale, Stout, Hefe, IPA, Old Brown Dog and a few others on when I went.
Took awhile to get service - even just our drink order and it stayed that bad. Food was bad too - steak bomb was more like a vegetable bomb with an unseasoned steak garnish.
The beer is good, and they have a good variety, so stop in for a pint or 2 at the bar, don't waste your time eating here.

10-01-2004 19:51:46 | More by mschofield
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

03-10-2013 01:40:18 | More by Rifugium
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
bewareOFpenguin

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I've gone here for seven years now and have seen the "cheers" syndrome. That is, a good bar destroyed by tourists. The beer, as always, is fantastic. The place itself is overwhelming. You can not even hear yourself think it is so loud. College students and tourists make up the majority of the clientelle. The food is just average, in fact, sub-par for a city like portsmouth. My advice: drink a beer or two here, than walk up the street to the Press Room, The Muddy River Smoke House, or The Rusty Hammer.

09-26-2002 11:06:36 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of tommy78
tommy78

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Portsmouth Brewery is one of my favorite spots in all of New Hampshire. The brewery carries an impressive line of brews and food. Brews such as the Oatmeal Stout, Murphy's Law Red Ale, and the India Pale Ale are excellent picks. The only draw back is that they tend to be hit-or-miss; the only constant has been the India Pale Ale. As for the food, the pizzas are very good. I highly recommend the Route 66 pizza, and the nomar garciapizza pizza. Having the India Pale Ale compliments these two pizzas.

However, if there's one thing I dislike about the Portsmouth Brewery, it is their service. The servers tend to be rude, unappreciative, or downright bad. I once asked the server for the India Pale Ale, and he brought me the I Do Ale. Another time, my girlfriend took a sip of her drink and it turned out to be the wrong one. She asked the server to return it for the correct drink, and she refused. Unfortunately, we had to ask the manager to step in, and he did. Aside from those two specific moments, our time at the Portsmouth Brewery has been good.

01-23-2004 04:40:09 | More by tommy78
Photo of dickroop
dickroop

Maryland

3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$

We stopped for lunch on a Saturday while headed north, my first venture into the downtown of Portsmouth. The brewery is on a busy street, and this is a busy tourist spot, even after Labor Day, so getting to a seat for lunch required parking in the city parking structure, quite an adventure. The Brewery had a good selection of about 9 brews available, including 2 "Hop Harvest" varieties, one with East Coast hopping, the other with West Coast Hopping. I got the 2nd one, and it was good - Citra hops, according to last year's reviews.

Our server (David O) was charming and knew all about the beers, describing them quite accurately. He was also efficient and reasonably quick. The food left a lot to be desired. My "tempeh wrap" sounded like a good idea, but tempeh is a hard food to do well, and it turned out rather bland and boring. My spouse enjoyed her clam chowder, but the tuna wrap was undercooked and tasted foul - got sent back and definitely left a bad taste in her mouth, literally. So I won't be going back for the food, just to sample more beers if I ever get the chance.

Ambiance is typical pub, noisy and a little rough around the edges. There is a store selling t-shirts and bombers, etc, and it is *there* that you can get your parking ticket stamped for one hour's free parking (if you have your receipt from the bar). Overall, I will look at other venues in Portsmouth before rushing back here, but I imagine they have the freshest beer in town and the widest selection.

09-25-2011 17:08:52 | More by dickroop
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

Particularly noteworthy is the storefront package store where one can find the freshest bottled beers coming from this brewery. It can't be beat. The lack of pretention in the labeling and how the beer is marketed is a refreshing approach. The pub itself is fairly sizeable, typical extended pub fare, the beer choices are all about what's on tap at PBC. This is a great hangout if you want good, fresh beer. If you're looking for a good meal, than perhaps one of a dozen other Portsmouth establishments would surpass this one.

Update December 2008: Still a great store front package store. There are plenty of apparel items, glassware, kitchen magnets, bottle openers, and of course the cooler full of the 750 ml bottles of what's on tap.

12-31-2007 19:47:04 | More by albern
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Although the selection of beers was low I still managed to find two I never had before so I could review them.This was second time visting and eating at the Portsmouth Brewery.Being the same as the Northampton Brewery in Massachusetts there is still many differences such as,the food,and beer served.The atmosphere was kind of quiet with nothing really going on.The service was prompt and friendly.The beer list had a ton of beers of which werent available and dissapointed me.They served on coasters and logo pint glasses which was a plus.Set in downtwon Portsmouth it is a nice stop for lunch after a long day of checking out the area.We sat on the top level looking over the whole downstairs eating area.There is a big window in which you can view the brewing room.A small store which is right next to the brewry offers T-shirts,hats,glasses,and bombers to go home with.I will surely visit this brewery again.

06-09-2003 08:03:14 | More by kelticblood
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Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH
95 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.