Ratings: 262 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev -3.3%
So, we're all done in Haverhill and they're all like, "So, how long will it take us to get back to Boston?", but I'm all, "Well, I'm thinkin' Portsmouth", and then there's this silence. "You mean Portsmouth, New Hampshire?" "Um, yeah? I'm pretty sure that we're close to the end of 495, and it hits 95 just shy of the New Hampshire line and hell, New Hampshire is only 15 minutes across at this end so, screw it, let's go..." (not to mention the fact that when I'm driving, passengers are hostages... they go where I go).
The place is packed on this Friday pre AOBF night. Pope and Cheese moved down the bar for a pinch of open acreage while I braved it over here with Phil. Neat modern place, lots of space, with an elevated bar seating a dozen plus with adjacent table seating, and then seating in tables below, in a perch behind the bar above sunken brewing equipment, towards the rear surrounding a large glass room with fermenters, a gigantic oval table in the far back corner that seats about a dozen and a half, in a lower separate side room, and another 8 tables outside on a wooden deck. Lots of seating, all of it filled. Mostly brick walls with a couple of really cool modern murals slash sculptures slash 3D-ish art pieces for lack of a better description. An oddly configured octogon shaped sky light lies dead center the middle of the room. Above the bar lies blackboards listing the tap lines and the bar itself has a mirrored backdrop with shelves of booze and glassware and large paddles hanging along the perimeter for the samplers. And lemme tell you, those sampler paddles are huge, you know why? 'cause they need to be what with the dozen beers they have on tap. That's right, you heard me. 9 Portsmouth Brewery beers, 2 sister Smuttys, and a guest tap, some beer called the Anchor Old Foghorn Barleywine or something. A most impressive selection and collection for a brewpub. the Black Cat Stout had a great coffee cream aroma and a pleasant mocha flavor and the Scotch Ale was nicely sweet and malty. It wasn't 'til the next day when a B9 explained the Portsmouth/Smutty relationship, which all makes perfect sense. This was good digs, I won't make it over that bridge into Maine again without stopping here, true.
06-04-2004 03:50:32 | More by slander
4.4/5 rDev +3%
This was another place that simply did not exist when I was stationed up this way about a quarter-century ago. It was right downtown and my cabbie dropped me off at the corner to avoid fighting traffic. He simply advised me to "Look for the mug." Sound advice, as it turned out.
The place was really wide and was probably two separate buildings at one point in its life. The doorway and vestibule were between two flanking glass windows, in the middle of the space.
Inside, the m.d.s. was just inside the doorway and the bar was to the immediate left, up a short flight of steps. The bar area had a couple of "island" tables surrounded by stools, as well as four booths that overlooked the restaurant. The front of the bar area had a booth that wrapped around the space by the window.
The place was on several levels, with a series of booths up a set of steps aft of the bar area. There was also an extensive restaurant area leading aft to the brewhouse on the right side. On teh left side was an entryway to their outside patio area as well as a separate entry way to their smaller dining room and the gist shop (!). A couple of warm fleeces and a discussion with Brennan (the manager) and Julie (the shop steward) later, I was back at the bar shaking hands with Todd Mott, the brewer.
A central, windowed ceiling reminded me of a lighthouse. There was also a downstairs facility, but I did not press my luck by asking to go down there.
Beers: This is the multiple-award winning Todd Mott who plies his trade here. They were all fantastic and I got to try a couple that were still either conditioning or simply unavailable to the general public. My regret was that due to a public transit time constraint, I did not have an opportunity to write down the names of the ones which were available on the day of my visit.
01-16-2008 02:11:29 | More by woodychandler
3.93/5 rDev -8%
On our way to Maine from NYC, the wife and I made one stop in Portsmouth, NH. We walked around this historic, touristy, slightly-cheesy town and stopped at the Brewery for a quick beer before heading to our hotel in York Beach, Maine. The joint was PACKED on a Friday evening, at a time where most other dining/drinking establishments around were rather empty. You can tell this is a popular spot!
The dining room area had a waiting list and we weren’t hungry anyway, so we went downstairs to the “lounge”. Good choice! Felt like a frat party down there- what with the pool table, shuffleboard, ratty couches and lily-white New England college boys fresh out of college. A surprisingly good number of beautiful young blonde chicks too, something you won’t see once you’re in Maine…
So we parked our asses around the lounge and enjoyed some Portsmouth brews in a nice, comfy, not-too-loud atmosphere. Selection is not the greatest here- they had five Portsmouth brews, 4 Smutty and 1 Dogfish when we visited. We tried the Bottle Rocket IPA (alright) and Chat Noir (lovely), but they were out of their only cask (Oatmeal Stout with Eldorado hops).
Most of the beers were under 6%, which I find disappointing. No big brews, no one-offs, no barreling…. Maybe I’m asking for too much, but hey…
Food is the same as in the dining room above, but we didn’t have any. They emphasize local purveyors and ingredients, but don’t expect amazing stuff here. It is more like “ chips and dip made of local corn”, if you know what I mean.
Service was quite good. Even though we were standing around, we got waitress service and so didn’t need to order from the bar. I would have hanged out there longer, and sure would come back when I’m in town, despite the lack of exciting beers on tap.
10-31-2011 04:21:39 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4/5 rDev -6.3%
I wasn't expecting much from Portsmouth but it turned out to be better than I thought. The decor is very basic "brewpub" with some interesting touches. It's comfortable but can get pretty crowded at night. I recommend stopping in for lunch! The menu is basic brewpub foods which appeal to alot of people, and the food is pretty good and reasonably priced. The service has always been a little bit better than the average and the servers were interested in, and knew about the beers! Ask them what they have, and then ask them what they recommend! They'll steer you right. The beers are good, some better than others, but certainly nothing bad. I've enjoyed everything I've had, and really liked a few of them! In addition, it's located on a hip little street with some interesting shops, so if you're just passing through it might make a nice little stop. I give this place a good recommendation and I'll try to stop back in whenever I can.
07-26-2002 08:00:58 | More by NeroFiddled
4.43/5 rDev +3.7%
Surprising big and active family restaurant with moderately long bar, and a party going on. I was not there 20 minutes when three people started interesting conversations with me. My wife arrived and people were friendly to her. Bartender was like an M.c. and on top of everything. Oh, and outstanding beer being served, with knowledge of it by staff. Brightly lit, and a nice part of town. An East Coast version of the Pizza Port, and that is a complement. Mostly 30-55 crowd. Only quibble: No superstar seasonal on.
07-15-2009 11:45:23 | More by Sammy
4.65/5 rDev +8.9%
Made my return to trip to Portsmouth after a three year hiatus. Boy I missed this place. Walking in off the crowded steet of window shoppers on a Sunday afternoon you are welcomed by a nice interior of booths and tables, and bar up a step or two to the right. The bar isn't large (about 10 - 12 stools) but the two bartenders were extremely friendly and quite knowledgable of the beer. I asked about the guest beer from Moat Mountain and the young lady behind the bar explained the offering and several others they recently had from MM. Crowd was a mix of college aged and older adults along with some kids. Nice view of the street from the bar and interior is well lit.
There were 10 beers on tap, with 6 Portsmouth brews (IPA, Stout, Hefe, Wheat wine, Junebock, and Cream Ale), 3 Smuttnose offerings (Lager, Pale, Brown) and the guest beer Moat Mountain Pilsner. I had the IPA, Stout, Cream Ale, and MM Pilsner and all were of great quality and tasty. My wife is a huge cream ale fan and when she stumbles on a good one, she won't even try anything else.
The pub style food was very good. The pull pork sandwich was big and juicy and my wife had a great tasting burger. Huge portion of great tasting fries. Food being served to other patrons looked good too.
The have an outdoor area with some tables, and a gift shop next door with t-shirts and bomber bottles. I picked up a case to bring home, most notibly the Junebock (which I didn't try on tap), IPA, and some Cream Ale to keep the wife happy. You have to make every effort to hit this place if you are anywhere in the area. Superb beers in a great place.
06-24-2005 11:30:12 | More by Gavage
4.15/5 rDev -2.8%
This place really struck as a very impressive, classy brewpub. As you walk in the front door, there is very large, raised bar area in front of you on the right. The main dining area is also good size, with additional, smaller dining rooms in the back. It's a good thing this place is good size, as even at 1:45 on a Friday afternoon, it was packed. The vibe here is pretty light and airy, with light colors and light wood furnishings. There's a few TV's scattered around as well, but the over all vibe is one of informal high energy. Accoustics are not the best here, and this place can be pretty loud.
As is usual I assume, they had around 10 different beers on draft this day (saw quite a few growlers around, so I assume getting a fill is no problem). I tried four different beers, with the weizen the only beer I thought less then outstanding. The IPA was very, very solid, with the weizenboack and oatmeal stout both superb. Service was pretty good, though our waitress at one point was so over the top energized, she started to take our food away before we were entirely through. Normally that's annoying, but considering how crowded and bustling the crowd scene here, I think she was just trying to be efficient.
Food was pretty good I thought. My friend was very happy with her bar salad, and the calamari appetizer and flat bread pizza were both decent. Prices were reasonable, with the food and beer coming to around $30 with tax.
This is an exceptional place with very good beer and decent food. I would return in a heartbeat.
05-23-2009 14:35:04 | More by John_M
4.14/5 rDev -3%
I stopped here on a normal weekday, not a beer release. Open and inviting atmosphere, split level with plenty of seating. Quiet folksy music playing in the background, lots of good American wholesome types and families eating, a very comfortable place.
There were 6 house beers on tap, another 3 Smuttynose beers and a Southern Tier. Nothing crazy special, they hit all the regular styles you expect at a brewpub. Two IPAs was a plus (one was Finest Kind), definitely no complaints with beer quality.
Overall an excellent brewpub, similar to many other fine establishments (it reminded me strongly of Bethlehem Brew Works). Nice stop.
03-09-2012 20:06:15 | More by TurdFurgison
3.95/5 rDev -7.5%
Stop number four on our Portsmouth pub crawl was at the Brewery for dinner and drinks. We were told it would be a 30 minute wait, and dead on, our table was ready 30 minutes later. Pretty crowded for a Saturday night. Good crowd, not too noisy. Our waiter was a nice guy, told us about the beers, checked in on us, got us the food in a timely manner. Great selection of beers. All different styles. I had the dubbel and the tripel, and my wife had the stout and the biere de garde. Food sounded awesome on the menu, but was a bit of a letdown on some parts. We ordered the proscuitto for $8.99. We got two slices. Two slices for nine buck? C'mon! My wife's burger was a good deal at $10, but my meatloaf for $18? One huge slice and a scrawny end piece? Not quite the entree I was looking for. Dessert was kickass though: chocolate stout cake a la mode. That said, we had a fun night over great beers and a three course meal.
02-24-2009 00:50:26 | More by morebeergood
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
Visited on KtG release day, at the height of the controlled mayhem.
Great atmosphere, very warm and welcoming. There is a 15 seat or so bar up a couple of steps just inside the door, with a couple of long hi-tops and a few bar tables behind. We were about 20th in line and grabbed one of the very comfortable bar tables. There is also a dining room to the left of the bar and behind, and a large room with a table for 20 or so. Clean, bright but not too bright.
We had a sampler of the 10 beers on tap while waiting for the official tapping of Kate. Seven were Portsmouth beers, three from Smuttynose up the road. All were pretty good except the Flanders Red (maybe the most disappointing I have had in the style) and the Bottle Rocket IPA (quite good). Good mix of Belgian and American styles.
The sandwiches and soup we had were very tasty as well.
Our server that day was really outstanding. Despite the craziness of the large crowd, a few of whom tried to grab from her tray snifters of Kate that were destined for others, she never lost her cool. She really made the experience great for us.
We look forward to stopping in again.
02-28-2009 12:29:16 | More by sholland119
Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH
95 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.