Brewers are truly the alchemists of our time, turning quotidian ingredients into pure liquid gold. Whether you’re a casual beer drinker, or consider yourself a hardcore consumer, the quality and diversity of New Hampshire breweries is guaranteed to delight. Round up your crew for a road trip or pop into a local spot and experience some of the best beer in all the land.
Earth Eagle Brewing has become a favorite of the Portsmouth “scene,” and one visit makes clear why. Brewing beer and gruit, a medieval style of beer created before the advent of hops, Earth Eagle provides solid suds and so much more. Offering loads of live events, ranging from beer-themed happenings to an Absinthe New Year’s Eve celebration to live music, this brewery delivers in every category.
The much lauded Kelsen Brewing Co serves up full-flavored, bold beers, and truly some of the most pleasant employees. This Derry favorite is worth a visit, even if you have to make it a special destination.
For almost 25 years, Smuttynose Brewing Company has been a part of the Hampton community, and with good reason. The outfit is named for an isle of shoals, where pirate lore and ghost stories reign supreme, and that otherworldly quality transfers to the Hampton locale with ease. On top of incredible beers and a delicious food menu, your satisfaction is literally guaranteed. The brewery is heavily involved in local charity, and offers an Imperial Pint Club for regulars, featuring discounts and perks like access to special events.
The folks at Tuckerman Brewing Company sure stay busy, and aren’t we lucky for that. Founded two decades ago by a young couple who fell deeply under the spell of New Hampshire and her White Mountains, the Conway location produces 8,000 barrels (70,000 cases!) of beer per annum. On top of their quality production, the microbrewery offers a jam-packed concert schedule, and is available for private events.
Founded by two Canadians, Great North Ale Works prides themselves on producing food-friendly beers, all of which are delightful. With a frequent visitor rewards program, events like trivia and live music, and discounts for members of the American Homebrewing Association, these transplants have become a secure part of the Manchester community, and will likely remain so for years to come.
A nano brewery that sources many of its ingredients from its own farm, and the rest from local and sustainable sources, Mooselick is a charmingly rustic outlet in an industry that has come to be about industrial minimalism. Offering both traditional and fruit beers, a trip to Mooselick and a sojourn in their beer garden is a must for all Granite State beer enthusiasts.
When you visit Canterbury AleWorks, you won’t even have to ask for owner Dave, as he’ll be greeting you and giving you the low down himself. A one-man operation, this remote gem is the kind of place you find by accident and visit over and over again, very much on purpose. Bring your own snacks and be sure to buy a growler to go!
This Merrimack location is named for Ebenezer Mudgett, head of the local colonial resistance. Considered a man who put his community first, he was up and “Able” for any contingency. Today, Able Ebenezer’s maintains that collective spirit, and is run by veterans who are suckers for suds. Visit in warmer weather for outdoor games, or in colder seasons to sip up and stay warm.
Run by a husband, wife, and dog team, Rockingham Brewing Company offers both year-round and seasonal brews. While the beer is terrific, their “Flight and Film” nights really up the ante, offering a movie screening and beer sampler for between $15 and $20.
Schilling Beer Co is a family run, European-style brewery with inventive brews that push the boundaries of traditional processes. Many brews are reserved strictly for on-site tasting, and are not distributed to any outside purveyors. Set in a converted 1700s grist mill on the beautiful Ammonoosuc River, this Littleton treasure easily earns a spot on our list.