Carla Companion writes about beer and craft brewing at her website, TheBeerBabe.com.
Craft beer is exploding in New Hampshire. Several breweries have opened, expanded, re-opened or are in planning, making it a very exciting time to be Granite State beer craft beer drinker. The Southern New Hampshire Brewers Festival is an intimate chance to better get to know your local brewers and try their offerings. After perusing the list of more than 50 beers that will be poured this weekend, I narrowed it down to four that you should not miss.
1. Throwback Brewery - Rhubarb Wit
What better way to celebrate a New England summer than a slice of rhubarb pie? This beer starts out as a wit beer, with a little citrus sweetness. 60 lbs of local rhubarb later, it transforms into zesty, hazy summer treat. This is unique - I've never run into another rhubarb beer, so it is definitely worth a taste.
2. Portsmouth Brewery - Hefeweizen
If you like hefeweizens - unfiltered, spicy and citrusy beers - this should be your first stop. Arguably one of the top examples of the style around, this classic is bright, bready and will make you smile with every sip.
3. Martha's Exchange Brewing Company - Old Pride & Joy Barleywine
For something a bit stronger, head over to Martha's Exchange for this tempting barleywine. Plenty of hops, as well as some caramel sweetness make this one bold and unapologetic. Get ready for some flavor (and some alcohol) in this 9.8% ABV offering.
4. Smuttynose Brewing Company - Baltic Porter
In the mood for something dark? My favorite porter of all time is Smuttynose's Baltic Porter. It's thick, rich, and roasty. Slight notes of coffee and vanilla, and smooth as a fine chocolate.
While the above New Hampshire beers are starting points, the best strategy for a festival like this is to be adventurous and to try at least one beer you've never heard of. With this lineup, you will not be disappointed.