Beer Tasting in Tilton

I’ve driven by Kettlehead Brewing Company at least a dozen times on my way to Franklin. However, these drives are usually work-related and taking a pit stop at a brewery at 10:00 am is generally frowned upon. Additionally, New Hampshire is full of dozens of breweries so they’re not hard to find when I have a spare hour or two.

This weekend I happened to be in Franklin on my own accord and, based on many reviews of Kettlehead’s food menu, I wanted to stop by for lunch.

Since I certainly wasn’t on company time, we made a point to try the beer, too.

I still don’t really have a “type” when it comes to beer, so I tried one of everything, and sampled my friends’ IPAs. The beers that stood out: Java the Nut, a rich dark beer that drank pretty smooth and clearly tasted nutty and almost coffee-like, as well as the Pineapple Funk, which tasted like a cider with hints of a pineapple sweetness. Their IPAs and Double IPA, Nunchuck Ping Pong (the best name for a beer ever?), were the more drink-with-a-meal type of beers in my opinion, while the above were more flavorful beers to appreciate and savor.

Ok, these pretzel bites were freaking incredible. Pretzels seem to be a brewery stand-by for sustenance but these are a thousand times more elevated: fried crispy bite-sized warm pretzels with a maple mustard aioli and some kind of cream cheese dipping sauce. I could have eaten 3 of these trays by myself. These also come as “loaded” pretzel bites, meaning they are served topped with a gouda cheese sauce, pulled pork, and local NH fiddleheads. It appears that fried pretzels are the new nachos and I’m not mad about it.

After watching at least 3 people order mac and cheese at our surrounding tables, I hopped on that band wagon and I’m so glad I did. The people at Kettlehead obviously have a thing for gouda cheese and it is working; this delicious mini skillet is filled with mounds of pasta, creamy gouda, and topped with breadcrumbs and micro greens. This fed me for multiple meals and was perfectly comforting. It also tasted great with my darker beers!

These cajun chicken tacos made this guy very happy. He had already attempted to start eating before I rudely interrupted him to take this photo (sorry), hence the messy plate. But the black bean and roasted corn salsa, as well as the avocado crema, really held the tacos together in taste, texture, and in  the physics of keeping everything inside the tortilla.

In case you’re like me and tend to drive through Tilton in the morning hours, you will have to come back because they don’t open until noon and are closed Monday and Tuesday. Visit their happening space at 407 West Main Street in Tilton, and check out their rotating beers and delicious, local food specials on their Facebook page!

Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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