2017 is off to a big, beery start. There are now just over 5,000 breweries (a new record!) in the country, and over 70 of them are right here in New Hampshire. Two of the most noticeable differences in the newest wave of breweries are their small size and hyper local approach and this is great for you, New Hampshire beer drinker!
Sure, there are more choices to fill your pint glass, but there are also many more events and other special projects happening. In short, there are a lot more happenings, well… happening.
The 8th annual Portsmouth Beer Week runs from February 25- March 6. Three or four years ago, the week was very heavily-focused on Smuttynose events but then again, there weren’t that many businesses making beer on the Seacoast. Organizer, 2 Beer Guys, filled out the rest of the week with creative events like films and their own Seacoast Winter Beer Fest.
2017 has an entirely different landscape, with 17 breweries and the highest number of supportive bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of the 17 producers clustered around Portsmouth, check out the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce’s new Seacoast Brewery Map. Whether you visit these breweries on social media, during Beer Week or on one of two different brewery bus tours (the indigenous Granite State Growler Tours and Pints of Portsmouth, which brings groups up from Boston). The Greater Derry-Londonderry Chamber of Commerce published their own map last year, the first localized beer trail in the state.
This isn’t just about Portsmouth, though. Up north, Schilling (Littleton) will soon begin building their new production facility. The biggest news comes from Woodstock Inn and Brewery, who has undergone a comprehensive revamp, bringing in a new house yeast, a new head brewer, new beers and new wastewater treatment. The Derry cluster (603, Kelsen, Pipe Dream, From the Barrel, and Rockingham) continues to grow in stature and reputation.
I could keep going…New Hampshire’s beer community is so vibrant, but I’ve REALLY buried the lede; here it is: Brew NH is looking for your help. If you’ve dreamed of using copy-writing skills for good (beer) or you really like having something to do at beer festivals, you might be a great fit for one of our volunteer positions. We’re especially looking for social media ninjas, ace copywriters and dedicated event volunteers who would be happy to help share NH beer news and information with festival goers. To begin the process, please share a few important details about yourself here and we’ll get in touch. It’s going to be a busy spring and summer and we want to do everything we can to help NH’s beer community.