Ballots and Brews

Election season has drawn to a close and it’s been a wild and crazy ride. Hopefully you all stayed vertical as you climbed off the coaster.

This year I’ve enjoyed the electoral process the way our forefathers did – with a cold brew in hand. I imagine Sam Adams cracked one of his namesake as he drafted the documents to establish our nation’s election process.

So if you’re interested in indulging like our founding fathers, and meet the minimum age requirements, here’s a list of my favorite local draughts and where to find them.

Stoneface Brewing Co

As a relatively new addition to the NH beer scene, Stoneface is the epitome of great craft beer with a variety of high quality recipes and a facility that is open to the public for tours and tastings.

The Stoneface IPA has quickly become one of my favorite beers, and is nearly an automatic order when I find it on tap. It’s crisp and refreshing, and manages a citrusy, hoppy taste without the typical bitterness of IPAs.

I also enjoy Stoneface’s Porter, which has all the desired notes of brown malt with a surprisingly light and chocolatey aftertaste. It makes for a great dark beer to sip as you navigate the slate of football games on Sunday afternoon.

*Photo retrieved from

*Photo retrieved from

Check out the full list of Stoneface’s beer offerings and brewery hours here, and take a trip to the facility to fill up your growlers in person. You can find Stoneface at 436 Shattuck Way, Unit 6, in Newington.

Great North Aleworks

This one is self-explanatory as “Great” is right there in the title, and it doesn’t disappoint. Located in Manchester, Great North Aleworks provides both traditional and creative beer offerings from pale ales and double IPAs to Rauchbiers and chocolate milk stouts.

They even offer a cranberry witbier that you could mix with the cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving to see if Grandma gets a little wacky.

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*Photo retrieved from

But when I think of all the styles of Great North Aleworks beer, I think smooth. The IPA – smooth. The Robust Vanilla Porter – smooth.  The amber lager – I’m guessing by now you’ve cracked the code to this pattern, but spoiler alert, also smooth. The beers bring a variety of intriguing flavor profiles to refreshingly drinkable textures.

Check out the tasting room at 1050 Holt Ave, Unit # 14 in Manchester.

Smuttynose Brewing Company

A long-time staple of NH craft beer, Smuttynose has been serving up a variety of quality brews for over twenty years. Between that and the adorable harbor seal logo, how could you turn away from a Smuttynose beer?

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*Retrieved from

With over 30 beers listed on their website, I’ll spare you my detailed beer-nerd descriptions beer by beer, but rest assured there’s variety enough to satisfy even the pickiest beer fans.

Lately I’ve been intrigued by the Smuttlabs beers, which are smaller batch creative beer experimentations by the Smuttynose brewers. You can stay informed of these rare offerings through the Smuttynose website, blog, and social media. Check out some of the past offerings here.

Most recently I tried the Stallion, an imperial stout aged in red wine barrels, and true to its origins, it tasted like the offspring of stout beer and red wine. Weighing in at a hefty 11% alcohol by volume, I recommend sipping it rather than bringing it to your alma mater for the annual beer Olympics. But this time of year it makes for a tasty beverage on a cool evening.

Check out the Smuttynose headquarters at 105 Towle Farm Road in Hampton.

The Beer Store

. . .But that’s not a brewery!

That’s an astute observation, reader. There are too many great NH breweries to discuss them all here, so I figured instead I would share one of my favorite stores to buy all the NH brews. The Beer Store in Nashua offers a vast selection of craft beers in single bottles, six packs, cases, and kegs, so that you can mix and match to your heart’s desire, or more likely, to capacity of available fridge space.

Also, the staff and owner are extremely friendly and happy to chat about craft beer with the patrons. They’ve helped me to stay on top of the latest and greatest in the craft beer world, and they also host beer tastings in the store on a weekly basis.

Check out the Beer Store at 433 Amherst St in Nashua.

As always, please email 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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