Fall is in full force with fruity saisons, apple crisp ales and cinnamon apple cider in the tasting rooms and beer halls of breweries around southern New Hampshire.
Carby-comfort-food themed beers with pumpkin and seasonal spices aren’t the only theme to expect as the colder months begin. You can also find a solid selection of stouts and bourbon-barrel-aged beers.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Last Thursday (Nov. 7), Backyard Brewery in Manchester released a new fruited saison (5.8 percent) called Belle of the Barn.
Brewery owner Marcus Doucet describes it as a traditional Belgian saison that’s fermented with peaches, strawberries and raspberries. Its “subtle” fruitiness is coupled with straw notes and traditional Belgian yeast esters, and it has an “effervescent, dry finish.”
Doucet expects it to last about three weeks from launch in the tasting room.
Long Blue Cat Brewing
On Oct. 31, Long Blue Cat Brewing Co. in Londonderry announced the release of its Apple Crisp Amber Ale (7.1 percent) and Black Arts Black IPA (7.2 percent).
Co-owner Jason Knight said they brewed about 10 barrels of each, and expect them to last about a month or so in their tasting room.
The Apple Crisp Amber Ale is caramel in color, made with toasted oats and fresh apples from Sunnycrest Farms in Londonderry. It’s served with a salted caramel and brown sugar rim.
The Black Arts Black IPA is an IPA made with some additional dark malts, and dry-hopped with a “wicked” amount of hops.
Full pours and growlers are available in the taproom.
Ancient Fire Mead & Cider
Ancient Fire owners Jason and Margot Phelps are keeping busy with a constantly rotating selection of meads and ciders in their Manchester taproom.
Coming up on Thursday (Nov. 14) is a cinnamon carbonated apple wine cider (7 percent) called Fire Pomme. Shortly after that, on the following Thursday (Nov. 21), they’re releasing Because You Asked (7 percent), a session mead with ginger and lemon.
In the past few weeks, they released Stand Up Philosopher (15.5 percent), a white grape honey-wine, Lavandula Limontta (7 percent) a session mead with lavender and lemon, and House Apple (7 percent) a carbonated apple wine cider made with all New Hampshire apples.
Stark Brewing Company
In celebration of Stark Brewing Company’’s 25th anniversary (formerly Milly’s Tavern), the brewery, pub and distillery in Manchester is releasing a rotation of barrel aged variations of their imperial stout, barleywine and pumpkin ale.
The regular pumpkin ale, Grumpy Pumpkin (5.4 percent) was released in September is expected to last until March. The regular seasonal is made with about 250 pounds of pumpkins in the mash tun, hops, brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla.
A bourbon-barrel-aged version called Grumpier Pumpkin (8 percent) is a special beer that will come out within the next week or so and will only be available for a limited time.
“We had extra pumpkins at the end of the year last year,” Stark Brewing head brewer Paul Davis said.
He said he made enough for a half-batch and ramped up the strength, and he barrel-aged it for one year.
“That’s probably a one-off. We probably won’t be doing that again,” Davis said.
Next up is the barrel-aged version of Stark’s imperial stout, The Imp (8.5 percent), which is coming out the week of Thanksgiving. This is the third batch of the stout, regularly made with some oatmeal, coffee and dark chocolate malts, which first launched less than two years ago. It’s aged in bourbon barrels for six months.
Davis said it’s expected to last until the end of the year. They’re also canning about 50 cases.
By Dec. 1, they’ll release a barrel-aged version of their barleywine Chuckleheadz (9.6 percent), which is barrel-aged for six months. The regular barleywine, which is already aged for two years, was released in April for the first time. They made using an old recipe by the now-defunct Castle Springs Brewing Company in Moultonborough, according to Davis.
“There are people who still have bottles of that last release, which is now 19 years old,” Davis said.
It will be primarily on tap at Stark Brewing, but they will also can a limited amount (about 10 cases) that can only be purchased at the brew pub.
Pipe Dream Brewing
Last week, Pipe Dream Brewing released and re-launched three labels — two American stouts, a blonde ale.
Pipe Dream is now pouring their CT Crunch Stout (10 percent), a chocolatey American stout infused with cinnamon-toasted cereal, adding flavors of bready cinnamon with notes of sweet maple syrup; Bitchin’ Blonde Ale (5.2 percent), a crisp and easy-drinking light golden blonde ale with malty and bready notes; and Yumm Cookie Stout (10 percent), a big and full-bodied American stout dominated by rich chocolate and sweet oatmeal cookie dough flavors.
This week, Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry released a brand new mead called Currant Obsession (6.5 percent), which is a lightly-carbonated yet full-bodied black currant and apple mead, according to Moonlight marketing manager Berniece Van Der Berg.
It will be canned and available for about a month in the tasting room.
Next week, they’ll be releasing two more brand new labels: Monkey Bread (14 percent), and Bourbon Barrel Aged Kurt’s Apple Pie (14 percent).
Monkey Bread is made with banana vanilla and maple. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Kurt’s Apple Pie is a barrel-aged variation of the meadery’s longtime bestseller, made with apple cider, honey, Madagascan bourbon vanilla beans, Vietnamese cinnamon and aged in a bourbon barrel for six months.
Able Ebenezer Brewing Company
We can’t say yet what new brand is coming out at Able Ebenezer Brewing Company in Merrimack next week, but keep your eye out on their Facebook page in the next few days for the announcement!
Between Nov. 7 and Nov. 23, Ancient Fire Mead & Cider in Manchester will be accepting food and cash donations for the NH Food Bank.
During this period, select drinks (full pours and growlers) will generate $1 per pour in donations. Cash donations are also accepted and matched by Ancient Fire owners Jason and Margot Phelps.
Non-perishable food items are also welcome. The NH Food Bank has a particular need for the following items:
- Canned Chicken
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Salmon
- Peanut Butter
- Mac n Cheese
- Canned Soup/Stew/Chili
- Canned/Dried Beans
- Canned Nuts
- Rice and Rice Mixes
- Noodle Mixes
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