By Morgan Palmer
Foster's Daily Democrat , June 5, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Foster's Daily Democrat ]
Amy Crosby serves an opening-day sample at the new home of Smuttynose in Hampton.
HAMPTON - If you're expecting a run-of-the-mill beer tour when stopping by the Smuttynose Brewery, you're in for a surprise. The company's new brewery on 105 Towle Farm Rd. in Hampton is the perfect place to shop, tour, eat, and, of course, drink.
Smuttynose scouted several locations before deciding Hampton was the ideal spot back in 2008. Peter Egelston, the company's founder, spent $24 million creating his dream brewery, and as a visitor, you can see why.
If you've visited Smuttynose on Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth, this new location will be a sight for sore eyes. Not only is the building 15,000 square feet bigger (from 25,000 to 40,000 square feet), it's located on one of the oldest farms in the area, which creates a striking backdrop. The 14-acre farm also holds a fruit orchard, complete with cherry, apple, and peach trees, and several colonies of bees.
Avid drinkers of the brewery's most popular beer, the Finestkind IPA, will recognize the vintage Pontiac Chieftain trailer from the label right when you drive in. This was hauled in from Maine and will be converted into a beer garden by 2015. A 9-hole disc golf course will also be added to the grounds in 2015.
That's not all: An 1870's Victorian farmhouse on the property will be converted into a new restaurant, Hayseed, which will open this fall.
Just visiting for the beer? Don't worry, there's plenty for you to do, too.
Smuttynose has created a new automated 4-vessel brew house, and added a slew of state-of-the-art brewing equipment. This has allowed the company to increase capacity from 40,000 barrels a year to 60,000 or 65,000. There is capacity in the new space to double capacity as future growth requires.
With the extra space, Smuttynose has more room to do what they do best: Create unique and flavorful brews. Visitors can try a classic like the Shoal's Pale Ale as well as the brewery's new Bouncy House IPA, which offers big hop flavor without the high alcohol content. Their Vunderbar Pilsner, which was previously part of their "Now and Then" series, will be available full time starting in July. And this is just the beginning; the new space has allowed them to expand distribution to Michigan, Southern California, Puerto Rico, the UK, South Korea, and Germany. The company also has plans to distribute in Texas and Tennessee sometime in the future.
A new packaging system pumps out 250 bottles a minute, and has a brand new labeler. For Smuttynose fans who had come to love the crooked, crinkled labels, those are now a thing of the past. Every bottle will now feature a front and back label, both of which will be placed perfectly by new machine.
Smuttynose, which takes pride in keeping its beer unfiltered, has installed a new centrifuge, which essentially rotates the beer to separate the yeast from the beer. This will result in a cleaner, brighter brew and will eliminate the residue often found in the bottom your six-pack. Beer aficionados will find much more brewing technology to explore when stopping by.
Amazingly enough, all of this has been done with the hopes of obtaining LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) gold certification. The building has been designed with reusable materials, and has been outfitted with a storm water treatment system, LED-lit-on-demand lighting, and much more.
"You get one chance to build a new brewery. You really want to get it right. We're damn proud of it," Smuttynose spokesman JT Thompson said during a recent tour.
"We want people to come here and have a good time," he added.
If you want to stop by the new Smuttynose brewery, tours are available this summer on Monday-Wednesday from noon until 5:30 p.m., on Thursday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information on the company and its new brewery, visit www.smuttynose.com.
To learn more about its beers, and see what others think of them, visit http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/141/.