You can always see what's going on at the Portsmouth Brewery by checking out our Events Calendar. in the meantime, here's a sampling.
American Craft Beer Week - May 14-20, 2012
Monday, May 14 - Ann Czaja, Master Chocolatier from Lindt, brings her expertise to the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge for a four beer/four chocolate pairing with our Head Brewer, Tod Mott. The event starts at 6pm, is free and lasts an hour. You don't need reservations, but space is limited to 40 people on a first come, first served basis.
Tuesday, May 15 - For the first time in nearly eighteen years, we'll have nothing but Portsmouth Brewery beers on tap during our first Portsmouth Brewery Tap Takeover. When we open for business, we'll have all ten lines filled with our own beer, NO Smuttynose, NO guest beers. The line up will be fleshed out by some vintage selections of big beers from our archive.
Also on Tuesday, you can get a peek behind the curtain as Chef Todd Sweet hosts an educational demonstration on how you can cook with beer from 6pm-7pm in the LaPanza Lounge. Like the Lindt Chocolate event, the first 40 chefs to arrive will be admitted to learn from Chef's decades of culinary experience.
Wednesday, May 16 - Our second masters pairing of the week! Cheese expert Robert Aguirre, returns to the LaPanza Lounge from 6pm-7pm to present four Portsmouth Brewery beers with four New Hampshire cheeses. Robert was our guest at one of the first beer socials and we're very excited to enjoy another line-up of amazing combinations. Like other LaPanza Lounge events, this one is also complimentary, first come, first served and limited to 40 people.
Thursday, May 17 - Meet the Brewers! Thursday's LaPanza social brings together brewers from three area breweries; David Yarrington from Smuttynose, Annette Lee from Throwback and of course, our own Tod Mott. Ask your questions about commercial brewing, share a high five or find out their astrological signs. It's your chance to rub elbows with the folks that fuel fermentation. You guessed it; this free event also lasts from 6-7, is general admission (no reservations) and limited to 40 people.
Friday, May 18 - We're pleased to announce the Return of Firkin Friday! We'll begin pouring 10.8 cask-conditioned, Columbus-dry-hopped gallons of Black IPA, from a firkin on the bar starting at 11:30am. How long will it last? You'll have to decide for yourselves...
In addition to these unique events, every day we'll raise a toast to American Craft Beer at noon and 5pm and offer tours at 3pm.
April 26, 2012 - Join us for an Owl Talk and Beer Social to support one of our favorite organizations: the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine.
Norman Smith, one of the world's leading snowy owl experts, will join us at the Portsmouth Brewery on Thursday, April 26 to share pictures and stories about these magnificent birds. Kristin Lamb from the Center will also speak about the important medical and rehabilitative work that takes place there.
Tickets are $30 each, which includes a $10 donation to The Center for Wildlife, passed hors d'oeuvres and three beer tokens.
There will also be a raffle and silent auction. (Who doesn't want to spend a brew day with New England brewing legend Tod Mott or take Edna the Albino Porcupine for a private walk in the woods?)
That same day, volunteers from the Center will be on our patio from 12-2pm with rescued animal ambassadors. It's not exactly a petting zoo, but seeing birds of prey or albino porcupines in person is a breathtaking experience. This meet-and-greet is open to the public and free, but donations to the center will be welcome and appreciated.
The social takes place on April 26 from 6pm-8pm. Space is very limited. For tickets, call or stop by The Portsmouth Brewery or you can email or visit the Center for Wildlife.
March 11, 2012 - Now that another Kate Day has come and gone, we'd like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you who braved the cold and long lines to join us on this special day. We poured the first Kate at 11:30 in the morning, and the last one at 6:45 that evening. If you didn't make it, here's a nice article in the Globe that describes the day's festivities pretty well.
February 17th - 5:05 PM
October 27, 2011
The date for 2012's Kate the Great Release is selected.Come celebrate Kate Day with us on Monday, March 5, 2012. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this festive, once-a-year event. The basic format will be the same as last year, with a few notable changes. Here are some highlights:
May 30, 2011
The Brewery turns 20 on June 1. Come celebrate with us.
On Wednesday, June 1, we'll kick off the summer season by throwing ourselves a Big Birthday Party, with a candle-blowing ceremony around 5:30. We'll debut our anniversary glasses, special anniversary coasters, new staff shirts and a variety of other 20th Anniversary goodies. We'll also release our 20th Anniversary Beer, a hoppy Old Ale, brewed by 20 brewers with 20 malts and 20 hop additions. Join us for cake, ice cream and beer!
On Saturday, June 4, in homage to the old days of live bands at the Brewery, seven nights a week, we'll end regular service at 7:00 and reopen at 9:00 as Studio 56. MC's BCap and Face of Fate will throw down their hypest set in the Seacoast yet! Backed by DJ Ryan Obermiller, their always improvised hip-hop a la mode of freestyle and soul, allows the trio, affectionately known as TheDodgerz or ThePressMCs, to ebb and flow seamlessly with their audiences. These MCs have collaborated and shared stages with such artists as Nas, The Roots, Myka9, Boyz II Men, Slick Rick and more. Ryan Obermiller is a staple in the electronic music scene both as a DJ and show promoter, bringing top rated international DJs to Portsmouth for nearly a decade now. This is a 21+ show and ID must be shown at the door. Admission is FREE and it will be broadcast live on WXGR. Doors open at 9 with the show starting at 10.
Join us on Sunday, June 5, for a Family-Style Cookout. We tried to talk Peter and Joanne into having all of you over for a cookout, but they kept saying "no," so we're going with our back-up plan - grilling out on the patio! Our kitchen staff will tend the fires and stoke the coals while live music sends you into backyard relaxation mode. Seat yourselves at long banquet-style tables and enjoy pints of our anniversary beer, alongside your grilled treats. Please bring the whole family! Doors will open at 10:30am and a $10 entrance fee at the door will give you tickets redeemable for a plate of food and a pint of beer. Additional beer and food tickets are available for $5 each.
Update - March 8, 2011
Another Kate Day has come and gone. We'd like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out and made this such a festive day. Kate ran dry at 6:02 PM, just about the same time as last year, as we recall, but she'll be back!
Update - February 17, 2011
Details for this year's Kate Day festivities can be found here.
Update - January 30, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Kate the Great scratch tickets are SOLD OUT!
Update - January 29, 2011 - 3:00 PM
Kate the Great scratch tickets are now on sale!
Update - January 20, 2011
Regarding the start date for the sale of Kate Scratch Tickets: we still do not have a date set!
How can that be, you ask? We are waiting for the tickets to be delivered by the printer and expect to receive them late next week or early the following week. We plan to put them on sale shortly thereafter.
Why the delay? That's a long story - here's the thumbnail version: we actually started this process the day after last year's Kate Day, when I asked Brewery staff to relay feedback and provide suggestions for this year's release. After several meetings and much lively discussion about what went well and what we could improve on, the form of 2011's Kate release began to take shape. The suggestion of some sort of lottery evolved into the scratch ticket proposal.
Once we worked out the details internally, we went down the bureaucratic rabbit hole: our plan had to pass muster at three different state agencies, each of which had veto power, but all of which ended up being enthusiastically supportive of our idea. But, as you can imagine, this took time, as did getting just right the legal mumbo-jumbo that appears on the back of the tickets and drawing up contracts up between the various stakeholders. Then, once approved, the tickets had to be designed & laid out, printers' proofs approved and the order placed.
And so a project I innocently believed would take a couple of months at the most actually ended up taking over five months to complete. In these circumstances, we were reluctant to set a fixed date for the start of ticket sales, knowing that we might have been forced to change it at the last minute, or worse yet, abandon the idea altogether and shift to some unknown Plan B at the last moment. But as of this moment, Plan A is still in effect. Hooray!
For those of you who were were hoping to queue up our doorstep overnight in order to be first in line to buy tickets on January 24th, precisely six weeks before Kate Day, I apologize. Bear with us. We are committed to making this year's Kate release the best yet.
A lot of people have written us with questions and suggestions for 2011's Kate Day, the day we release our famous Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout. This year, we'll be managing the release differently than in years past. Here are the highlights, in Q & A format:
• When will Kate Day take Place in 2011?
Kate Day will take place on Monday, March 7, 2011.
• How much Kate the Great will be brewed?
We will brew the same quantity as in years past: ten barrels, divided equally between draught and bottles. Approximately 900 bottles will be available for purchase.
• How much do bottles of Kate cost?
After holding the line on price for the last four years, in 2011 the price of 22-ounce bottles of Kate will increase to $15 apiece.
• Will growlers of Kate be available?
• What time are you going to start passing out calendar pages to people who wish to purchase bottles?
We are not going to use calendar pages this year!
• WHAT? If you're not going to use calendar pages, how are you going to handle bottle sales?
We're glad you asked! This year, we are going to organize bottle sales using custom-printed scratch tickets. Ten thousand tickets will be available, with nine hundred "winners" mixed randomly among them. These tickets will be sold at the Portsmouth Brewery for $2 apiece starting about 5 weeks prior to Kate Day, until they run out. All of the revenue generated by the sale of these scratch tickets will benefit the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire and the Center for Wildlife in York, Maine. Sale of scratch tickets will be limited to ten per person per day. Scratch tickets must be purchased in person at the Brewery. None will be sold by mail.
• If I don't live near Portsmouth, how will I be able to purchase a ticket?
This is where you become resourceful and ask your Aunt Tillie in Kittery or your BA trading partners to help out and buy tickets for you.
• So I've got a winning scratch ticket, now what to I do?
A winning scratch ticket has no cash value - it merely entitles the bearer to purchase a single bottle of Kate at his or her convenience any time from March 7 through April 15, 2011. An individual can purchase as many bottles of Kate as he or she has winning scratch tickets. Winning scratch tickets become invalid after April 15, 2011. Any bottles of Kate remaining unsold after that date will be made available to the general public in our retail store.
• So no camping out on the sidewalk in front of the Brewery the night before?
Not for people wishing to buy bottles of Kate - that will no longer be necessary.
• How is draft Kate going to be released?
We've made some changes here, too, compared to years past. The Portsmouth Brewery will open its doors for business at eleven on Kate Day. We will let people into the building in groups of 50, spaced 15 minutes apart, until the restaurant is fully seated. This is to assure that service (and beer) flows smoothly, enabling us to provide the best hospitality throughout the day. The official tapping of Kate will take place around 11:30 am.
We will provide more details over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!