Marketing & Creative Director
Joanne’s connection to the Portsmouth Brewery goes back to early 1991, when she was the Creative Director of the small advertising firm hired to design the logo and initial advertising for the yet-to-be-opened Brewery. She joined the Brewery staff full-time in 1993 and has been the creative force behind the look and feel of both the Portsmouth Brewery and Smuttyose Brewing Company. She is co-owner of both companies with her longtime partner, Peter Egelston.
Founder & President
Peter grew up in southern California but did not remain there long. Dropping out after a year at UC Berkeley, he found his way to New York in 1978 where he earned a degree in Spanish Literature at NYU. Upon graduation, he quit his job as a hotel doorman and took a more “dignified” position – at one third the pay – teaching English as a Second Language. He later found a permanent position teaching in a large public high school in Brooklyn. In 1986, his sister Janet passed through town and talked him into joining her in Massachusetts where they and two other partners would open what is now the oldest brewpub in the northeast: the Northampton Brewery, where Peter served as head brewer until 1991.
That year, they opened the Portsmouth Brewery, the Granite State’s first brewpub. In 1993, he attended the auction of the bankrupt Frank Jones Brewing Company. Not intending to bid on anything that day, he ended up purchasing the brewery that was to become Smuttynose Brewing Company. Peter and his sister remained business partners until 2000. She is now sole owner of the Northampton Brewery, and he, with his partner Joanne, is proprietor of the Portsmouth Brewery, having left Smuttynose in 2018.
Today, Peter divides his time between the Portsmouth Brewery and various civic and charitable activities. Like the elusive yeti, Peter is notoriously hard to track down. And like the yeti, some have come to wonder if he really exists.
Originally from County Clare in Ireland, Gary moved to the US in 2009 where he worked as a bartender. He there met his wife and after a brief year living in Austria together they returned to the US and got married. He became GM at Ri-Ra in 2014 and after two years decided it was time to experience more of the service industry in America finally moving away from Irish pubs! Gary spends his spare time taking care of his three dogs and fostering dogs for rescue shelters (when allowed!). He also has grown to love the Patriots (his wife would deport him otherwise) and has a keen love of all sports especially the REAL FOOTBALL!! His accent may be a lot lighter than it was in 2009 but he loves to talk about Ireland so feel free to ask him when you stop by. You might even know some of the same people. Trust him when he says it happens a lot!
Matt’s passion for brewing began at a very early age. His father Ron, took up homebrewing as a hobby and Matt fondly remembers waking up to the smell of malt and hops boiling in his kitchen on Saturday mornings. As soon as he was old enough, he starting brewing his own recipes and never stopped. After a discussion with former Head brewer Tyler Jones, his dream of brewing professionally was about to come true. Tyler brought him on as an assistant brewer. Working shoulder to shoulder with Tyler for nearly two years readied Matt for the head brewer position when Tyler decided to start his own brewery in Connecticut. When Matt’s not plotting his next beer recipe or bellied up to the bar chatting with our loyal customers, you can usually find him on his surfboard riding waves, hanging out with his dogs, fishing, or foraging for whatever wild mushrooms might be in season.
Brian got his start in kitchens in the early ‘80s, where he rapidly advanced from dishwasher to line cook. His career blossomed in 1989 in Boston working at the Boston Harbor Hotel under Chef Daniel Bruce, cementing his love and passion for outstanding cuisine. From there he took his skills to the west coast where he landed his first Chef role in San Francisco and Palo Alto at Gordon Borsch. He moved back to the east coast to finish his philosophy degree while synthesizing beer into his culinary creations at Cambridge Brewing Company. Brian owned his own restaurant in Hyde Park for 5 years until joining our Portsmouth Brewery team where he continues our tradition of delicious food paired with (and often made with) amazing handcrafted beer.
Craig is our newest bar manager and he’s too busy learning the Portsmouth Brewery way to write a bio, but he’ll get to it – someday.
Donna is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality business, and has been a member of the Brewery staff since June 1, 1991, our first day in business. Most people know her as our daytime bartender, but she’s worn many other hats here as well. Donna was born and raised on the Seacoast and lives in Stratham with her longtime significant other. She’s the mother of two & grandmother of four, a Harley-Davidson & golf enthusiast, loves Red Sox and is one of the top individual fund-raisers for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund.
Stop in at lunchtime for a beer and bite to eat with Donna, or feel free to contact her with inquiries regarding functions and private parties at the Brewery.
Do you have what it takes?
The Portsmouth Brewery is a great place to work. Our atmosphere is energetic and lively, and there is rarely a dull moment around here.
We’re always looking for good people interested in joining our staff, so check out our open positions and/or fill out our online application.
Access or join the Staff Facebook Group:
Visit the Staff Resources Site for current schedules, forms and other useful content.
(This site is password protected. Contact your manager for access information.)