2008-08-16

New England Report 12:2008-07-23 (New London -- Greenfield)

The next day started south in New Hampshire and the city of Manchester. Fun to see that so many cities are influenced with English cities and you get names as Manchester, Dover, Gloucester etc, even more interesting that we just before New London came from West Lebanon, wonder where that name comes from. The goal for Manchester, which is pretty large town, was "Millys Tavern" and to sample some of their beers.


Millys is located in a large brick building at the river front (merrimack river) in central Manchester.
The place does their own handcraftet beers on site and most often has up to 9 different styles on tap plus a couple of seasonals. They have a 15 barrel DME system install and uses water from Massabesic with northwestern hops.
We came early and did not have time for lunch, otherwise it seems they had a good choice in food.
Decided to have the sampler and came up with the following result;
113. Manch Vegas IPA
114. Mt. Uncanoonus Golden Cream Ale
115. Tashas Red Ale Tail Ale
116. Hells Bells Belgian Strong Dark Ale
117. General John Stark Dark Porter
118. Millyes Oatmeal Stout
119. Bo's Scotch Ale

Good quality beers, not worldclass. What I remember is that I really liked the Hells Bells ale which was really a kick in the ass strong ale that made you warm inside out.
The official information tells you;

"Hell's Bell's is a Belgian-inspired Strong Dark Ale. You won't have to sell your soul for a taste of this devilish concoction of the finest imported malts and hops, Belgian Candi Sugars and spices. Fruity phenolics and a hint of vanilla enhance the flavor of this 9% ABV ale. Do Hell's Bells toll for you?O.G.: 1.083 F.G.: 1.018 ABV%: 9"

This beer was a seasonal so do not expect to see this so much in the future. From the standard choices I would recommend the outmeal stout. A rich beer in color, smell and taste and very traditional to the style.
We had earlier arranged at meeting with one of the brewers over at Pennichuck Brewery in Milford NH. We got some help from Jugge over at Oliver Twist in Stockholm as he had met the owner a couple of times. So through Jugges help we were invited to this tiny brewery located in a old workshop garage outside Milford.


As we finally found this place it was at start really difficult to understand that it was hiding a fullscale brewery. A brewery that is not much older that a couple of years, but already is making a name in the industry with big beers like belgian trippels or barley wines. When you talk about big you can also notice that they like to use large bottles influenced by Belgium, meaning 1 liter bottles. Nice to look at, but really a hell to get home in your bag, :-).

(Exterior of the brewery, what happened to this poor car??)

The owner Phil Jewett was not at the brewery when we entered the place arround 14, but we instead were helped by the new headbrewer Damase Olsson (yes he has some connection with Sweden). They were in middle of brewing so we got a nice quick tour of the brewery during the same time as Damase were brewing and putting stuff in the brew. Fun to see. The brewery is not large but they already have 4 different standard brews plus a bunch of special brews that they package on 1 liter bottles.

(Brewery interior)

(Damase the headbrewer giving us a quick tour of the brewery)

Asking if they also did their own botteling the answer was of course yes and we got to see the very tiny and very manual equipment where all the botteling was done. Not large but very effective it seems.

We got to sample all of the standard beers including;

120. Halligan IPA (my favorite)

121. Fireman Pale Ale

122. Feuerwehrmann Black Lager (Schwarzbier)

123. Big O Oktoberfest (which was the new oktober beer that we sampled directly from the brew, great experience)

The visit was short but exciting and we thanked for the visit and bought some beers to get home to Sweden. Hope to see more from this brewery in the future and it will interesting to see how it will grow from the current limited quantities. Maybe we can expect some beers to turn up in Stockholm in a near future?

Continued to Westminster in MA and the "Wachusett Brewing Company". Had the standard beer tour and also sampled some of the beers. Wachusett seems quite large and uninspring, it says quite much when the breweries large seller (arround 80%) is a very boring Blueberry Wheat. It is difficult to do a good wheat and sometimes you do not understand why american breweries like to do it so much when the result is so bleak.

Maybe it is has to do with sales and warm summer days. Anyway it is very rare that you find a good beer when you have to sample a seasonal wheat in the US. Some times it happens but then you need to try to do it much more traditional belgian or german and it is much more interesting if you do a hefe wheat instead, good examples include; ├ťberSun and Hop Sun from Southern Tier.

Sampled beers;

124. IPA

125. Black Shack Porter

126. Blueberry Wheat

After the brewery visit we ended up in Greenfield and headed for the "Peoples Pint" bar. Not much to say about this place. Quite good beers but I do not really understand the hype.

127. Pied pIPA

128. ESB (cask)

129. Provider Pale Ale

130. Helles Bock

131. Oatmeal Stout

132. Farmers Brown

Maybe it was the town itself or maybe the peanut wok (I can understand pasta with some peanut, but not cold peanut with some pasta, :-), better to get the burger at this place, probably a much better choice) that made it bad place. I did not like it much but it seems to very popular arround this area and the beers get quite good rating over at beeradvocate.

As Greenfield did not offer any more beer experiences (at least good experiences) it was just to get home to the motel and recharge for a new day.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mattias,

Thanks for your kind words about Pennichuck. Just to let you know, I spoke with my father after speaking with you, my Swedish connection is that my Grandfather (my Dad's Father) was from Oskarstrom, in Halmstad in Halland County.

Damase

Mattias said...

Hi Damase,

Thanks for the information, we had a great time at your brewery. Just a pitty that we did not get any beers from you at Stockholm Beer (just came from there)

/M

Ps; Here is the place; http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Oskarstrom+halmstad&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=title