In New Hampshire, there are now over 45 breweries of all sizes around the state.
But one of the more popular beers you’ll find on the shelves or in restaurants and bars has a friendly-faced logo on every label.
Of course, I am speaking about Smuttynose Brewing Company at 105 Towle Farm Road, in Hampton, NH. The address is important because they have just finished a major renovation to their new brewing headquarters. They have free brewery tours which might be the most informative in the entire state. And of course at the end of the tour, you can taste their lovely creations… a lot! It is definitely worth a visit. You can find out more about their offerings on www.facebook.com/Smuttynose or at their website https://smuttynose.com/
Smuttynose Big Beer Series seasonals are just kicking in. Homunculus is on it’s third annual release and is better than ever.
“Homunculus” by definition means ‘little man’ and when you couple that with the imagery from the label, you may start to get their twisted humor. You’ll have to look it up yourself for more factual tidbits. The Belgian-style Golden Ale gets you into the right zone, but the rest has to be experienced. Traditional Belgian beers use yeast that amplifies a banana and clove flavor, which is Homunculus’ starting point.
Cloudy, deep orange in color with a foamy off-white head, it pushes a semi-sweet malt-forward presence, with spicy clove, fruit, green apple and yeasty attributes. They use two malt types and three hops; Magnum (bittering), Sterling (flavor) and dry hopped with Calypso. In fact, this beer is so complex, you may think it is one flavor at the beginning (first sip) and quite a different flavor by the end of the bottle, with some variations in between.
At 9.8% ABV (alcohol) and 45 IBU (hop character), this big beer speaks for itself. You will appreciate the overall balance of this 22 oz beer and want to sample it again (and again…) so, this short series will probably be gone soon; you will want to get it quickly.
With the many other offerings from Smuttynose, you will always find it at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia. Most on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer 3.5+ to 4.3 out of a score of 5. Officially, they rate this at 86 out of 100 which a ‘very good’ notation. The Bros scorers give it a 90! Smuttynose has a wild history of making beautiful brews and Homunculus is now added to that list!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to email@example.com.