One can only appreciate true craft-brewed beer when it is something special and the consumer is wowed by it, bringing their focused attention to the partaking of an awesome moment in time. These times can be few and far between moments, but thankfully we live in NH where there are a TON of really great beers!
Henniker Brewing Company is located in Henniker, NH. Founded in 2011, HBC has captured the attention of craft beer lovers in the NH beer scene with their 15 barrel capacity. But they had bigger plans and today are a 30 barrel brew house exclusively sold in NH and distributed widely throughout the state in 22 oz bottles, growlers (half gallon bottles) and kegs for restaurants and taverns.
Visit their website at http://www.hennikerbrewing.com
“Ora” is a ‘Rustic, Belgian-style golden ale brewed with barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt’ (reading the label) and is also known as an Abbey Triple. It is the newest member of the Off The Grid Series (small batch run) from Henniker, joining Gentleman Farmer and the first edition, Company, which celebrated their 2nd anniversary in brewing for the masses. This is only found in 22 oz bottles or on tap when you can find it so, this will disappear quickly. It might still be on tap at the Union Diner in Laconia.
Belgian-style ales are in a class by themselves as they portray a specific, almost fruity-sweet taste and heady flavorful mouthfeel. This 8.5% ABV beer was poured into a pint glass to get the fullest enjoyment of both taste and smell at your first sip. At 38° F, the pure white head stayed around for a long while and a bit of lacing around the glass was still evident at the last sip. You can also smell the heavy sweetness of this heady brew.
Brilliant golden with a very slight haze, the malt character of these combined grains shines through with a richness that proclaims European beer all the way. With a hint of spice note at the end of the tasting and a touch of hop character, Ora wins you over. You will want to chase this one… find it, and keep it for a special occasion!
Ora, according to the Henniker website, speaks of monks brewing very intricate special beers. Their hard work would pay off in the creation of a fine brew. The combination of these grains, hops and three different yeast strains brings this beer alive like nothing else. By the way, it is St. Benedict’s image emblazoned on the label.
Being a seasonal, you will want to find this one quickly; they just don’t last. It is still available at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia. This one is worth investigating!
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