When you consider the amount of breweries and product from those businesses that flow throughout NH, you begin to understand our fervor for great beer and endless varieties from those breweries. From Smuttynose comes an offshoot called Smuttlabs. These are the brewing scientists that dream up wild and wonderful concoctions for an ever expanding universe of the beer connoisseurs.
Smuttynose leads our NH beer race by recently completing a $22 million expansion on the Towle Farm property in Hampton with a reception space for events and wedding receptions, the Hayseed Farm-style Restaurant and, of course, a fabulous, exquisitely designed, ecologically-centered brewery. As an example, they use heat captured by the cooling fluid used in post-brewing to heat the brewery during the winter months. This expansion happens at the precise time that Smutty and the rest of the craft beer scene are experiencing huge growth and are being recognized as “shakers and movers.”
You can find out more about their offerings on www.facebook.com/Smuttynose or at their website www.smuttynose.com.
So these Smuttlab folks have a number of crazy beers for you to try. They come in both 12 and 22 oz bottles, some with caps, others with corks. Each is as different to the next as you could get.
“Smuttwater 1.0” is a great farmhouse (or saison) style beer with a pronounced hop character. As farmhouse beers are usually on the middle to sweeter side, this one is a pleasant surprise. With just a hint of color cast (haze), this light golden delicious beer plays with your mind. White head and lacing of the glass last for much of the experience. Your nose will pick up tart fruit, citrus, and possibly grapefruit. Upon the first sip, your nose has not betrayed you. Grapefruit, lemon, orange peel and a slight bitterness end your tasting bits. Some of the tartness is due to the Brett styling, short for Brettanomyces, which is a wild yeast and often is referred to as a ‘funky’ taste. Mouthfeel on this beer is rewarding and you should have no problem emptying this bottle. At 7.2% it is not bashful, but certainly not brazen.
With the many other offerings from Smuttynose, you will always find it at Case-n-Keg, Meredith and Laconia. Most on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer from 4.2+ out of a score of 5, though it has not been officially rated. Folks on RateBeer.com were almost as friendly as well. Smuttlabs Smuttwater 1.0 is around for a while, so go and find it today. Like all good things, it will soon be gone!
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