Well, it just keeps getting better here in New Hampshire these days. Fall is fading quickly and we are headed into that long winter hibernation. But with each passing day, we await a new treat from our local breweries. This is the season (as stated before), to try bold and interesting brew creations. And with that, introducing NH’s newest addition: Big Water Brewery.
Big Water, is located at 24 Robie Rd, Salisbury, NH, and run by Ben Jones. He is one of the rare breed that brew, bottle and self-distribute their offerings to the public. Less than 6 months old, Big Water is the kind of brewery that is starting off small with terrific recipes that have been tweaked for success. These include Belgian Double and Triple, Aztec Ale, Aztec Porter, Blueberry Cream Ale, Imperial Stout and our review beer, Barley Wine. Most of these are limited releases as he is still in the ramp-up stages.
Visit them at or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BigWaterBrewery
As you might have surmised, this reviewer is smitten with bigger beers; stouts, porters and barleywines. This is not to say that lighter beer is out of the picture, it’s just the season to check out the deeper varieties.
Big Water Barley Wine is quite smooth and malty to the nose. In this 22 oz bottle rests a wide montage of smells, tasting notes and complexities that will enchant you. It’s deep, dark ruby (almost brown) color hardly lets light pass through your goblet. The rich and thick mocha head lasts through your sips, lacing the glass as you enjoy the experience. When you open this bottle, know that you are opening a 1.5 year old beer, aged to perfection!
Initial tastes are of dark, sweet malts, boozy with dark fruit such as raisons or plums, and earthy, like the smells of the forest after a rain. Mouthfeel of this one is medium to full bodied. Fruit remains after you partake and only a hint of bittering follows through. At 10% ABV, this may just be your one-beer-night. The complexity of this beer will trap and hold you long after you have completed the contents.
Consider picking up an extra sample of this a beer to age in the cool depths of your cellar, it is that good! Folks on both BeerAdvocate.com and Untappd.com have all unofficially rated this one over 4.0+ out of 5.0, so you can imagine how popular this brewery will be soon. You can find this and many more at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia and other fine craft beer providers. But remember, this is a limited release… go and try this and other offerings from Big Water Brewery and support local beer!
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