Winter is a delightful time of year in New Hampshire… minus the snow shoveling, biting cold, slippery roads and bad driving conditions, and of course, catching a cold. But besides these items, it is really nice to be in New Hampshire’s longest season of the year. With so many fun things to pursue during these months, you certainly cannot pass up the opportunity to try some great winter beers. The one in our sights today is from Moat in North Conway.
Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Company is located Rt 16 in North Conway, NH. Their food is great with a spectacular menu and worth a visit. Although they still brew on premises where their eatery and original location are (smaller batch seasonals for the restaurant and growler fills), their newest brewery upgrade is a state-of-the-art “barn” which is beautifully done. This place is their main 20 barrel brewery created in 2013. They added the canning line in the following year. It is not open to the public though. You can find out more about their offerings with a name search on Facebook or at their website: www.moatmountain.com
Imperial Stout is an annual treat offered by this amazing brewery. Moat’s diversity of styles, the consistency of each release makes the optimism of this year’s stout legendary. So dark brown, it’s almost black in a pint or tulip glass while the creamy, dark tan head lets you know this is going to be luscious. Notes of strong expresso and dark chocolate hit your nose and tastes at the same time; they are not mixed but proclaim the same senses. Maltiness in the mouthfeel says this drink is going to be memorable. The presence of strong hops against a huge grain bill helps with your understanding of the delicate balance of great stouts. Lots of roasty flavors and dark fruit pour through more coffee and chocolate. Bitterness is too strong of a word to be used in this beer’s description, but rather mildly bitter may be a better choice. This style of stout is not meant to be sweet, where a milk or oatmeal stout may be perceived that way. And this one is sooooo drinkable!
Beer Advocate gives it a 92 out of 100, giving it a title of Outstanding. Moat Mt has a bunch of other great beers to try. Imperial Stout is a winter release and will be gone shortly (short season) so find it quickly. Also look for Iron Mike Pale Ale, Bone Shaker Brown, East Intervale IPA, Czech Pils and Hell Yes! Helles Lager, all in 16 oz cans. You can purchase Moat beers at Hannaford Markets and Case-n-Keg, Meredith and Laconia, just to name a few locations… brewed in New Hampshire for the love of the 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 email@example.com