Beer Book Review: Brewing in New Hampshire


While I am not a huge reader, I tend to gravitate books like this with photos and local history. I am amazed at how much history is packed into the little town of Portsmouth New Hampshire. I have taken a Haunted Pub Crawl, learning about the creepy history of some of Portsmouth’s old local taverns, and now I wanted to take a deeper dive into the beer history as a whole in New Hampshire.

The cover style is that of all the “Images of America” books which is familiar to most everyone. While this book has a chapter by chapter flow to it it can easily be used a coffee table reference book due to the great historical photos and old scans of letters. My particular favorite is a letter from George Washington and his recipe for the best Porter. Most of New Hampshire’s brewing history resides in the Portsmouth/Dover area, but the book highlights other areas, such as Conway, NH for it’s Tuckerman Brewing Company (fine beers) which keeps it interesting. The book also highlights Redhook, Smuttynose and of course the Portsmouth Brewery.


Of course a big portion of the book is all about the main man of New Hampshire brewing, Frank Jones. The man/myth/legend basically ran Portsmouth with an iron fist and seemed to be the Trump of the area. A great business man with a strong focus on making it in the beer industry. The best part about reading this book in a coffee shop in downtown Portsmouth was imagining the old pubs and taverns that were right across the street or on the next street over. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture these places because some still stand today, only to serve a different purpose. Nevertheless those familiar with the area or not will find something you haven’t heard of before I’m sure.

This is a quick read (128 pages), even for a non-reader like myself. I finished it over an iced coffee and will definitely look back at it and to show off to guests. I highly recommend checking this book out because our little area is ridiculously enriched in the history of beer making. It’s still amazing leaving Hannaford supermarket with a 6-pack of Smuttynose and driving past part of the old Frank Jones Brewery, which still stands tall but vacant.

Review: Worth a Buy

Cheers,
B