Drinking a Beer Where Beer Hasn’t Been Drunk in 100 Years

Photos by Ian Cowpar (@Craftbeered, because he had a way better camera)

Thursday night I took a trip to Exeter to Folsom Tavern to raise a pint in the name of Independence. What’s the big deal you ask?

Two things to bring you up to speed:
1- Redhook brewed a special beer in partnership with the American Independence Museum
2- Beer has not been poured in Folsom Tavern for over 100 years

American Independence Ale is a crisp, refreshing American Style Pale Ale made using locally grown and malted barley and hops. New England’s Warthog wheat gives the beer body and a dense head that holds the citrus and floral aromas from Simcoe, Zeus and brewery-grown Nugget hops. The medium-bodied pale ale is golden in color and the combination of the hops, wheat and two-row malts gives the beer citrus, pine, floral notes and a dry finish. American Independence Ale has an ABV of 5.2 percent and 38 IBUs

We got there about 15 minutes early. We really got there 30 minutes early but mind you the streets of downtown Exeter are a mass of drivers texting while driving and Phillips Exeter students not looking both ways before they cross the street. There was a line forming outside the building and a sign proudly displayed “George Washington was entertained here”. I have a place in my heart for the American Revolution. If I were to be a buff about something I would really sink my teeth into reading everything about the Revolution.

Each person was allowed a ticket for a free beer, again, in a place that has literally not served beer in 100 years, and had the option to purchase an awesome commemorative mug. The mug was well worth the $15 price and will be used plenty at my house. We grabbed the mugs and went up stairs to where the beer was being poured.

What’s also cool to note about Folsom Tavern is that it is currently not in the physical location as it was back in the 1700’s. In fact, its in it’s 4th location in Exeter. I can only imagine George Washington coming back from the dead only to find a Me & Ollies where he once grabbed a tankard Of ale. It’s kind of like forgetting where you parked…your tavern. Nevertheless the building’s interior is the same as back in the day with some exceptions like electricity and smoke alarms. It’s a cool feeling drinking beer in a room where some Declaration of Independence and Constitution signers once did the same. We had our beer, poked around the place and headed off to Loaf & Ladle.

We were given a map that we could get stamped at three other bars that were serving Independence Ale on the same street. If we got all four stamps we could have gotten a chance to win tickets to American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) in June. Any chance I get to go to Loaf & Ladle I will. It’s a shame that it left Portsmouth and have since been 2 other restaurants (currently it’s Moxy, a tapas bar). I had an Independence Ale there and called it a night.

Special thanks to Redhook and the American Independence Museum for hosting a truly unique event.