Rant: Is Portsmouth Fighting the Right Beer Battle?

I just saw a post about The British Beer Company, a popular and respected chain of pubs, and their future opening in Portsmouth. This comes at the heels of a fairly successful opening of the Thirsty Moose Tap House which adorns its taps with 116 beers. Coming in a week or so is the Book and Bar which promises to be a cool spot to read a book and have a drink.

I’m not a beer snob, but I am wondering if Portsmouth is fighting the wrong battle.

We are seeing a huge increase in bars in this town. From what I have been witnessing, there are very few bars in town focusing on the quality of the beer more than the quantity of the beer. A handful of bars come to mind (in Portsmouth) if you want a great tap list with a knowledgeable staff; Portsmouth Brewery (obviously), Press Room, Gaslight, District and RiRa. I hate to say it, but I think Portsmouth has reached the boiling point for beer bars, and should now band together and focus on changing some of the liquor laws of the state. Let’s get together and bring BETTER beer into the state instead of MORE beer. I’m not looking for competition between bars, but nothing will separate one bar from the next if you can get the same beers at Bar A as you can at Bar B.

This is great news, however, for the smaller breweries in the area. Blue Lobster, the newly opening Earth Eagle Brewings, Throwback and Portsmouth Brewery. They offer what a lot of these places will not. Sure, you will find Throwback in bars in town, but it doesn’t get fresher than going to the source and getting it at the brewery.

For residents and tourists of Portsmouth. What do you think of the amount of bars in town? I would love your feedback. It seems like they are trying to take advantage of the craft beer game without trying to please the craft beer enthusiasts.

Food for thought. Cheers,
B