WHYM – What Portsmouth Has Been Waiting For
I met Alex Gilbert for the first time at Blue Lobster’s draft launch at the Community Oven in Hampton. Sporting an Oxbow hat, I could instantly tell I was talking to a craft beer enthusiast. He spoke a little about a place he was planning to open that would turn the Portsmouth beer community on its end. Fast forward 6 months and a lot of hard work, Alex opened up WHYM Craft Beer Cafe in Portsmouth, NH.
Tucked away on Route 1, at 3548 Lafayette Rd in Portsmouth, WHYM is right in the middle of all the craft beer action going on in the Seacoast. 5 miles to Portsmouth Brewery and Earth Eagle, 1 mile to the current Smuttynose location, 3 miles to Throwback Brewery and 5 miles to Blue Lobster and the future Smuttynose location. I find the location perfect for beer lovers and adds another great stop on the Rt 1 beer trail (not official). WHYM, stands for the ingredients in beer, Water/Hops/Yeast/Malt.
It’s once you get into WHYM that you realize you have stumbled upon something great. Very welcoming area with plenty of bar seats and tables, with an outside beer garden and a very special “grotto” area (pictured below), which is a table in a cave, you know, where you can hold your very important meetings.
What is extremely important to know when experiencing WHYM is that Alex is a beer enthusiast and that’s exactly what you want in a beer bar. All of the beers on tap are hand picked by him and spread out over a variety of styles, which he tells me is important to bring more people into the craft beer world, and I agree. The beers are served in the proper glass to maximize the taste of the beer.
Side note: While it may sound snobbish, serving the beer in the proper glass is extremely important. I’ve attended a couple tasting sessions comparing beer served in a standard pint glass, to a beer served in its proper glass for the style…worlds of difference. Ok, back to WHYM…
Another important point is the nod to local breweries. Tuckermans, Earth Eagle, Blue Lobster, Smuttynose and coming soon, Throwback, are on tap. As mentioned above, being in the middle of all these breweries it is great to have them all on tap in one place. Other than the local taps are an impressive lineup of brews that will change whenever Alex sees something else he is interested in. He encouraged me to try my first ever Saison Dupont from the taps and I couldn’t refuse. Having a bartender/proprietor recommend a beer that they know I would like is something many of downtown Portsmouth’s bars are missing.
While WHYM has a focus on great beer, their food can’t be overlooked. From small bites like cheese (from C’est Cheese in Hampton) and spent grain crackers, to Pretzels served with a variety of beer sauces, to an unbelievable burger with truffle frites. Folks, I know burgers, this ranks up near the top of best burger on the Seacoast. The chef also offers Fish and Chips, Mac & Cheese, Shrimp Po Boy among other selections.
If your mouth isn’t watering for good beer and good food by now, re-read the post, you must have missed something. WHYM is open 7 days a week 3pm – close and opening for lunch in the future. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates.