Craft Beer Cellar Portsmouth Review

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Friend and frequent co-host on the podcast, Ben Watts, wrote a review of the Seacoast’s newest craft beer store. You can follow Ben on twitter @bmwatts.

Look, we all know New Hampshire’s beer laws are archaic and frustrating (see: Founder’s Breakfast Stout label ban, 14% ABV cap, etc). As a result of this, the shelves at our local beer stores can start to look pretty familiar from shop to shop with the lack of depth and variety as compared to our neighboring states. This isn’t the fault of the purveyors, of course. It’s just the way it is in New Hampshire.

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So, it’s up to the shop owners to make their stores a memorable place to shop in the otherwise homogenized landscape that is New Hampshire craft beer. After just a few weeks on the scene, it’s clear to me that the Portsmouth Craft Beer Cellar is one of those places. The first impression upon entering the store is the eye-pleasing aesthetic. Shelves upon shelves of wide-stacked bottles and packs of beer create big bursts of color that immediately draw you in. There is a tasting area in the center of the store, and a retail section for beer-related merchandise. Another highlight was the charcuterie cooler, offering a large selection of meats and cheeses.

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However, the biggest highlight came after leaving the store. I had tweeted the store (@cbc_portsmouth) asking if they’d be getting Baxter’s 3rd Anniversary release, which I knew would be limited, especially since NH just started carrying Baxter that same week. They immediately tweeted me back to let me know they weren’t sure yet, then updated me later in the day as they got more details. A few days later, they direct messaged me as they learned more about its arrival. I was incredibly impressed by the customer service, and that’s exactly what makes a craft beer retailer – or any other retailer, for that matter – stand out above the rest.

The Portsmouth Craft Beer Cellar is at 767 Islington Street, and is open 7 days a week.