Over the weekend I had the pleasure of checking out the newest beer tour in New England, Pints of Portsmouth Beer Tours. Based out of Boston, Pints of Portsmouth is a Boston-to-Portsmouth, New Hampshire beer tour inspired by the San Francisco-to-Napa wine tours in California. It’s not surprising that Allo Gilinsky, the founder of Pints of Portsmouth, hails from Northern California.
Joining the ranks of Boston transplants, Allo and his innovative craft beer tour is a perfect fit for Boston. Shuttling up to 20 beer lovers to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and back, the all-day tour includes visits, tours, and tastings at 4 breweries, lunch, water, and a Pints of Portsmouth beer koozie. Allo guides the tour, providing a itinerary and background information on the breweries.
I was invited with my friend Jodi on the Pints of Portsmouth Beer Tour last weekend with a group of known beer lovers and bloggers. At 9:30 on Saturday morning, we met the group and luxury shuttle bus outside of the conveniently located Assembly Square T Station. Allo greeted us with a huge smile, detailed itinerary, and gift bags on our seats. I was immediately impressed with the attention to detail that went into the Pints of Portsmouth Beer Tours—koozies, social media reference guide, and name tags to boot!
The 45 minute drive to Portsmouth flew by and before I knew it we were at our first stop: Smuttynose Brewery. The famous brewers of Finestkind IPA and Old Brown Dog, two of my favorite local beers, Smuttynose has a beautiful new brewery which they opened in 2014. All of the beer is brewed on site in the green, sustainable facility.
Upon arrival we were greeted with Smuttlabs‘ newest beer, Smoked Cherry Short Weiss. If you’re a sour beer lover, this limited release is a must-try! The tour showed us everything from the bags of malt and fermenters to the bottling line. After the tour we got to taste 4 additional beers, all of which were delicious.
Easily excitable when it comes to new beer, I took home a box of assorted sours, including the Smoked Cherry Short Weiss. Pints of Portsmouth has a cooler on board in case you purchase chilled beer and plenty of room for any other beer that you purchase.
The next stop on our Pints of Portsmouth Beer Tour was to a brewery unfamiliar to this beer geek—Earth Eagle Brewings, known for their Gruit style of unhopped beers. We tasted 3 more beers over a lunch of sandwiches and nachos. I particularly enjoyed their White Light Gruit Herbed Ale.
Our third brewery of the day was Beara Irish Brewing Company. An unassuming brewery located amongst a cluster of stores, Beara offered us a tasting of 3 beers including a Java Stout, a Maple Wheat, and an Irish Stout.
The fourth and final stop on the Pints of Portsmouth Beer Tour was at Throwback Brewery. Owned and operated by two women, Throwback stole my heart with their founder story, beautiful farmhouse brewery, and collaborative efforts with local farmers in both their beer and food. I highly recommend the poutine-yum!
Owner Nicole Carrier set a private space for our group in a partitioned area. Seated between stainless steel tanks of beer, she explained the name and local ingredients behind each beer including Merry! Happy! Dreid-Ale, a ginger flavored beer, and an IPA called Donkey-Hote named in honor of the late donkey they inherited when they purchased the property.
After a long day that flew by, it was time to hit the road and get back to Boston. We arrived back around 6pm safe and sound and with a newfound appreciation for the beers of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
If you’re looking for a fun beer-themed day trip from Boston, I highly recommend Pints of Portsmouth. The company offers several tours as well as custom tours which makes it the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life or a fun outing for birthday parties, reunions, bachelor/ette parties, and more.
While my trip was compliments of Pints of Portsmouth, this is a tour that I would gladly pay for. The day-long trip is priced at $110 and includes tours and tastings of 4 breweries, a designated driver to shuttle you around, water, and a koozie—a great deal for an awesome experience!
Special thanks to Allo from Pints of Portsmouth and Mike Johnson of FestPics for the tour and photos.