Smutty Nose has been our favorite so far. A real microbrewery, you could tell these folks really care about their beer. With no interest on taking over the entire market, the owner has turned down offers to pair up with a distributor to go big, favoring having control over his beer and brewing process. They offer unlimited samples before and after the tour.
Next up was Redhook. Redhook it turns out is a bit of a traitor to many craft-beer enthusiasts. Several years back they sold 33% of their company share to Anheuser Busch to pair distribution with them. Now they're one of the top beers in the country, but some think at a sacrifice to their beer. I didn't find it too lacking. For $1 we got a tasting glass and a tour with a old hippie. (And I'm not just being prejudice here. The guy was wearing tie-dye and was a former Berkley resident.) It was very Sam Adams-styled. Quick tour with lots of scripted jokes finished with lots of beer at the end. And this time no only 3 beers a tasting rule. We drank it up!
We ended the night at the Portsmouth Brewery with a flight of eight beers and a free pint courtesy of a coupon from the Smutty Nose Brewery. Desert was a delicious milk stout with a shot of vanilla stoli dropped in . . . mmmmmm.
Day One Count: 17 beers
More reporting to come . . .