Thursday, September 5, 2013

Earth Eagle In Portsmouth N.H.

Podcast: Earth Eagle In Portsmouth (Flash)
Non-Flash podcast

Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth, N.H. just doubled their brewing capacity -- from one barrel to two! While the size of the batches may be small, the quality of the beer, the creativity of the recipes and the heart that goes into it all is immeasurable.
Earth Eagle was founded by homebrew buddies Alex McDonald and Butch Heilshorn, who also happen to be brothers in-law. The brewery is attached to the A&G Homebrew Supply shop, owned by Alex and his wife Gretchen, which opened prior to the brewery, in 2011. The brewery began serving to the public in their tasting room in November of 2012, offering one-of-a-kind brews with an experimental angle. For these guys it's not enough to only make a good beer -- it has to be a good and interesting beer!
Alex of Earth Eagle, Dierdre, Jay, B.R.
The concept of the brewery seems to be to sell a great variety of non-typical beer styles directly to the public via 1- and 2-liter growlers. They've also created a cozy, unassuming tasting room/bar, where they sell samplers in 4-oz glasses and sampler flights of whatever six beers are currently on tap. And thanks to a soon-to-be implemented change in N.H. beer regulation, which was lobbied for by Alex, they'll be selling pints in the tasting room, as well.
On tap: Brown Ale, Gruit, American Wheat, another Gruit (with horehound), Black IPA and ESB (with Earl Grey tea)!
Alex and Butch have a keen interest in utilizing all manner of herbs, roots and spices in beer, and are avid brewers of gruit. When we visited in early September, they had the Josselyn's 1666 Ale on tap, made from one of the earliest known New England beer recipes and brewed with wormword, sassafras and molasses. They also recently brewed a gruit for a historical themed dinner at Portsmouth's Strawberry Banke, an outdoor history museum of the Colonial American era which, "through restored buildings, historic landscapes and gardens, and interpretive programs, tells the stories of the many generations who settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire's "Puddle Dock" community from the late l7th to the mid-20th century."
And in case you were wondering about their name, "the qualities Native Americans attribute to the Earth Eagle (a.k.a. the common wild turkey) speak to our philosophy as brewers and business owners: ecological, charitable, resilient, and unconventional. 'Brewings' is our nod to the first brewers who made small batches for their families crafted from local grain, herbs, and yeast. At Earth Eagle Brewings we embrace a Belgian-inspired, pre-Reformation spirit where hops are but one of the hundreds of ingredients employed in the alchemy of brewing."
If this unique brewery isn't compelling enough to get you to Portsmouth (pronounced "PORTS-smith") -- and it really should be -- then check back soon for an accompanying blog post on the exciting, vibrant craft beer scene on N.H.'s rugged, beautiful seacoast.

In The Brewery

A&G Homebrew Supply Shop

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