We had some more gorgeous weather this past weekend, and when that occurs, I generally refuse to be anywhere but a city or town with seaside charm. On Saturday, Nick, our friend Anthony and I packed into my car and headed to Portsmouth. I knew it would be colder by the coast, but once we arrived I realized it was a bit more chilly than I had even thought it would be! Luckily I had brought a jacket, and we enjoyed our time walking around.
We arrived in time for a late lunch, and I suggested the Portsmouth Brewery where I had been a couple times before with my family. After checking out the menu posted to the outside window, Nick and Anthony agreed and we went inside to give a name for a table. There was a wait but we were in no rush. The hostess told us we could go down the basement level for the time being where there was a bar and full menu if we preferred to stay down there to eat. A great aspect of the Portsmouth Brewery is that if you choose to wait in the downstairs, they will send you a text when your table is ready and you can let them know if you will be back up or not. Convenient!
The basement level of the Brewery, called the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, offered a full bar, billiards, TVs, a shuffleboard table and various seating areas including tables, stools and couches. Rock music in the background kept the vibe. It wasn’t a huge space, but just right for hanging out with a few friends if you didn’t want to deal with the busy upstairs. I wish I had thought to take some pictures!
We ordered beers while in the Lounge, as the bartender/waiter there told us he could bring them upstairs when our table was ready. I taste-tested the Hefeweizen and the Dirty Blonde, settling on the Blonde which was light and refreshing, exactly my style. Anthony ordered the Lolo IPA, which he was very satisfied with, and Nick decided on an outside brewed beer, the Allagash Curieux – with 10% alcohol content, it made him feel pretty good! (Truth be told, I had to call the Brewery to remember the name of this one). I had a sip and while the beer itself wasn’t warm, it seemed to warm me up inside as it went down, proof of its strength (and probably the hints of bourbon from the barrel brewing).
We were called (or rather, texted) up to our table right after ordering our beers, so they were brought upstairs and were were seated in a side room off the main area of the restaurant that was open and bright.
There were many tasty sounding items on the menu, but I was in Portsmouth to have some seafood. I ordered the Fried Fish Sandwich, with a beer battered Gulf of Maine white fish fillet. It came with tartar sauce and a chipotle mustard. I added both to the sandwich and the chipotle mustard provided a very nice kick. The fillet was fresh and filling. I ordered rice and beans as a side to stay a little healthier since the fish was fried.
Nick had the Southwestern Chorizo Burger, a massive burger that looked fit for a king. Our waiter recommend he get a fried egg on top, as that’s the way employees of the Brewery like it best. Nick followed the suggestion and really enjoyed the addition to the burger.
Anthony went with an appetizer, the nachos, which came fully loaded. I was a bit jealous, as nachos are my guilty pleasure! We all ate and chatted, enjoying our delicious beers, food, and the company of friends.
After finishing our lunch we started to head out of the Brewery, but not before checking out their awesome store. The store was full of cool Portsmouth Brewery and beer lover items like shirts, coasters, magnets, bottle openers, glasses and more. There is also an online version of the store, for those who are interested!
We browsed quickly and then headed back out into the sunny day. We spent the rest of our time walking around the bustling city and checking out the waterfront, feeling full and happy from our relaxing lunch. Each time I’ve visited the Portsmouth Brewery, I’ve always had a great experience and am happy I was able to introduce it to Nick and Anthony as a fun Saturday activity. Next time, we will have to stay for a tour!
The Portsmouth Brewery – 56 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH, 603.431.1115