The Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire’s first brewpub, was founded in 1991, four years after its sister company, the Northampton Brewery, opened in Western Massachusetts. Peter Egelston, Head Brewer in Northampton from 1987 until 1991, moved to Portsmouth to set up the new brewery here. (Egelston is now the sole proprietor of the Brewery.)
The brewing system consists of a custom made seven-barrel (210 gallons) JV Northwest brewhouse, two fourteen-barrel and three seven-barrel JV Northwest unitank (cylindroconical) fermenters, two fourteen-barrel horizontal fermenters (added later, in 1994), and twelve seven-barrel grundy cellar tanks. Originally, the Portsmouth Brewery opened with beer recipes from Northampton – Pale Ale, Old Brown Dog, Weizenheimer, Black Cat Stout, Blonde Ale, Golden and Amber Lagers – and these still comprise the core of the Brewery’s full-time beers today. However, over the years, successive brewers have contributed many outstanding seasonal and specialty beers to the list. All of the beers served at the Portsmouth Brewery are brewed right here on premise, with the exception of those beers, such as Shoals Pale Ale and Portsmouth Lager, brewed at Smuttynose Brewing Company, our sister company.