As part of our Distillery Tour on Saturday we decided to include one of the Breweries that we didn’t have time for during our earlier Brewery Tour; Blue Lobster Brewing Company. Since Blue Lobster is all about the beer Andrea nicely offered to write this review,  giving me time to work on the rest of the day.

Blue Lobster Brewing Company One in Two Million?

The word is that different color lobsters — including blue ones — are showing up in traps more often these days. And although it’s been written that the odds of catching a blue lobster are one in two million, you’ll find lots of them on the walls, glasses, and taps at Blue Lobster Brewing Company in Hampton.

Blue Lobster is one of several craft breweries that have sprung up on the Seacoast — and it’s worth a trip to sample their brews at their Hampton tasting room. You can taste 5 of their beers for $5. The brews are described well on the white board over the bar, and the server even took care to arrange the beers (served in small snifter glasses) in the same order as the list so it was easy to remember which was which.

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The tasting room itself has a bar-like feel, with more comfort and atmosphere than most tasting rooms.  And on Saturdays you can even bring along your old records to listen to on their turntable.

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Blue Lobster beers also are served on tap at a handful of spots in the area, including at Portsmouth’s new craft brew restaurant, WHYM. You can buy growlers (two liters) and what they call ‘howlers’ (750 ml) at the brewery/tasting room.

What we sampled:

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Gold Claw Pale Ale

4.5% ABV

This beer, which features notes of citrus and a piney nose, has much more flavor that you would expect from a 4.5% ABV beer.  It would make a great go-to summer beverage.

Stalkholm Syndrome Wheat IPA

5.7% ABV

This one was too mild for our tastes but would make a good offering for someone who likes lighter beers.

Excess is Not Rebellion Galaxy Edition Double IPA

8% ABV

This one was an OK double IPA although it was a bit bitter on the tongue.

A Life of Sundays Scotch Wee Heavy

10% ABV

If you’re a ‘wee heavy’ fan, this one’s for you.  It was flavorful but perhaps a better choice for a cold winter’s night.

Ragged Neck Rye Peated Rye Porter

7.4% ABV

Wow!  Although billed as a porter, this one drank more like a stout.  It featured great coffee aromas and taste.  This would be another good choice for a winter beverage — or for those who like to enjoy stouts year-round.

 

Beer Appreciation Tips

The folks at Blue Lobster were even good enough to provide a Beer Appreciation 101 sheet for visitors. The rules they recommend for sampling are: look, smell, taste, think.  Details are below.

LOOK – Take a good hard look at the beverage you behold.  How are things like clarity, lacing, and color?

SMELL – Give the glass a slight swirl to agitate the aromatics. Put your nose to the glass and take several small sniffs. Find any familiar notes? Smell is crucially important as it plays a large role in how we taste.

TASTE – Proceed to enjoy. Sip gently at first then feel free to go to town. If you are not the fastest drinker, fear not. Aromas and flavors change with temperature. As your beer warms the aromas will become more prominent, thus changing how you taste the beer. Aftertaste and mouthfeel are also two important aspects of taste. Mouthfeel is very important. The beer should have no jutting edges, flavors should not be jumpy but transitional. You should be able to hold the beer on your tongue without any unpleasantness.

THINK – Ponder what flavors you tasted and what aromas you smelled. Put it all together. Is this a beer you enjoyed? Did the beer make you smile? Truly just contemplate the magic of fermentation. Were there any off flavors or flaws? Was the beer flawed or did you just not like that particular flavor? All those questions will help you find beers that will hopefully be more and more to your liking, while at the same time, broadening your horizons in the world of well-done beers.

 

Blue Lobster Brewing Company
845 Lafayette Road
Hampton, NH
(603) 601-6062
www.facebook.com/BlueLobsterBrew

 

Categories: Ale Tales, Food Adventures

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