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Best Portsmouth, NH Craft Beer Breweries & Taprooms

It feels like the greater Portsmouth area has a brewery for every mile of Seacoast that the state of New Hampshire has, and that’s a good thing.

Located halfway between Boston and Portland, two other great beer cities, Portsmouth is a small city with a huge thirst for quality craft beer and hard cider.

If you take into account the actual population of the city, Portsmouth is quite dense with breweries, as it doesn’t even rank in the top 150 cities and towns in New England for the number of people living there.

Grey Lady, a Belgian Wit brewed by Cisco Brewers
Always refreshing

Cisco Brewers (Portsmouth)

35 Corporate Dr, Portsmouth, NH 03801

The brewery started on the island of Nantucket nearly 30 years ago before opening up less than a mile from Pease International Airport in Portsmouth. We’re big fans of the Grey Lady, so named after the island of it’s origin, a 4% wheat beer that tastes like watching the waves on Sconset Beach.

Open Thursday through Sunday, Cisco’s Portsmouth location is an excellent locale for post work bevvies and apps. In good weather, there’s live music and a festive outdoor beer garden that will easily pass a few hours if you’re not looking at your watch.

Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth, NH
Hidden breweries that are down an alley are our jam

Earth Eagle Brewings

165 High St / 175 High St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Earth Eagle Brewings is the rare craft beer double threat, in that part of the connected space is a homebrew shop. We last pulled up a stool in the open garage of Earth Eagle Brewings nearly a decade ago, a year or so after the taproom opened in 2012.

The burgers and dogs menu will leave you feeling like you get fed and boozed up at your Uncle’s man cave, if your Uncle’s man cave was an awesome craft brewery that your Aunt courageously approved of. Too bad they didn't serve brats as well.

Well behaved (and leashed) dogs are A-OK to bring to the brewery with you when visiting.

Great Rhythm Brewing Company in Portsmouth, NH
Look at that artwork. It's hard to miss it.

Great Rhythm Brewing Company

105 Bartlett St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

With water-side views of North Mill Pond, Great Rhythm Brewing is about as relaxing as craft beer drinking gets in Portsmouth.

You know who else had great rhythm? Biggie!

Liar's Bench Beer Company in Portsmouth, NH
Another good brewery in an industrial locale

Liar’s Bench Beer Company

459 Islington St #4, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Check your map - well, your smartphone’s map - and check it twice, as you’re likely to miss the entrance to Liar’s Bench off Islington if you’re not careful. Inhabiting an old plumbing supply shop, this nanobrewery brews a wide variety of liquid snacks to accompany the edible hoagies and tube meat. We’d feel dirty sharing that, but it’s literally on the menu.

From the Young Upstart to the Old So & So, this craft brewery has got you covered.

Loaded Question Brewing Company in Portsmouth, NH
We'll be honest, you'd never know good beer is behind that door

Loaded Question Brewing

909 Islington St Suite #12, Portsmouth, NH 03801

You’d be forgiven if you thought Billy Goat Yoga was an event at Loaded Question Brewing and not their 7.4% ABV Maibock. LQB brews we recommend include Sparkletoes, Questionable Decisions (you see what they did there, right?), and The Former Something, a West Coast IPL beer collab with Orono Brewing of Maine.

Plus, there’s nothing like Loaded Question’s Islington Genuine Draft, a Craft American Lager that is targeted directly at replacing Big Bev Popular Beers with a high quality brew.

“IGD, as it is called by locals, is a modern interpretation of a classic American lager. Nelson Sauvin and Willamette hops give a subtle twist to this highly quaffable style. Made with local floor malted Pilsner malt from Blue OX.”

The Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH
A great brewpub for snacks, both solids and liquids

The Portsmouth Brewery

56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

A fantastic brewpub in Downtown Portsmouth, The Portsmouth Brewery is an ideal stop for lunch, dinner, date night, or post-work beers. It’s flexible layout of indoor and outdoor space and simultaneous bar and restaurant vibe could be the reason it’s so idea. Or, it could simply be that its Market Square location is unmatched.

Breweries near Portsmouth, NH

Within the Seacoast there are a ton of great microbreweries and taprooms. This is good to know if you’re on a Summer day trip to Hampton Beach or taking in a concert at the Casino Ballroom.

Deciduous Brewing Company

12 Weaver St, Newmarket, NH 03857

Deciduous is a cool taproom just a block off Main Street and the Lamprey River in Newmarket. They pour Hoppy Session ales, Fruited Sours, and even an Italian-style Pilsner. They enjoy collaborating with other New England brewers, including Long Live Beerworks in Rhode Island - their latest being Adding Up The Numbers, a Double Dry Hopped Double IPA brewed with a blend of Citra, Citra Incognito, Cashmere and Simcoe and resting at 8.5% ABV.

If you need a Monopoly-style Get Out of Jail Free card from your significant other, tell them you’re headed to the Newmarket library and park in the library’s parking lot located just behind the taproom. Just make sure to not get seen walking from the brewery back to your car.

Garrison City Beerworks in Dover, NH
Have a Super Soft Milkshake IPA!

Garrison City Beerworks

455 Central Ave, Dover, NH 03820

Dover is a short ride West of the city down Route 16. There you will find Garrison City Beerworks, home of Tacos, Trivia Night, and Teeny Tiny Triangles, a 7.5% ABV Double IPA that has been elegantly hopped with El Dorado, HBC 630, Mosaic.

Great place for pints.

Sawbelly Brewing

156 Epping Rd, Exeter, NH 03833

Not that the Seacoast beer scene is uptight, not at all, not even close, but Sawbelly Brewing is laid further back than most. We really dig the brewery’s logo, especially hiding that hop in the fish in plain sight.

If we’re picking a couple of Sawbelly beers to quaff, we’re going with the Bat Flip IPA and the Toffee Mild. We appreciate the latter because they’ve kept the alcohol content under 4% ABV. You don’t see that often in breweries these days due to the still-raging love for IPAs.

Backcheck IPA, an IPA brewed by Smuttynose Brewing Company
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck, Bro!

Smuttynose Brewing Company

105 Towle Farm Rd, Hampton, NH 03842

Core beers, sours, seasonals, SmuttLabs, what don’t they brew?

Live music, beer garden, private events, charitable giving, what don’t they do?

Smuttynose has been around for a long time, opening in the mid 90s before the explosion of craft beer around the nation. They briefly closed in the 10s, only to get reopened and reestablished as a trusted purveyor of suds shortly after.

Last but not least, Disc Golf. Yes, you read that right. Smuttynose has a 9-hole disc golf course free to the public day and night. According to the craft brewery, you can “bring your own discs, or rent a set in our retail shop."

Ring King, an IPA brewed by Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen
An interesting IPA for sure

SmuttLabs Brewery & Kitchen

is their innovation brewery and 5-day-per-week kitchen in Dover that opened in 2019. Pouring from 16 taps, their scratch kitchen menu often uses beers in their recipes. We’ve tried their Grasshopper beer. It was good if that’s your jam. It was almost like Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies mixed with a glass of milk in a Vitamix blender, with a couple of sprigs of mint layered on top.

An IPA brewed by Stoneface Brewing Company
Beer!

Stoneface Brewing Company

436 Shattuck Way, Newington, NH 03801

Funky graffiti gives Stoneface Brewing’s Warehouse Chic taproom a jolt of not-even-needed-but-welcome vibrancy. Set just off Rt. 4/16 against the Piscataqua, Stoneface is busy pouring tasty porters and pale ales to wash down an array of juicy burgers.

Don’t want to drink ales and lagers by the pint? No worries, Stoneface has got your back by pouring 500ml specialty bottles of dark sour sales and imperial stouts.

Cheek Squeezer, a Sour Blonde Ale brewed by Throwback
The name checks out

Throwback Brewery

7 Hobbs Rd, North Hampton, NH 03862

Bar snacks, Beer & Yoga Events, CSAs, and the ability to Reserve a Firepit in the wintertime? Awesome!

Want more? Live music. Brewery Tours. A Book Club.

Throwback does it all, and does it all well. We’ll be visiting ... checks firepit rental schedule ... soon. Real soon.

Tributary Brewing Company

10 Shapleigh Rd, Kittery, ME 03904

Tributary may be a Maine brewery, but if you knew just how close it was to Market Square, you’d understand why we’ve included it. This minimalist tasting room features a handful of craft brews on tap, biergarten-style tables, and enjoyable outdoor patio space. Tributary also hosts live music on Saturday nights.

We also really appreciate when a brewery puts together a list of locations where you can buy their cans and find them on tap so that their customers know exactly where to find them as Tributary does.